Cranky and wrinkled, your newborn son might look like a grumpy old man, but while a baby with an old fashioned boy name is cute, when he is a teen, will he think it’s cool, funny or awful?
Like old-fashioned girls’ names, you know that picking old man names for your baby boy is either a love or hate thing as these common old man names will make everyone remember fondly – or not so much – a relative from times gone by.
For example, when you hear the name Arthur, are you thinking of that drunk old man at the Christmas table that pinched your cheeks too hard when you were a kid? Or the funny uncle you loved who did magic tricks?
In fact, if the word “uncle” seems a natural fit before your choice, that’s a fair test that it should be on a list of old boy names.
We look at 64 choices of old boy names, from ones that are now popular - but not as stereotypical as the most popular Australian names like Jack and Oliver - to ones that are less boring, but might be better names for your dogs or cats. Thanks to Nameberry and Babycenter for helping with the meanings. Pronunciations come from Pronouncenames.com.
Pronunciation: s ih r uh l
Meaning: lord or lordly
Famous Namesakes: Magician Cyril Takayama
General Overview: Definitely a name that hasn't been popular in a while, Cyril was the name of several saints, so might be a good choice for those looking for a religious name that is a little unusal.
Pronunciation: S EE s uh l
Origin: Latin or Welsh
Meaning: Either from the Welsh for sixth child or the Latin for blind
Famous Namesakes: Hollywood moviemaker Cecil B DeMille, royal photographer Cecil Beaton, actor Cecil Baldwin
General Overview: Another grand old English name, there are Cecils in Oscar Wilde's Lady Windemere's Fan and E M Foster's Room With a View.
Pronunciation: WEEL bar
Famous Namesakes: Wilbur Wright, half of the famous Wright brothers (the other half was Orville) who invented the airplane.
General Overview: It's hard to say the name Wilbur without thinking of the way talking horse Mister Ed said it in the old TV show, but Wilbur is also the name of the pig in Charlotte's Web.
Pronunciation: m AW r t ih m er
Meaning: Lives near the sea. Or some say derived from the same word as mortuary, mortal - an association with death
Famous Namesakes: philosopher Mortimer J. Adler, Australian-born artist Mortimer Menpes
General Overview: The famous Mickey Mouse could have been named Mortimer after a mouse Walt Disney owned as a child if Walt's wife hadn't talked him out of it. And while Mortimer might sound like a villain or a scrooge, it does have the cuter nickname Morty or Mort.
Pronunciation: S EE m aw
Meaning: Often a surname, said to come from people from the French towns of Saint-Maur or perhaps the Latin name for a Moor, someone from North Africa. Some say it is from the words for sea and moor i.e. marshy lands near the sea.
Famous Namesakes: The middle name of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (and also Jane Fonda!), there is also actors Seymour Cassel and Seymour Hicks
General Overview: For Simpsons fans, it's also the first name of Principal Skinner and part of the prank call name, Seymour Butts.
Pronunciation: m eh l v ih n
Meaning: Possibly developed from the Old English for council friend
Famous Namesakes: American footballer Melvin Gordon, scientist Melvin Calvin, US director Melvin Van Peebles
General Overview: Much more acceptable as Mel, as in Blazing Saddles genius Mel Brooks. Can also be spelt Melvyn, as in Oscar winner Melvyn Douglas. There is a character called Melvin in the Captain Underpants books.
Pronunciation: h AW r uh s
Meaning: from hora, meaning time (as in the word hour)
Famous Namesakes: The ancient Roman poet Horace, US basketballer Horace Grant
General Overview: Coming from the name Horatius - which you might also like to consider, Horace is the name of characters in Harry Potter and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
Pronunciation: you GENE
Meaning: born well (gene, like genetics, has to do with birth)
Famous Namesakes: actor Eugene Levy, playwright Eugene O'Neill, artist Eugene Delacroix
General Overview: Can be shortened to Gene. The female version Eugenie is probably much cooler now, thanks to a famous British princess.
Pronunciation: b uh r n ah r d
Meaning: Strong or brave bear
Famous Namesakes: Powderfinger's Bernard Fanning gives the name cred, then there's tennis player Bernard Tomic, businessman Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault and its the middle name of playwright George Bernard Shaw.
