Cool Classic Boy Names — 100+ below the Top 1000
Description:Wilfred is one of those Old Man Names that still sounds fusty in the US but is fashionable in the UK. It comes with readymade short forms Will or Fred and might make an adventurous alternative to the ubiquitous William. The central character of Walter Scott's Ivanhoe is the knight Wilfred of Ivanhoe. Wilfred Owens was a well-known British poet.
Meaning:"warrior or judgment"
Description:An fearsome old Norse name with a long history in Scandinavia. It's gotten a boost in the States from popularity of the History Channel drama "Vikings," in which the protagonist is named Ragnar. Ragnar Lodbrok (meaning "shaggy pants") was a legendary warrior whose story was told in the Viking sagas. Ragnar also recalls name of the Norse Judgment Day, Ragnarök.
Description:The Hungarian classic Laszlo, with its zippy 'z' middle and energetic 'o' ending, has become something of a hipster option, beginning to be considered by cutting-edge parents.
Meaning:"son of Harry"
Description:When Harrison is too much, but Harry isn't enough, try this stylish surname name with a touch of British flair. It briefly reentered the US Top 1000 for the first time since 1988 in 2016, but has since dropped just below the radar again.
Origin:Basque, medieval Spanish variation of Ignatius
Description:Inigo, almost unknown in the U.S., is an intriguing choice, with its strong beat, creative and evocative sound, and associations with the great early British architect and stage designer Inigo Jones. The sixteenth-seventeenth century Jones shared his name with his father, a London clockmaker, who received it when Spanish names for boys were fashionable in England, especially among devout Roman Catholics.
Meaning:"laurel or pine tree"
Description:Soft and sensitive name often heard in Israel.
Description:The name of the great Homeric hero with the vulnerable heel (portrayed by Brad Pitt in Troy) is widely used in European versions but rarely here. It certainly make a strong statement It premiered on the US Top 1000 list in 2015 and has been climbing ever since.
Description:This image of this distinguished Anglo-Scottish surname, drawn from the French place name of the ancient castle of Saint Foi de Montgomery, is rapidly shifting from fusty and formal to cool. And dashing short form Monty (or Monte) nudges it to cute.
Origin:Diminutive of Sebastian, Latin from Greek
Meaning:"man of Sebastia"
Description:In Spanish cultures, and spelled either Bastian or Bastien, this is a fairly common nickname name. The German fantasy children's book The Neverending Story features a young boy character called Bastian Balthlazar Bux, and it has also been seen in several screen versions.
Origin:French from Latin
Description:Claude is a soft-spoken French name that conjures up the pastel colors of Monet and harmonies of Debussy. In France, it is used for girls as well, in fact in the Tracy Chevalier novel Lady and the Unicorn, the protagonist is a female Claude.
Description:Though to most Americans Viggo is a one-person name attached to intense actor Mortensen, it is actually an old Norse name dating back to the Vikings, and is currently the 32nd most popular appellation in Sweden. Viggo Mortensen is a Jr., sharing his name with his Danish father. We think this name is so, well, vigorous, that it might appeal to others as well. Taylor and Natalie Hanson seemed to agree when they chose it for their fourth child.
Description:This Roman Emperor's name has long been considered too grand for an American boy. But in this era of children named Augustine and Atticus, it just may be prime for an unlikely comeback.
Description:Valentine is an attractive Shakespearean name with romantic associations, but those very ties to the saint and the sentimental holiday have sent it into a decline, one which we think may be about to turn around.
Meaning:"father of light."
Description:This neglected Biblical name--it was the name of the commander of Saul's army and appears twice in the New Testament--is ready to flee Dogpatch. It was regularly used in the nineteenth century, but was pretty much demolished by the long-running hillbilly comic strip L'il Abner, which began in 1934 and ran through 1977. A more respectable namesake is Abner Doubleday, who has been credited with inventing baseball.
Description:In Hindu mythology, the Rishis are sages and seers; in modern times, Rishi Rich is a popular British-born musician and record producer.
Description:The popular single-named alternative singer (born Bek) has given this cool nature-meets-surname name a new lease of life. Another notable bearer is Beck Weathers, a Texan pathologist who survived the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, which was covered in the book and film Into Thin Air.
Meaning:"lion or wet"
Description:Laith is a cross-cultural boys' name that's among the Top 1000 in the UK, with a leonine meaning in Arabic that is on trend right now. As a Scottish name, it derives from the name of the river Leith in Edinburgh.
Description:Octavius, which was at one time used for the eighth child in a family, has the worn leather patina of all the ancient Roman names now up for reconsideration. As a Roman family name, it derives from the uncommon forename Octavus, which designated an eighth son.
Origin:Diminutive of Huckleberry, word name
Description:Though forever tied to Huck, short for Huckleberry, Finn, this is an undeniably cute short form that may have some life as part of the hipster taste for names like Duke and Bix.
Description:Jethro, though the biblical father-in-law of Moses, has suffered for a long time from a Beverly Hillbilly image, but some really adventurous parents might consider updating and urbanizing it and transitioning it into the hip o-ending category.