Old Man Names – Today’s Best Old-Fashioned Names for Retro Boys

Old Man Names For Baby BoysYou may be interested to know that old man names like Elijah, Sebastian, and Levi are back in style.

Never has “being retro” been more in vogue than now.

Maybe it’s the exponential rate at which technology is progressing, allowing us easier access to historical records, or maybe it’s society’s push toward the decay of traditional practices – whatever the reasons, traditional names are far from behind us!

In fact, over 35 of the top 200 most popular boy names from the last two years are old-fashioned names from this list, with 28 of them in the top 50.

Being old-fashioned has never been so fashionable!

We’re going to take you through the most popular old-timey names, as well as give you some great naming inspiration to break the mold while still keeping it vintage.

Old Man Names Contents

What Makes a Name Old-Timey?
Top 20
Our Favorites
Hollywood
Loads More
Old Man Names FAQ

What Makes a Name Old-Timey?

Old Man Baby on Beach
An old-fashioned name, or as we like to call it, an old man name, is one that was popular and used often back in the day.

Back in the day? That sounds a bit vague.

Yes, it is vague (not vogue!), and rightly so. Old-fashioned simply means not current or modern, so it could come from 20 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years ago, or even more!

Old-timey names come from the past. It’s that simple.

Now, enough faffing around with the whys and wherefores, let’s get to the amazing names with amazing meanings!

The Top 20 Old Man Names

We’ve mentioned before that being old-fashioned has never been more fashionable. Is this a contradiction? Surely being popular now makes them current and modern – therefore not old-fashioned.

Well, it’s the fact that these names come from the past that makes them what they are. And they are adorable, strong, and virtuous names that any man would be proud to have.

Here are the Top 20 Old People Names for Men:

1. Noah

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “rest, wandering”

Noah was the number 1 name in the US a few years ago, and now sits at number 2. Is your baby boy going to join the Noahs of this world?

 

2. Solomon

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “peace”

Wisdom and sage advice are two of the attributes the name Solomon bring to mind. The perfect old-man name for your baby boy who will grow in wisdom every day.

 

3. Seth

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “appointed or placed”

The name Seth has come and gone, come and gone, and come again. It also stands out from the crowd enough to be noticed, but doesn’t shout “look at me!”

 

4. Oliver

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “olive tree”

Even though Oliver has its roots well-embedded in history, it is currently the UK’s favorite boy’s name. Plus, with a nickname like Ollie, who can blame them!

 

5. Forrest

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “dweller near the woods”

Nature-loving, contemporary and, dare we say it, even hippy! Forrest still remains popular enough to not be a shocking or too “far out” name.

 

6. Michael

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “gift from God”

Tried and tested, steadfast Michael will stand the test of time. It’s been here for millennia, derived from the Hebrew Mikha’el, and will continue to be as long as people have faith.

 

7. Hal

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “army ruler, rules his household”

Hal is either a dimunutive for Harry or it can be its own standalone name.

 

8. Jacob

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “to follow behind”

Not everyone is born to be a leader – too many leaders make for a very unproductive world! Every good leader needs a great follower, and who is better than Jacob (or Jake!).

 

9. Ronald

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: “advisor to the ruler”

You may be thinking Ronald Weasley, and you would still be making a good choice! A long-standing and reliable name that also shortens nicely to Ron.

 

10. Benjamin

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “son of my right hand”

The name Benjamin conjures up the image of a lively and supportive man with kind eyes, a ready smile, and a warm heart. Also shortens nicely to Ben or Benji.

 

11. Cyrus

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: “sun, one who bestows care”

Both a ray of sunlight in the lives of those around him, and a caring, supportive soul.

 

12. Roscoe

  • Origin: Norse
  • Meaning: “deer forest”

Having fallen out of popularity over the last century, Roscoe is making a comeback. Vive la révolution!

 

13. Benedict

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “blessed”

With the famous namesake Benedict Cumberbatch to look up to, your baby boy truly will be blessed with this name.

