Where Are The Traditional But Rare Boys' Names?
- Stuck for Boys' Names
Why does it seem like the world is full of girls' names that are traditional and attractive but uncommon, while boys' names of that description are rare birds?
We can try to blame history. In generations past, boys' names didn't go in and out of fashion as much as girls' so there aren't as many neglected antique boys' names to revive.
I believe, though, that the biggest factor isn't the names themselves so much as our standards for them. We tend to ask something special of a "traditional, masculine" name. We ask it to be in English.
Compare your daughters' names, Genevieve and Ariana, to your male specimen Frederick. Genevieve and Ariana are imports: Genevieve a distinctly French name that had a brief American vogue in the early 20th Century, and and Ariana a variant of the Italian name Arianna ("Ariadne"). But Frederick, while it has German roots, is an American staple, familiar in English for centuries. Famous examples range from the Jane Austen hero Captain Frederick Wentworth to the abolitionist writer Frederick Douglass.
Since you're interested in coordinating your son's name with his sisters', let's try sweeping the slate clean and starting again. Taking the girls' names you love as our starting point, where does the path lead? It leads abroad.
If you're willing to consider the naming traditions of other languages, you'll find a whole new field of traditional, masculine possibilities. Some, like Giuseppe and Stanislaw, might seem a little too tied to a single national origin. But in this age of the European Union, names that cross borders easily are hot choices.
I recommend scanning lists of popular names around the world for globe-trotting ideas. European hits such as Raphael, Dominik, Tobias, Dimitri, Fabian and Marius could fill your requirements...and coordinate better with Genevieve and Ariana than any English-only name could hope to do.