Editor’s note: This post was one of the first ever published at AppMtn, on January 26, 2008, when the blog was a mere three days old. It was substantially revised and re-posted on Monday, March 19, 2012.
Are you a Brooks Brothers button-down kind of guy? Do you prefer your Thanksgiving turkey served on grandmother’s china with monogrammed table linens? Are you longing for a Silver Cross pram to take your new baby boy for a constitutional in the park?
Or maybe you’re one of the countless parents just plain frustrated with nouveau names. Nothing against Logan or Noah, but they’re as obviously tied to this generation as Jason and Kevin, Donald and Frank.
Let’s say you’re longing for a classic, a name impossible to tie to a decade of birth, a name that can’t betray the bearer’s age.
If so, your list is short. As of 2010, there are only three boys’ names that never left the US Top Twenty. In 2008, that number was four. Expand your search to include those never out of the Top 100 and you have a total of a dozen.
Can you guess what they are?
The elite trio that has always charted at #20 or more popular is as follows:
There’s a second tier of nearly-as-popular picks, names never out of the Top 50:
- John – When this post originally appeared in 2008, John was also a member of the Big Three. Since then, he’s fallen, ranking just #26 in 2010. Make no mistake, John is still an evergreen choice. But he isn’t nearly as common as he once was.
A few more names have never been out of the Top 75:
Two more have never been out of the Top 100:
There’s one more that just barely missed the list: Anthony. He appeared just outside the Top 100 a few times in the 1880s.
It isn’t quite fair to say that names failing to make this list aren’t classics. Most would conside Henry and George timeless. But strictly speaking they’re more subject to the vagaries of style than you might guess.