 

14. Orson

  • Origin: English, Latin
  • Meaning: “bear cub”

A strong and stable name, and with the famous Orson Wells as a namesake to boot.

 

15. Sebastian

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: “venerable, from the ancient city of Sebastia”

A traditional name, one that carries a note of authority and respect.

 

16. William

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: “desire, helmet”

A very traditional name with many appearances in royalty through the centuries.

 

17. James

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “he grasps the heel, substitute”

It may seem like a modern name, which can be attributed to so many famous people called James. Why not add another James to the list for your little star?

 

18. Alexander

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: “defender of mankind”

I’m sorry, but how cool is that?! Defender of mankind. Who doesn’t want their son to be the protector of the world!

 

19. Henry

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “estate ruler”

Another name that has been popular amongst royalty, so what could be better for your little prince.

 

20. Elijah

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “God, the Lord”

A biblical name, perfect for your baby boy who one day as a man may stand on the side of good and overthrow the evil of the world.

 

Our Favorite Old Man Names

Baby in Sweater at Beach
So those were the top 20, and we think they’re pretty great, but we’re going to have our say in this matter.

If it were up to us, these would be up there with the rest!

1. Walter

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “army ruler”

 

2. Windsor

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: “riverbank with a winch”

 

3. Chester

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “fortress”

 

4. Bruce

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: “the willowlands”

 

5. Saul

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “asked for, prayed for”

 

6. Josiah

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “God supports, heals”

 

7. Clarence

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “bright, clear”

 

8. Murray

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: “settlement near the sea”

 

9. Hugh

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “mind, intellect”

 

10. Truman

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “faithful, loyal one”

 

Hey, why don’t you let us know your favorite in the comments at the end?

Old-Timey Names from Hollywood

Baby Photographer in Hollywood
How many people do you know that were named after a movie star? Probably many more than you’re aware of!

The big screen is a great place to draw naming inspiration from, whether it comes from the actors themselves, or the characters they portrayed.

Here are 20 oldies but goodies, from famous male actors through the years.

Actor’s Name Meaning
Ralph (Fiennes) “counsel, advice”
Buster (Keaton) “tough guy”
Laurence (Olivier) “man from Laurentum”
Sidney (Poitier) “wide water meadow”
Gene (Kelly) “well-born, noble”
Errol (Flynn) “nobleman, warrior, or prince”
Clark (Gable) “scribe, secretary, a scholar who is part of a religious order, one who has an education”
Gregory (Peck) “to watch, watchful, alert”
Cary (Grant) “pleasant stream”
Oliver (Hardy) “olive tree planter”
Orson (Welles) “bear”
Spencer (Tracy) “steward, administrator”
Kirk (Douglas) “church”
Fred (Astaire) “peaceful ruler”
Lionel (Barrymore) “lion”
Humphrey (Bogart) “bear cub, peace”
Mickey (Rooney) “who resembles God?”
Marlon (Brando) “dedicated to mars, from the hill by the lake, remnants of a lake, hawk”
Harrison (Ford) “house ruler”
Tony (Curtis) “priceless one”

 

Many More Old Man Names: The A-Z

Young Boy Dressed Like Old Man
Having a specialist selection is great, but if you don’t find what you’re looking for then it’s nice to have a wider selection to browse.

So here we are, with All the Vintage Names for Boys that we could find or think of!

