Names That Mean Son

Names that mean son are among the most common, especially when it comes to last names used as first names.

The most obvious names that mean son literally have son as their last syllable: Anderson and Harrison.. The prefixes Mc or Mac, O', and Fitz, as in McCoy or Fitzgerald, also mean son.


There are also many more unique and surprising names that carry a less obvious meaning of son. Some of these are familiar choices such as Flynn and Quincy. . Others are more uncommon surname-names that mean son, such as Kazuo and Mies.
  1. Benjamin
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "son of the right hand"
    • Description:

      Benjamin is a biblical name that has enjoyed widespread favor for decades, ranking in the US Top 50 for almost half a century and the Top 10 from 2015 until 2023.
  2. Flynn
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "descendant of the red-haired one"
    • Description:

      Flynn, a charming Irish surname, is still used only quietly, despite its easygoing, casual cowboy charm, unlike Finn which is a star of this genre. Flynn was the choice of Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr for their baby boy, and is also the middle name -- used as his first -- of a son of Miranda's fellow supermodel Elle Macpherson, of Gary Oldman's son Gulliver and Marley Shelton's daughter West.
  3. Dylan
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "son of the sea"
    • Description:

      Dylan still feels poetic and romantic after years of popularity. It still ranks highly on the charts, among the top boy names starting with D, so if you choose it, be aware that yours may not be the only Dylan in his class.

      dy and llanw, meaning "sea." In Welsh mythology, Dylan was a legendary sea god who prompted all the waters of Britain and Ireland to weep when he died. The name came to prominence via the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, whose name Bob Dylan adopted in tribute.
  4. Hudson
    • Origin:

      English place-name and surname
    • Meaning:

      "Hugh's son"
    • Description:

      Hudson has risen quickly up the charts over the past 30 years, getting a lot of its style value from New York's Hudson River. That makes it a nature name and a place name that's also got the fashion gloss of New York City.
  5. Harrison
    • 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.
  6. Emerson
    • Origin:

      English
    • 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.
  7. Adam
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "son of the red earth"
    • Description:

      Adam -- a primal Old Testament name -- was revived as a 1960s cowboy name. Adam is not as popular as it once was and feels ready for a respite, replaced by newer A names like Aidan/Aiden, Avery and Axel. Its most prominent current bearers include Adams Sandler, Levine, Brody and Driver -- who plays a character named Adam on Girls.
  8. Sonny
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son"
    • Description:

      Sonny is one of the generic boy nickname names making a surprise reappearance, and it was recently used by actor Jason Lee. Another surprise: It's been on the US Top 1000 list every year since 1927, reaching a peak in 1975, when it hit Number 428.
  9. Grayson
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "the son of the bailiff"
    • Description:

      Grayson, which you might think of as a Jason-Mason substitute, has been rising through the US Top 1000 since 1984 and has ranked in the Top 100 since 2011.
  10. Carson
    • Origin:

      English and Scottish surname
    • 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.

  11. Jackson
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Jack"
    • Description:

      Jackson is one of those names that's much more popular than you think, coming in near the top of our annual Playground Analysis, which ranks names by grouping all their spellings together. There were nearly 17,000 baby boys named Jackson -- along Jaxon, Jaxson, Jaxxon, Jaxen, Jaxyn, Jaxsen, and Jaxsyn -- which counted together makes it the Number 3 boys' name.
  12. Reuben
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "behold, a son"
    • Description:

      Reuben is derived from the Hebrew words ra’a, meaning "to see, to understand," and ben, "son." As a phrase it translates to "behold, a son." In the Bible, Reuben is Jacob's first-born son by Leah and the founder of one of the tribes of Israel.
  13. Barnaby
    • Origin:

      English variation of Barnabas, Aramaic
    • Meaning:

      "son of consolation"
    • Description:

      Barnaby, a genial and energetic name with an Irish-sounding three-syllable lilt, is an ancient appellation that manages to be both unusual and highly attractive and deserves to be used more than it is. A sweet-spot name that's a real winner.
  14. Quincy
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "estate of the fifth son"
    • Description:

      Quirky in the way that all Q names are quirky, Quincy was once a buttoned-up, patrician New England name, an image countered in recent years by the talented and ultracool musician Quincy Jones (middle name: Delight; nickname: Q).
  15. Bartholomew
    • Origin:

      Aramaic
    • Meaning:

      "son of the furrow"
    • Description:

      Bartholomew is an apostle's name that's been out of favor for centuries but might appeal again to the parent in search of an old but rare choice. The challenge could be to avoid the Simpson-ish nickname. That character, by the way, has the full name of Bartholomew JoJo Simpson, and creator Matt Groening came up with Bart as an--uh oh--anagram for brat. Two old alternate nicknames are Barty and Tolly.
  16. Maddox
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "son of Madoc"
    • Description:

      Maddox, a previously obscure Welsh family name with a powerfully masculine image, suddenly came into the spotlight when Angelina Jolie chose it for her son in 2003. By the following year it was in the middle of the Top 1000, and it has risen since.
  17. Madison
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Matthew"
    • Description:

      Since we wrote a book called Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana, encouraging parents to move beyond overused names, it's no secret what we think of this trendy surname name, inspired by a mermaid named Madison in the 1980s movie Splash.
  18. Bowen
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "son of Owen"
    • Description:

      Bowen is a Celtic surname representing two separate Celtic strains, one Welsh and one Irish, and entered the US Top 1000 for the first time in 2011.
  19. Harris
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Harry"
    • Description:

      When Harrison is too much, but Harry isn't enough, try this stylish surname name with a touch of British flair. It briefly reentered the US Top 1000 for the first time since 1988 in 2016, but has since dropped just below the radar again.
  20. Ruby
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "behold, a son"
    • Description:

      Ruby could be a short form of the Biblical name Reuben and especially its streamlined form, Ruben. As a gemstone name, it's currently enjoying a fresh boom of popularity for girls – nearing the US Top 50 for the first time in almost a century.