Vintage Boys’ Names Ready for Revival: Rufus & Roscoe, Dexter & Chester
Hollywood parents love Otis. Tobey Maguire gave the name to a son in 2009, and Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde welcomed their Otis last spring. Soulful singer Otis Redding inspired Wilde & Sudeikis, and makes this name part-retro revival, part-hero choice. Cousins Otto, Odette, and Ottilie have all gotten some attention in recent years, too.
- Otis. Tobey Maguire gave the name to a son in 2009, and Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde welcomed their Otis last spring. Soulful singer Otis Redding inspired Wilde & Sudeikis, and makes this name part-retro revival, part-hero choice. Cousins Otto, Odette, and Ottilie have all gotten some attention in recent years, too." >
- Roscoe. Sure, Roscoe was the bumbling sheriff on The Dukes of Hazzard in the 1980s. But consider how well Hazzard names have fared - Luke, Beau, and Daisy are all quite stylish. While Roscoe might feel hillbilly to some, the name is originally Norse. With that bright 'o' ending, Roscoe deserves a place on the list for parents who love Arlo and Maceo." >
- Rufus feels edgy thanks to indie singer-songwriter Rufus Wainright. But Rufus has roots in Latin, and was worn by early saints. King William II of England was better known as William Rufus thanks to his red hair - or possibly his fiery temperament. If Scarlett, Ruby, Rowan, and Rory are all stylish, why not the equally colorful Rufus?" >
- Dexter Haven was Cary Grant's character in The Philadelphia Story. Now the most famous Dexter is a television character slightly more sinister. And yet, Dexter has lots to offer - that great 'x' in the middle, the nickname Dex, the 'r' ending. The name has recently returned to the Top 400 in the US, suggesting that Dexter is already on the rise." >
- Dexter is ready for a revival, can Chester be far behind? Nickname Chet plays well with Max, Hank, and Gus. It's a White House name, too, thanks to Chester A. Arthur, 21st president of the United States. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have a son named Chester, known as Chet. He's followed dad and big brother Colin into the movie business." >
- William and James dominate your shortlist, Louis might be one to consider. Saintly and regal, Louis has history to spare. Louis Armstrong lends this name a jazzy, upbeat vibe. Sandra Bullock named her baby boy Louis in 2010, and Prince George's full name is George Alexander Louis. In the UK, Louis is pronounced like Louie. In the US, Americans say the final 's'. Either way, Louis has a serious-but-approachable vibe that wears well." >
- Finn led to Flynn. Could Flynn lead to ... Floyd? A Top 100 favorite from the nineteenth century through the 1930s, Floyd is rare today. The name isn't forgotten, though, from Depression-era bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd to legendary rock band Pink Floyd. The musicians were inspired by Floyd Council, a blues musician from the 1930s. If the hundred year rule applies for baby name comebacks, Floyd is right on time." >
- Louis, Peter is a classic that is much less common than many go-to names for boys. From Peter Rabbit to Peter Pan to Peter Pevensie, the name is a staple in children's literature. And yet Peter is handsome on a grown-up, too. Few religious figures are as widely known as Saint Peter, and the solid meaning of this name is well known - rock." >
- Regal Henry is a Nameberry favorite. Harvey is Henry's quirky cousin. The name came to England with the Normans, and was revived in the nineteenth century - and again in the twenty-first, at least in the UK. While British parents have already rediscovered Harvey's charms, American parents are slowly warming up to this possibility. But with that sharp 'v' sound, Harvey feels right at home in 2015." >
- Stanley spent many a year in mothballs, the name of everybody's great uncle, but nobody's son. Adventurous namers seem to be interested in Stanley again. And why not? A Top 100 favorite through the 1950s, there are plenty of admirable Stanleys to consider, like Spider-Man creator Stan Lee, born Stanley Lieber. Children's book character Flat Stanley is a perennial favorite." >
- Royal names like Reign and King are on the rise. Rex - from the Latin word for king - fits right in with those oh-so-regal names. And yet, there's something subtle about this commanding choice. Maybe it's because Rex has a long history of use. Actor Rex Harrison won an Academy Award for his role in 1964's My Fair Lady. Or maybe Rex just fits right in with Alex, Felix, and Jax." >
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on January 9th, 2015 at 12:11 am
So many of these names are great, and I would love to see some boys with these names. I especially adore,
on January 9th, 2015 at 12:46 am
If I didn’t already have a Henry I’d use Harvey in an instant, love it.
on January 9th, 2015 at 1:19 am
I really love Peter and Louis (either pronunciation). I’m warming to Otis, but I really love Odette better. I could see Dexter getting popular because of the ‘xt’ middle, and nn Dex. I know a Declan that goes by Dex, come to think of it. Harvey to me is still middle-aged, not great-grandpa. I can’t help but think of the bug-loving character on “The Brady Bunch,” but I imagine a lot of current new or soon-to-be moms don’t have that association. Roscoe, Rufus, and Chester are all names of dogs I’ve met, but I could see Chester catching on with hipster parents, and Rupert in place of Rufus.
