Top Three Syllable Names for Boys
Description:Oliver derives from Olivier, the Norman French variation of the Ancient Germanic name Alfher or the Old Norse Aleifr, which comes from Olaf. Olivier emerged as the dominant spelling for its associations with the Latin word oliva, meaning "olive tree." Oliver was used as a given name in medieval England after the spread of the French epic poem ‘La Chanson de Roland,’ which features a character named Olivier.
Meaning:"Yahweh is God"
Description:Elijah is derived from the Hebrew name Eliyahu, composed of the elements ’el and yah, both of which refer to God. In the Old Testament, Elijah was the prophet who went to heaven in a chariot of fire. Elias is the related, Greek variation of Elijah.
Meaning:"son of the right hand"
Description:Benjamin is derived from the Hebrew name Binyamin, from the elements ben, meaning “son” and yamin, “right hand.” In the Old Testament, Benjamin was the youngest of the twelve sons of Jacob and Rachel in the Book of Genesis, and he was one of the founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. Nicknames for Benjamin include Ben, Benny, Benji, and Benno.
Origin:Latin from Greek
Meaning:"person from ancient city of Sebastia"
Description:Sebastian is derived from the Greek Sebastianos, meaning “from Sebastia.” Sebastia was a city in Asia Minor—modern day Sivas, Turkey. Sebastian is a name with a substantial history, first as the third-century martyr whose sufferings were a favorite subject of medieval artists, then as the name of memorable characters in such varied works as Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and The Tempest and Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited.
Description:Anthony is derived from the Roman family name Antonii, and was initially used as Antony, without the “h.” The name evolved into Anthony in the 17th century, when it was speculated that it derived from the Greek word anthos, meaning “flower.” In England, whether it's spelled Anthony or Antony, the name is often pronounced as the latter, while Americans typically utter the “h” if present.
Origin:Greek and Latin
Meaning:"bearer of Christ"
Description:Christopher derived from the Greek Christophoros, which is composed of the elements Christos, referring to Christ, and phero, meaning “to bear.” The name was originally used figuratively, to represent the bearing of Christ in one’s heart. Later it became used to honor Saint Christopher, a third century martyr who became the protective saint of travelers, reflecting the legend of Christopher being the giant who carried the Christ Child over a river.
Description:At the rate it's growing, Maverick soon won't seem like such a maverick anymore. Heard first in a 1950s James Garner western TV series, and then as the Tom Cruise character in Top Gun, Maverick symbolizes an unfettered, free spirit.
Meaning:"God supports, heals"
Description:Josiah is derived from Yoshiyahu, a Hebrew name from the components yoshi, meaning “support,” and Yahu, referring to the Hebrew god. In the Old Testament, Josiah was an upright king of Judah from the age of eight, after his father Amon was murdered. Josias is a related Latin variation that is found in some biblical translations.
Meaning:"Salvation of the Lord"
Description:Isaiah derives from the Hebrew Yesha’yahu, containing the elements yasha’, meaning “to save,” and yah, in reference to the Hebrew god. The biblical Isaiah, son of Amos, was the most important of the major prophets, with an Old Testament book named for him. He prophesized that the Children of Israel would be exiled from their homeland, but that God would bring the back.
Description:Cameron is a popular Scottish name, for both boys and now girls (thanks to Cameron Diaz). With its good-looking, sensitive aura, Cameron has also generated a deluge of variant spellings.
Description:Ezekiel is derived from the Hebrew name Yechezqel, composed of the elements chazaq, meaning “to strengthen,” and ’el, referring to God. Ezekiel is a prominent prophet in the Old Testament and the author of the Book of Ezekiel, predicting the fall of Jerusalem and eventual rehabilitation of Israel.
Meaning:"gift of Jehovah"
Description:Jonathan was derived from the Hebrew name Yehonatan, eventually contracted to the modern Yonatan, meaning “gift of Jehovah.” It comes from the elements yeho, in reference to God, and natan, meaning “to give.” In the Old Testament, Jonathan was the valiant eldest son of King Saul, and it was his friendship with brother-in-law David that gave rise to the expression "Jonathan and David" to describe devoted, steadfast friends.
Origin:Place-name or Latin
Description:Santiago is a spirited Spanish name with great crossover potential: a place-name (it's a city in Chile), a surname, and the patron saint of Spain. It's a name on the rise in the charts.
Meaning:"appointed by God"
Description:Jeremiah is a solid Old Testament prophet name that has gradually taken the place of the now dated Jeremy, Gerard and Gerald, joining other currently popular biblical 'iah' names like Josiah and Isaiah. In the Bible Jeremiah is a famous prophet whose story is recorded in the book named after him.