Name Meaning
Abraham Hebrew – “father of many”
Adrian Roman – “sea, water”
Aiken Old English – “from the oak tree”
Albert German – “noble and bright”
Alexander Greek – “defender of mankind”
Alfred English – “elf counsel or wise counsel”
Allen Celtic – “stone, harmony”
Alvin German – “noble friend”
Ambrose Greek – “immortal”
Amos Hebrew – “burdened or troubled”
Archibald, Archie German – “bold, precious,genuine”
Arlo English – “fortified hill”
Arthur Irish, English – “noble or bear”
Augustus Dutch, English, German, Latin – “magnificent, the increaser”
Barnabas, Barnabus (Barny) Hebrew – “son of comfort, strong as a bear”
Barnaby (Barny) English – “son of consolation”
Bartholomew Hebrew – “rich in land”
Basil Greek – “royal, kingly”
Beau French – “handsome”
Benedict Latin – “blessed”
Benjamin Hebrew – “son of my right hand”
Bernard, Bernie German – “brave as a bear”
Blake English – “dark”
Bobby Old English – “shining, bright fame”
Bruce Scottish – “the willowlands”
Byron English – “at the byres or the barn”
Calvin Latin – “bald, hairless”
Casper Persian – “treasurer”
Cecil English – “blind”
Cedric Celtic – “gift of splendour”
Charles French, German – “free man”
Chester English – “fortress”
Clarence Latin – “bright, clear”
Clark English – “scribe, scholar”
Clifford English – “ford near a slope”
Clive Old English – “cliff dweller”
Clyde Scottish – “the River Clyde in Scotland”
Conrad Germanic – “brave counsel”
Cornelius Latin – “horn”
Cyrus Persian – “sun”
Daniel Hebrew – “God is my judge”
Darryl Old English – “darling”
David Hebrew – “beloved”
Dean English – “valley”
Dennis Greek – “follower of Dionysius”
Derek Teutonic – “gifted ruler”
Desmond Irish – “named for the middle ages Kingdom of Desmond in southeastern Ireland”
Don Irish – “brown, chief, noble”
Douglas Scottish – “black water, dark stream”
Duane Scandinavian – “dark, swarthy”
Duncan Gaelic – “dark-haired warrior”
Dwight German – “white or blonde”
Earl English – “warrior, nobleman”
Earnest, Ernest English, German – “serious, resolute”
Edgar English – “successful spearman”
Edison Old English – “son of edward”
Edmund English – “fortunate protector”
Edward English – “wealthy guardian”
Edwin English – “prosperous friend”
Elijah Hebrew – “God, the Lord”
Elliot Hebrew – “my God is Yahweh”
Elmer English – “noble, renowned”
Elvis Scandinavian – “all-wise”
Emmett, Emmitt English, German – “universal, powerful”
Esteban Spanish – “wreath, crown, honor, fame, derived from the Greek Stéphanos”
Eugene Greek – “noble, well born”
Everett English, German – “brave as a wild boar”
Ewan Scottish – “born of the yew tree”
Ezekiel (Zeke) Hebrew – “God strengthens”
Ezra Hebrew – “help”
Felix Latin – “fortunate, happy”
Finley Celtic – “fair-haired hero”
Forrest English – “dweller near the woods”
Francis (Frank) French, Latin – “free, free man, Frenchman”
Franklin English – “free landholder”
Frederick German – “peaceful ruler”
Gabriel Hebrew – “God is my strength”
Garfield English – “triangular field”
Garret, Garrett Germanic – “spear rule”
Gary Germanic – “spear”
George Greek – “farmer”
Gerald English, German – “ruler with a spear”
Gideon Hebrew – “hewer; or, having a stump for a hand”
Gilbert Germanic – “bright promise, famous and noble youth”
Glenn Gaelic – “valley”
Godfrey French – “peace of God”
Gordon Scottish – “great hill”
Grady Irish – “a descendant of nobility”
Graham English, Scottish – “grand homestead”
Grant English, French, Scottish – “tall, large”
Gregory Latin – “watchful”
Grover English – “boy who lives near a grove”
Gus Latin – “magnificent”
Hal English – “army ruler, rules his household”
Hamilton Northern Irish, Scottish – “treeless hill”
Harold, Harry English, Scandinavian – “army ruler”
Harvey German – “warrior, soldier”
Henry German – “estate ruler”
Herbert German – “glorious soldier”
Herman German – “soldier, warrior”
Horace Roman – “man of time”
Howard English – “high guard”
Hugh English – “mind, intellect”
Humphrey French – “peaceful warrior”
Ichabod Hebrew – “departed glory”
Ignatius Latin – “fiery”
Ike Hebrew – “he laughs, laughter”
Ira Hebrew – “watchful one”
Irving Scottish – “green river, sea friend”
Isaac Hebrew – “laughter”
Issac Hebrew – “laughter, he who laughs”
Ivan Slavic – “God is gracious”
Ivor Scottish – “archer”
Jack English – “God is gracious”
Jacob Hebrew – “to follow behind”
James Hebrew – “he grasps the heel, substitute”
Jarvis Old English – “spear man”
Jasper Persian – “bringer of treasure”
Jefferson Old English – “son of Jeffrey”
Jeffrey English – “pledge of peace”
Jeremiah, Jeremy Hebrew – “God will exalt/uplift”
Jerome Greek – “sacred”
Jerry Old English – “ruling spear”
John Hebrew – “to be gracious”
Jonah Hebrew – “dove, pigeon”
Joseph Hebrew – “God will add or increase”
Josiah Hebrew – “God supports, heals”
Jules French, Latin – “youthful; soft, downy”
