English Names for Boys
Origin:English, diminutive of Michael
Description:Unlike Jake or Sam, few parents put Mike on the birth certificate.
Meaning:"strip of clearing in the woods"
Description:The "Believe It or Not" jokes will get old fast. Works better for a girl.
Description:Unfashionable surname, best left in the forest with Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
Meaning:"descendant of Hilary"
Description:Ellery is a rhythmic three-syllable boy's name that is familiar and yet rarely used--and just waiting to be discovered. It's long been identified with Ellery Queen--which was both the pen name of two cousins, Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee, and the detective they created.
Description:Hemingway readers will recognize this as the name of Papa's first wife (and, eventually, actress Mariel's grandmother). But in Victorian times, Hadley and Hedley were actually more popular for boys.
Description:This could be a new variation on the megapopular Braden-Caden-Haden bunch, or a nonmilitaristic form of Patton.
Description:The most outlandish Beatles-inspired name, if Lennon or McCartney are too tame for you. Ringo Starr is the stage name of drummer Richard Starkey, taken from his nickname Ringo (because he wore lots of rings) and the first part of his surname. A bold rock-n-roll inspired choice!
Origin:English surname derived from Simon
Description:Sims is a medieval English surname, also found in Ireland and Scotland, that has many variations all deriving from the Hebrew Biblical name Simon. Sims is a simple, straightforward, yet proper-sounding name that works well as a first, whether you find it in your family tree or pluck the idea from someone else's. It was used for only five boys in the US in 2013.
Meaning:"place by a stream"
Description:As passé as Hilton and Milton.
Meaning:"village with oak trees"
Description:This name's buttoned-up British vibe is what makes it cool - that, and the fact that it was chosen by Anne Bronte as her pseudonym - Acton Bell. That's quite the literary - and may we add feminist - credential for a name. For those with an adventurous edge, Acton is one of the highest peaks in Antarctica.
Origin:English variation of Columba
Description:In the currently popular solid, serious, two-syllable mold.
Meaning:"wealthy man's estate"
Description:Besides having an unappealing sound, has long been identified with a much-mocked Ford car model; use of this name is now restricted to the Ford family.
Origin:English spelling variation of Eberhard
Description:An older form of Everett that stays closer to its Germanic roots. Distinguished Everard is the name of several historical figures and literary characters, including a minor hobbit in The Lord of the Rings. Yet, even now that Ever- names are the height of style, Everard hasn't been seen on the charts for decades.
Description:Better for an Air Force base than a baby.
Origin:English occupational name
Description:An undiscovered option among occupational names, Banner has never been used for more than 100 baby boys in a single year. But Banner has undeniable charm, much due to its associations with fêtes and phrases like "a banner year".
Description:Since this is a word that pertains to cowardice, not the most appealing choice. Raven, Arven, and Haven might be more positive options for those drawn to the name by its sound.
Origin:English and Scottish
Meaning:"hilltop town, rocky place"
Description:One instance where a phonetic spelling might be better.
Description:Though Genesis is a Top 100 girls' name, it's by all rights a unisex choice. And really, there's nothing intrinsically female about Genesis, unless you use nickname Gen which sounds exactly like the ubiquitous Jen.
Origin:English from Quintus; diminutive of Quinton
Description:Clint with a glint; used for flinty characters in old TV westerns and soap operas.
Description:Everyone will assume you're honoring actor Robert, which isn't too probable.