235+ Vintage Boy Names (You Didn’t Know Were In)

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Originally Published Aug 26, 2021 ・ Updated Mar 21, 2024

Searching for the best vintage boy names for your little babe? I’m a professional baby names writer and *these* are the best old fashioned boy names that you didn’t realize were cool again.

I’d say they are – 

and it’s because of this growing trend that I’ve compiled my absolute favorite vintage boy names (old fashioned ones) that are just too sweet to miss!

A few years ago, when my husband and I began our hunt for the perfect baby name, I was naming off a number of baby boy names from our shortlist to my aunt.

 

She followed up with the polite appreciation and encouragement, and then suggested Henry. 

Henry?

I didn’t think twice about it – it seemed so traditional and old-fashioned. 

But then, a funny thing happened.

I kept thinking about the name Henry. 

I loved how classic it was. It gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

It made me think of going for ice cream with my grandpa on a hot summer night. 

It wasn’t fickle. 

It was established. Ageless. It felt trustworthy and true. 

I loved it. 

And so began my interest in the new trend of vintage boy names for babies…

The Best Vintage Boy Names with Meanings

From scouring thousands of the earliest baby name records from the early 1900s, to hand-picking our favorites from the most recent baby name trends and baby name data available from the Social Security Administration in the US – these are the very best picks for an old fashioned name in 2023.

Let’s dive in – 

Modern Vintage Boy Names

These timeless baby boy names are names that have been well-loved for decades, and have most recently made a comeback.

Climbing the baby name charts in the most recent years, these cute vintage names are increasing in popularity quickly, and will likely become more popular in the next few years. 

If you’re looking for modern names with an old-fashioned feel, this next set up baby names might just be the perfect choice. 

Milo

  • Origin: German, Latin, Greek
  • Meaning: soldier, or merciful
  • Popularity: #127

Emery

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: industrious
  • Popularity: #764 (#89 for girls)

Van

  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: marshland or marsh
  • Popularity: #873

Otto

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: wealth, prosperity
  • Popularity: #336

Harold

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: army ruler
  • Popularity: #962

Louis

  • Origin: famous warrior
  • Meaning: French
  • Popularity: #251

Emmanuel

Arthur

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: as strong as a bear; a hero
  • Popularity: #155

Francisco

Ellis

  • Origin: Welsh 
  • Meaning: the Lord is my God
  • Popularity: #321

Roman

Soren

Wilson

  • Origin: Scottish, English
  • Meaning: desire
  • Popularity: #714

Cal

Otis

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: wealth
  • Popularity: #647

Heath

Mack

  • Origin: Latin, Gaelic
  • Meaning: greatest (a derivative of Maximillian)
  • Popularity: #470

Lawrence

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: bright one, shining one
  • Popularity: #578

Warren

Andy

Forrest

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: of the woods
  • Popularity: #414

Emmanuel

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God with us
  • Popularity: #191

Harry

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: home ruler
  • Popularity: #722

Rory

Vintage Boy Names with Nicknames

Love the idea of classic names that will work well into adulthood, but that come with a super cute nickname for their earlier years? Here are my top picks: 

George

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: farmer
  • Nicknames: Georgie, G
  • Popularity: #134

Ellsworth

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: Eli’s estate, or from the farm or homestead
  • Nicknames: Eli, Ellzy 
  • Popularity: > 1000

Grady

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: noble
  • Nicknames: Gray
  • Popularity: #428

Charles 

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: free man
  • Nicknames: Charlie, Chip
  • Popularity: #50

Roscoe

  • Origin: Germanic, Old Norse
  • Meaning: deer wood
  • Nicknames: Rocky, Rozzy, Roz, Ros, Rossy
  • Popularity: > 1000

Wilmer

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: desire
  • Meaning: Will, Willy
  • Popularity: > 1000

Grover

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: lives near a grove of trees
  • Nicknames:Groves, G , Rover
  • Popularity: > 100

Remington

Albert

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: noble
  • Popularity: #564
  • Nicknames: Albie

Broderick

Samson

Alfred

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: one who counsels the elves
  • Popularity: #900
  • Nicknames: Alfie, Freddie

Gordon

  • Origin: Scottish 
  • Meaning: great hill
  • Popularity: #925
  • Nicknames: Gordie

Clifford

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: fjord by the cliff
  • Popularity: > 1000
  • Nicknames: Cliff

Agustin – Auggie, Gus

Franklin

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: a free man
  • Popularity: #395
  • Nicknames: Frankie, Frank

Woodrow

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: row of houses by the woods
  • Popularity: > 1000
  • Nicknames: Woody

