Yes, there are still plenty of viable vintage names for boys that remain frozen in the popularity lists of the past. Some aren’t eligible yet for the 100-year-rule, some suffer from IDD (Image Deficit Disorder) and some have simply been forgotten. Here are 30 examples that we don’t think deserve to be dismissed.
Abner: A neglected Biblical name that got sidetracked into hillbilly country via a popular comic strip. Off the SS list since the 1930s, its Nameberry rank is 210.
Aldous: Could join up with new fave Huxley
Arnold: A once noble name with many distinguished bearers in first and last place, a victim of nerdy stereotype slaps, but could take cousin Arthur as a comeback inspiration.
Barry: Could Barry reclaim its Irish roots and follow Harry back onto birth certificates?
Cecil: Sisters Cecily and Cecilia have been welcomed back—Cecil just needs to spend some time at the gym to be ready to join them.
Chauncey: Has the cool traditional nickname of Chance.
Clovis: Early French regal name with an aromatic aroma
Cyril: Onetime Top 300 name, common in children’s books, could join climbing Cyrus (the choice of Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy).
Eben: You don’t have to venture into Ebenezer territory to use the handsome Eben on its own.
Ferdinand: We’re bullish on this royal Spanish and Shakespearean name once in the U.S. 200s. Latin Fernando adds some romantic appeal.
Floyd: Has an appealingly retro jazzy-cool vibe
Giles: Pronounced Jiles, a saint’s name with a charming London accent
Horatio: A noble Latin and Shakespearean name that seems like a natural, especially with its cool o-ending.
Humphrey: Time to let go of that tough-guy Bogey stereotype and reconsider this onetime royal British name. Off the U.S. charts since the 1890s, our berries like it enough to rank it 345, seeing it as a flashback to Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Jabez: A mystery to us why this Biblical rarity with its charming Southern drawl and jazzy z-ending, has been off the Top 1000 since 1880.
Jarvis: Another neglected J-name that hasn’t been heard much in last several decades but which has lots of literary cred. (I just met an adorable toddler-age Jarvis.)
Jethro: A Biblical name that became a Beverly Hillbilly, but its cool meaning —”excellence”–pleasant sound and o-ending should be enough to bring it back; Nameberry ranks it at #302
Lester: Once as high as #52, could Lester echo cousin Esther’s revival? Some notable namesakes: jazzman Lester Young, news anchor Lester Holt
Milton: Think distinguished cultural icons like the poet Milton, painter Milton Avery, composer Milton Babbitt, before you dismiss this upscale British surname.
Montgomery: When Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen chose this upstanding surname name for their son in 2015, a lot of other namers decided to give it a second look. Long off the national list, Montgomery is #382 on Nameberry and having a comeback in England.
Morris: One s-ending boy name that hasn’t yet been revived, boasts two major painter namesakes: Morris Graves and Morris Louis, and two cool nicknames, Moe and Moss.
Murray: Though it’s a Scottish/Irish name with a sea swept meaning and a soft sound , Murray has suffered from IDD (image deficit disorder) over the last few decades, but could be reconsidered as a retro water-related name.
Myron: In the past Top 200s for half a century, Myron was the name of a major ancient Greek sculptor and an unlikely saints’ name, but is another sad victim of IDD.
Percy: A noble Norman surname associated with the poet Shelley, once as high as #110, and recently both Harry Potter and Heroes of Olympus characters, Percy would make a pleasantly surprising choice for a modern boy—or even a girl.
Phineas: A name with a lot of quirky charm and the perfect modern nickname of Finn. Has appeared in literature from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to Harry Potter.
Ring: Famed Jazz Age writer/journalist Ring Lardner was born Ringgold, but word name Ring, like Bing, has a nice ring to it on its own.
Rollo: Doesn’t it just roll off your tongue, in a lively roly-poly way? Alternatively, you could take a more formal route to Roland.
Roscoe: An appealing o-ending name that is eligible under the 100-year rule.
Rufus: Scruffy, redheaded, playful and slightly rambunctious, Rufus is ready to roughhouse; Rufus Scrimgeour has a more serious image as Minister of Magic in Harry Potter.
Rupert: Always more popular in the United Kingdom than in the United States, Rupert became more visible here via Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint. Already has gained a lot of Nameberry love, ranking at #170.