General Overview: If it doesn't make you think of a Saint Bernard, as in the movie Beethoven, or your mean Aunt Bernadette, you might consider this one. There is also the short form Bernie, as in Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff.
Pronunciation: L OY D
Famous Namesakes: Actor Lloyd Bridges, G-unit rapper Lloyd Banks, middle name of architect Frank Lloyd Wright
General Overview: Who needs a vowel? The name was originally spelt Llwyd and is the name of the hero of film Say Anything.
Pronunciation: M IH L t n
Meaning: Most likely a combo of words mill and town
Famous Namesakes: Comedian Milton Berle, the chocolate guy Milton S. Hershey
General Overview: Although it can be shortened to Milt, you might want to check out the cartoon Milton the Monster before settling on this name for your kid.
Pronunciation: V ER n uh n
Meaning: alder tree
Famous Namesakes: British celebrity Vernon Kay
General Overview: The name of Elvis's father, Vernon is also the name Vince Vaughan gave his son and the name of a character in Harry Potter.
Pronunciation: r OO d aw l f
Meaning: From the words fame and wolf
Famous Namesakes: a certain red-nosed reindeer, silent film's Rudolph Valentino
General Overview: Rudy or Rudi is a popular shortening. Can also be spelt Rudolf, as in ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, or perhaps you may like Rolf as an alternative.
Pronunciation: N AW R - m uh n
Meaning: from Norseman (i.e. vikings), also someone from Normandy in France
Famous Namesakes: actor Norman Reedus, writer Norman Mailer, artist Norman Rockwell
General Overview: As well as starring in The Walking Dead, Norman Reedus has had children with model Helena Christensen and actress Diane Kruger, so that should raise the cool stakes of his name. Not such a good association? The Psycho character Norman Bates.
Pronunciation: r EH j uh n uh l d
Meaning: ruler's decision
Famous Namesakes: Music man Elton John's real name is Reginald Dwight.
General Overview: As the nickname Reggie, it's a character in Riverdale/the Archie comics, also Kim Kardashian's ex, Reggie Bush. Can also be Reg, as in Australian TV producer Reg Grundy.
Pronunciation: h UH m f r ee
Meaning: peaceful warrior
Famous Namesakes: actor Humphrey Bogart, TV character Humphrey B Bear
General Overview: A name given to dukes of England, it also belongs to a character in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park and TV shows Yes, Minister and Death in Paradise.
Pronunciation: d UH d l ee
Famous Namesakes: actor Dudley Moore, cartoon character Dudley Do-Right, Australian composer Dudley Simpson
General Overview: Shortened to Dud, it doesn't sound very good.
Pronunciation: s t AE n l ee
Meaning: stone clearing
Famous Namesakes: actor Stanley Tucci, director Stanley Kubrick, kids' book Flat Stanley, the character of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire
General Overview: Can also be a unisex name, President Obama's mother's first name was Stanley. A popular abbreviation is Stan, as in comic-book giant Stan Lee and tennis player Stan Smith who gave his name to a type of Adidas shoe.
Pronunciation: v IH k t er
Meaning: to conquer
Famous Namesakes: French author Victor Hugo
General Overview: The Italian version is Vittorio, while the female one is the popular Victoria. Can be shortened to Vic.
Pronunciation: m AH r v ih n
Meaning: could be famous friend or sea hill, take your pick.
Famous Namesakes: crooner Marvin Gaye, it's also the real first name of playwright Neil Simon and singer Meatloaf.
General Overview: The name of Lily and Marshall's baby on How I Met Your Mother, there is also the cartoon character Marvin the Martian.
General Overview: k EH n ih th
Meaning: handsome or of fire
Famous Namesakes: actor/director Kenneth Branagh, R&B singer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, kids' author Kenneth Grahame, designer Kenneth Cole
General Overview: Shane Jacobson's plumber Kenny is one abbreviation of this name (see also country singer Kenny Rogers and death-magnet Kenny in South Park), Barbie's BF Ken is another.
Pronunciation: ch EH s t er
Meaning: fortified place
Famous Namesakes: actor Chester Morris, Linkin Park's Chester Bennington
General Overview: actor Tom Hanks has a son named Chester, and the nickname Chet is cool, as in muso Chet Faker (though his real name is Nick).