Samuel

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God has heard
  • Popularity: #23
  • Nicknames: Sammy, Sam, Samson

Fletcher

  • Origin: French, English, Scottish, Irish
  • Meaning: arrowsmith 
  • Popularity: #655
  • Nicknames: Fletch

Walter

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: ruler of the army
  • Popularity: #271
  • Nicknames: Walt, Mickey

Theodore

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: a gift from God
  • Popularity: #10
  • Nicknames: Theo, Teddy

Graham

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: gravel homestead of grey home
  • Popularity: #161
  • Nicknames: Graham cracker, cookie

Vance

  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: marshland
  • Popularity: #943
  • Nicknames: Van man

August

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: to increase
  • Popularity: #121
  • Nicknames: Auggie, Gus

Frank

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Frenchman or free man
  • Popularity: #444
  • Nicknames: Frankie, Franklin

Leonard

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: lion
  • Popularity: #649
  • Nicknames: Leo

Sebastian

Francis

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: brave
  • Popularity: #466
  • Nicknames: Frankie, Franklin

Augustus – Gus, Auggie

Harrison

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: the son of Harry
  • Popularity: #120
  • Nicknames: Harry

Bernard

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: brave
  • Popularity: > 1000
  • Nicknames: Bernie, Bear

Benjamin – Ben, Benny

Ollie

Teddy

 

Next up, vintage baby boy names that have stood the test of time.

These baby names have topped the charts for decades – they’re popular boy names that you are already familiar with, and that we simply love.

Benjamin

Russell

Elias

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: the Lord is my God
  • Popularity: #48

Gabriel

Bennett

Jack

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Popularity: #11

Julian

Leo

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: resembling a lion
  • Popularity: #31

Miles

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: soldier
  • Popularity: #54

Theo

Robert

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: bright fame
  • Popularity: #79

Ford

Peter

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: stone
  • Popularity: #215

Everett

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: brave
  • Popularity: #82

Oliver

Ezra

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: helper
  • Popularity: #37

William

  • Origin: German 
  • Meaning: with gilded helmet
  • Popularity: #6

Henry 

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: ruler of the home
  • Popularity: #9

James

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: supplanter
  • Popularity: #5

Joseph

  • Origin: Greek, Latin
  • Meaning: God will give
  • Popularity: #28

Thomas

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: twin
  • Popularity: #46

Alexander

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: defender of men
  • Popularity: #13

Alfie

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: short for Alfred; one who counsels the elves
  • Popularity: > 1000

Charlie

  • Origin: English/German
  • Meaning: short for Charles; one who is manly and strong, a free man
  • Popularity: #189 (#127 for girls)

Bentley

Edward

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: wealth or fortune
  • Popularity: #217

Emmett

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: desire
  • Popularity: #103

Ethan

Archie

  • Origin: brave, genuine
  • Meaning: Scottish, English
  • Popularity: > 1000

Fred

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: peaceful ruler
  • Popularity: > 1000

Johnnie

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Popularity: > 1000

Nolan

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: noble, famous
  • Popularity: #60

Unique Vintage Boy Names

For mamas looking for a more unique name, these old fashioned baby names are a great choice. These names are filed in the uncommon name category – in terms of popularity, they all fall outside of the ranks of the top 100 most popular baby boy names, but they’re still within the top 1000. 

Clancy

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: red-haired warrior
  • Popularity: > 1000

Raleigh

Dale

Byron

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: one who works with cattle
  • Popularity: #751

Coy

  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: quiet, calm or clever
  • Popularity: > 1000

Dean

Rex

Jasper

Julius

  • Origin: Roman, Greek
  • Meaning: youthful, or downy-bearded
  • Popularity: #319

Kenneth

Percy

  • Origin: origin
  • Meaning: short for Percival; meaning one who pierces the valley
  • Popularity: > 1000

Marshall

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: one who loves horses
  • Popularity: #379

Wilford

Lewis

Roy

  • Origin: French 
  • Meaning: king
  • Popularity: #551

Rudy

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: famous wolf
  • Popularity: #819

Thatcher

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: roof maker
  • Popularity: #831

Wilford

Harvey

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: battle worthy
  • Popularity: #420

Oscar

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: spear of the gods
  • Popularity: #226

Leland

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: meadow land
  • Popularity: > 1000

Rare Vintage Baby Boy Names

Next, vintage baby names that are totally rare – these baby names fall outside of the top 1000 baby name lists done by the Social Security Administration, but these old-timey names are still totally wearable.  

