40 Forgotten but Handsome Baby Boy Names From the Roaring '20s

Tanvier Peart | May 7, 2020 Pregnancy
40 Forgotten but Handsome Baby Boy Names From the Roaring '20s
Image: iStock.com/swetta

Little boy by the sea

Isn't it funny how things we once considered "vintage" or tired can suddenly become on-trend? After all, what's old can is new again when it comes to trends. Life truly has a way of coming full circle, and that includes formerly "hot" baby names from a particular age of innovation, prohibition, and style that feels tailor-made for today's modern gents-in-training. Although these familiar names may have fallen out of popularity, some are seriously back and being given new life. As Laura Wattenberg, founder of Baby Name Wizard, mentions, certain baby names from the Jazz Age are poised to make a comeback as they exhibit great star power. 

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Laura combed through historical data to find names that were big hits in the Roaring '20s but weren't popular during the latter half of the 1900s and aren't among the top 500 baby names of today. She was able to identify the ones with the most style clout that have the potential to make a huge splash in the next several years.

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"Not every one hits the fashion bulls-eye," Laura notes. "But if parents are drawn to old-fashioned names, I'm guessing that a few on this list will strike them as pleasant and intriguing surprises."

Whether a fan of beloved titles that stir up childhood memories or baby names with an Old English twist, expectant moms and dads should consider these once-popular names from the 1920s for their sons.


    baby boy

    There are many reasons to love the name Giles. Aside from being très adorable, Giles has Greek roots, coming from aigis that means "a goatskin shield of Zeus" or "a protection." Not only does Giles honor the seventh century Athenian St. Giles, who healed people, but was also a pretty awesome watcher/librarian in the cult TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


    baby with a teddy bear

    Lawton is such a stately name that's rich in style. Noted as a popular Old English family name that's thought to mean "settlement on or near a hill," Lawton also tips his hat to a certain superhero who always hits his mark.


    Cute blonde little boy

    The name Warner is a popular title that was suuuper hot during the late 1800s -- and which can still seem fresh today. An English title with German roots, Warner is thought to mean "army" -- perfect for a rough and tough young gent who's not afraid to throw down if necessary.


    Happy cute baby enjoying the swing at the park

    There's no need to head to Colorado to enjoy Denver. In fact, this place name comes from across the pond, as Denver is an Old English title that means "green valley." Place names are a popular choice and Denver has the benefit of not being overused. 


    chubby-cheek boy bay

    Admit it: Clicking on this baby name gave all the millennial feels, riiight? The Hardy Boys novels were quite the read for kids growing up in the '90s, and now that we know the meaning of Hardy, it all makes sense!

    For those who didn't know, the name Hardy is German for "bold" and "brave," which aptly describes these mystery-solving characters who just so happened to make their literary debut in the late 1920s.

    Talk about full circle.

  • BOYD

    cute newborn baby boy with mother

    Any former Justified fans? Eh?

    Whether the parents were fans of the once beloved FX show (in which the character Boyd Crowder was a fan fave), or find Irish names particularly striking, Boyd is a fitting option for the shortlist. Hailing from the Irish Gaelic buidhe that means "yellow," Boyd is also a surname thought to mean "son of the one with yellow hair." Obviously, the parents don't have to have blond hair to use this name.

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    charming African-American boy with mother smiling and having fun

    At first glance, one might look at the name Jules and think it belongs on a baby name list for girls -- and that would be correct ... and also wrong. This gender neutral name takes a page from the Latin Julius that's known for being "downy-bearded." Simply put: Jules is playful, stylish, and quite the charmer.


    portrait of a beautiful baby boy smiling
    Andrii Oleksiienko/iStock

    Unless the parents have been living on a different planet -- or were robbed of the joys of the Muppets growing up -- this baby name needs no explanation. Kermit, as in Kermit the Frog, is a beloved puppet and character with an unforgettable voice and an unusual name.

  • ORIN

    father and baby son

    There's so much to love about the name Orin, as it pulls inspo from so many places. A variation of Oren (Hebrew for "laurel or pine tree"), Orin also tips his hat to the Irish Gaelic Odhran, which means "pale."

    Orin could also have one looking to the stars, as the name brings vibes of the Orion constellation -- or the Orion spacecraft called "The Messiah" used in the movie Deep Impact to stop the comet from slamming into Earth ... or the fictitious Commander Oren Monash from the film. (See, we can go on and on about this baby name.)

    No matter its origin, we happen to fancy the name Orin and think it's pretty cute.

    More from CafeMom: 50 Baby Names Based on Astronomy


    cute happy boy playing at home

    It's pretty safe to say Regis Philbin was a king of morning talk shows -- which is quite fitting, considering the name Regis is Latin for "kingly." This stately French surname-turned-first-name has a regal aura about it one simply cannot deny.

    And, who knows, maybe the kid will become king of the airwaves, too.


    mother and her little baby

    Expectant moms and dads who enjoy baby names with a hiss ending (ya know ... -sss?) might want to circle Wallace. Honoring Sir William Wallace, a Scottish hero who fought against the English in the name of freedom, this honorable title is all about leadership and community.

    And, yes, we're talking about the historical figure behind Mel Gibson's character in Braveheart.


    cute newborn baby boy

    Looking for a name that is a true classic? The name Truman is a strong title that possesses throwback elegance that can translate into modern times. Plus, the Old English title means "loyal one," a wonderful quality any parent would love his or her child to have.


    baby boy standing up in his bed

    Alviiiiiiin! (Come on --  we had to go there.)