Meaning:"son of James"
Description:This is a strong new James varietal, sometimes shared by girls. An original way to honor Grandpa Jim, Jameson is swiftly moving up the charts, entering the Top 100 for the first time ever in 2017. Jameson is one of the hottest boy names starting with J, still the most popular first initial for boys' names. One small caveat: Jameson is also a brand of whiskey.
Origin:Italian and Spanish variation of Leonard, German
Description:For centuries this name was associated primarily with the towering figure of Italian Renaissance painter-scientist-inventor Leonardo da Vinci, and was scarcely used outside the Latin culture. But then along came Leonardo DiCaprio, who was supposedly given the name because his pregnant mother felt her first kick while looking at a da Vinci painting in the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence, and who would make the name young and handsome and multi-cultural.
Leonardo is a popular choice among other attractive Italian and Spanish names for boys, and its cousin Leo is popular as well.
Meaning:"people of victory"
Description:Nicholas is derived from the Greek Nikolaos, a name that evolved from the components nikē, meaning “victory”, and laos, “people.” It shares origins with Nike, the name of the Greek goddess of victory. Nicholas is also a New Testament name that is well-used in literature, such as in Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby.
Meaning:"belonging to the lord"
Description:Dominic comes from the Latin name Dominicus and is common in the Roman-Catholic community. In the past it has been given to boys born on Sunday—the word “Sunday” in languages including Spanish and French shares Dominic’s roots. In use in the English-speaking world since medieval times, its most famous bearer was St. Dominic, founder of the Dominican order of monks in the thirteenth century.
Origin:English variation of the German Eberhard
Meaning:"brave as a wild boar"
Description:Everett is a statesmanlike, wintry New England name whose recent leap in popularity can be credited to its similarity to trendy girls’ names such as Eva and Ava. Its high point was about a century ago, when Everett was a Top 100 name.
Meaning:"son of Harry"
Description:Harrison, a name made viable by Harrison Ford, is increasingly popular with parents who want an H name that's more formal than Harry or Hank but doesn't veer into the stiff Huntington-Harrington territory.
Origin:Italian variation of John
Meaning:"God is gracious"
Description:Giovanni is a venerable Italian classic that suddenly sounds fresh and cool. Ubiquitous in Italy, it has countless notable namesakes, from writer Boccaccio to designer Versace (nn Gianni).
Meaning:"gift of God"
Description:Nathaniel was derived from the Hebrew name Netan’el, meaning “gift of God,” composed of the elements natan, meaning “to give,” and ’el, in reference to God. The name is featured several times in the Old and New Testaments, typically spelled Nathanael. In the New Testament, Nathanael is also known by his other name, Bartholomew.
Meaning:"the Lord has remembered"
Description:Zachary is the English variation of Zacharias, which itself is derived from the Hebrew name Zechariah. The name Zachary is attached to eight different people in the Bible, the most prominent being the father of John the Baptist, and it's also presidential, via 12th president Zachary Taylor. Zackery is an alternate spelling, and nicknames include Zack, Zach, Zac, and Zak.
Meaning:"God is with us"
Description:Emmanuel--spelled with one or two 'm's'-- was popular with early Jewish immigrants, until overused nickname Manny caused it to fade. Now, this important biblical name is being revived in its full glory.
Origin:Italian variation of Laurence
Description:Latinizing Lawrence gives it a whole new lease on life. Like Leonardo, Lorenzo has been integrated into the American stockpot of names, partly via actor Lorenzo Lamas. Other associations are with Lorenzo de' Medici, the Florentine Renaissance merchant prince and art patron, Renaissance artists Ghiberti and Lotto, and the upstanding young man who married Shylock's daughter Jessica in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.
Description:An Old Testament name with a Gaelic lilt, Malachi entered the list in 1987.
Origin:Variation of Elliot
Meaning:"Jehovah is God"
Description:One of the four perfectly proper spellings of this name ranging from the spare (but poetic) Eliot to the full-blown Elliott.
Origin:Spelling variation of Tiago, diminutive of Santiago
Description:Some high-profile soccer stars, such as Thiago Silva, have contributed to its success. The correct Portuguese pronunciation is chee-AH-go.
Origin:Spanish and Italian variation of Anthony
Description:Antonio is a Shakespearean favorite -- the Bard used it in no less than five of his plays, and has long been a ubiquitous classic in Spanish-speaking countries, where the nickname Tonio is also prevalent. Antonio is also among an elite group of perennially popular names in the US, where it has always been among the boys' Top 1000 since baby name record-keeping started in 1880.
Origin:Aramaic word name
Meaning:"expected savior or deliverer"
Description:A handful of years ago, a judge in Tennessee ruled that parents could not name their son Messiah, "because there's only one." That decision has since been overturned.
Description:A second-tier classic, the New Testament Timothy moves in and out of fashion more than John and James. But though it peaked in the 1960s, many modern parents still appreciate its familiarity and lively rhythm. And the short form Tim feels eternally boyish.