Julian Latin – “youthful”
Julius Greek – “youthful, downy-bearded”
Keith Celtic – “wood, forest, from the battleground”
Kelvin Old English – “ship, friend”
Kenneth Irish – “handsome”
Kevin Irish – “dear, noble”
Kirk Scottish – “church”
Lamar German – “dweller by a pool”
Laurence Roman – “bright one, one from Laurentum”
Laurie Latin – “laurel or sweet bay tree; symbol of victory”
Lawrence Latin – “from the Roman city of Laurentum”
Leland English – “meadow land”
Leo Latin – “brave lion”
Leonard German – “lion-hearted”
Levi Hebrew – “united, joined, joined in harmony”
Linus Greek – “flax-haired”
Lionel French – “young lion”
Lloyd Welsh – “grey”
Louis French, German – “renowned warrior”
Luther German – “army people”
Malcolm Scottish – “disciple of columba”
Marshall English – “caretaker of horses”
Martin Latin – “warlike”
Max Latin – “greatest”
Melvin English – “gentle lord”
Micah Hebrew – “one who is like God”
Michael Hebrew – “gift from God”
Mickey Hebrew – “who is like God”
Miles Latin – “soldier”
Milton English – “from a mill town”
Mitchell English – “who is like God”
Monty English, Irish, Scottish. Diminutive of Montgomery – “from the hill of the powerful man”
Morris English, Scottish – “dark-skinned”
Mortimer English – “still sea”
Morton English, Scottish – “town near the moor”
Moses Hebrew – “delivered from the water”
Murray Scottish – “settlement near the sea”
Ned Old English. Also a diminutive of Edward. – “wealthy guardian”
Nelson Irish – “son of Nell”
Neville, Newton English, French – “new town”
Niles Scandinavian – “son of Neil”
Noah Hebrew – “rest, wandering”
Norman English – “northerner, Norse-man”
Norris English, French – “foster parent, nurse, northerner”
Oliver Latin – “olive tree”
Orson English, Latin – “bear cub”
Oscar English, Irish – “divine spear”
Oswald English – “divine power”
Oswin English – “God’s friend”
Otis, Otto German – “wealthy”
Owen Welsh – “fighter, noble”
Patrick Latin – “nobleman”
Percival (Percy) French – “one who pierces the valley”
Peter Greek – “stone, rock”
Phileas Greek – “affectionate”
Philip (Phil) Greek – “lover of horses”
Phineas Hebrew – “Nubian, a region of present day Egypt”
Pierce English – “rock”
Preston Old English – “priest’s estate”
Quentin French – “fifth”
Quincy Latin – “born fifth”
Rainer German form of Scandinavian ‘Ragnar’ – “wise army “
Ralph English – “wolf counsel”
Randall Old English – “shield”
Raymond German – “wise protector”
Reginald Latin – “ruler’s adviser”
Reuben, Rueben Hebrew – “behold, a son”
Rex Latin – “king”
Rhett Dutch – “advice”
Robert, Rupert German – “bright fame”
Rodney Old English, Old German – “island near the clearing”
Roger German – “famous warrior”
Roland English, German – “famous throughout the land”
Ronald English, German – “advisor to the ruler”
Rory Irish – “red-haired king”
Roscoe Norse – “deer forest”
Roy Irish – “red”
Royce English – “son”
Rudolph (Rudy) English, German – “famous wolf”
Rufus Latin – “red-head”
Russell English, French – “redheaded”
Samson Hebrew – “sun”
Samuel Hebrew – “name of God”
Saul Hebrew – “asked for, prayed for”
Sebastian Greek – “venerable, from the ancient city of Sebastia”
Seth Hebrew – “appointed or placed”
Seymour English, French – “of the marshy land near the sea”
Sherman English, French – “shearer of woolen cloth”
Sidney English – “wide meadow”
Sigmund German – “victorious protection”
Silas English, Latin – “wood, forest”
Simon Hebrew – “he had heard”
Solomon Hebrew – “peace”
Spencer English – “house steward, dispenser of provisions”
Stanley English – “from the stony field”
Sterling English – “of the highest quality”
Sullivan Irish – “dark eyed”
Terrence Irish – “tender”
Thane Scottish – “clan chieftain”
Theodore Greek – “divine gift”
Thomas Aramaic – “twin”
Timothy Greek – “honoring God”
Tobias Greek – “God is good”
Tony Latin – “priceless one”
Truman English – “faithful, loyal one”
Vaughn Welsh – “little”
Vernon English – “alder tree”
Victor Latin – “conqueror”
Vincent Latin – “winner”
Waldo German – “to rule”
Wallace Scottish – “stranger”
Walter German – “army ruler”
Warren Germanic – “protector, loyal”
Wayne English – “wagon maker”
Wendell German – “to wander”
Werther German – “worthy warrior”
Wesley English, French – “field to the west”
Wilbur German – “resolute, brilliant”
Wiley English – “Willow woods”
Wilfred English – “desires peace”
Wilkes German. A contraction of Wilkins – “will, desire”
William Germanic – “desire, helmet”
Willis English, Norman French, Scottish – “resolute protector, will”
Wilson English, Scottish – “son of Will”
Wilton English – “place by a stream”
Windsor Old English – “riverbank with a winch”
Winslow English – “friend’s hill or burial mound”
Winston English – “wine’s town”
Woodrow English – “row of houses by a wood”
Wyatt English – “brave in battle”
Zachariah, Zacharias Hebrew – “God remembers”