    Though it's easy to associate Alvin with chipmunks, this baby name aligns itself with folklore characters, as Alvin comes from the Old English Ælfwine that means "friend of the elves."

    Chipmunk. Elf. Who cares?

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    baby boy in a newsboy cap
    Linda Kloosterhof/iStock

    Conrad is a highly regarded and prestigious baby name. This title has strong Germanic roots, as Conrad comes from the Old High German Kuonrat, which loosely translates to "wise counsel."

    Hmm. Perhaps Conrad will provide "wise counsel" in matters of the house, or somehow demystify the wonders of parenting?


    small boy playing with a paper plane

    "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." 

    Thomas Edison was a brilliant mind before his time who not only created things like the (first practical incandescent) light bulb and motion picture camera, among other inventions, but challenged us to think and interact in new ways with the world around us.

    It's understandable why the name Edison would find a place on popular names from the 1920s, as it honors one of the country's greatest inventors. An Old English title that means "prosperity" and "wealth," Edison is a cute choice with a ton of power.


    adorable happy baby boy

    No matter where Florian goes, there's just no escaping his association with blossoming blooms. Stemming from the Latin flos that means "flower" or "blossom," Florian is a cheery baby name with so many fragrant feels and an elegant vibe. 


    precious little boy with headphones wearing a bow tie

    Harlan is a strapping name that scored some major popularity points in the 1920s. German for "rocky land," Harlan is also thought to mean "from the army" -- making this handsome title ready to kick butt. This name has a dash of hipster energy that might make a millennial mom smile. 

    More from CafeMom: 21 Handsome Baby Boy Names Hailing From Classical Latin

  • MACK

    cute blonde boy staring

    For those who don't know, Mack is the man! This baby name pulls inspiration from the Gaelic Mac ("son") and is quite adorable, to be honest. Mack is a great choice for parents looking for a strong, one-syllable choice that is easy to spell and pronounce. 


    cute baby boy in his father's arms

    Heeey, Newell!

    Lovers of all things classic and vintage should feast their eyes on Newell -- it's pretty cute! Old English for "new hall," Newell has a certain aura we can't help but love. This name hasn't been in the top 1,000 boys names for decades, so the odds are great that he'll never have to share his name with anyone in his class!


    sleeping baby boy

    Boys named Rupert could have "fame" in their future -- possibly joining the likes of Rupert Everett (Julia Roberts's BFF in My Best Friend's Wedding) and the lovable Rupert Grint, aka Ron Weasely from the Harry Potter films. 

    Hailing from the Old High German Hruodperht, Rupert also means "bright," which could represent brighter days ahead with baby boy. (Aww.)


    sleeping boy in his mommy's arms

    Parents looking for a name with Southern vibes might try Sumner. Sumner might not be the hottest season of the year, but still sizzles when it comes to being unusual. French for the "one who summons," Sumner has distinction, which means it deserves a spot on that short list. 

    More from CafeMom: 30 French Baby Names for Boys & Girls -- Ooh La La!

  • WILEY 


    This Scottish name is a take on the name William, which makes it both cute and a possible honor name for a beloved William in the family. Wiley can also mean clever or crafty, so those who like attribute names might also want to consider it. 

  • OTIS


    Parents who like the idea of an "O" name but want to avoid frequently used choices like Oliver or Oscar might want to give Otis a try! The name Otis has German roots and is said to mean "wealthy," which is why it was considered a high-society name in the early 1900s. We like that it gives cool R&B vibes, like Otis Redding. 



    In addition to being the name of a snowboard company, Burton is more commonly a last name -- which makes it an interesting choice for parents who list a last name as a strong first name. Burton is a strong, masculine name that seems unlikely to become a girl name choice in the future, as sometimes happens with old-fashioned names. 

  • NED


    Oh man, Ned! Ned is such a cute name in an old-fashioned way. Ned is an English name meaning "wealthy guardian" but has a strong pop culture association with Simpsons character Ned Flanders, so parents should be comfortable with that potential for jokes. 



    Are the parents feeling proud to have a baby boy? Well, Dempsey might be the right name, in that case. More common as a last name, Dempsey is an Irish name that means "proud" or "haughty." People are likely to associate this name with soccer star Clint Dempsey or actor Patrick Dempsey. 



    This name, which has Scottish and English roots, is great as a sophisticated adult name choice and equally adorable for a little boy who uses "Wally" as a nickname. It really doesn't get much cuter than a little boy named Wally.  



    Palmer is traditionally a boys' name but has taken on more of a gender neutral usage in recent years. It's the perfect name for a family that loves to travel, as it comes from the English for "pilgrim." It also fits the trend of last names as first names, for parents who like that energy. 



    Lowell is French for "young wolf" or "wolf cub" and peaked in popularity in the 1920s and early 1930s. It hasn't been a top 500 name since at least 1986, so parents looking for something sophisticated and unusual might like Lowell. 



    Hollis is another gender neutral option, though historically it has been used slightly more for boys. From the Old English for "holly tree," this nature based name has never cracked the top 1,000 name list in the US. We think this name is ready for a breakout year!

  • ALTON 


    Once ranked in the top 200 names (peaking at 197 in 1927), the name Alton is now outside of the top 1000, but is just starting to make a comeback. This elegant choice, pronounce ALL-tun, comes from the English for "old town."

  • BUCK 


    OK, so this name isn't a great choice for families that like to sing "The Name Game," but as long as