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English Names for Boys

English names for boys dominate the popularity lists of the US, the UK, and other English-speaking countries, with William and James ranking highly in the US, and Jack, Oscar, and Charlie reigning in the UK.

Many English names for boys drawn from surnames are currently fashionable in the United States: Jackson, Cooper, Lincoln, Hunter, and Landon, for instance. And then there are English word names from Gray to Loyal that have become fashionable for baby boys.

Along with William and James, other English boys’ names in the US top 100 include Carter, Grayson, Julian, Mason, Parker, Robert, Sawyer, and Wyatt.

Baby boy names popular in England include Oliver — a top name throughout the United Kingdom — Harry, Leo, and Alfie.

Some of the straightforward boys’ names we think of as English — like the royal Charles, William, Henry, George, and Louis — all have non-English roots but may carry nicknames like Charlie or Bill that are distinctively English.

Browse all our English names for baby boys here. 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.

You might also want to check out our English names for girls.
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WilliamHeart

  • Origin:

    English from German
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection"
  • Description:

    William is derived from the Germanic name Wilhelm, composed of the elements wil, “will,” and helm, referring to a helmet or protection. The name was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, with William being the Norman variation of the name. In Central and Southern France, it was translated as Guillaume.

JamesHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Jacob, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "supplanter"
  • Description:

    James is an English derivation of the Hebrew name Jacob. James is biblical (the name of two apostles in the New Testament), royal (kings of both England and Scotland), presidential (with more U.S. Chief Executives named James (six) than any other name), and it is shared by countless great writers and entertainers.

MasonHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "worker in stone"
  • Description:

    Mason has become mega-popular; it hit as high as the Number 2 spot in 2011 and has stayed near the top of the charts since.

JacksonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Jack"
  • Description:

    Cool name Jackson is one of the celebrisphere's top favorite boy names, having been chosen by, among others, Spike Lee, Poppy Montgomery, Carson Daly, Maria Bello, Natalie Maines, Scott Wolf, Maya Rudolph, and Katey Sagal. After a spectacular rise, this stylish presidential name has been in the Top 25 since 2010, overtaking John as one of the most popular boy names starting with J.

JackHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of John
  • Meaning:

    "God is gracious"
  • Description:

    Jack is a derivative of John that originated in medieval England. The name went from John to Johnkin to Jankin to Jackin to Jack. The name was so common in the Middle Ages that Jack became a generic term for a man.
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WyattHeart

  • Origin:

    English surname
  • Meaning:

    "brave in war"
  • Description:

    Wyatt was derived from the Medieval English name Wyot, itself a form of the given name Wigheard, with wig meaning “war” and heard, “brave.” Wyot, along with variations Wiot and Gyot, were also used by the Normans as nicknames for names such as William. Wyatt became a patronymic surname later in the Middle Ages.

CarterHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "transporter of goods by cart"
  • Description:

    Carter has been popular for almost two decades, but it only cracked the Top 30 in 2014, leaving the other upscale occupational surname names behind. Having hot characters named Carter on both Gossip Girl and The OC probably didn't hurt, and for fifteen years on ER" Noah Wyle's Dr. John Carter was always called by his last name. Carter also, of course, has presidential cred.

JulianHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Latin, variation of Julius
  • Meaning:

    "youthful, downy-bearded, or sky father"
  • Description:

    Julian was derived from Iulianus, which in turn came from Julius, a Roman family name. Its origin is shrouded in history, but possible roots include Latin iuvenis, meaning "youthfu"; Greek ioulos, meaning “downy-bearded”; or Jovis, a form of Jupiter, which means "sky father".
    ,br/>Julian was a 4th century Roman emperor, and St. Julian the Hospitaller is the patron saint of travelers. In Medieval England, Julian was considered a unisex name, eventually giving rise to the feminine given name Gillian.

GraysonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "the son of the bailiff"
  • Description:

    Grayson, which you might think of as a Jason-Mason substitute, is on the fast track. Though--you may be surprised to know--Grayson has been in the Top 1000 since 1984, it is now more popular than ever, and is rising.

LincolnHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "town by the pool"
  • Description:

    Lincoln cracked the Top 50 for boys' names for the first time in 2016, more than 150 years after the death of its most famous bearer. This is especially remarkable because, as crazy as it seems now, Lincoln was deeply out of fashion as recently as the late 90s, consistently hovering near the bottom of the Top 1000. This admirable presidential choice with a stylish two-syllable sound projects the tall, rangy, upright, image of Honest Abe. Bill Murray is father to a son named Lincoln, and Kathryn Erbe's boy Carson has Lincoln for his middle name. Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard gender-bent it for their daughter.
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JaxonHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Jackson
  • Meaning:

    "son of Jack"
  • Description:

    Jaxon has been mostly climbing in popularity since it entered the Top 1000 in 1997, proving the point that many parents have decided to rev up the cool factor of Jackson and give it this streamlined spelling. (Though we still prefer the original.) Kristin Cavallari used it for her son. Jaxson is another popular spelling.

HudsonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "Hugh's son"
  • Description:

    Hudson has risen quickly up the charts after emerging at the bottom of the list in 1995, now solidly in the Top 100.

ChristianHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "follower of Christ"
  • Description:

    Christian has fallen a bit from its 90's and 00's heights, but it's still quite popular. Once considered overly pious, Christian is now seen as making a bold statement of faith by some, while also having secular appeal for others, perhaps influenced by such celebrities as Christian Slater and Christian Bale, not to mention the fashion world's Dior, Lacroix, Louboutin and Audigier.

ColtonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "from the coal or dark town"
  • Description:

    Colton is a trendy two-syllable choice, with the popular 'on/en' ending.

LandonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "long hill"
  • Description:

    Landon is a popular surname name; it's been dropping slightly in recent years but has surpassed its once more popular rhyming cousin Brandon. For some it may bring back nostalgic memories of Little House on the Prairie 's understanding Pa, played by Michael Landon.
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HunterHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "one who hunts"
  • Description:

    Hunter has been dropping a bit for the past few years but is still one of the leaders of a distinctive band of boys' names that combines macho imagery (Hunter, Austin, Harley) with a softened masculinity. Hunter was for years attached to gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson; Josh Holloway used it for his son.

EastonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "east-facing place"
  • Description:

    Easton is a stylish Ivy League-ish place and surname name, more modern than Weston, on its way up for both sexes as part of the new direction baby names are taking, as in North and West. Easton was used for her son by Jenna Elfman--and by Elizabeth Rohm for her daughter.

MilesHeart

  • Origin:

    English form of Milo
  • Meaning:

    "soldier or merciful"
  • Description:

    Miles, which took on a permanent veneer of cool thanks to jazz great Miles Davis, is a confident and polished boy name starting with M that has been appreciated in particular by celebrity baby namers, including Elisabeth Shue, Mayim Bialik, Larenz Tate, Joan Cusack and Lionel Ritchie.

RobertHeart

  • Origin:

    English from German
  • Meaning:

    "bright fame"
  • Description:

    Robert was derived from the ancient Germanic name Hrodebert, from the elements hrod, meaning “fame” and bertha, “bright.” Robert was the name of three kings of Scotland, including Robert the Bruce, who freed Scotland from English rule. The name was brought to England by the Normans.

JamesonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • 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.
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GreysonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of the steward"
  • Description:

    Greyson and Grayson, nephews of Jason, are both on the fast track. Gray/Grey makes a nice nickname.

CooperHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "barrel maker"
  • Description:

    The genial yet upscale and preppy Cooper was one of the first occupational last names to catch on -- and Cooper remains a pleasing option.

