1924 boy names1924 boy names often sound exactly like today’s favorites. There’s James and William in the Top Ten, with Jack not too far behind – just like the current list.

Except when you zoom out, the most popular names are wildly different, too. Harold and Kenneth, Ralph and Carl, Ernest and Earl. All Top 100 choices back then. Now? Not so much.

Conventional wisdom says that the most popular names from one hundred years ago will start to feel fresh and new today. Sometimes that’s true. At other times, a name needs to hibernate a little longer. And, of course, some names – or even some spellings or nicknames – do tumble into obscurity, forgotten.

This list is packed with a mix of familiar names that weren’t quite so common circa 1924 – check out Michael, Benjamin, and Leo, in the Top 100, but not where you might expect. Plus there are some rare names from the Top 1000 back then that are very, very rare now.

One of these might be exactly right for your twenty-first century boy.



From an Old Norse name meaning “all wise,” Alvis looks nothing like the most popular names of our moment. Or does it? With that middle V and final S, it’s not so far from Oliver and Hayes. One drawback? It would be probably be misheard as Elvis an awful lot. (In fact, it’s possible Elvis is simply a variant of this name.)


It looks like the masculine form of Cleo, and it might be. They both share the same Greek root: glory. If Leon can succeed today, Cleon has potential, too.


It’s not entirely clear where the word comes from, but a dock is a place to secure your boat, or the act of doing so. Space shuttles dock with the space station. Dock looks quite a bit like Jack, a nickname name with substance. It’s a surname, too, with various origins. Eighteenth century educator Christopher Dock is one notable.


Musician and bandleader brothers Jimmy Dorsey and Tommy Dorsey made their marks in the 1930s and 40s. The surname probably comes to English via a French place name, and there are plenty of Dorseys on the map in the US, too. It’s a little bit surprising as a given name, but feels very wearable and spirited.


The Late Roman Eligius became Eligio in Italian. Soften it some more, and it Eloi in French, and Eloy in Spanish. Saint Eligius lived in the 600s; a goldsmith by trade, he became a priest and is now patron saint of metalworkers.


An Old Testament prophet’s name, Hosea feels more accessible than ever after generations of boys answering to Joshua, Noah, and Elijah.


Clearly a last name in the first spot, Jennings is yet another surname – like Jackson and Johnson – ultimately derived from John.


This might be a place name. Or it could be a surname based on the masculine form of Muriel. Either way, Merrill sounds a little bit old school, but also nicely timeless.


Randolph sounds like a leading man from the bygone days of Hollywood. It’s one of those great Germanic/Scandi/Old English finds, from elements meaning “shield” and “wolf.” If you’re looking for a name that everyone has heard, but no one is using, Randolph feels like an option.


A popular place name, originally given to settlements on stony ground, Stanton sounds distinguished. It fits with so many ends-in-n boy names.


If Atticus and Maximus can rank in the US Top 300, why not Ulysses? It’s an adventure story we all sort of know, as well as a genre-defining modernist novel.


We love a good O-ending boy name. If Milo and Arlo can be mainstream favorites, maybe quirky Waldo stands a chance, too.

TOP 100 BOY NAMES of 1924

  1. Robert
  2. John
  3. William
  4. James
  5. Charles
  6. George
  7. Joseph
  8. Richard
  9. Edward
  10. Donald
  11. Thomas
  12. Frank
  13. Harold
  14. Paul
  15. Raymond
  16. Walter
  17. Jack
  18. Henry
  19. Kenneth
  20. Arthur
  21. Albert
  22. Harry
  23. Ralph
  24. David
  25. Eugene
  26. Howard*
  27. Carl*
  28. Louis
  29. Clarence*
  30. Willie*
  31. Roy
  32. Fred*
  33. Earl*
  34. Francis
  35. Joe
  36. Lawrence
  37. Ernest*
  38. Leonard
  39. Anthony
  40. Stanley
  41. Herbert*
  42. Norman*
  43. Alfred
  44. Calvin
  45. Samuel
  46. Bernard*
  47. Daniel
  48. Melvin
  49. Gerald*
  50. Marvin
  51. Leo
  52. Russell
  53. Leroy
  54. Michael
  55. Edwin
  56. Andrew
  57. Elmer*
  58. Warren
  59. Peter
  60. Ray
  61. Lloyd*
  62. Frederick
  63. Billy*
  64. Clifford*
  65. Theodore
  66. Floyd*
  67. Chester*
  68. Vernon*
  69. Clyde
  70. Herman*
  71. Philip
  72. Lester*
  73. Alvin
  74. Wayne
  75. Gordon
  76. Leon
  77. Lewis
  78. Vincent
  79. Glenn*
  80. Charlie
  81. Milton*
  82. Martin
  83. Lee
  84. Dale*
  85. Cecil*
  86. Jesse
  87. Wallace
  88. Harvey
  89. Benjamin
  90. Victor
  91. Sam
  92. Bill*
  93. Roger
  94. Allen
  95. Arnold*
  96. Edgar
  97. Willard*
  98. Roland
  99. Oscar
  100. Gilbert*

* Does not appear in current US Top 1000.

What are your favorite 1924 boy names?

1924 boy names

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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