Meaning:"father of multitudes"
Description:Abraham is among the most classic baby names that's still widely-used today, popular for its references to both the Bible and American history. The Biblical Abraham was the first of the Old Testament patriarchs and is considered the founding father of the Jewish people. He was originally named Abram, until, according to Genesis, he was told, "No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations."
Origin:Spelling variation of Nicholas
Meaning:"people of vistory"
Description:Nicolas is the French and Spanish form, or streamlined spelling, of Nicholas, popularized by actor Nicolas Cage.
Meaning:"ruler of the elves"
Description:Avery's a last-name-first-name being used increasingly for girls -- perhaps because of Avery's similarity to Ava and Ivory. It's still well-used for boys and is one of today's most popular unisex names. About 2000 baby boys were named Avery in 2018, compared with about 8000 baby girls.
Description:An originally male name also used for girls, mostly because of its soft sound and vowel ending. Related to names and words in a range of languages—Yoruba, Thai, Hebrew—and with a variety of positive meanings.
Origin:Greek, from Semitic Adonai
Description:The name of a figure from Greek mythology, Adonis is a high-pressure name often synonymous with masculine beauty. Nonetheless, many mythological names that would have previously been deemed off limits have made their way up the popularity charts—for instance, Penelope currently ranks highly for girls. And indeed, Adonis was one of the fastest-rising boys' names of 2016, moving up 307 spots on the U.S. popularity chart in just one year.
Origin:Spanish and Italian variation of Emil
Description:Dashing and popular Italian and Spanish favorite, as is Emiliano.
Meaning:"place on a riverbank"
Description:Remington Steele was the perfect name for an upper-crust action hero on 1980s television. Now, Remington is catching fire along with a new generation of predatory baby boy names such as Hunter, Gunner, and Colt. Or you might consider it a unisex namewith a buttoned-up British feel and the friendly short form Rem or Remy.
Origin:English form of Jeremiah
Meaning:"appointed by God"
Description:This one-time trendy form of Jeremiah hovered just outside the Top 25 throughout the 1970s and 80s.
Description:The powerful name of the powerful character played by Russell Crowe in the 2000 film Gladiator first appeared on the popularity charts that same year. Max to the max. One time considered a "too much name" name, Maximus has entered the realm of possibility.
Meaning:"son of Emery"
Description:Emerson is a dignified, somewhat serious name associated with transcendental thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson. Much more popular now for girls since Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher used it for her daughter, it is definitely still a viable boys name.
Origin:Greek from Hebrew
Meaning:"God is good"
Description:Tobias is the Greek form of the Hebrew Tobiah, which was derived from the name Toviyah. Toviyah was created from the elements tov, meaning "good" and yah, representing the Hebrew God. Tobias is the name of several biblical figures but is primarily associated with the story of Tobias and the Angel.
Description:Malachi is familiar enough that you don't need to use the trendy k variation.
Origin:Spanish and Portuguese variation of Francis
Meaning:"Frenchman or free man"
Description:Francisco is one of the more popular Spanish names for boys in the US, which is unsurprising given its popularity back in Spain and Portugal as well as Latin America, coupled with its classic status. It also has a cool hipster vibe to it, given the reputation of the city of San Francisco.
Origin:Spelling variation of Cameron
Description:Now that there are more and more girl Camerons, this has become a very popular spelling for boys -- as are the condensed Kamron and Kamren.
Description:Atticus derives from the Greek Attikos, meaning "from Attica," the Ancient Greek region that contained Athens. Atticus is a literary name in more ways than one. Before it became synonymous with Atticus Finch, the name Atticus was associated with Titus Pomponius Atticus, a Roman literary figure.
Meaning:"son of Anders"
Description:Anderson shot up quite a bit on the popular names list in the 2000's, no doubt in large part due to the prominence of white-haired cable newsman Anderson Cooper. Perhaps surprisingly though, Anderson was even higher on the list in 1880. Actress Edie Falco named her son Anderson in 2005. Though there haven't been many first-named Anderson namesakes, there have been countless notables bearing the surname, including Hans Christian, Marian, Maxwell, Sherwood, Gillian, Laurie, and Pamela.
Description:There are over five hundred names for the Arab prophet who founded the Muslim religion (some of which are listed below), making it the most common boys' name in the world and explaining the Muslim adage, "If you have a hundred sons, name them all Muhammad."
Description:Old-school Italian name that could find new fans thanks to singer Adele, who chose it for her son after months of baby name mystery. Angelo is in the same name category as Rocco, the name of Madonna's son, and may get a fresh coat of cool.
Origin:Spanish and Italian variation of Edward
Description:A stalwart of Latin nomenclature that could work just as well for Anglos. Proof lies with the celebrity birth announcement — Hilaria and Alec Baldwin named their fifth child Eduardo Pau Lucas in 2020.