Baby Names

Adorably Old Fashioned Boy Names from the 1800s

Are you looking for a vintage name for your baby boy? This list of old fashioned boy names from the 1800s will help you find the perfect name for your new son!

Old Fashioned Names for Boys

Vintage baby names are all the rage these days, for both boys and girls. Many parents love the idea of a ‘grandfather name’ which simple means an old fashioned name, like one your grandfather would have had. Some vintage names like Oliver, have become so common they are overused. However, there are tons of other great old fashioned names that have yet to become insanely popular again. But which names are really vintage?

So I did the legwork for you. I researched the 200 most popular names from the 1880’s, the first decade Social Security kept stats on baby names. These names were old standards. Some are classics like John, while others are throwbacks to a classic age, like Clinton, Felix or Levi.

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Boy Names from the 19th Century

So without further ado, here is the list of most common boy names from the 1800s. 

Aaron

Originally a Hebrew or Egyptian name meaning ‘highest mountain’ or ‘exhaulted’.  Aaron was the older brother of Moses in the Bible. 

Abraham

This Hebrew name means ‘father of many’. Abraham was a biblical figure in the Old Testament.

Adam

Adam comes from the Hebrew word for ‘man’. In the Bible, Adam was the first man God created. For more four letter boy names, click here!

Albert

Meaning ‘noble’ and ‘bright’, Albert is a Germanic name that became especially popular in the Victorian era, as Queen Victoria’s husband was named Albert. 

Alexander

Alexander is a Greek baby name which means ‘defender of men’ Alexander the Great was a famous Greek king. Alexander is a common name of numerous monarchs and popes.

Alfred

Alfred is an English baby name stemming from the old English Aelfraed. It means ‘elf and counsel’.

Allen

Allen is a Celtic name meaning ‘noble’ or ‘fair.

Alonzo

Alonzo is a super unique boy names from the 1800s. It’s an Italian and Spanish variant of the Germanic name, Alfonso. Alfonso means ‘noble’ and ‘ready’.

Alvin

Alvin is an English name meaning ‘wise friend’.

Amos

Amos means ‘load’ or ‘burden’. Amos was one of the 12 minor prophets in the Old Testament.

Andrew

Andrew is the English form of a Greek name, meaning ‘manly’ or ‘masculine’.

Anthony

Anthony comes from the Roman family name, Antonius. 

Anton

Anton is an English boy name which means ‘highly praiseworthy’.

Archie

A shortened form of Archibald, meaning ‘genuine’ and ‘bold’. Archie is a super cute Scottish boy name.

Arthur

The meaning of the name Arthur is unknown, but is perhaps from the Celtic meaning ‘bear’ and ‘man’ or ‘king’. Arthur is the mythic king of Britain renown in legend.

August

August comes from the Latin and literally means ‘to increase’. As a name, it mans ‘venerable’ or ‘esteemed’ and was given to emperors.

Bernard

Bernard comes from Germanic and combines the elements ‘bear’ and ‘brave’.

Benjamin

Benjamin comes from a Hebrew name meaning ‘son of the south’.

Bert

Shortened form of Albert, meaning ‘noble’ and ‘bright’.

Calvin

Calvin comes from the French surname Cauvin.

Carl

The German form of Charles, meaning ‘man’.

Cecil

Cecil is an English baby name that means ‘blind’. It comes from the Roman clan name, Caecilius.

Charles

Charles is a derivative of the Germanic name, Carl, which means ‘man’.

Charlie

Charlie is a nickname for Charles, which means ‘man’.

Chester

Chester originally was a last name which referred to a Roman town in Britain, and means ‘camp, fortress’.

Christopher

Christopher comes from a Greek name, meaning ‘bearing Christ’.

Clarence

Clarence was derived from a Latin title for members of the British family.

Claude

Clause is a French baby name that originates from the Latin name, Claudius. It means ‘stuttering’ or ‘limping’.

Clayton

Clayton was originally a surname meaning ‘clay settlement’ in Old English.

Cleveland

Cleveland is a name that originated as a surname, loosley translating from ‘clif lane’. 

Clifford

Clifford was originally a surname and means ‘a ford near a slope’.

Clinton

Clinton is a name that originated as an English surname. It means a settlement on a hill.

Clyde

The name Clyde is Gaelic in origin and comes from the Clyde river, in Scotland. 

Cornelius

Cornelius originally means ‘horn’. It is a Latin baby name. 

