Ah, to be expecting a son. It is likely a time of great celebration and great joy in the family, and it might feel pretty important to pick a name that’s special.
For a male child one day to become a handsome and honorable man, how about a name with some staying power?
Yes, they are classics for a reason, and although some of them have been given to famous figures, regal rulers, and sons upon sons upon sons for generations, they are still going relatively strong.
And that’s, really, why we just adore them.
I love, love, love traditional names, especially for boys and men. I don’t know that I can explain why, but maybe it has something to do with that sense of having a strength, a solid foundation, and a steadfastness to them.
Maybe you like a name that sounds traditionally, well, manly, or perhaps you like the idea of honoring the past, or bringing back an oldy but goody.
Whatever the case, if you are expecting (or just dreaming of the possibility of) a little baby boy, you’re going to want to check this out: I’ve gathered the best of the best for you here, in the form of 25 classic baby boy names that stand the test of time.
It’s short, it’s simple, and it’s easy to love. It’s “Ian,” and this cute classic might just need to make its way to the tippy-top of your own list of baby name ideas.
This sweet name for a boy is Scottish, and it means “the Lord is gracious,” if you ask the experts (as is included at the site NameBerry.com).
They say it is the Scottish form of John, so it’s actually even more classic than it might initially appear.
Americans really started to love it once Ian Fleming created James Bond. Fun, right?
Maybe you spell it with the “ph” in the middle, or perhaps you decide to go for the “v.” Your little boy might be called Steve for short, or hey, maybe even Stevie or something when he’s young. There are surely plenty of possibilities with this one. The Greek name Stephanos has a quite regal meaning: “crown,” or “that which surrounds,” says the names site BehindTheName.com.
Sure, it was also the name of a saint, but it’s been carried forward for popular use galore.
Let’s take it waaay back, now, to the 6th century. Although “Kevin” sounds like a quite trendy and modern name to me, that’s just because it is and has been in such popular use still. It’s that cute guy who sat next to you in homeroom, your elementary school English teacher, or hey, maybe even your brother.
But it was also the name of a hermit, St. Kevin, who founded a monastery, says SheKnows.com. It stayed super Irish for many years, and only in the last few centuries has it spread quite so far and wide.
I love this name. I really do. To me, it’s nice and short, and it sounds strong, simple, warm, and… classic.
I truly admire classic names, and so I had to include one of my own very favorite classic names for a boy in this list for you today. (You’re welcome.)
Way back when, in Latin, it was Marcus (says BabyNameWizard.com), and has since evolved and of course been used for many men — many, many, many, many men…
But, all 50 Cent lyrics references aside, isn’t it a handsome moniker?
If you quite fancy all things princely, relish references that are royal, and can’t help but be tempted by a completely classic name, Harry will probably have to be one of the top names on your list of considerations for your very own baby boy.
The name has German origins, actually, says NameBerry.com, even if it might today be very famously associated with that royal redhead from across the pond.
It is a handsome name for a little guy, if you ask this momma.
I like this one even better than the last, and it has a very sweet quality to it, I think. Although the famous ruler who bore this name may not exactly be associated with all things “sweet,” that was just one guy, and plenty of loveable characters in popular culture and kids’ books, alike, over the years have ensured that the name is still something common and beloved to this day.
In fact it was number 18 in 2017, as is listed at Babble.com.
Will your little love be a charming gentleman? Does his name need a unique flair, though also to remain an absolute and undeniable classic?
Have you ever stopped to consider the name “Beau”? Didn’t think so. (And again, you’re welcome.)
One reason may be that although this charming moniker is surely a classic, it isn’t at the tippy-top of the charts, coming in at just number 156 in a list of the most popular names for baby boys in 2017 (at Babble.com).
And once again, we have a name fit for a prince.
Babble.com has this classic down as the 3rd most popular baby boy name of the previous year (2017).
So basically, even though it’s old as can be, it is still all the rage — a classic for sure.
I like that you could go with “Will” if you wanted (sort of like that famous actor who was known for getting jiggy wit’ it). But if I were to have a son and pick this name for him, I might really nudge him toward using the full “William.” It just sounds so classic! As classic as the Bard (of Avon), in fact.
It sounds quite regal, does it not?
It’s way down at number 494 in popularity, as of 2017, as is included in a list of the most popular baby boy names of that year at Babble.com. So it’s not like there will necessarily be five of them in his first grade class or anything like that.
But it is surely an undeniable classic, from famous actors and musicians to composers, activists, and beyond.
And, quite nicely, it means “peaceful ruler,” as is included at NameBerry.com.
Yeah, it is still pretty popular, coming in at number 50 for 2017 in a list of the very most popular baby boy names, as is covered at Babble.com.
The name is Hebrew, as you might have already known, and means “a dog; faithful,” says BabyNameWizard.com.
And so for some, it will represent things such as devotion, tradition, and perhaps faith.
And for some, it will simply sound like a very cute classic of a name for your little man!
It’s the past tense of “draw.” It’s Scottish! (That was found at the baby names site SheKnows.com, by the way.)
It came in at number 454 in popularity for 2017, as was included in a list of the most common male baby names of that year at Babble.com.
It is “Drew,” and isn’t it a sweet-sounding and loveable classic?
It’s come to be associated with the meaning “wise” in many languages, according to SheKnows.com, including English, Welsh, and American English.
Even if you’ve heard this name many times before, why not pause for a minute and consider whether it could just be the perfect choice for the little guy soon to be in your own life.
The name “Evan” is actually Welsh, according to BabyCenter.com, and it comes from “Iefan,” which is apparently a form of a super classic of a name: John. Its close relatives are names such as Ivan, Ian, Juan, and Evangelos, in case perhaps those give you a bit of inspiration, as well.
