Names generally skip a generation or two before they come back into vogue—so when it comes to up-and-coming baby name options, try your local retirement community! Grandpa names have become especially popular for boys lately, as celebrities have picked “old man” names for their baby boys. Several recent celeb babies have scored the name Gus; Bridesmaids actor Chris O’Dowd chose Art (likely short for Arthur) for his new son; and Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis picked Otis for their son.
Interested in following this trend? Here are a few other grandpa names that seem ready for resurrection for the new generation of boys—and in some cases, even girls. (We’ve seen a few girls sporting Winston, Walter, and Lionel!)
Hugo There was the kids’ movie a few years back—and of course, Ron and Hermione picked it for their son in the Harry Potter series. Plus it has a great meaning: “intellect.”
Leopold You get the cool “Leo” nickname from this old-school name that means “brave people.” Leopold hasn’t seen the top 1000 since the 1920s, making it a truly vintage name.
Nelson Pay homage to South African civil rights fighter (and former president) Nelson Mandela with this name pick, which is currently trending just outside the top 600 names.
Winston This is a winning name, associated with Britain’s famed WWII era prime minister, Winston Churchill. There’s been a sharp and sudden increase in popularity in this one over the past few years. (Maybe it’s because of its definition: wine’s town!)
Quincy Skip the overpopular (and increasingly girly) Quinn and go for this old-school version, made popular by a 1970s TV show, Quincy, M.E., and of course, an early U.S. President. It literally means “fifth son,” but you don’t have to save it for that particular person.
Wallace Animated characters Wallace and Gromit, and cool Veronica Mars BFF Wallace Fennel haven’t helped this name rejoin the top 1000 yet, but give it time. I like “Ace” as an offbeat nickname from this one.
Walter Walter is starting to see a small uptick in popularity, after being on a slow and steady decline since the 1930s. It means ruler.
Lionel You’ll find another path to Leo through this old-school name, which actually means young lion. Singer Lionel Richie and legendary actor Lionel Barrymore are the most noted bearers of the name.
Wilfred I’m loving this old-school name as a way to pay homage to a William AND a Fred in your past. (And because it was given to one of my favorite Doctor’s companions on Doctor Who.) Plus, you have a choice of cute nicknames: Will or Freddie.
Alfred This close companion to Wilfred is the more commonly used name. It’s been on a steady downtick here, but it’s experiencing a bit of a renaissance in England, where kids are even getting the nickname “Alfie” as their official name. It’s the name of a legendary English king, the founder of the Nobel prize, and famed movie director Hitchcock.
Oscar This top 200 favorite is often associated with the Grouchy green Sesame Street character, but it has a wonderful meaning: champion.
Harry England’s wild about Harry, a top 10 favorite across the pond, thanks to their Prince and the boy wizard. Here, it still dwells near the bottom of the top 1000.
Vernon Vince Vaughn picked this poetic name, which means “place of alders,” for his son—I can see it catching on for non-celeb parents, too.
Tell us: What grandpa names are you loving these days? What other ones would you like to see make a comeback—and are there some that you think won’t ever make it back into vogue (we’re looking at you, Wilbur!)
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