Old Man Names: What’s next?

Hi there, Humphrey!

by Sophie Kihm

Old man names are a perennially popular category among parents. There’s something so adorable about the juxtaposition of a fresh-faced baby boy and a vintage—perhaps even slightly dusty—baby name.

The names that qualify as old man names are always changing. As these names rise in popularity, they begin to be shed their old man images and come to been associated with the younger generation. Henry, Jake, and Max were considered old man names not so long ago, but now conjure up images of little boys.

Names like Elliot, Theodore, Gus, and Oscar are moving out of old man territory. At one point, hipster parents may have chosen them for their vintage quirk, but they are starting to feel fresh and youthful again. Parents trying to stay ahead of the curve with old man names have had to move on to older, stodgier names.

These are the new old man names. At the moment they might seem too crusty to bestow on a newborn baby, but in a few years’ time we could see an influx of baby Franks, Humphreys and Seymours.

New Old Man Names

What do you think? Will this next generation of old man names  come back into style anytime soon? And which ones?

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5 Responses to “Old Man Names: What’s next?”

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Bobcat108 Says:

April 29th, 2019 at 7:58 pm

I see my dad’s name in this list (Gerald)…he was born in 1940 & named after his mother’s favorite uncle, who was born in 1918.

I’m way past the point of naming any children, but from this list the only names I’d consider are Hugh & Stuart, although I like the phonetic British spelling of Ralph: Rafe.

Incidentally, I have a high school classmate named Victor. His dad is also Victor. My classmate’s son is Victor…& his daughter is Victoria. I’ve always wondered how he got his wife to agree to that… 🙂

karasnight Says:

April 30th, 2019 at 7:02 am

I named my baby Ralph last year! Older people are (usually politely) confused by it, but younger people think it’s great. I’m so happy we went with it; I wanted to name him Ralph but worried what other people would think.

And it’s not a family name or anything. It just came to me in a dream before I got pregnant.

madilee Says:

April 30th, 2019 at 10:33 am

I *love* Casper, Hugh, and Harold (called Hal! how darling). I think I’d also be very charmed to meet a real-life baby Ralph, @karasnight!

MissBennet Says:

April 30th, 2019 at 11:34 am

Some of these feel like they’ve already become little-boy names again in other parts of the English-speaking world: Albert, Stanley, and Ralph are in the England and Wales top 100 (along with Alfie, Frankie, Archie, Freddie, Teddy, Reggie, Ronnie, and Bobby). Alfred, Wilfred, Frank, and Victor are all in the top 200, with Archibald, Casper, Hector, Ernest, and Hugh not too far behind.

I live in Ontario, which generally has more American influence than British influence in naming patterns, but I know under-5s called Archibald, Frank (x2), Clyde, Stanley, Hector, Casper, Albert, and Ernest — and also a Cecil and a Bertrand. It will be interesting to see where this group lands in the new US data.

Jorja Says:

May 2nd, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Wilfred is such a sweet name. I also love Alfred, Monte and Quincy.

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