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Classic Boy Names

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Classic baby names for boys, those that have been well used in the English-speaking world over time, are an elite group. Classic boy names may come from the Bible, be traditional saints' names or royal names, or be names with roots in ancient languages, such as Jacob and Alexander.

Along with Jacob and Alexander, other classic boy names in the US Top 20 include William, James, Benjamin, Michael, Daniel, Matthew, Henry, and Joseph. Some classic names for boys that are not used as often as they used to be include Philip, Francis, Harry, and Hugh.

Most classic boy names have ranked highly for more than a century and have been widely used for hundreds of years. The boy names that rank as classics today include the following.

  • Abraham

    Abraham is among the most classic baby names that's still widely-used today, popular for its references to both the Bible and American history. The Biblical... Read More 

  • Adam

    Adam -- a primal Old Testament name -- was revived as a 1960s cowboy name. Adam is not as popular as it once was and feels ready for a respite, replaced by newer A names like Aidan/Aiden, Avery... Read More 

  • Alan

    In its three most popular spellings -- Alan along with Allen and Allan -- this midcentury favorite has tended to skew older. It was a Top 100 name from 1938 to 1971, peaking at Number 40 in 1951.... Read More 

  • Albert

    Albert has acquired a new gloss as one of the top royal baby boy names, a serious upgrade from its serious, studious image (think... Read More 

  • Alexander

    Alexander is derived from the Greek name Aléxandros, composed of the elements aléxein, meaning “to defend,” and aner, meaning “man.” According to Greek legend, the first... Read More 

  • Andrew

    Andrew is a variant of the Greek name Andreas, ultimately derived from the element aner, meaning “man.” In the New Testament, Andrew was one of the twelve apostles and the first disciple... Read More 

  • Anthony

    Anthony is derived from the Roman family name Antonii, and was initially used as Antony, without the “h.” The name evolved into Anthony in the 17th century, when it was speculated that it derived... Read More 

  • Arthur

    Arthur, once the shining head of the Knights of the Round Table, is, after decades of neglect, now being polished up and restored by some stylish parents, emerging as a top contender among Read More 

  • Benjamin

    Benjamin is derived from the Hebrew name Binyamin, from the elements ben, meaning “son” and yamin, “right hand.” In the Old Testament, Benjamin was the youngest of the twelve... Read More 

  • Charles

    Charles derives from the Germanic name Karl, meaning "man" or "freeman", and is a royal name in multiple European countries. A famous early bearer is Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Lombards... Read More 

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