Curtis

Curtis is an English baby name which originally came from Norman French. It means ‘courteous’.

vintage names for boys from the 1800's

Daniel

Daniel is a Hebrew baby name and means ‘God is my judge’.

David

Hebrew name meaning ‘beloved’ or ‘uncle’.

Denis

Denis is the medieval French form of Dionysius, a common name for early saints in the Bible.

Earl

Originally an aristocratic title meaning ‘nobleman’ or ‘warrior’.

Edgar

Edgar is an English baby name which means ‘fortunate and powerful’.

Edmund

Edmund can be a given name or surname. It comes from Old English and means ‘prosperous’.

Edward

Edward means ‘rich guard’ and was the name of many kings. 

Edwin

Edwin means ‘rich friend’ and comes from Old English.

Elbert

Elbert means ‘noble’ and ‘bright’. It is a variation of Albert and comes from Old English.

Eli

In Hebrew, Eli means ‘ascension’.

Elijah

Elijah is a Hebrew name (the Latin form is Elias). It means ‘God is my Yahweh’.

Ellis

Ellis is the English version of Elias/Elijah. It means ‘God is my Yahweh’.

Elmer

Elmer is an Old English name that means ‘noble, famous’.

Emil

Emil comes from the Latin and means ‘excellent’. It’s a super unique boy name from the 1800s.

Emmett

Emmett was originally an English surname. This is one of my favorite old fashioned boy names!

Ernest

Ernest from from the Germanic name and means ‘serious’.

Eugene

Eugene means ‘well born’. It is the English version of an old Greek name. 

Everett

Everett was a surname, coming from the given name Everard. If you’re looking for a rugged, yet vintage, boy name, this is it! For more boy names with a rustic feel, click here!

Felix

In Latin, Felix means ‘lucky’ or ‘successful’. Felix is not overused, but has a vintage flair that is very trendy.

Floyd

Variation of Lloyd, meaning ‘grey-haired’ in Welsh.

Francis

Originally from the Latin name, Franciscus, this name means ‘Frenchman’.

Frank

Referring to a Germanic tribe, the Franks. Frank is one of many strong one syllable boy names you might just fall in love with.

Franklin

Franklin means ‘landowner’. It’s an old English name.

Frederick

Frederick is the English version of a German name meaning ‘peaceful ruler’.

George

George is originally from the Greek and means ‘farmer’.

Gilbert

Gilbert comes from the Germanic and means ‘bright pledge’.

Glenn

Originally a Scottish surname from the Gaelic word for ‘valley’.

Grover

Grover comes from the Germanic and means ‘digger’. Although it is now synonymous with the furry blue monster on Sesame Street, it was a popular name in the 19th century.

Gus

Shortened form of Angus or Augustus, meaning ‘one choice’. I love this popular boy name from the 1800s. Gus is such a cute three letter name for boys!

boy names from the 1800's

Guy

From the Norman French name, Wido, or a Hebrew variant of Gai.

Harley

Harley seems like it might be a modern name, honouring the Harley Davidson brand, but actually it’s a very old name, originally meaning ‘hare’s meadow’ in old English. 

Harold

Harold is an English name coming from Germanic elements meaning ‘power’ or ‘ruler’.

Harrison

Harrison is a surname meaning ‘son of Harry’, meaning ‘home ruler’.

Harry

Harry is a shortened form of Harold, but can also stand as a name in its own right and was quite popular in the 19th century. 

Harvey

Harvey is an English baby name that stems from an old Breton name meaning ‘blazing’.

Henry

A Germanic name meaning ‘home ruler’. Henry was brought to England by the Normans and was the name of many English kings.

Herbert

Herbert was originally a German baby name, which means ‘illustrious army’.

Herman

Herman is another Germanic baby name, meaning ‘soldier’.

Hiram

Hiram is a Hebrew baby name which literally means ‘my brother is exalted’. Hiram is a very underused boy name from the 1800s, so if you’re looking for a unique name, this could be it. 

Homer

Homer was an ancient Greek name which means ‘hostage, pledge’. Homer was the famed poet who wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Horace

Horace is an English baby name, meaning ‘timekeeper’.

Howard

Howard is an English baby name, that comes from Normandy. It means ‘brave heart’.

Hubert

Hubert is a German name, meaning ‘bright heart’.

Hugh

Originally stemming from the Germanic, Hugh means ‘heart, spirit, mind’.

Ira

Ira means ‘watchful’ in Hebrew.

Irvin

Variant of Irving.

Irving

Meaning ‘green water’, this was originally a surname.

