Names That Mean Champion

  1. Oscar
    • Origin:

      English or Irish
    • Meaning:

      "God spear, or deer-lover or champion warrior"
    • Description:

      Oscar is one of the most stylish Old Man Names of our era. While it's softened slightly in popularity over the past 20 years, that may be considered a very good thing.
  2. Nolan
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "champion"
    • Description:

      The friendly and sporty feeling Nolan blends some of the best qualities of other popular boy names. With the gentle but energetic sounds of Noah, a hint of the classic Nicholas, and the cool, surname-style vibe of Greyson or Colton, it makes for a familiar and grounded choice.
  3. Niall
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "cloud"
    • Description:

      Niall is pronounced nye-al--something like Neil, but this Irish spelling of the name makes it much more current and cool.
  4. Neil
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "cloud"
    • Description:

      Always the top spelling of the name; Neil peaked in the 1950s, but then enjoyed a second coming following the fame of such Neils as astronaut Armstrong and singers Sedaka, Diamond, and Young. Now semiretired.
  5. Nolan
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "champion"
    • Description:

      An increasingly viable option for girls, perhaps influenced by the rise of similar-sounding Nola and unisex names more generally.
  6. Nile
    • Origin:

      River name, color name, or variation of Niall, Irish
    • Meaning:

      "champion"
    • Description:

      Water names are a cool category these days, and this one of the famous Egyptian river is no exception. It streamlines the fussier Niles and also may be thought of as a color name, meaning dark blue or indigo.
  7. Rooney
    • Origin:

      English or Gaelic surname
    • Meaning:

      "descendent of the champion"
    • Description:

      Talented actress Rooney Mara (originally born Patricia Rooney) has single-handedly transformed this Gaelic surname into a wearable and elegant girls' name. Often said to mean "red-haired", the original surname, rendered as O' Ruanaidh, actually means "descendent of the champion". Trivia note: the most famous Rooney, Mickey Rooney, was originally born Joseph Yule.
  8. Kendrick
    • Origin:

      English and Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "royal ruler, champion"
    • Description:

      Punchy surname name that found some favor in the last couple of decades—potentially due to rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was one of the quickest rising boy names in 2013 when it reached its high point at #318.
  9. Rooney
    • Origin:

      English or Gaelic surname
    • Meaning:

      "descendent of the champion"
    • Description:

      Rooney is one of many bouncy Irish surnames that could make an agreeable first, once tied to Mickey Rooney (who was actually born Joseph Yule) in his young and spunky Andy Hardy period.
  10. Neal
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "champion or cloud"
    • Description:

      Always the less common spelling of Irish classic Neil, Neal has been on a fifty-year slide, and now doesn't even make the Top 1000. It has a streamlined, surnamey appeal in this spelling.
  11. Carlin
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little champion"
    • Description:

      While the lin ending is more commonly found in girls' names, Carlin is an authentic Irish male choice and was used just about evenly for both sexes in the US last year.
  12. Carlin
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little champion"
    • Description:

      Stronger and more contemporary twist on Carla or Carly, Carlin was used just about equally for girls and boys in the US last year.
  13. Kendrix
    • Origin:

      Variation of Kendrick, English and Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "royal ruler, champion"
    • Description:

      This invented name — a hybrid of Kendrick and Hendrix — was bound to happen.
  14. Neil
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "cloud"
    • Description:

      One of the boys' names that sounds fresher today for a girl. Second-best-spelling for boys, Neal, may work even better for girls.
  15. Runyon
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "son of a champion"
    • Description:

      Runyon is an Irish surname with considerable flair; some will connect it with Guys and Dolls writer Damon Runyon.
  16. Curran
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "hero, champion"
    • Description:

      Curran is a curry-flavored Irish surname-y name that could work as well for girls as boys. Curran can be a fresher spin on the Twilight-inflected Cullen.