Boy Names
Where To Find A Cool Vintage Boy Name
Where To Find A Cool Vintage Boy Name
Apr 19, 2024 5:18 AM

  The good news for lovers of vintage boy names is that they’ve never been cooler.

  The bad news? Well... they’ve never been cooler.

  That means it can feel increasingly difficult to find the perfect “I wish I’d thought of that first!” vintage boy name. You know: the sweet but strong, retro-cool, fresh yet familiar choice that no one else has thought of yet.

  But never fear! We’ve combed through the US popularity charts from a century ago to uncover 100+ rare old-fashioned boy names — all outside of the current Top 1000 — which are just starting to feel baby-ready again in 2023.


Gone But Not Forgotten

If you’d asked us about Elmer a decade ago, we’d have had just one word for you: Fudd.

  But now, with its old-school flavor and fashionable beginning and ending sounds… well, we’ve got to admit it’s kind of adorable!

  Whether it’s an on-trend sound, an eminent namesake, or cool nickname potential, there’s a certain something about all of these names that has our eye on them for 2023 and beyond.

  Those style-savvy Brits are already ahead of the game on several of these: Casper, Chester, Percy, Ralph, Rufus and Wilfred all rank in the current Top 500 boy names there.

  HeartAlvaChevron - RightHeartBernardChevron - RightHeartCasperChevron - RightHeartCecilChevron - RightHeartChesterChevron - RightHeartClarenceChevron - RightHeartClaudeChevron - RightHeartEdmundChevron - RightHeartElmerChevron - RightHeartErnestChevron - RightHeartFerdinandChevron - RightHeartGilbertChevron - RightHeartHiramChevron - RightHeartJuniusChevron - RightHeartLemuelChevron - RightHeartLinusChevron - RightHeartMorrisChevron - RightHeartPercyChevron - RightHeartRalphChevron - RightHeartReginaldChevron - RightHeartRufusChevron - RightHeartSylvesterChevron - RightHeartUlyssesChevron - RightHeartValentineChevron - RightHeartVirgilChevron - RightHeartWilfredChevron - Right


Retro Nicknames

It’s got to be said: the Roaring Twenties are a gift for lovers of quirky nicknames for boys!

  Until recently the reserve of the family pooch, adorably clunky old-school nicknames have been creeping back onto birth certificates in recent years. Think Archie, Cal and Mac.

  And with recent starbabies named Cy (Jennifer Lawrence), Barry (Meghan Trainor) and Iggy (Clarissa Ward), it seems that celebrity parents are starting to cotton onto this trend, too.

  HeartAbeChevron - RightHeartArlieChevron - RightHeartArtChevron - RightHeartBarneyChevron - RightHeartBuckChevron - RightHeartBuddyChevron - RightHeartBusterChevron - RightHeartClemChevron - RightHeartCleveChevron - RightHeartDeweyChevron - RightHeartFritzChevron - RightHeartGeneChevron - RightHeartGusChevron - RightHeartHalChevron - RightHeartIkeChevron - RightHeartJulesChevron - RightHeartMontyChevron - RightHeartNedChevron - RightHeartObieChevron - RightHeartPerryChevron - RightHeartSolChevron - RightHeartTeddyChevron - Right


Surprising Surnames

With the vast popularity of fashionable favorites like Mason, Logan and Jackson (all in the current Top 50 for boys), you’d be forgiven for thinking that last names used as first names are a peculiarly modern success story.

  But in fact, a whopping 20% of the boys’ names on 1920s popularity lists are surname-style choices.

  A notable theme is presidential names: Cleveland, Garfield, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Truman and Washington, to name but a few.

  But if you’re after something a little more unexpected, here are some of the most intriguing (and wearable) options from a century ago.

  HeartBookerChevron - RightHeartChaunceyChevron - RightHeartDarwinChevron - RightHeartDempseyChevron - RightHeartDewittChevron - RightHeartDoyleChevron - RightHeartEllsworthChevron - RightHeartElwoodChevron - RightHeartFosterChevron - RightHeartFoyChevron - RightHeartFreemanChevron - RightHeartGroverChevron - RightHeartHarlandChevron - RightHeartHollisChevron - RightHeartIrvingChevron - RightHeartKirbyChevron - RightHeartLinwoodChevron - RightHeartLyleChevron - RightHeartMerrittChevron - RightHeartMeyerChevron - RightHeartMurrayChevron - RightHeartNobleChevron - RightHeartNorwoodChevron - RightHeartOdellChevron - RightHeartRaleighChevron - RightHeartRoscoeChevron - RightHeartSumnerChevron - RightHeartTheronChevron - RightHeartThorntonChevron - RightHeartVaughnChevron - RightHeartWillisChevron - RightHeartWoodrowChevron - Right


Intriguing International Names

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the unique baby namer’s book: borrow from another language.

  Does Louis feel too safe for you? Try Aloysius, Clovis, Ludo, Luigi… or the handsome German and Czech form Alois, as over sixty sets of parents did back in 1923.

  The best part about borrowing international names is that you can choose a traditional, long-established name with none of the popularity of local equivalents.

  The worst part? Prepare for some eyebrow-raising spelling and pronunciation attempts of your carefully chosen gem!

  HeartAgustinChevron - RightHeartAloisChevron - RightHeartAlphonseChevron - RightHeartArmandChevron - RightHeartArtisChevron - RightHeartAurelioChevron - RightHeartCasimirChevron - RightHeartDonalChevron - RightHeartEmileChevron - RightHeartEvertChevron - RightHeartFlorianChevron - RightHeartGastonChevron - RightHeartGustaveChevron - RightHeartHaskellChevron - RightHeartOlinChevron - RightHeartPasqualeChevron - RightHeartPierreChevron - RightHeartRegisChevron - RightHeartSigmundChevron - RightHeartVitoChevron - Right


Hidden Gems

When it comes to baby names, “cool” is a notoriously tricky balance to get right.

  Go too cool, and you risk being ahead of the curve on the latest hipster favorite. But too far the other way, and baby Caractacus may not thank you when he’s older!

  None of these names has ever ranked above the Top 250 boy names in the US. All tumbled out of the Top 1000 well before the turn of the century, and they don’t look likely to return any time soon.

  In other words: these unique picks look set to stay under the radar… for a while, at least.

  HeartAlbinChevron - RightHeartAngusChevron - RightHeartArchibaldChevron - RightHeartBasilChevron - RightHeartBertramChevron - RightHeartCaryChevron - RightHeartClementChevron - RightHeartCyrilChevron - RightHeartEloyChevron - RightHeartGilesChevron - RightHeartHershelChevron - RightHeartIgnatiusChevron - RightHeartIsidoreChevron - RightHeartJuniusChevron - RightHeartLeopoldChevron - RightHeartMortimerChevron - RightHeartRupertChevron - RightHeartSylvanChevron - RightHeartUrbanChevron - RightHeartVesterChevron - Right


About the Author


Emma Waterhouse

  Emma Waterhouse joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from the top baby name trends 2023 to how not to choose the next big baby name. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active forums community ticking.

  Emma's articles on names and naming trends have been featured in publications including the Huffington Post, People, Today's Parent, Fatherly, and Good Housekeeping.

  A linguist by background, Emma speaks several languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and four young children. You can reach her at emma@nameberry.com.

  View all of Emma Waterhouse's articlesChevron - Right

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