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Scottish Names for Boys

Scottish names for boys such as Alistair and Tavish strike a strong balance between familiarity and distinctiveness, which many parents are seeking in their baby name search. Scottish boys names also often have nice cultural references, from "Macbeth" to "Outlander." Scottish names for boys shouldn't be restricted only to those with Scottish ancestry, at least not the appealing ones on our list of Scottish boys names.

Here is our full list of boy names with Scottish origins. The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.

LoganHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "small hollow"
  • Description:

    Logan originated as a Scottish surname which was derived from a place of that name in Ayrshire. The place name came from lagan, a Scottish Gaelic diminutive of lag, meaning “hollow.” Alternate spellings include Logon, Logen, and Logyn, which is more common among girls.

CameronHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish surname
  • Meaning:

    "crooked nose"
  • 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.

IanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish version of John
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord is gracious"
  • Description:

    Ian is Scottish form of John, derived from the Hebrew name Yohanan. It is an Anglicization of the Scottish Gaelic Iain, which is also a viable spelling. Ian was introduced to Americans by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.

CarsonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of the marsh-dwellers"
  • Description:

    Carson is one of the most long-running popular androgynous baby names, with a dash of the Wild West via the legendary Missouri frontiersman Kit Carson. Dating back to when it was the name of Nancy Drew's Dad, Carson is still steadily in the Top 100 baby names.

    Current Carsons include TV personalities Carson Daly and Carson Kressley, and Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer. Carson Wells was the bounty hunter character played by Woody Harrelson in No Country for Old Men, and Carson is the name chosen by actress Kathryn Erbe for her son.

RowanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "rowan tree; little redhead"
  • Description:

    Rowan – a strong surname and nature name (it's a tree with red berries) – is deservedly growing in popularity. Some scholars identify Rowan as originally a girls’ name, related to Rowena and Rhonwen, while others say Rowan's always been used for both genders. Sharon Stone chose the Roan spelling, which also relates to the reddish color, for her son, while Brooke Shields used Rowan for her daughter. Yet another increasingly popular spelling is Rowen.

MaxwellHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "great stream"
  • Description:

    A happy medium between the weighty Maximilian and the laid-back Max, Maxwell is one of the most classic and attractive Scottish names. Early influences on the name's revival include Maxwell Smart of the television show, and then movie, Get Smart, and the Beatles song about Maxwell's Silver Hammer.

CamdenHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "winding valley"
  • Description:

    Camden is a surprise hit, probably as a result of some star baby cred: it has been chosen by no less than four celebrity parents since 2012. Camden is a Jersey Boy name, along with equally popular Trenton -- these are two cases where the names are more attractive than the places that inspired them.

BrodyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, English, and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "broad eye or broad island"
  • Description:

    The energetic Brody is a name that claims different meanings and origins depending on whether you're looking at its Irish, Scottish, or English history -- and Eastern Europeans claim a version too. An alternate spelling is Brodie.

GrahamHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "gravelly homestead"
  • Description:

    Well used in England and Scotland since the fifties, the smooth and sophisticated Graham is catching on here.

GrantHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish from French
  • Meaning:

    "large"
  • Description:

    One-time beach-boy compadre of Glenn, Greg, and Gary that originated as a nickname for a tall person, Grant has become a no-nonsense, career-oriented grown-up and one that is seeing new appreciation. It was chosen for his son by actor Morris Chestnut. It has cultural cred via artist Grant Wood, whose best known painting is 'American Gothic.'

BryceHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Brice, Scottish surname
  • Meaning:

    "speckled, freckled"
  • Description:

    This spelling of Brice relates the name to Utah's spectacular Bryce Canyon -- and is much more popular for both genders than the original Brice. Basketball's LeBron James named his son Bryce Maximus James, and in one of his early movies, John Cusack played a Bryce in Sixteen Candles.

KnoxHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "round hill"
  • Description:

    Knox is an old Scottish surname that Brad Pitt (whose great-great-grandfather was named Hal Knox Hillhouse) and Angelina Jolie took out of the back cupboard, dusted off, and elevated to coolness--to the point where it entered the popular baby names list in 2009. Knox now ranks among the most influential celebrity baby names.

ColinHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Nicholas or Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "pup"
  • Description:

    Thanks to its dashing Anglo-Irish image--due partly to Colins Firth and Farrell-- and its c-initialed two-syllable sound, Colin and its cousin Collin have enjoyed a long run of popularity, reaching as high as Number 84 in 2004.

MalcolmHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "devotee of St. Colomba"
  • Description:

    Malcolm is a warm and welcoming Scottish appellation (originally Mael-Colium) that fits into that golden circle of names that are distinctive but not at all odd. A royal name in Scotland, Malcolm is also a hero name for many via radical civil rights activist Malcolm X.

LennoxHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "elm grove"
  • Description:

    Lennox is an aristocratic and powerful Scottish surname name made truly special by that final x. The worldwide fame of British boxer--World and Olympic champion--Lennox Claudius Lewis brought the name into the spotlight as a first name, while as a last it's tied to Eurythmics singer Annie L.

FinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired hero"
  • Description:

    Finley is a Scottish royal name (it belonged to Macbeth's father) riding the wave of Finn names. Chris O'Donnell used it for one of his sons, and Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn did a gender switch when they named their daughter Finley.

KyleHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "narrow spit of land"
  • Description:

    Kyle is still appreciated by thousands of parents each year for its combination of simplicity, strength, and style; it was in the Top 20 for most of the nineties. As a Scottish surname, it dates back to the fifteenth century.

CallumHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish form of Columba, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "dove"
  • Description:

    Callum was derived from Latin Columba, a unisex given name meaning "dove." Callum was popular among early Christians because the dove was a symbol of purity, peace and the Holy Spirit. St. Columba was one of the most influential of the early Celtic saints.

KendrickHeart

  • Origin:

    English and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "royal ruler, champion"
  • Description:

    Harsh name that found some favor in the last couple of decades—potentially due to rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was one of the quickest rising baby names in 2013 when it reached its high point at Number 318.

CollinHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Colin and Collins
  • Description:

    Thanks to its dashing British image and c-initialed two-syllable sound, Colin/Collin has enjoyed a long run of popularity.

BruceHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and English from French
  • Meaning:

    "from the brushwood thicket"
  • Description:

    Bruce is a Norman place name made famous by the Scottish king Robert the Bruce, who won Scotland's independence from England in the fourteenth century. It's perennially popular in Scotland, but has been rarely used here for a generation -- though the impact of Bruces Lee, Springsteen, Dern and Willis, as well as Batman's Bruce Wayne -- still lingers. At one time Bruce was so widespread in Australia, it became a nickname for any Ozzie man. An interesting alternative is Brix, the Normandy place name where the Bruce family originated.

MackHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish or Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son of"
  • Description:

    Mack, when "formalized" with the final k, makes an engagingly amiable choice, a far more

KeithHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "wood"
  • Description:

    Strong but gentle, Keith is one of the Scottish surnames that, along with Douglas, Craig and Bruce, were considered the epitome of cool in the 1960s and early 1970s, when it was a Top 40 choice.

DonaldHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "proud chief"
  • Description:

    Donald has been used for centuries in Scotland, where the Macdonald clan is one of the most ancient and where there have been six early Scottish kings by that name. Donald was a Top 20 name throughout most of the early twentieth century. But first there was the quacking Donald Duck, introduced in 1934, to affect its image, and then there was The Donald Trump, leaving it drained of much baby appeal. Trump's surprising run to the presidency didn't save Donald's decline on the baby name charts; it fell 47 spots between 2015 and 2016, from 441 to 488, and is now a less popular name than it's been since records have been kept.

LachlanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "from the fjord-land"
  • Description:

    Lachlan is as Scottish as haggis and tartan plaid kilts—a favorite used throughout England, Scotland, Australia, and New Zealand—and just beginning to be noticed in the US: it reached the Top 1000 for the first time in 2013. An ancient name, Lachlan was originally used to describe the Viking invaders of Scotland, those from the land of the lochs.

JamieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of James
  • Meaning:

    "supplanter"
  • Description:

    The cool form of James in the 1970s and '80s for both sexes. Still a more stylish short form than Jimmy, though many parents will want to call James by his entire, not-very-long name.

ClydeHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish river name
  • Description:

    Even though in the past Clyde may have been identified as half of the infamous outlaw duo with partner Bonnie Parker—especially after the 1967 movie in which he was played by Warren Beatty—Clyde has always had an element of jazzy cool that could overcome all the rest.

LochlanHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Lachlan
  • Description:

    Lochlan and Lachlan are running neck and neck and both rising into the Top 1000. Which spelling you use is purely a matter of taste.

DouglasHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "black water"
  • Description:

    Douglas, and more particularly its nickname, Doug, had a real romantic swagger in the 1950s and 1960s dating back to swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks, but today is more likely to conjure up your mom's prom date. Originally a Celtic river name, it became attached to a powerful Scottish clan, renowned for their strength and courage. In its earliest incarnation, Douglas was used equally for girls and boys.

WallaceHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "foreigner, stranger"
  • Description:

    Wallace is so square could almost be ripe for a turnaround, especially with the hipness imparted by the British Claymation series Wallace & Gromit. And Wally makes an adorable Leave it to Beaver retro-style nickname.

KelvinHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "narrow or wooded river"
  • Description:

    A tributary of the River Clyde in Scotland, called in Scottish Gaelic Abhainn Cheilbhinn: caol (“narrow”) or coille (“wooded”) + abhainn (“river”). As a surname, it derives from the name of the river.

MacHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish or Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son of"
  • Description:

    In Ireland and Scotland, Mac and Mc mean "son of"; here, Mac is a generic fella, or a short form cooler than either Matt or Max. Mac can be a nickname of any longer Mac or Mc starting name such as McCoy or Macalister. If you want to make it feel more complete, you can always spell it Mack.

GordonHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "great hill"
  • Description:

    As this long-term Age of Jordans, both male and female, begins to wind down, the neglected Scottish favorite Gordon, with its more distinguished history, could come back as a distinctive alternative. Gordon is one of the most classic authentically Scottish names for boys.

AlistairHeart

  • Origin:

    English spelling of Alasdair, Scottish version of Alexander
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    With many British names invading the Yankee name pool, the sophisticated Alistair could and should be part of the next wave. It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2016. You have a triple choice with this name--the British spell it Alistair or Alastair, while the Scots prefer Alasdair--but they're all suave Gaelic versions of Alexander. Adopted by the lowland Scots by the seventeenth century, the name didn't become popular outside Scotland and Ireland until the twentieth century.

DuncanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "dark warrior"
  • Description:

    Duncan is jaunty, confident, and open, a Scottish royal name that's brimming with friendly charm and makes it into our golden circle of names that are neither too popular nor too strange. Popularity aside, Duncan is one of the most classic Scottish names for boys.
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