Isaac

Issac is a Hebrew name meaning ‘he will laugh, he will rejoice’.

Jack

Originally Jack was a nickname for John. Although it seems like a very modern trend for Jack to be a given name rather than a nickname, Jack was very popular as a name in its own right in the 1800’s.

old fashioned names for boys

Jacob

Jacob is a Hebrew name from the Old Testament. It would mean ‘supplanter’ or may God protect’.

Jake

This one syllable baby name was is a variation of Jack, or a shortened form of Jacob, meaning ‘supplanter’.

James

English form of the Latin name, Iacomus and the name of two apostles from the New Testament.

Jasper

From the Hebrew, meaning ‘treasure’. Jasper was one of the three wise men, or magi, who visited baby Jesus in the bible.

Jay

Nickname for names like James or Jason.

Jerry

Jerry is a shortened form of Gerald. It is an English baby name and means ‘ruling spear’.

Jesse

Jesse is a Hebrew name, meaning ‘gift’.

Joe

Shortened version of Joseph, meaning ‘God will increase’.

John

Meaning ‘God is gracious’, two important figures in the New Testament are names John.

Joseph

Joseph is a Biblical name which means ‘he will add’.

Julius

Julius is a Roman name meaning either ‘downy-bearded’ or related to the Roman God, Jupiter. 

Lawrence

This two syllable name comes ‘from Laurentum’ (a city in the Roman Empire) in Latin. Lawrence is the Anglicized spelling of the name. 

Lee

Originally a surname meaning ‘clearing’.

Leo

Leo is a two syllable baby name meaning ‘lion’ in Latin. Leo is a great three letter boy name!

Leonard

Leonard is a Germanic name meaning ‘brave lion’.

Leroy

This French name means ‘the king’ which is its literal translation (le roi).

Leon

Leon is a French baby name that means ‘lion’.

Lester

Lester is an English baby name meaning ‘fortified place’.

Levi

In Hebrew, Levi means ‘joined’ or ‘attached’. It’s one of my favorite boy names from the 1800s

Lonnie

Lonnie can be a shortened version of the German name, Alonzo, meaning ‘ready for battle’, or can be a name in its own right. 

Louis/Lewis

Lewis is the English spelling, Louis is the French. Both mean ‘famous warrior’. Both were popular boy names in the 1800’s.

Luther

Luther is most commonly associated with the German surname. It can also be an English surname meaning ‘lute player’.

Mack

This one syllable boys name comes from a number of Scottish surnames, all beginning with Mac. Mac is the Gaelic word meaning son, and can also be used as a general slang term for ‘man’.

Manuel

Manuel comes from the Hebrew name Emmanuel. It means ‘God with us’.

Mark

Originally coming from the Latin name, Marcus, it was originally derived from the Roman god, Mars, who was the god of war. It means ‘male’.

Martin

Martin is originally from the Roman name, Martinus, which honoured the Roman god of war, Mars.

baby boy names

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marvin

Marvin is a Welsh name which means ‘sea hill’.

Marshall

Marshall is an Old French baby name meaning ‘a person who tends to horses’.

Matthew

Matthew was a Hebrew name meaning ‘gift of Yahweh’.

Maurice

Maurice is a Latin baby name which refers to a Moor.

Max

Shortened form of Maxwell (a Scottish surname meaning Mac’s stream) or Maximillian (from the Roman emperor, Maximus).

Melvin

Melvin is a Gaelic name that was originally a surname. It means ‘gentle chieftan’.

Michael

Michael comes from a Hebrew name meaning ‘who is like God?’. It’s a classic name that you can’t go wrong with!

Milton

Milton is an English name that means ‘settlement by a mill’.

Morris

Morris is an English version of Maurice, a French name which refers to Moorish people. 

Nathan

Nathan is a Hebrew name, meaning ‘he gave’.

Nelson

Nelson is an English name meaning ‘son of Neil.’

Nicholas

Nicholas is a Greek baby name, meaning ‘victory of the people’.

Noah

Noah is originally a Hebrew name meaning ‘rest’.

Norman

Norman is a Germanic  name meaning ‘North man’, referring to the Vikings. 

Oliver

Oliver is a baby name associated with the olive tree, which represents peace.

Oli

Ollie is a shortened form of Oliver, which is associated with an olive tree.

Oscar

Oscar is derived from Gaelic and means ‘dear friend’.

Otis

An English name originally stemming from the name, Otto, meaning ‘wealth’.