Early Christians apparently just loved this name, says BehindTheName.com, seeing as saints dating way back to the 3rd century were called by it. If that’s not classic enough for ya, I’m not sure what will be.
The Latin “Gregorius” comes from similar-sounding words that mean “watchful, alert.”
I can’t help but think of the word “gregarious,” used to describe someone who is friendly, social, and outgoing. But that’s just me.
Many popes have had this name, and it’s been a hit from the middle ages onward.
A disclaimer before I start talking about how great and classic this name is: I am not sure I could ever personally use it for a child because I am a grammar nerd, and the fact that it ends in an “S” might mean for all kinds of extra confusion about possessives down the road. Rant over.
That being said, it’s hard to find a name for a male child that is more classic than this one. Due to multiple mentionings (as are listed out at BehindTheName.com), it is biblical to the extreme, but then so are so many old names in common use, whether or not the reference is at all intentional.
It is Greek, and it means “carrier of Christ,” says the baby names site SheKnows.com.
St. Christopher is said to be the patron saint of travelers, and so hey, maybe there’s a way to honor your or your partner’s own wanderlust, or the sense of (safe) adventure that you hope that your own little guy will one day have.
You might call him Chris, let him go by the full name in all of its glory, or even choose this classic as a middle name. Why not?
I adore names that are only one syllable. There’s something so nice about simplicity in a world that is anything but. But that’s just my two cents.
And yep, it does actually mean “from the long meadow,” “path,” or “roadway,” as is included at the baby names site SheKnows.com.
OhBabyNames.com describes the modern usage of the name as “moderate,’ explaining that from the end of the 19th century until like the 1930s it was on the popularity charts.
It comes from an English surname.
Some people do “Mathew,” others do “Matthew,” with another “T” in there, and many who are given this old name end up going by Matt, of course.
It comes from a Hebrew name that means “gift of God,” says the site OhBabyNames.com.
That same site says that ever since the 12th century, the name Matthew has been quite heavily used, and of course it’s one of the more classic boy names that you could ever pick for your own son.
In Hebrew, “Natan” means “he gave,” says BehindTheName.com, and that’s of course where this name came from.
Surely you’ve met at least one or two Nates in your own life, no? Maybe there was even a Nathaniel or two thrown in there?
It’s so classic that it has to be cool, and it’s one I wouldn’t overlook if I was personally putting together a list of baby name ideas for a little guy.
It’s just that I think it sounds super cute, and what’s not to love about the shortened nickname?
Oh, boy, is this one cute. Sure, sure, some of use may think quickly of a fuzzy green guy who lived in a trashcan and was more than a little grumpy most of the time… but let us now leave those associations way back on a place called Sesame Street.
Maybe it’s English. Maybe it’s Irish, says the site Nameberry.com.
In 2017, the name was the 192nd most popular, and you know what? Even this very week, it’s on the rise.
Will you snag this sophisticated classic for your own son while you have the chance?
The name Peter is Greek, and it means “rock,” says the site NameBerry.com. Yes, it’s a biblical name, and really quite traditional, but it still hasn’t at all lost its modern appeal. Basically, it is perfect for this very list, thank you very much.
Sure, sure, it was the name of a saint, but there’s more to this one.
“Never as widely used as some of the more traditional Anglo-Saxon stalwarts, Peter retains an enduring appeal to parents seeking a less-used classic, with those nice childhood associations,” says the same site as above.
Well, way down at number 450 in a list of the most popular baby boy names of 2017 (included at Babble.com), this loveable classic won’t be quite so overused, perhaps.
Hold onto your hats, moms and dads, because you might just be discovering as we speak (type?) a classic that’s so cute you just can’t pass it up.
“Hankin” was actually a diminutive of “John,” says BehindTheName.com. And in the U.S., the name has of course been used as a nickname for that royal old classic of a name: Henry.
You know, I think about baby names a LOT, and I’ve written my fair share of articles about them, hoping to inspire expectant or new parents out there in just the right way, but I do not think I’ve ever thought to include this one.
Trevor… It’s so cute — am I right?
“Belonging to Trevear” (that’s a place in Cornwall, “the big farm, the big estate”) is the meaning of the English last name, says BabyNameWizard.com.
Although it is old and traditional, at last one that is not overtly biblical.
Well, perhaps some sports fans out there are immediately thinking of “victory” when they come across this classic and somewhat unique name for a boy, as the NFL season gains momentum and Sundays (and Thursdays… and Mondays…) start to become all about W for win (or you might say V for victory) and, oh yeah, FOOTBALL.
And this manly name does actually mean “victor” as in “conqueror” says the site BehindTheName.com, and apparently early Christians were all about it.
It was at number 165 for 2017, says Babble.com, so still going quite strong.
This old name may mean “God is my judge,” as is included at the baby names site SheKnows.com, but it’s come to be associated with all of its many bearers over the long time that it’s been in common use.
If someone you know from school or work, a family member, or a well-known literary or pop culture figure doesn’t quickly come to mind when you hear this nice name, like, what?
But being common doesn’t make it bad — it makes it a classic that is still very much beloved.
How are we already here, at the last in this list of awesome names that are so irresistible, largely because they are just such classics? I guess when I write about names, I write like the wind.
If you, too, are having a blast pondering what you might call a little man about to enter your own life, consider a classic around the world and throughout the centuries: Benjamin.
It was the 6th most popular name for baby boys during the last full year, 2017, according to Babble.com.
But you’ll also of course find the Hebrew name in the Old Testament (see more at BehindTheName.com), and ever since then.
References: Babble.com, SheKnows.com, BehindTheName.com, BabyNameWizard.com, NameBerry.com, BabyCenter.com, OhBabynames.com