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Old Man Names Back in Style

Old Man Names Back in Style

Old man names have been fashionable for baby boys for so long now that many of them have morphed into popular baby names: Henry and Samuel rank among the top names in the US, while in the UK, Harry, Leo, and Oscar are all among their most popular baby names. But don't worry, there are plenty more Old Man Names where those came from! To qualify as a cool Old Man Name, a name has to feel both classic and slightly moth-eaten, like the perfect vintage cardigan. Along with Henry and Samuel, other Old Man Names in the US Top 500 include Arthur, Cyrus, Theodore, Otto, Silas, Harvey, Victor, and Frederick. Old man names more common in the UK than in the US include Albert, Ralph, Stanley, and Wilfred. Like Biblical boy names, antique old man names are constantly being revived by parents. Today's newest old-fashioned boy names include such relics as Herbert, Harold, and Clyde. Here are the names for boys we're watching as the next wave of retro Old Man Names ready for revival.

RELATED: Old Lady Names and Old People Names.

  1. SilasHeart
    • Origin:

      English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "wood, forest"
    • Description:

      Silas is based on the name Silvanus, and the two are used interchangeably in the Bible. In the New Testament, St. Silas was a leading member of the early Christian community who accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey. Sylvanus was the Roman god of trees and his name was originally bestowed on people who lived in wooded areas or who worked with wood.
  2. TheodoreHeart
    • 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. Friendly nickname Theo may be responsible for some of that, though there are plenty of baby boys given Theo as their full name too. Add their numbers together, and the two names jump to Number 6.
  3. LouisHeart
    • Origin:

      German and French
    • Meaning:

      "renowned warrior"
    • Description:

      Kate and William shocked the world when they announced that they'd named their third child Louis -- Prince Louis Arthur Charles, to be more precise. But we've been predicting a comeback for this classic name for a long time.
  4. OttoHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy"
    • Description:

      Cutting-edge parents have revived this German name a la Oscar.
  5. CyrusHeart
    • Origin:

      Persian
    • Meaning:

      "sun"
    • Description:

      Very popular in the Iranian community, this name of the founder of the Persian Empire has had a more down-home, corncob pipe-smoking image for most Americans in the past, but this has begun to change.
  6. ArthurHeart
    • 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 some stylish parents, emerging as a top contender among names for the new royal prince.
  7. OtisHeart
    • Origin:

      Variation of Otto, German
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy"
    • Description:

      Otis has a double image: it's cool and bluesy a la Otis Redding, but also an upscale, high-society name of the past. Otis has real appeal for parents attracted to its catchy O initial and combination of strength and spunk.
  8. ArchieHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Archibald, Teutonic
    • Meaning:

      "truly brave"
    • Description:

      Archie made global news as the surprise first name of the newborn royal baby, son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aka Harry and Meghan. Archie has now officially transcended Archie Bunker and Riverdale's Archie to take the, um, throne as the quintessential retro nickname name.
  9. GideonHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "hewer; or, having a stump for a hand"
    • Description:

      Gideon is a no-longer neglected Old Testament name, but still makes an excellent choice for parents looking to move beyond such overused biblicals as Benjamin and Jacob. In the Old Testament, Gideon was a judge called on by God to rescue the Jews from the Midianites, and the name was popular among the Puritans.
  10. CasperHeart
    • Origin:

      Dutch form of Jasper, Persian
    • Meaning:

      "bringer of treasure"
    • Description:

      This ancient name, also spelled Caspar, is finally shedding its ghostly image and moving into the 21st century. Popular in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, where it's sometimes shortened to Cas, Casper could ride the style coattails of cousin Jasper. Casper was one of the Three Magi who brought gifts to the infant Jesus along with Melchior and Balthasar.
  11. EzekielHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God strengthens"
    • Description:

      Ezekiel is derived from the Hebrew name Yechezqel, composed of the elements chazaq, meaning “to strengthen,” and ’el, referring to God. Ezekiel is a prominent prophet in the Old Testament and the author of the Book of Ezekiel, predicting the fall of Jerusalem and eventual rehabilitation of Israel.
  12. FrederickHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "peaceful ruler"
    • Description:

      Frederick, and friendlier nickname Fred, seemed almost to have disappeared, leaving just the memory of Freds past such as Astaire, Mr. Rogers and Flintstone. But today's parents are beginning to recognize it as a strong classic and one of the top royal baby boy names.
  13. CalvinHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bald, hairless"
    • Description:

      Calvin is a slightly quirky but cozy name that has a fashion edge thanks to Calvin Klein. It has been steadily on the popularity list since records were kept, never lower than Number 250, peaking in the 1920s, the era of the Calvin (originally John Calvin ) Coolidge presidency.
  14. LinusHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "flax"
    • Description:

      Can Linus lose its metaphorical security blanket and move from the Peanuts page onto the birth certificate? We think it has enough charm and other positive elements going for it for the answer to be yes.
  15. ReubenHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "behold, a son"
    • Description:

      Reuben is derived from the Hebrew words ra’a, meaning "to see, to understand," and ben, "son." As a phrase it translates to "behold, a son." In the Bible, Reuben is Jacob's first-born son by Leah and the founder of one of the tribes of Israel.
  16. RupertHeart
    • Origin:

      German variation of Robert
    • Meaning:

      "bright fame"
    • Description:

      Rupert is a charming-yet-manly name long more popular in Britain (where it's attached to a beloved cartoon bear) than in the U.S. Yet we can see Rupert as a more stylish, modern way to honor an ancestral Robert.
  17. VictorHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "conqueror"
    • Description:

      Victor is one of the earliest Christian names, borne (as Vittorio) by several saints and popes, symbolizing Christ's victory over death. It has been quietly in the Top 200 since 1880, but just recently has taken on a cool edge by fashionable parents in London and seems ripe for a similar reevaluation here too.
  18. RufusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "red-head"
    • Description:

      Rufus is a rumpled, redheaded (it was the nickname for red-haired King William) ancient Roman name popular with saints and singers (e.g. Rufus Wainwright); now, Rufus is on the cutting edge of cool.
  19. PercyHeart
    • Origin:

      French surname from place name Perci-en-Auge
    • Description:

      Percy is an adorable old name that is finally shedding its pampered Little Lord Fauntleroy image in this new era of boys with soft yet traditionally male names like Jasper and Elijah. Originating as an aristocratic Norman name, Percy became fairly widespread in England--and to some extent in the US--as an offshoot of the fame of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
  20. IgnatiusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "fiery"
    • Description:

      Ignatius? Good gracious! This is a name making a truly surprising return, sparked by its selection by not one but two celebrities--Cate Blanchett and Julianne Nicholson.

      Ignatius, the name of several saints including the founder of the Catholic Jesuit order, was considered more apt to be borne by churches and schools than babies in the recent past, though it was not unusual from the late nineteenth century to 1930; it ranked as high as Number 602 in 1913.