AustinHeart

  • Origin:

    English, shortened form of Augustine
  • Meaning:

    "great, magnificent"
  • Description:

    Austin is one of the most attractive city names for babies, with an attractive southwestern feel, place-name panache and the solid base of having long been an Anglo-Saxon surname and a first name since medieval times. Austin reached the Top 10 in the 1990s, but has been gradually slipping down the list.

EverettHeart

  • 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.

ParkerHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "park-keeper"
  • Description:

    One of the first generation of surname names, along with Porter and Morgan, Parker's still one of the most appealing and remains firmly in the Top 100 for boys. About three times as many boys as girls get this occupational name. The association with Charlie Parker gives Parker itself a jazzy edge, and it also has a nature-related meaning. Rosie O'Donnell has a son named Parker.
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WesleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "western meadow"
  • Description:

    Wesley is one of a group of W-starting surname names reminiscent of the Old West that are making a comeback -- though it's not as well used as it was in the 1970s, when he ranked as high as Number 66.

BrysonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Brice"
  • Description:

    A surname name that can transition to first -- it entered the Top 1000 in 1980 and is now firmly in the Top 100. Actress NeNe Leakes chose it for her son. R&B singer Bryson Tiller's popularity may have played a part in accelerating Bryson's rise.

WestonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "from the western town"
  • Description:

    Weston has gone from being a Jane Austenish British surname to a first name with a relaxed American western cowboy feel. Along with other trendy 'n'-ending boys’ names, Weston is rising in popularity, and is now more popular than ever. Weston also has a glimmer of creative appeal via its connection to the great photographer Edward Weston. Nicolas Cage chose Weston for his son back in 1990, when it was much more unusual; The Office's Jenna Fischer used it for her baby more recently. Cousin name Easton is even more popular.

EmmettHeart

  • Origin:

    English masculine variation of Emma, German
  • Meaning:

    "universal"
  • Description:

    Emmett, honest and sincere, laid-back and creative, is on the rise as a male cognate of the megapopular Emma and Emily, not to mention being a character in the popular Twilight series.

SawyerHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "woodcutter"
  • Description:

    Sawyer is a surname with a more relaxed and friendly feel than many others, and is one of the hottest occupational names right now, with the Nameberry seal of approval. Sawyer is becoming one of the top unisex names. Both Sara Gilbert and Diane Farr used Sawyer for their daughters, while it was given a boost as a boys' name by the character Sawyer on Lost, an alias for the character really named James Ford.
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SilasHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "wood, forest"
  • Description:

    Silas is based on the name Silvanus, and the two are used interchangeably in the Bible. In the New Testament, St. Silas was a leading member of the early Christian community who accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey. Sylvanus was the Roman god of trees and his name was originally bestowed on people who lived in wooded areas or who worked with wood.

BennettHeart

  • Origin:

    English, medieval form of Benedict
  • Meaning:

    "blessed"
  • Description:

    Bennett is Ben with a bow tie, kind of a cross between Benjamin and Beckett. It's been trending up on the popularity charts in recent years, and its choice by The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's Jane Krakowski could shoot it even higher.

BrooksHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "of the brook"
  • Description:

    Surname name, nature name, and word name, with a more masculine slant than Brook or Brooklyn. Brooks Robinson was one of the greatest third basemen ever, playing for the Baltimore Orioles from 1955 until 1977. Brooks might be considered one of the new wave of stylish English names for boys.

HarrisonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • 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.

WaylonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "land beside the road"
  • Description:

    Country singer Waylon Jennings bestowed a kind of outlaw image on his name. However, for many children of the 1980s and '90s, Waylon will be forever associated with The Simpson's character, Waylon Smithers.

    Waylon Jennings' son, also named Waylon, is called Shooter, and Shooter's young son Waylon Albert with actress wife Drea DeMatteo will be addressed as Blackjack. Grandpa Jennings was originally called Wayland, but the name was changed early on by his mother.

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KingstonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "king's town"
  • Description:

    Chosen for their first son by musical couple Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, this Jamaican place and elegant British surname also boasts the more regal yet user-friendly short form, King.

ColeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "swarthy, coal black"
  • Description:

    Cole -- a short name that embodies a lot of richness and depth -- has long been associated with the great songwriter Cole Porter. It's quite popular in Scotland.

AshtonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "ash trees place"
  • Description:

    The recent ascent of this English surname is due to two things: the megapopular Ash beginning and TV/movie hottie Ashton Kutcher. The name peaked at Number 76 in 2004, a year after Ashton Kutcher's (both Christopher Ashton) hit TV show Punk'd made its debut.

BraxtonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "Brock's settlement"
  • Description:

    Braxton entered the popularity ranks in 1985 and has been climbing steadily ever since. It has gained from the all-powerful X-factor, and perhaps also from the reality TV show, Braxton Family Values, featuring singer Toni and her sisters Traci, Towanda, Trina and Tamar. Though it might sound new, there was a prominent Confederate Civil War general named Braxton Bragg.

TylerHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "maker of tiles"
  • Description:

    The presidential Tyler rocketed up popularity charts in the late 1980s and early 1990s (it ranked Number 9 for that entire decade), along with cousin Taylor, becoming almost pandemic across the land-- and to make matters more confusing, both (especially Taylor) have been used for girls as well.
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BentleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "meadow with coarse grass"
  • Description:

    Bentley, a somewhat stuffy British surname, previously associated primarily with an incredibly expensive English car, has had a recent surge in popularity, thanks largely to the reality TV shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, with Bentley being the name of the son of breakout star Maci (another new favorite) Bookout.

MaxHeart

  • Origin:

    English and German diminutive of Maximilian or Maxwell
  • Meaning:

    "greatest"
  • Description:

    Max was derived from Maximilian, a Latin name that originated from the Roman family name Maximus. The character name Max in the children's classic Where the Wild Things Are had an impact on baby namers. Max is a widely used name internationally.

BrandonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "broom-covered hill"
  • Description:

    Brandon, a forebear of the Braden-Caden pack, had a great run of popularity over several decades, being in the Top 10 from 1992 to 1998, one of its inspirations being hearthrob Brandon Walsh played by Jason Priestley on the original Beverly Hills 90210--and it was aso the name of several soap opera characters.

MylesHeart

  • Origin:

    English spelling variation of Miles
  • Description:

    This alternate spelling of Miles has its fans, among them Myles-parents Eddie Murphy and Lars Ulrich. Pro basketball player Myles Turner uses this spelling. The Myles spelling is also associated with Pilgrim Myles Standish and so can make one of the classic Thanksgiving baby names.

LegendHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Description:

    Legend joins cousins Story, Saga and Fable in the baby name pantheon of narrative words. Unlike Story and Fable, however, Legend comes with additional weight, being used for fame ("living legend") and to denote a person who is fantastic "what a legend"). Who can live up to that?
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KingHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "monarch"
  • Description:

    King is a name that sends a mixed message. While some might think of it as more fitting for a canine, others see it as a strong name with offbeat style and a full court of rich associations, from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Elvis. King Vidor was an important early Hollywood director; King Camp Gillette invented the safety razor.

KarterHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Carter
  • Meaning:

    "transporter of goods by cart"
  • Description:

    Lovers of the name Carter and the Kardashians method of baby naming have popularized this choice, one of many boys' names starting with K that began life as boys' names starting with C.

RhettHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Dutch
  • Meaning:

    "advice"
  • Description:

    Rhett has been more tied to Gone with the Wind than even Scarlett, but now we're hearing rumblings of its finding new and independent favor among parents, perhaps emboldened by the growing popularity of Scarlett.

DeanHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "church official"
  • Description:

    Dean may sound to some like a retro surfer boy name, but it is once again climbing up the popularity chart in the USA. For decades it was associated with Dean (born Dino) Martin; more recent representatives include Dean Cain, Dean McDermott and Dean Koontz -- not to mention Jared Padalecki's dreamy Dean Forester in Gilmore Girls.

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.
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