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Top 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.
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BenjaminHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • 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.

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.

MadisonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Matthew"
  • Description:

    Madison originated as an English surname, a variant of Mathieson, meaning "son of Matthew." It is occasionally translated as "son of Maud," as Maddy was historically a nickname for Maud. It was introduced as a feminine given name in the 1984 movie Splash, in which the main character takes her name from New York’s Madison Avenue street sign.

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.

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.
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DylanHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "son of the sea"
  • Description:

    Dylan was derived of the Welsh components 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.

AddisonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Adam"
  • Description:

    Addison, a TV-generated name (Dr. Addison Shephard, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice) took off in hot pursuit of predecessor Madison, sounding sharper and more modern--at least until its own rapid climb up the ladder. Addison, one of the few patronymics ('son of') names to be totally accepted for girls, is now near the top of the girls' charts and is among the most popular of the popular girl names starting with A.

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.

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.

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.
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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.

JaxsonHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Jackson, English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Jack"
  • Description:

    One of several phonetic spellings of Jackson moving up the charts, Jaxson entered the Top 100 in 2013 and has remained there since. It's also picking up steam in England and Wales.. Actor Eric Mabius used it as his son Rylan's middle name.

AdamHeart

  • 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.

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.

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.
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MackenzieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of Kenneth"
  • Description:

    Originally inspired as a a girls’ name by eighties TV actress Mackenzie Phillips, parents have flocked to Mackenzie – once only a male name – for their daughters. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling is one of the thousands who've chosen Mackenzie. Other Mac names, such as Makayla and McKenna, are also newly popular for girls.

EmersonHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "son of Emery"
  • Description:

    The combination of Emily and Emma's popularity -- and the fact that Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher's daughter is named Emerson -- have put this formerly strictly boys’ name, embodying the gravitas of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in the limelight for girls.

MaddoxHeart

  • 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.

DawsonHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "son of David"
  • Description:

    Dawson was scarcely heard as a first name before the debut of Dawson's Creek in 1998, at which point it leaped up more than 550 places in one year. The character Dawson Leery, played by James Van Der Beek, was a teen favorite until the show's demise in 2003.

EmersonHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • 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.
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MckennaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son of the handsome one"
  • Description:

    Mackenzie begat McKenna -- a catchy but very trendy choice. While the Mc or Mac prefix means "son of," this is exclusively a girl's names in the US, with no boys recorded with either spelling of the name.

MckenzieHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Mackenzie, Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of Kenneth"
  • Description:

    This variation without the A is one of the patronymics – names that mean 'son of – that have been widely adopted for girls.

JensenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Jenson and Danish surname
  • Meaning:

    "son of Jens"
  • Description:

    A variation of Jenson, which is actually more popular than the original in the United States. This spelling also holds the distinction of being the most common surname in Denmark.

AndersonHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • 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.

MakenzieHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Mackenzie
  • Meaning:

    "son of Kenneth"
  • Description:

    More and more variations of Mackenzie are joining the Top 1000.
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LawsonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Lawrence"
  • Description:

    Appealing way, à la Dawson, to honor an ancestral Lawrence.

BowenHeart

  • 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.

RoyceHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of the king"
  • Description:

    It may seem like an indecisive cross between Roy and Reece, but Royce was fairly popular in the 1930s and '40s. It has seen a resurgence in recent years, helped by some well-known athlete bearers. The Latin pop singer Prince Royce also has brought renown to the name. And some aspirational parents may see the name as a way to associate with the Rolls-Royce brand.

KysonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Kyle"
  • Description:

    An update of Tyson for parents who prefer the Ky nickname to Ty. It was the middle name of a character on Heroes.

RubenHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "behold, a son"
  • Description:

    International variant of Reuben that is actually much more popular than the original in the US.
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AdanHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Adam
  • Meaning:

    "son of the red earth"
  • Description:

    Used most often in Hispanic cultures, though it does not feel like a typical Spanish name. It can also be seen as a spelling variant of the uber-popular Aidan, Aiden, Aden, etc.

MaddisonHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Madison
  • Meaning:

    "son of Maud"
  • Description:

    While the traditionally spelled Madison has been among the most popular names in the 21st century, this version isn't exactly unpopular. Nevertheless, the second d is superfluous.

KeeganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son of Egan"
  • Description:

    Keegan is one of a clan of spirited Irish surnames starting with K and ending with 'n'--this one with the cheery double 'e' in the middle-- that are appealing to an increasing number of parents. It derives from Mac Aodhagáin, meaning "son (or descendant) of Aodhagán," a diminutive of the Irish name Aodh--pronounced Aye.

DylanHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "son of the sea"
  • Description:

    Boys' favorite retains more of its poetic, windswept quality when used for a girl, as Robin Wright and Sean Penn did. Alyssa Milano gave her daughter Elizabella Dylan as a middle name.

MackHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish or Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son of"
  • Description:

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

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Piers"
  • Description:

    Actor Pierce Brosnan brings a strong helping of charm to this name.

SonnyHeart

  • Origin:

    Nickname for "son"
  • 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.

BensonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Ben"
  • Description:

    Benson has outgrown its long association with a wisecracking TV butler. Parents may see it as an alternate route to nickname Ben, very different in image than the biblical Benjamin. Benson also carries the patronymic theme made popular by Jackson, Harrison, and Jefferson. More recently, Olivia Benson of Law and Order: SVU has reclaimed this as a surname. On a less salubrious note, Benson is still connected to the cigarette brand Benson and Hedges.

MckinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of the fair hero"
  • Description:

    Presidential name that makes a fresh substitute for MacKenzie or McKenna. Possible spelling variations include MacKinley, MacKinlee, Makinleigh ad almost infinitum. McKinley is one of the Scottish names for girls that can work equally well for boys.

EdisonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Edith or Adam"
  • Description:

    This rhythmic last-name-first-name projects the creativity and inventiveness of Thomas Edison. It's an English surname deriving from either Adam or Eda, a medieval diminutive of Edith.
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WatsonHeart

  • Origin:

    English and Scottish surname related to Walter
  • Meaning:

    "son of Wat"
  • Description:

    What with the resurgence of W names like Weston and Walter, the prominence of high profile actress Emma and golfer Bubba, and even the attention paid to Watson, the IBM computer on "Jeopardy" (named for IBM's founder, Thomas Watson) this name could be in line for a revival of its own.

QuincyHeart

  • 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).

NixonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Nicholas"
  • Description:

    A fresher spin on Jaxon, with built-in cool nickname Nix, and a great way to honor an ancestral Nick. But the association with disgraced former president Richard Nixon remains strong, which might explain why this otherwise bang-on-trend surname name has remained under the radar, peaking at #482 in 2017.

WilsonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Will"
  • Description:

    Wilson is a substantive presidential choice far less prevalent than Taylor or Tyler, and with the advantage of being a new route to friendly nickname Will. We see Wilson growing in popularity as an alternative to William; and as a patronymic, it would make a conceivable (if possibly confusing) choice for a son of William.

FlynnHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son 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.
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NelsonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Neil"
  • Description:

    Nelson is a rather stiff and dated surname name that is sometimes used to honor distinguished South African activist Nelson Mandela, as Celine Dion did for one of her twin boys. Other notable associations are with the British Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, novelist Nelson Algren and movie operetta star Nelson Eddy. It was also the given name of "Rabbit" Angstrom, protagonist of John Updike's series of novels.

JeffersonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Jeffrey"
  • Description:

    The name of the third U.S. President sounds, like Harrison and Jackson, more modern and stylish now than its root name. Used as a first name long before our surname-crazed era, Jefferson was most famously connected to the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis--and is the middle name of another Prez, William Clinton. Fictional Jeffersons include Jefferson Bricks in Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit and Jefferson Almond in Henry James' Washington Square, the title character in the Frank Capra classic film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," plus others--for better and for worse-- in "Married With Children," "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "Kit Kittridge: An American Girl."

BenHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "son of"
  • Description:

    Ben, the diminutive of Benjamin or Benedict, can easily stand on its own as a simple, strong, nice-guy choice, though it's somewhat attenuated. Ben is this generation's Bob or Bill.

AddysonHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Addison
  • Meaning:

    "son of Adam"
  • Description:

    Variation of the very trendy Addison, perhaps lending itself more obviously to the nickname Addy.

BronsonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of brown-haired one"
  • Description:

    This surname has a modern yet old New England feel, perhaps because of the association with the transcendental teacher and reformer Bronson (born Amos Bronson) Alcott, father of Louisa May. (One-time sitcom star Bronson Pinchot's full name is Bronson Alcott Pinchot.) A more muscular image comes via tough guy Charles Bronson.
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