Solid Classics for Boys

  1. Alfred
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "wise counselor; elf counsel"
    • Description:

      Alfred is up off his recliner! If you're looking for a path to Fred, you can go directly to Frederick or take the long way around with the so-out-it's-in-again Alfred. Alfred is quite popular in several European countries, especially England and Wales, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.
  2. 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.
  3. Charles
    • Origin:

      French from German
    • Meaning:

      "man, free man"
    • Description:

      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 and then Roman Emperor in the 8th-9th centuries.
  4. Christopher
    • Origin:

      Greek and Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bearer of Christ"
    • Description:

      Christopher derived from the Greek Christophoros, which is composed of the elements Christos, referring to Christ, and phero, meaning "to bear."
  5. Daniel
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is my judge"
    • Description:

      Daniel is one of only a handful of male names that sounds both classic and modern, strong yet approachable, and popular but not cliched. It also has a solid Old Testament pedigree. The only real downside: There are about 10,000 Daniels named each year, making it a less than distinctive choice.
  6. David
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "beloved"
    • Description:

      David is an enduring worldwide classic, used from ancient times to the present day.
  7. Edmund
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "fortunate protector"
    • Description:

      The sophisticated Edmund and its nearly-identical French twin Edmond are coming out of mothballs now that Edward, inspired by Twilight, is once again a hot name.
  8. Edward
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy guardian"
    • Description:

      Unlike perennials William, John and James, Edward is a classic that moves in and out of fashion. This royal Anglo-Saxon standard has benefited in recent years from the popularity of the hot hero of the vampire sensation Twilight — Edward Cullen — who has given his name a new infusion of cool.
  9. Frederick
    • 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.
  10. Gregory
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "vigilant, a watchman"
    • Description:

      The Greek name of sixteen popes and fifteen saints, the gregarious Gregory became big in the United States with the emergence of admirable actor Gregory Peck (born Eldred) in the late 1940s. From 1950 to 1973, it was in the Top 30, with nickname Greg becoming a Cool Dude name.
  11. Henry
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Henry is back. The classic Henry climbed back onto the Top 10 in the US in 2021 for the first time in over a century, and now stands at Number 8.
  12. James
    • Origin:

      English variation of Jacob, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "supplanter"
    • Description:

      James is one of the classic Anglo-Saxon names, a stalwart through the ages that is more popular—and yes, stylish—than ever today. It recently came out Number 1 in a poll of America's favorite boys' baby names, and is the most common male name, counting people of all ages, in the US.
  13. John
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      John reigned as the most popular of all boys' Christian names for 400 years, from the time the first Crusaders carried it back to Britain until the 1950s. Then American baby namers finally seemed to tire of this straight-arrow, almost anonymous John Doe of names, replacing it with fancier forms like Jonathan and the imported Sean and Ian.
  14. 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.
  15. Mark
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "warlike"
    • Description:

      Mark has the rare appeal of a strong, sleek name with a minimalist modern feel and ancient roots. The name Mark is taken from the Roman god of war Mars, also the namesake of the planet.
  16. Martin
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "warlike"
    • Description:

      Martin is one of those names like Arthur and Vincent and George that is in the process of throwing off its balding middle-aged image to start sounding possible again, used in full without the dated Marty nickname.
  17. Max
    • Origin:

      English and German diminutive of Maximilian or Maxwell
    • Meaning:

      "greatest"
    • Description:

      Max was derived from Maximilian, a Latin name that originated from the Roman family name Maximus. The character name Max in the children's classic Where the Wild Things Are had an impact on baby namers. Max is a widely used name internationally.
  18. Nicholas
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "people of victory"
    • Description:

      Nicholas is derived from the Greek Nikolaos, a name that evolved from the components nikē, meaning "victory", and laos, "people." It shares origins with Nike, the name of the Greek goddess of victory. Nicholas is also a New Testament name that is well-used in literature, such as in Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby.
  19. 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.
  20. Paul
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "small"
    • Description:

      To the thousands of girls who screamed the name of their favorite Beatle in the 1960s, the boys' name Paul had a thrillingly unique image, but to the rest of the world, then and now, it's a name that's so simple and yet so widely diffuse that it could belong to almost anyone. Paul is an ancient name for boys -- popular in Roman and medieval times -- that's not very fashionable now, which can work in its favor, scarcity balancing simplicity.