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.
Malcolm was the name of four Scottish kings -- including the son of Duncan who succeeded to the throne after Macbeth murdered his father -- and has been a standard in that country.
Denzel Washington named one of his sons Malcolm, as did Harrison Ford.
Actor Malcolm McDowell is one current bearer. Other namesakes are writer Lowry; bestselling author and trendspotter Gladwell; Sex Pistols musician McLaren; and actor Jamal Warner. There have also been several Malcolms on TV -- e.g., in Malcolm in the Middle, Firefly and in the Outlander series. There were no fewer than three characters named Malcolm in the Harry Potter books.