Pronunciation: r AI m uh n d
Meaning: trusted advisor
Famous Namesakes: novelist Raymond Chandler, actor Raymond Massey, character Raymond Reddington in The Blacklist
General Overview: As well as the TV show Everyone Loves Raymond, there is the popular short form of the name, Ray, as in the famous Ray Charles.
Pronunciation: ER n uh s t
Meaning: Unsurprisingly, it means earnest
Famous Namesakes: writer Ernest Hemingway, actor Ernest Borgnine
General Overview: There is the Oscar Wilde play The Importance of being Earnest. Shortened to Ernie, it's half the Sesame Street duo Ernie and Bert.
Pronunciation: Mon tee
Meaning: from the French mont (mountain)
Famous Namesakes: Monty Burns is a character in the Simpsons, there is the British comedy troupe Monty Python
General Overview: Can also be a shot form of Montgomery or Montague and has lent itself to the expression the Full Monty (meaning going all the way, or getting naked).
Pronunciation: p ER s ee
Famous Namesakes: poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Percy Jackson (played by Logan Lerman), R&B singer Percy Sledge
General Overview: your young ones will know him best as the green train in Thomas the Tank Engine.
Pronunciation: l EH n er d
Meaning: brave like a lion
Famous Namesakes: Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy, composer Leonard Bernstein, singer Leonard Cohen, Leonard from The Big Bang Theory
General Overview: Leo is a cute short form or Lenny, as in singer Lenny Kravitz or comedian Lenny Bruce. Leonard was the middle name of Winston Churchill. And then there is the Italian version, Leonardo, as in DiCaprio.
Pronunciation: AA r ch uh b AW l d
Meaning: genuinely brave
Famous Namesakes: actor Cary Grant's real name was Archibald Leach
General Overview: A Scottish favourite, often shortened to Archie, it is the name of Amy Poehler's son, and it is famous for Archie from Riverdale (played by KJ Apa) and TV character Archie Bunker.
Pronunciation: K L IH F er d
Meaning: A combo of the words for cliff and ford
Famous Namesakes: Rapper T.I.'s real name is Clifford Joseph Harris Jr, book character Clifford the Big Red Dog
General Overview: This name is seen much more shortened to Cliff, like British singer Cliff Richard.
Pronunciation: AE l b er t
Meaning: bright or shiny
Famous Namesakes: scientist Albert Einstein, painter Albert Namatjira, actor Albert Finney, philosopher Albert Camus
General Overview: A popular name among the royals, such as Queen Victoria's husband and the current Prince of Monaco, it can be shortened to Al or Bert or Bertie.
Pronunciation: B AA R n ee
Meaning: son of consolation
Famous Namesakes: The Flintstones Barney Rubble, Barney the purple dinosaur, TV show Barney Miller
General Overview: Can be short for Barnaby, as in politician Barnaby Joyce, or Barnabas, like Barney from How I Met Your Mother.
Pronunciation: w AW l t er
Meaning: commander of the army
Famous Namesakes: Breaking Bad's Walter White, Tudor explorer Sir Walter Raleigh, TV reporter Walter Cronkite, the real first name of Bruce Willis
General Overview: Popularly shortened to Walt, like the famous Walt Disney and poet Walt Whitman.
Pronunciation: r AH n uh l d
Meaning: Another commanding name, meaning rule's advisor
Famous Namesakes: Macca's mascot Ronald McDonald, US president Ronald Reagan, the real first name of AC/DC's Bon Scott
General Overview: Nicknames Ron, like Ron Howard, and Ronnie, like The Two Ronnies
Pronunciation: R OO p er t
Meaning: an English version of Robert, which means bright fame
Famous Namesakes: media mogul Rupert Murdoch, actors Rupert Everett and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films)
General Overview: The most beloved is Rupert the bear.
Pronunciation: V IH n s AA n t
Meaning: Like Victor, it means to conquer
Famous Namesakes: painter Vincent Van Gogh, actor Vincent Price, the real first name of rocker Alice Cooper, one of Mary and Frederik's children
General Overview: Alternatives are Vin, Vinny, Vinnie (like actor Vinnie Jones), or Vince (like actor Vince Vaughan).
