Old Man Names Back in Style
Meaning:"father of multitudes"
Description: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 Abraham was the first of the Old Testament patriarchs and is considered the founding father of the Jewish people. He was originally named Abram, until, according to Genesis, he was told, "No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations."
Origin:Scottish and English from French
Meaning:"someone who lives on an island"
Description:Straightforward single-syllable name, though children named Lyle may get tired of hearing "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile". Lyle was at the height of fashion in the 1920s, which makes him due for a comeback right about now. The double L certainly gives it a fashionable sound.
Meaning:"brother of the exalted one"
Description:Hiram is the kind of forgotten biblical name that adventurous parents who wish to move beyond David and Daniel are beginning to reconsider--even though it has bits of its old stiff-collared image clinging to it, along with a little hillbilly feel as well. The name belonged to an Old Testament king of Tyre who helped David and Solomon plan and build the temple in Jerusalem, and was a favorite in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, though a couple of well-known bearers dropped it--Ulysses S. Grant was orignially Hiram Ulysses Grant, but he didn't like having the initials H.U.G., and country singer Hank Williams was also born Hiram. With its definite funk factor, and its friendly nickname Hi, Hiram would make a distinctive choice.
Description:A somewhat stiff and serious turn-of-the-last-century name that seems to be coming back to life.
Origin:French or Celtic
Meaning:"king or red-haired"
Description:We've seen Ray regain his cool, but could this country/cowboy name epitomized by Roy Rogers (born Leonard Slye), Acuff, and Clark, do the same?
Origin:French occupational name
Description:Mercer is an attractive possibility which is an occupational name that doesn't sound like one. Mercer and its cool, sophisticated short form Merce project a super creative image via their artistic namesakes.
Description:Lionel is one leonine name that hasn't taken off as cousins Leo and Leonardo have, though it did reenter the Top 1000 in 2010 after several years away; it was at its highest point in the 1920s and 1930s.
Description:Wallace is so square could almost be ripe for a turnaround, especially with the hipness imparted by the British Claymation series Wallace & Gromit. And Wally makes an adorable Leave it to Beaver retro-style nickname.
Meaning:"near the stony clearing"
Description:Although Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire personified brute force, most Stanleys have been portrayed as meek milquetoasts. It could be a Sydney-like girls' choice.-Bette Davis once played a character named Stanley, and it was the name of President Obama's mother (named for her father)--or possibly could be revived down the line a la Walter and Arthur.
Origin:Diminutive of Calvin
Description:A homey sitting-by-the fire-type nickname name.
Meaning:"one who looks after horses"
Description:Marshall is an occupational surname, not having to do with anything military or martial, but stemming from the Norman French for someone caring for horses. It's been used as a first name since the nineteenth century and has been on the Social Security list since it started to publish its data in 1880.
Origin:English variation of Maurice
Description:Morris is as quiet and comfortable as a Morris chair, and has the same vintage feel. Once a Top 100 name in the early 1900s, Morris fell completely off the roster in 1995, probably due to lingering fallout from his identification with Morris the cat's ("the world's most finicky cat") 9 Lives cat food commercials.
Origin:German or English
Meaning:"high guardian or brave heart"
Description:Howard, once hugely popular -- in the Top 50 from the 1870s to early 1950s, hitting Number 24 in 1920 -- has been stuck in Dad-Grandad limbo for decades, but is showing some signs of stirring back to life. Along with such formerly-fusty names as George and Harold, Howard may soon feel baby-appropriate, perhaps with the short form Ward.
Description:This aristocratic, somewhat formal Germanic route to the popular Leo is a royal name: Queen Victoria used it to honor a favorite uncle, King Leopold of Belgium. Though Leopold sounds as if it might be a leonine name, it's not really a relative of such choices as Leon, and Leonard.
Description:Considered ultra debonair in the silent-movie era, Gilbert then went through a nerdy phase, a la Gilbert Gottfried. Now though, like Albert and Alfred and Walter and Frank, it could be in for a style revival.
Description:As this long-term Age of Jordans, both male and female, begins to wind down, the neglected Scottish favorite Gordon, with its more distinguished history, could come back as a distinctive alternative. Gordon is one of the most classic authentically Scottish names for boys.
Description:This Welsh surname was taken up as a first in the English-speaking world in the early twentieth century, originally as a nickname for someone gray-haired. The original Welsh name was Llwyd, and pronounced LHOO-eed. Beau Bridges was christened Lloyd after his actor father.
Meaning:"strong, brave as a bear"
Description:Bernard is obviously a saint's name, but how did it get to the big, benevolent dog? The eleventh century monk, patron saint of mountain climbers, who lived in the Alps, was famed for setting up safe houses for pilgrims on their way to Rome over the treacherous St. Bernard Pass, and the canine breed, also used to rescue people in treacherous conditions, was named for him.
Description:This name of three early popes has been associated in recent years with a cocky cartoon cat ("Thufferin' thuccatash!") and the Italian Stallion hero of the Rocky and Rambo movies (who was born Michael) — and yet we think it just might be ready to move further back into the mainstream.
Description:The name of the last Anglo-Saxon king of England before the Norman conquest, and a name that's long been associated with a pipe-smoking, bespectacled grandpa or uncle.