Can this name shed his grandpa image and be worn by boys today?

Thanks to Whitney for suggesting Stanley as Baby Name of the Day.

Stanley started out as a surname, and an aristocratic one, too – the family has held the title Earl of Derby since the fifteenth century.

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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What do you think?


  1. This is one of the few names that I have a strong, personal negative connotation with. When I was nine I went to a month-long performing arts summer camp with other kids of both genders and various ages. There was an older boy (maybe 12?) attending the camp who gave me the CREEPS! He followed me around constantly and was always telling me how much he liked me. His name was Stanley and it took me years to hear the name without shivering.

  2. Nobody mentioned Flat Stanley! That’s my first thought when I see the name: It’s a children’s book.

    A little Stan would fit in with Max and Gus etc.

    It does have an un-cool vibe to me, but maybe it’s so far out that it’s in again. 😉 😛

  3. Sebastiane – yes, I remember seeing that during the campaigning in ’08. I have to agree with Names4Real – it is not good on a girl, regardless of the reason! Do you think the parents of the girl you spotted were inspired by Obama’s mom? I’m thinking probably so. Wish they’d have picked Malia, Natasha or Sasha, Michelle, heck, even Bo the dog has a better name for a baby girl!

  4. Stanley was Barack Obama’s mother’s real name. As an adult, she went by her middle name of Anne, but I believe as a child her family called her Stanley. She was named for her father.

  5. Not a Stanley fan, but I found a BA for a girl named Stanley the other day, and I’m definitely not a fan of it for a girl!!!!


      1. That list really annoys me. Sometimes I strongly disagree with Nameberry. The only ones I can picture on a girl are Jay (as a nickname for any name beginning with J), Jules as a nickname for Julia, Juliet, etc and Mel for Melody or Melanie. It especially bothers me how Arthur is there. Arthur’s a classic in my book. And I think I would kill myself if I was named Barry, Floyd, or Virgil. Who could do that to a child?!?!

  6. Not a fan of Stan. It’s too nasal when I hear it. Plus, I grew up with a Stanley family friend (my parents’ friend) and his son, Stanley Jr. (my age)… and there were some real negative associations, unfortunately, with the two of them – it doesn’t really help the name for me.

    Wow – Oliver Stanley? Laurel and Hardy fan much? But the name does work (I just can’t NOT like Oliver!)

    1. I don’t know if you saw it in the last post, but I really like your name 🙂

      1. Thanks, UrbanAngel! I quite like it too… although I do know it has become quite popular in England and Aus. My mom did a pretty good job with names, I think… and I’m thankful! (She also considered Priscilla and I canNOT imagine being a Priscilla!)

  7. Stanley was extremely popular among Polish-Americans at the turn of the century. It was used as an Anglicization for Stanislaw. In fact, it was so common among them, that some areas refered to any Polish guy as Stan or Stanley. I have a few great uncles who used this as their English name, and as a result, I think of an old Polish man. I do think its kind of cool. I have always really liked it.

    1. I think Stan Musial was a Stanislaw – at least, I know he was Polish!

  8. You’re right Urban Angel – he is Stan! I find Stan tremendously appealing – more so than Max or Gus, I think, mostly because I know a bunch of little boys called Max and Gus and no Stans – yet! I also know a very cool couple who called their firstborn Oliver Stanley.

    1. I thought you liked Stan 🙂

      I know, I’m not a fan of Gus at all. It’s a pity, because I ADORE August & there aren’t ANY nicknames for it that I like.

      1. Did you see Sophie Kinsella just had another boy? She called him Rex . He joins Freddy,Hugo & Oscar

        Oh, for fans of the Shopaholic books, Mini Shopaholic is going to be out on Sep 16 I think ! The cover has been revealed 🙂

      2. Oh, I like those names – although Rex is a little OTT for me… Frederick, Hugo, and Oscar all made our list… (And I admit, I do like Gus, which I think goes better with the first 3 names of her sons)… Wow – 4 boys!

  9. I ‘think’ the male lead in JLO’s movie the Back-Up Plan is called Stan in the movie. I don’t find it vocally pleasing, so it’s not for me. I

    To be brutally honest, I feel sorry for kids with Archibald/Hupert as a FN. Plus, the nicknames don’t really help it either. But then again, there are names that I love that other’s hate & would think ‘Why in the world would she ever ….” So, it’s just not my preference.

  10. I am really not a fan of Stanley. My boyfriend’s father is a Stanley Jr. Much to my relief, my boyfriend is not the third. Otherwise the obligation to have a Stanley IV might have been a deal breaker (not really, but it just seems so out of fashion)