Old-Fashioned Boy Names

Old-Fashioned Boy Names

Old-fashioned boy names are suddenly everywhere. Historically, old-fashioned names for girls have been more stylish, but modern parents are now considering many old-school boy names that were too dusty or strange for generations past, such as Ambrose and Archie.

Along with Ambrose and Archie, other old-fashioned boy names in the US Top 1000 include Julius, Walter, Edwin, Clyde, and Amos.

The next wave of old-fashioned boy names will be upbeat and zippier. Prepare to meet baby boys who have names with a strong Z or S sound, such as Cosmo, Morris, Orson, Ozzy, and Roscoe. Clunky-cool nicknames are also poised for a comeback: Ike, Gene, Woody, Gus, Ernie.

The old-fashioned names for boys listed here are ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

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Boy Names

Old-Fashioned Names

  1. Silas
    • Origin:

      Aramaic, Latin, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "of the forest; or prayed for"
    • Description:

      Sleek and smart, with a hint of mystique about it, Silas is a recent addition to the US Top 100. Both mythological and Biblical in origin, Silas joins the ranks of Isaiah, Atlas, Elias, and Sebastian: polished and contemporary feeling names with plenty of history.
  2. Theodore
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "gift of God"
    • Description:

      As unlikely as it may seem, Theodore is a hot new hit name, vaulting into the Top 10 in 2021 for the first time ever and rising three more points last year to rank at Number 7.
  3. August
    • Origin:

      German form of Latin Augustus
    • Meaning:

      "great, magnificent"
    • Description:

      The name August is at its highest point since the 1890s, when it ranked among the Top 100 boy names in the US. And deservedly so, given its great meaning, historic roots, and cool nicknames.
  4. Felix
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "happy, fortunate"
    • Description:

      Felix is one of those ancient but nontraditional names for boys that have come into favor over the past few decades, a favorite of parents who want a masculine name with history and heft that breaks ranks with the standard Franks and Freds. Felix is also an international darling, ranking in the Top 100 in several European and English-speaking countries.
  5. Ezra
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "help"
    • Description:

      Ezra has a lot going for it: the strength of its heroic Biblical legacy, its quirky sound, and its fresh but familiar feel. Ezra is now at its highest point ever, but its intuitive streamlined spelling and deep roots could make it a worth successor to Elijah in the Top 10 -- or even to Liam or Noah at Number 1.
  6. Oliver
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "olive tree or elf army"
    • Description:

      Oliver is an international star, ranking near the top of the charts in the US and throughout the English-speaking world, along with a host of European and Latin American countries, from Norway to Chile, Slovenia to Switzerland.
  7. Milo
    • Origin:

      Latin and Old German
    • Meaning:

      "soldier or merciful"
    • Description:

      Milo is most commonly considered to be Germanic name derived from the Latin word miles, meaning "soldier." However, there is evidence to suggest it also may have independently spawned from the Slavic root milu, meaning "merciful." Milo predates brother name Miles, a variation that evolved when the name immigrated to the British Isles in the Middle Ages. Mylo is an alternate spelling.
  8. Arthur
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      " bear"
    • Description:

      Arthur, once the shining head of the Knights of the Round Table, is, after decades of neglect, now being polished up and restored by stylish parents, inspired perhaps by the new generation of royals. Arthur has led the list of possible names for the young British princes, chosen as a middle name for Prince Louis, son of William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales.
  9. Oscar
    • Origin:

      English or Irish
    • Meaning:

      "God spear, or deer-lover or champion warrior"
    • Description:

      Oscar is one of the most stylish Old Man Names of our era. While it's softened slightly in popularity over the past 20 years, that may be considered a very good thing.
  10. Hugo
    • Origin:

      Latinized form of Hugh
    • Meaning:

      "mind, intellect"
    • Description:

      Hugo, the Latin form of Hugh, has more heft and energy than the original -- and of course we love names that end (or begin, for that matter) with an o. This one is especially appealing because it's backed up by lots of solid history and European style.
  11. Jasper
    • Origin:

      Persian
    • Meaning:

      "bringer of treasure"
    • Description:

      Jasper originated as a variation of the Latin Gaspar, which ultimately derived from the Persian word ganzabara, meaning "bringer of treasure." As a given name, Jasper’s etymology is unrelated to that of the gemstone, which comes from a Semitic word meaning "speckled stone." Jasper is the usual English form for one of the Three Wise Men who brought gifts to the infant Christ according to medieval tradition and appears in the Bible as a reference to the stone itself in Revelations 4:3.
  12. Everett
    • Origin:

      English variation of the German Eberhard
    • Meaning:

      "brave as a wild boar"
    • Description:

      Everett is a preppy but outdoorsy name, with wintery New England vibes. In the last decade, it’s had a leap in popularity, perhaps because of its similarity to trendy girls’ names like Ava and Scarlett, or perhaps because it offers a fresh alternative to 90’s style Evan and Brett.
  13. Cyrus
    • Origin:

      Persian
    • Meaning:

      "sun"
    • Description:

      Cyrus is one of those surprising names that have always ranked among the Top 1000 boy names in the US. On an upward trend since the mid-90s, Cyrus now sits in that comfortable place between too popular and too unusual.
  14. Otto
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy"
    • Description:

      Otto is cool again. Long a quintessential Old Man Name, Otto has been promoted to trending darling of adventurous baby namers.
  15. Ellis
    • Origin:

      English surname derived from Elijah or Elias or Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "benevolent"
    • Description:

      Ellis is a former Old Man Name turned gender-neutral choice for the 21st century. It's one of the less used names in the currently popular El-family.
  16. Ambrose
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "immortal"
    • Description:

      Gentle but grandiose and beloved by British novelists including Evelyn Waugh and P. G. Wodehouse, Ambrose was a fast rising name in 2022. Entering the UK Top 1000 for the first time and proving popular among Nameberry users, its elegance, softness, and vintage style means it fits in with popular Theodore, Sebastian, and Jeremiah.
  17. Emmett
    • Origin:

      English masculine variation of Emma, German
    • Meaning:

      "universal"
    • Description:

      Emmett, honest and sincere, laid-back and creative, is on the rise as a male cognate of the megapopular Emma and Emily, not to mention being a character in the popular Twilight series.
  18. Julian
    • Origin:

      English from Latin, variation of Julius
    • Meaning:

      "youthful, downy-bearded, or sky father"
    • Description:

      Cool and charming, with plenty of flair and sophistication, Julian manages to strike the balance between being a sensible classic and contemporary choice. Appealingly international, it is no wonder Julian is a rising star.
  19. Simon
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "he has heard; flat-nosed"
    • Description:

      Simon is pure and simple (not in the nursery rhyme sense), and an appealingly genuine Old and New Testament name that's not overused – making Simon a stylish choice. In the Bible, Simon was the second son of Jacob and Leah and the original name of Saint Peter, as well as the name of several New Testament figures. Historically, Simon Bolivar is known as The Liberator of Latin America.
  20. Wesley
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "western meadow"
    • Description:

      Reminiscent of the Old West, with rugged charm and a gentle, easy-going feel, Wesley has long been a staple on the US charts.