Before my husband and I knew that the baby I’m currently carrying was a girl, we did a lot of talking about baby names. And I mean, a lot. Turns out, most of the names I’m obsessed with, my husband has deemed only appropriate for an 80-year-old. (Which, duh. That’s why I’m obsessed with them.) This was never more true than when I suggested a name for a boy. He seriously grimaced with almost every option, so if you’re also on the hunt for some “old man” baby names, I can almost guarantee your SO (if they’re anything like mine) will hate them.
Truthfully, the names on this list are classics. They’re traditional, they work for nearly every surname you can think of, and they’re more unique than you can imagine. For your kid to have a name that nobody else in the room does, you don’t have to try out an awkward spelling or combine two names you love. Peering into the vault of “old” names and seeing what comes up can seriously give you the most unique options. My oldest little girl is an Alice, and I’ve yet to meet another Alice her age in public or in her classroom. It’s whimsical, it’s happy, it’s classic, and it works for both a little girl, a young woman, and a happy older lady. That’s how this list is — they’ll carry your baby through every age and milestone. They’ll just sound like little old men when you call for them.
This is my husband’s first name and he absolutely hates it, which makes me so grumpy because I think Frankie is just the cutest name in the world. While it used to be pretty popular, it’s fairly unique these days and means “Frenchman or free man,” according to Nameberry.
Another one that can be super formal, but still cute with a nickname like Freddy, Frederick means “peaceful ruler” and is originally German, noted Nameberry.
OK, I lied. Alfie, short for Alfred, is the cutest name in the world. This was a big choice for me when it came to thinking up son names, but my husband, naturally, nixed it immediately. I don’t know why considering Alfred means “wise counselor,” but he just doesn’t want me to have nice things, I guess.
OK, this was my number one baby boy name choice, but as this list probably proves to you, my husband hated it. Despite its regal and royal standing as a favorite, the name George commonly means “farmer” and actually has a Greek origin.
If your partner is a Batman fan, you could maybe try to sneak this one in as a choice, but in my experience, it won’t work. The name Albert sweetly means “noble, bright,” which is the perfect description for everyone’s favorite butler, but that doesn’t mean your SO will love it, too.
Guys, how cute is the name Walter? It’s a quintessential “old man” name, but obviously every old man is an adorable baby at some point. The name has a strong, steadfast connotation with the meaning of “army ruler,” so if you want your little guy to have some boss tendencies, this is the name for him.
OK, prepare to do a bear-themed baby nursery because Bernard, the sweetest, quirkiest little name full of vintage charm, means “strong, brave as a bear.” How adorable is that?
Arthur is a Celtic, sweet name with tons of royal background. Apparently the king favorite means “bear,” too, which makes it just as sweet as it is regal.
For a faith-based moniker, try Amos. It means “carried by God” and has Hebrew origins. Plus, it’s super unique and fun.
Edward is also another favorite of mine, partially because it was my grandpa’s name, and because I just love the sweetness and charm of it. It means “wealthy guardian,” which I guess is a lot to put on a baby, but hey — it’s still cute.
Felix is so spunky, but this is one my husband made a terrible face at when I suggested it, so I’m guessing your SO might hate it, too. The name’s origin is Latin and it literally means “happy, fortunate.” You guys, what’s happier than a sweet baby boy?
I think Chester is so unique that Nameberry doesn’t even have a popularity ranking for this official “old man” name. According to the website, the charming name means “fortress, walled town,” so it’s not exactly one that makes you squeal — unless you’re into construction and thinking of castles. But it’s still pretty cute.
If you thought everyone named Otis was just born at 50 years old, I get it. But that’s not quite what’s happening here. Even an old man named Otis was once a baby, and since his name means “wealthy,” it might bring him some good fiscal fortune.
There are a lot of spelling variations on the name Emmett, but Nameberry says it means “universal,” which is pretty meta if you ask me. Apparently this name is also a male variation of Emma, so if that was one of your girl contenders, enjoy this old-fashioned version.
Apparently Lawrence can be considered a unisex name now, which is pretty unique and fun, but I still think of anyone named Lawrence as an old grandpa volunteering at the library. (The best, right?) The name means “from Laurentium,” which is, um, a bit lackluster, but hey — cardigans with leather patches on the elbows. That’s totally what a Lawrence would wear, even at 6 months old.
Does Clarence make you think of George Bailey’s guardian angel in It’s a Wonderful Life? Same. So of course this name’s a contender for a sweet “old man” inspired moniker. Much like its angel namesake, the name Clarence even means “bright,” which is just perfect for your little guy.
I’ll admit, Elmer isn’t my favorite on the list, but you can’t deny its vintage charm. Elmer’s origin is English, according to Nameberry, and it means “noble and renowned.”
For another one that holds some charm and will still make people do a double take, try Herman. The name means “soldier, warrior” and has a German origin, so it’s definitely a strong, steadfast choice.
Want quirky and fun? Choose Eugene. OK, your SO might scoff, but tell them to hear you out. Eugene is mega unique (Seriously, do you know a Eugene?) and is a Greek name that means “wellborn, noble.”
Ah, sweet Francis. Much like the Frank choice, Francis is a crooner classic your partner will probably hate. Lots of people choose Francis for its religious connotation, but if that’s not your bag, you can just pick it because it means “Frenchman or free man” like Frank does.
Edgar! So cute and has a bit of mystery surrounding it, right? Edgar’s English and means “wealthy spearman,” so if this sounds like a super masculine choice your partner will love, push for it.
You don’t have to have a girl named Bonnie to choose Clyde for your little guy. I think Clyde is utterly charming, and according to Nameberry, it’s a nature-inspired name and comes from a Scottish river. How quaint, right?
OK, Horace took some time to grow on me, but gosh if it doesn’t have a certain adorable quality about it. Bonus points: it means timekeeper. If that’s not the most ironic name for a baby, I don’t know what is.
If your partner is thinking of the big red dog, I get it, but give Clifford a chance. Its meaning is pretty literal — “lives near the ford by the cliff” — but I think it packs a sweet punch for your baby boy.
Willis is just a cute, unique name if you wanted William, but don’t want him to get confused with all the other Williams in his class. While Willis is a diminutive of William, it’s still an English version of a German name that means “resolute protection.”
OK, I just think Stanley is so sweet. It has another meaning that’s kind of strange — “near the stony clearing” — but you can chalk it up to your nature love and call it a day.
This name just makes me think of Christmas (I don’t know why) and a sweet baby boy. Cornelius is a Latin name that means “horn,” so maybe that’s where my Christmas thoughts came from (cornucopias at Thanksgiving, horns at Christmas, I don’t know), but no matter the season, it’s delightful.
Melvin — seriously, doesn’t this just conjure images of a sweet little guy in glasses and a cardigan? It’s an English and Scottish name that means “council protector,” and while it’s not immensely popular, it’s still hitting the ranks for a delightfully old “hipster” favorite.
Rudolph! OK, don’t think of the red-nosed reindeer. Instead, think of icons like Rudolph Valentino and focus on the pure glamour of this old man name. Nameberry noted that Rudolph means “famous wolf,” which is pretty special if you ask me.
Nelson is so old-sounding, it’s almost too much, but I still think it can work. Its meaning is literal — son of Neil — but it’s also an English name that used to be pretty popular for little boys, even if their dad wasn’t named Neil.
Malcolm is a name that conjures ideas of activists and smart, encouraging people, but it’s also a classic, giving it a certain “old man” quality. I think it’s remarkably cute and according to Nameberry, Malcolm is a popular Scottish name.