 

Old Man Names FAQ

What is a grumpy old man name?

What a brilliant question! The answer depends on the sound of the name, and what you associate it with. For me, the name Stanley makes me think of a grumpy old man because of a man who lived on my childhood street.

Disclaimer: I’m sure there are many lovely Stanleys out there.

What are your best grumpy old man names? Let us know in the comments, just keep any stories free of personal detail, whether yours or theirs!

What are some really old names?

Some examples of great names that are really old, i.e. found in ancient history, are:

  • Nero
  • Felix
  • Rufus
  • Julius
  • Marcus
  • Severus
  • Septus
  • Lazarus
  • Nicolaus
  • Balthazar
  • Titus
  • Romulus
  • Lucius
  • Amadeus
  • Atticus
  • Cato
  • etc.

Another web search for “ancient names” will give you many more.

What are some old-fashioned male names?

Well, we have just been through the biggest and best list of old-fashioned names for men, so scroll back up and look through them, or you can hop back to the beginning with this link!

What is the most old person name?

Well, well, it looks like we have a competition here!

Add your vote by putting the old man names you think are most fitting in the comments at the end, and we’ll see which one comes up trumps.

What is an old British name?

Names like Winston, Addison, Remington, Tanner, Reginald, Darrel, and Grayson are perfect examples of old British names.

David Woods Autho Bio Picture
David is the pet lover behind My Pet's Name. He is a member of the Dog Writers Association of America, holds two degrees and has studied Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare. As well as writing, David has helped over 2 Million people choose the best name for their pet.

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