on January 9th, 2015 at 4:44 am
Yes Rupert would be a great add to this post.
on January 9th, 2015 at 6:44 am
I love, love, LOVE Roscoe. But it’s too similar to Oscar – our first son (almost an anagram, in fact) – so in the end we went for vintage Alfred for son no.2
on January 9th, 2015 at 8:41 am
Louis and Peter are so handsome. The rest of the list is really not my style.
on January 9th, 2015 at 9:26 am
I’ll never be able to separate Rufus from doofus and Chester from molester. I cringe when I think of those names being used on children. Other than that, I really like this list!
on January 9th, 2015 at 9:33 am
I really love the name Rufus, but I can’t seem to shake a connection with dogs. Though, I also can’t seem to shake the name itself, so maybe in a few years I’ll have the courage! Also, I had a plan to name a son Reginald, nn Rex, for a few years but just recently had a crisis of confidence. Maybe all those “out there” celebrity royal names made me feel like it was ridiculous and unrealistic, but for whatever reason I abandoned it, despite loving it. Dexter is definitely a contender for me, though! Looking at this list and seeing that the old man names I love are on the upswing just makes me feel a bit trendy…
on January 9th, 2015 at 9:43 am
Love Peter and Louis, both family names, but I also like Chester, Rufus, Harvey, and Stanley; Chester because the American baritone Chester Ludgin was a close friend of mine, and Rufus I’ve loved since I read A Death in the Family when I was ten or eleven.
I would add Bertram, Wilfred, Waldo, Barnaby, and Humphrey to this list of names that have been considered “fusty” but could be revived.
on January 9th, 2015 at 11:02 am
Oh, how I LOVE Harvey!
on January 9th, 2015 at 3:43 pm
I would be glad to see Harvey, Dexter, Chester, and Rex become popular, simply because I don’t like them, but I hope Rufus and Peter won’t be revived! They are some of my favourite names.
on January 9th, 2015 at 6:05 pm
Was anyone else’s page randomly jumping to some kind of weightloss website? These glitches are getting annoying
on January 9th, 2015 at 7:03 pm
Most of these names seem more fitting for a dog than a child. Especially Rufus & Roscoe.
on January 9th, 2015 at 8:55 pm
I’d use Louis in a Second if people would pronounce it Louie.
on January 9th, 2015 at 11:24 pm
Great list! LOVE Roscoe, Dexter, Chester, Harvey and Rex. Some of my favorites. I’ve never been a fan of Peter, but I can get behind Pete. I’m trying to see the appeal of Otis and Floyd, but they’re still lost on me.
on January 10th, 2015 at 4:25 am
I love Rufus & Otis! I’ve always liked Otis but I fell in love with Rufus because of the ghost baby on Being Human
on January 10th, 2015 at 10:20 am
I love Rufus but it is seen as a dog name in France 🙁
Louis has been in the top10 for years here and it’s pretty popular in the UK if i’m not mistaken.
Otis is really cool to me, and Dexter too – i didnt think it was vintage in the US. it seems like it’s still used quite often?
on January 10th, 2015 at 5:09 pm
I LOVE Roscoe and Harvey — would give sons these names in a hot minute. Peter, Otis, Dexter, Chester, and Louis all deserve wider use.
on January 10th, 2015 at 6:43 pm
These are my kind of names!
I would add Barney and Andy and Opie since you have Floyd and Otis.
on January 10th, 2015 at 10:13 pm
Peter is definitely ripe for revival. I know of a few Peters, a Louie, as well as a Lloyd (not Floyd) who has a sister Edith. What about Roger, Reuben, Lawrence, and Walter? There’s a Wally in my neighborhood.
on January 10th, 2015 at 10:15 pm
Chester and Rufus are good ones. What about Roy, Norman, and Howard?
on January 10th, 2015 at 11:01 pm
Otis, Dexter, and Louis are my favorites! I like Harvey but it makes me think of a lawyer. Rex I want to like but it actually sounds nerdy to me rather than regal. I even like Regal as a name! But Dexter is freaking awesome! It’s equally cool yet smart. Otis has the down South blues thing I like, like Memphis! Louis is adorable (when pronounced Louie).
on January 11th, 2015 at 2:25 am
Rufus really does sound like a pet’s name. I imagine a dog or a pet rat unfortunately. I love Reuben though!
on January 11th, 2015 at 4:23 pm
I was surprised to see Peter on here because I have a brother named Peter and an Uncle Peter, and I’ve met a few young Peters in the last two years. It’s ranked in the high 200s on the SSA list, which is a lot higher than many of the names listed here. I’m still glad to see it featured, though.
Ask the Name Sage: Is Peter a Problem? – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Said
on April 7th, 2015 at 10:45 pm
[…] fact, I think Peter might be due for revival. There’s a new installment in the Peter Pan universe coming to theaters this summer – a […]
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