Pronunciation: b AE z uh l
Famous Namesakes: actor Basil Rathbone, cheeky puppet Basil Brush, Fawlty Towers's hopeless hotelier Basil
General Overview: The name of the herb has royal and religious significance for the Greeks.
Pronunciation: f r ae nk
Meaning: from Franciscus, meaning French
Famous Namesakes: singer Frank Sinatra, muso Frank Zappa, architect Frank Lloyd Wright
General Overview: A short form of Francis, can also be short for Franklin. Frank is a main character in TV series Shameless.
Pronunciation: d eh z m uh n d
Meaning: someone from the Irish town of Munster
Famous Namesakes: South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, zoologist Desmond Morris
General Overview: Can be shortened to Des, like British personality Des O'Connor, or Desi, like Lucille Ball's husband Desi Arnaz.
Pronunciation: H AE R uh l d
Meaning: ruler of the army
Famous Namesakes: Missing Australian PM Harold Holt, Lost actor Harold Perrineau, Neighbours character Harold Bishop (played by Ian Smith)
General Overview: Nicknames are Hal and Harry.
Pronunciation: AE l f r uh d
Famous Namesakes: director Alfred Hitchcock, Bruce Wayne's butler, King of England Alfred the Great
General Overview: – Can be shortened to Al (Weird Al Yankovic), Alfie, Freddy, Freddie (Freddie Highmore) or Fred (see also Frederick).
Pronunciation: w AW l uh s
Famous Namesakes: One half of the animated pair Wallace & Gromit, actors Wallace Shawn and Wallace Langham
General Overview: In the form Wallis (as in Simpson), the name is unisex. Can be shortened to Wally, as in "Where's Wally?", but that also has the sense of "He's such a Wally."
Pronunciation: d UH g l ih s
Meaning: dark water
Famous Namesakes: general Douglas Macarthur, actor Douglas Henshall, swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks, authors Douglas Copeland and Adams, explorer Douglas Mawson
General Overview: Can be cut back to Doug, like Doug Ross (George Clooney's character) in ER.
Pronunciation: mur ree
Meaning: settlement by the sea
Famous Namesakes: The Wiggles' Murray Cook, band manager character Murray on The Flight of the Conchords and the dog Murray on Mad About You
General Overview: Although, like Douglas, it's a good Scottish name, you can be patriotic and name your child after the mighty River Murray.
Pronunciation: r AE l f
Meaning: wolf advisor
Famous Namesakes: Wreck-it Ralph, designer Ralph Lauren, Karate Kid Ralph Macchio, The Simpsons' Ralph
General Overview: Some Brits, like Ralph Fiennes, pronounce it "Rafe".
Pronunciation: R OH l uh n d
Meaning: famous throughout the land
Famous Namesakes: Tears for Fears singer Roland Orzabal, American journalist Roland Martin, director Roland Emmerich
General Overview: The Viking sounding name can be shortened to Rollie or Rollo.
Pronunciation: f r EH d er ih k
Meaning: peaceful ruler
Famous Namesakes: Prussian King Frederick the Great, Princess Mary of Denmark is married to a Frederik, dancer Fred Astaire is a Frederick, there's a Frederick in Animal Farm
General Overview: The short versions, Fred (like actor Fred Savage) or Freddie, are cute.
Pronunciation: h AH w er d
Meaning: high guardian
Famous Namesakes: Controversial talk show host Howard Stern, recluse Howard Hughes
General Overview: Can be a Howie, like the Backstreet Boy, or if you're really hip, go for Ward.
Pronunciation: AH r th er
Famous Namesakes: King Arthur, Uncle Arthur, Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, astronomer Arthur C Clarke, playwright Arthur Miller
General Overview: Had a royal boost as a middle name of Prince Louis and also when Pippa Middleton named her son Arthur, variants include Art (like Art Garfunkel) and Artie.
Pronunciation: eh m eh t
Famous Namesakes: Irish actor Emmett J. Scanlan, there are characters called Emmett in Twilight and Legally Blonde
General Overview: The male form of Emma, it can also be spelt with one t.