Harding

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: hard working person
  • Popularity: > 1000

Fritz

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: peaceful ruler
  • Popularity: > 1000

Emerson

Esau

Alton

  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: old town
  • Popularity: > 1000

Lowell

  • Origin: Old French
  • Meaning: young wolf
  • Popularity: > 1000

Stanton

Burton

Hartley

  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: deer meadow
  • Popularity: > 1000

Kenneth

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: handsome
  • Popularity: #258

Rudy

Cliff

Garland

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: land of the spear
  • Popularity: > 1000

Odin

  • Origin: Old Norse 
  • Meaning: frenzied; a reference from Norse mythology
  • Popularity: #327

Ellsworth

Garnett

Quincy

Elmore

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: moore with elm trees
  • Popularity: > 1000

Cover

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: a resident of the Cove region in Suffolk (UK), or to cover
  • Popularity: > 1000

Hatfield

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: from the town of Hertfordshire, Essex, Worcestershire or Yorkshire (UK)
  • Popularity: > 1000

Lewis

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: renowned warrior
  • Popularity: #487

Arden

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: great forest
  • Popularity: > 1000 

Jasper

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: bringer of treasure
  • Popularity: #128

Leland

Thatcher

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: roof maker
  • Popularity: #831

Rex

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: king
  • Popularity: #696

Luther

  • Origin: German 
  • Meaning: soldier of the people
  • Popularity: > 1000

Coleman

Burton

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: fort settlement, or a name referring to someone from northern England
  • Popularity: > 1000

Linwood

Dell

Warner

Linwood

  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: linden tree valley
  • Popularity: > 1000

Warner

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: army guard
  • Popularity: > 1000

Carson

Elwood

Sullivan

Wilford

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: willow ford
  • Popularity: > 1000

Hartley

Arley

Barton

Hollis

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: the holly tree
  • Popularity: > 1000

Woodson

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: from Woodsome, a town in England
  • Popularity: > 1000

Elwood

  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: elder tree forest

Rupert

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: bright fame
  • Popularity: > 1000

Bryant

Casper

Coy

Oswald

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: the power of God, also the name of a modern font
  • Popularity: > 1000

Orest

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: of the mountains
  • Popularity: > 1000

Park

Elridge

Vintage Last Names as First Names 

On to my very favorite style of vintage baby boy names – last names as first names. These old-fashioned boy names are names that we would commonly see as last names, but they’re used as first names. 

Considering a last name as a first name is one of my favorite tricks for finding a really great, unique name for your baby boy. 

Meyer

Hayes

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: from the stockade
  • Popularity: #229

Young 

Meyer

Sanford

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: sandy ford
  • Popularity: > 1000

Jennings

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: diminutive of John, meaning “little” John
  • Popularity: > 1000

Webster

Roderick

Doyle

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: dark foreigner
  • Popularity: > 1000

Jones

Foster

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: one who keeps the forest
  • Popularity: > 1000

Mckinley

Fitzgerald

Anderson

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: son of Ander
  • Popularity: #328

Callahan

Smith

Henderson

Dempsey

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: proud
  • Popularity: > 1000

If you like this style too, check out my full list of last names as first names.

Vintage Virtue Names & Word Names

This next group of vintage baby boy names is a super interesting one – I’ve combined both virtue names and word names. Virtue names are given names that are also a virtue – basically, a positive quality that someone could have. A word name is just as it sounds – they’re typically either verbs or nouns, used as a name. 

  • Pleasant
  • Love
  • Bird
  • Worth
  • Loyal
  • King
  • Royal

Noble

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: aristocratic
  • Popularity: > 1000

Earnest

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: diligent, truthful
  • Popularity: > 1000

Biblical Vintage Boy Names

This next set of old fashioned baby names are from the Bible: 

Levi

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: joined
  • Popularity: #12

Silas

  • Origin: Greek, Latin
  • Meaning: wood, forest
  • Popularity: #91

Amos

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: carried by God
  • Popularity: #603

Gideon

Ephraim

Esau

Moses

Old Man Names

Lastly, though these old fashioned boy names have a historical significance or famous namesakes, they’re a bit on the fringe in 2023.

Not yet back in style, these old man names are total classics – but who’s to say they won’t have their time to shine again?