Otto

Otto is a German baby name meaning ‘wealthy’ or ‘prosperous’. It can also be a surname. 

Owen

The Anglicized version of Irish and Welsh name for Eugene, meaning wealth.

Patrick

Patrick originally comes from the Latin and means ‘nobleman’.

vintage boy names

Paul

Meaning ‘small’ or ‘humble’ in Latin, Paul comes from the Paulus family, an important Roman family. Paul was an important early Christian leader.

Percy

Percy was originally a surname, which refers to a Norman town.

Perry

Perry comes from a Welsh or English name that originally refers to a pear tree. 

Peter

Peter comes from the Greek word, petros, meaning ‘stone’.

Philip

Philip comes from the Greek and means ‘friend to horses’. Philip is a classic vintage boy name that still holds up today.

Ralph

Originally Ralph was a Scandinavian name, which was brough to England by the Normans. Originally it meant ‘consel’ and ‘wolf’ in Old Norse.

Ray

A shortened form of Raymond, coming from Old German and meaning ‘advice’ and ‘protector’.

Raymond

Meaning ‘advice’ and ‘protector’, Raymond has Germanic roots.

Richard

Richard is a popular traditional English baby name, originally meaning ‘brave power’ from Germanic. It’s been the name of a number of kings of England.

Robert

Robert is a very common traditional name meaning ‘bright fame’.

Roscoe

Roscoe is a Norse baby name. It means ‘deer forest.’ Roscoe is a very underused boy names from the 1800s that could be perfect if you’re looking for an uncommon vintage boy name.

Ross

A Scottish surname, coming from the Gaelic word for ‘headland’.

Roy

Anglicized version of Scottish name meaning ‘red’ or anglicized version of the French word for king.

Ruben

Ruben is Hebrew boy name that means ‘behold, a son’.

Rudolph

Although Rudolph is commonly associated with a flying reindeer, it was a popular name in the 1800’s. It comes from the Germanic and means ‘fame’ and ‘wolf’.

Rufus

Rufus is a Latin baby name which means ‘red headed’. Rufus is the perfect quirky boy name from the 1800s that is super cute and different!

Russell

Russell was originally a surname. It comes from the French and refers to someone with red hair.

Samuel

Samuel is derived from a Hebrew name meaning ‘name of God’ or ‘God has heard’. Samuel was a biblical figure from the Old Testament.

Sidney

Sidney was originally an English surname.

Silas

Silas is either a form of Silvanus, or a Greek version of the name Saul.

old fashioned boy names

Simon

Simon is the Greek form of a Hebrew name meaning ‘he has heard’.

Stanley

Stanley was originally a surname meaning ‘stone clearing’.

Stephen

Stephen comes from the Greek and means ‘crown’.

Sylvester

Sylvester is a Latin baby name and means ‘wooded’ or ‘wild’.

Theodore

Theodore is a Greek baby name meaning ‘God-given’.

Thomas

Thomas originally is Greek and means ‘twin’. Thomas was an apostle in the Bible.

Timothy

Timothy comes from the Greek and means ‘honouring God’.

Vernon

Vernon was originally a surname that comes from the Gaulish word for alder.

Victor

Victor is a Roman name, referring a victory or conquering. 

Virgil

Virgil comes from the Latin. It is derived from a Roman clan name, Vergilius.

Wallace

A Scottish or English surname, originally meaning ‘Welsh’ or ‘foreigner’. William Wallace was a 13th century Scottish hero who is a symbol of Scottish freedom and whose story was featured in the movie, Braveheart.

Walter

Walter means ‘ruler of an army’ and comes from the Germanic.

Warren

Warren comes from Norman French and refers to an ‘animal enclosure’.

Wesley

Wesley originally means ‘west meadow’ and was a surname before gaining popularity as a given name.

Wilbur

Wilbur was originally a surname which means ‘wild boar’.

Wiley

Wiley is an English name meaning ‘crafty’. It can also be a Scottish diminutive for William.

Willard

Williard is an English name derived from the Germanic. It means ‘desire’ and ‘brave’.

William

William originally comes from Old German and means ‘resolute protector’.

Willis

Willis is a variant of William, meaning ‘resolute protector’ from Old German.

Wilson

Wilson was originally an English surname meaning ‘son of William’.

Well mamas, those are my favorite boy names from the 1800s! I hope this helps you find the perfect old fashioned name for your son! 

Name meanings sources from Behind the Name.

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Old Fashioned Boy Names from the 1800's

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