Pronunciation: m AE l k uh m
Meaning: an Irish name from the Latin for dove
Famous Namesakes: Former PMs Malcolm Turnbull and Malcolm Fraser, activist Malcolm X, actor Malcom Macdowell, TV show Malcolm in the Middle,
General Overview: Can be shortened to Mal.
Pronunciation: EH d ee
Meaning: guardian of wealth
Famous Namesakes: Funny guys Eddie Murphy and Eddie Izzard, actors Eddie Redmayne and Eddie Cibrian, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder
General Overview: This shortened version can be unisex (girls name comes from Edwina, boys names from Edward, Edgar, Edmund or Edwin).
Pronunciation: th EE uh d aw r
Meaning: God's gift
Famous Namesakes: Grey's Anatomy's T.R. Knight, Donald Trump has a grandson Theodore, children's author Dr Seuss was a Theodor (no e)
General Overview: Can be shortened to Theo (like Divergent's Theo James), Ted (like the character in How I Met Your Mother) or Teddy (like the US president who gave his name to stuffed bears).
Pronunciation: l AW r uh n s
Meaning: from the ancient Roman town of Laurentum
Famous Namesakes: US footballer Lawrence Taylor, Lawrence of Arabia, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan
General Overview: A different spelling of Laurence, which boasts actors Laurence Fishburne and Laurence Olivier. Can be shortened to Larry or Laz.
Pronunciation: h AA r v ee
Meaning: battle worthy
Famous Namesakes: actor Harvey Keitel, producer Harvey Weinstein, Harvey on Suits
General Overview: It's French version is Hervé, like Fantasy Island's Hervé Villechaize.
Pronunciation: AE NG g uh s
Meaning: one choice
Famous Namesakes: AC/DC's Angus Young, Two and a Half Men's Angus T Jones, actors Angus Maclaren and Angus Sampson, singer Angus Stone
General Overview: Quite nice when shortened to Gus.
Pronunciation: lOO iss
Meaning: famous warrior
Famous Namesakes: Alice in Wonderland writer Lewis Carroll, Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton
General Overview: The French version is Louis and the name can be shortened to Lou (as in muso Lou Reed).
Pronunciation: OH t ih s
Famous Namesakes: singer Otis Redding, who features in a song called "Otis" by Kanye West and Jay-Z
General Overview: Olivia Wilde and Tobey Maguire have sons named Otis.
Pronunciation: s IH d n ee
Meaning: wide island in a river, a name for Saint Denis
Famous Namesakes: Actor Sidney Poitier, director Sidney Lumet, writer Sidney Sheldon, hockey player Sidney Crosby
General Overview: A unisex name that can be shortened to Sid, though the girls' name is often spelt Sydney, like the city.
Pronunciation: F EE l ih k s
Famous Namesakes: Composer Felix Mendelssohn, Australian actor Felix Mallard, cartoon classic Felix the cat
General Overview: The female version is Felicity. Gillian Anderson and Elizabeth Banks have sons called Felix.
Pronunciation: J OO L y uh s
Famous Namesakes: Julius Caesar, the real first name of Groucho Marx, director Julius Avery
General Overview: You may prefer Julian.
Pronunciation: jaw r j
Meaning: farmer, earthworker
Famous Namesakes: Beatle George Harrison, Prince George, George Clooney, composer George Gershwin, singer George Michael
General Overview: When little you can call them Georgie.
Pronunciation: l OO ih s
Meaning: famous warrior
Famous Namesakes: British documentary maker Louis Theroux, Prince Louis, trumpeter Louis Armstrong, designer Louis Vuitton
General Overview: A right royal French name, it can be shortened to Lou, as in The Incredible Hulk's Lou Ferrigno.
Pronunciation: HA ree
Meaning: home ruler
Famous Namesakes: Prince Harry, One Direction's Harry Styles, magician Harry Houdini, actor Harry Hamlin, singer Harry Connick Jr
General Overview: A nickname of Henry, it can be short for Harold and Harrison. The world knows this name thanks to a British prince and the Harry Potter books.
Pronunciation: m ah k s
Meaning: the greatest
Famous Namesakes: Teen Wolf actor Max Carver, New Girl actor Max Greenfield, the character in children's books Where the Wild Things Are, Mad Max movies
General Overview: Can be short for Maxwell or Maximilian and as a girls' name can be short for Maxine.