Floyd

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: grey or grey-haired
  • Popularity: > 1000

Herbert

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: illustrious warrior, or famous warrior
  • Popularity: > 1000

Lionel

Hugh

  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: intellect
  • Popularity: #746

Weldon

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: from the hill near a spring
  • Popularity: > 1000

Howard

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: brave heart
  • Popularity: #940

Clement

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: merciful
  • Popularity: > 1000

Wallace

  • Origin: Scottish, French
  • Meaning: Welshman
  • Popularity: #897

Willis

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: resolute protector

Randall

  • Origin: Germanic, Old Norse
  • Meaning: wolf shield
  • Popularity: > 1000

Lloyd

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: grey
  • Popularity: > 1000

Clyde

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: warm, friendly
  • Popularity: #733

Earl

  • Origin: Old English 
  • Meaning: nobleman, warrior or prince
  • Popularity: > 1000

Herman

  • Origin: German 
  • Meaning: soldier
  • Popularity: > 1000

Clarence

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: one who lives near the River Clare or bright and clear
  • Popularity: > 1000

Douglas

Willie

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: short for William; meaning the determined protector 
  • Popularity: > 1000

Ira

  • Origin: Hebrew 
  • Meaning: watchful one
  • Popularity: #810

Stanley

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: stony meadow
  • Popularity: #791

Eldon

Wilfred

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: one who wishes for peace
  • Popularity: > 1000

Maynard

  • Origin: German 
  • Meaning: brave, strong
  • Popularity: > 1000

Leroy

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: the king
  • Popularity: #905

Clifton

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: town by the cliff
  • Popularity: > 1000

Donald

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: world ruler
  • Popularity: #592

Melford

  • Origin: Old English 
  • Meaning: from the ford by the hill
  • Popularity: > 1000

Rolland

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: renowned in the land
  • Popularity: > 1000

Perkin

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: rock
  • Popularity: > 1000

Ronald

Cleo

Terrence

  • Origin: Latin 
  • Meaning: smooth
  • Popularity: > 1000

Ralph

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: wolf counsel
  • Popularity: > 1000

Orville

  • Origin: Old French 
  • Meaning: gold town
  • Popularity: > 1000

Reuben

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: behold, a son
  • Popularity: #883

Wendell

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: wanderer, traveler
  • Popularity: > 1000

Morris 

  • Origin: English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
  • Meaning: dark-skinned
  • Popularity: #11

Emil

Lester

  • Origin: Old English 
  • Meaning: someone from the English county town of Leicestershire
  • Popularity: > 1000

Oren

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: light and fair, or pine tree
  • Popularity: > 1000

Cecil

Willard

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: strong desire
  • Popularity: > 1000

Milton

  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: mill town
  • Popularity: > 1000

Leon

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: lion
  • Popularity: > 1000

Ansel

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: one who follows nobility; protection from God
  • Popularity: > 1000

Grover

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: from the grove of trees
  • Popularity: > 1000

Bruno

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: brown
  • Popularity: #664

Wilmer

  • Origin: German origin
  • Meaning: desire
  • Popularity: > 1000

Gus

Chester

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: a fortress, camp
  • Popularity: > 1000

Boyd

Vintage Boy Names – TL;DR

And there we have it. A collection of the most sweet, truly vintage boy names.

Did any of these names stir up a warm, fuzzy memory for you?

Are you any closer to finding the name that makes your heart go pitter patter?

🧸 25+ Forgotten Baby Boy Names (Why Isn’t Anyone Using These?!)

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24 Comments

  1. 8.28.22
    Ck said:

    Great timeless names. Love this list. Henry Hayes <3

  2. 11.21.23
    Logan said:

    Thought you could sneak chick-fil-a as a name past us?

  3. 12.10.23
    Katie Crane said:

    This just popped up on my Pinterest. Great list!! Love them all, but just FYI you have Chick Fil A as a name in the third column – maybe humor?

  4. 12.11.23
    Katrina Reyerson said:

    Yes, Chick-Fil-A is a the best name for a baby boy 😂

  5. 12.28.23
    CRYSTAL said:

    CHICK-FIL-A?

  6. 2.4.24
    Kayla said:

    There are some very good ideas in here. And speaking of ideas, throwing in Chick-fil-A to catch our attention was not the worst one you ever had. No, your worst idea can be seen in the suggested nicknames under the name ‘Graham’. No, not cookie; that’s silly, and I wouldn’t call my son that, but it’s the other one that’s just not okay.

  7. 3.9.24
    Natalie said:

    The amount of popup ads on your page is obnoxious and makes it so glitchy. Good content tho.

    • 4.9.24

      Ugh… I’m sorry Natalie! I’ve thought the same, too… I am trying to find a balance between showing enough ads to earn an income from creating content, while still trying to balance the user experience and it’s a balancing act. I’m sorry it was so annoying – I will try decreasing them more. Thanks for the feedback! 💗