12 Boy Names That Deserve More Love
Looking for a boy name that feels both fashionable and original, that stands out for its rarity but fits with current trends?
Boy names are evolving at lightning speed right now, with parents more willing than ever to branch out from traditional choices and embrace individuality in their sons’ names as well as their daughters’.
It's a great time to be naming a son, but if you'd prefer something a little more unusual, it's always worth checking out the latest lists of popular names.
Parents who grew up in the era of endless Michaels and Matthews are sometimes surprised to discover that Axel and Maverick, Xavier and Ezekiel are now all Top 100 picks!
Best Cool Unique Boy Names Now
We recently spotlighted the 12 top girl names we think deserve more love. These are the super stylish choices that feel like they should be on everyone’s list, but which – for some mysterious reason – remain far below the radar in the US.
Today, it’s the boys’ turn! The rules are the same: none of these names was given to more than 50 baby boys last year, but all fit with current trends and feel perfect for parents looking for a cool, unusual choice that doesn’t feel too wacky or wild.
Several of our picks from previous years, such as Oslo and Zenith, have since climbed the charts for real. Read on for our favorite boy names to watch!
The figures in brackets show the number of baby boys who received each name in 2022. For reference, the #1000 boy name (London) was given to 222 boys last year.
Literary, cosmopolitan and subtly Biblical, this compact name packs a lot of punch into just four letters. Originating as a short form of Abraham, it is most closely associated in the English-speaking world with Dracula author Bram Stoker.
Bram may also derive from the English surname Bramwell, the name of the only brother in the literary Brontë family. In this case, it comes from an Old English word for the bramble bush, giving it a bonus connection to the natural world.
Bram has been a Top 20 choice in the Netherlands for more than a decade, and feels ripe for the picking for lovers of dark academia names that aren’t too extravagant or elitist.
Cas- names are having a huge moment right now, with Cash, Cassius, Caspian, Castiel and Cassian all in the Top 1000 for boys.
But cool Cassiel is a neglected member of the group. Borne by an angel in medieval Jewish, Islamic and Christian mysticism, it has centuries of history behind it despite its thoroughly modern appeal.
Parents who love soft yet strong choices like Gabriel and Adriel will appreciate its smooth sound and lively rhythm.
It’s been more than three decades since Ferris Bueller took his infamous day off in the cult classic teen comedy movie, but we think the time for this name could and should be now!
The name of the hero’s girlfriend, Sloane, is riding at an all-time high of #140 in the US right now, but Ferris remains astonishingly underused.
Half preppy, half rugged, it boasts the oh-so-stylish S ending of fashionable boy names from Brooks to Wells to Ellis. And it also has several sporting namesakes to recommend it to prospective parents.
Another sporty option we’re amazed isn’t more popular is Fielder, with its fashionable -er ending and high-energy appeal.
Baseball fans might appreciate the nod to the sport, which has helped to boost fashionable boy names from Ace to Nolan.
Traditionally, Fielder was a locational surname denoting someone who lived in the open country, making this a cottagecore baby name par excellence with a rustic, outdoorsy charm.
When supermodel Miranda Kerr named her second son Hart in 2018, we had it pegged to rise rapidly up the rankings. After all, her first son's name, Flynn, more than quadrupled in use in the two years following his birth. But this sleek nature name remains surprisingly rare.
Hart is short, snappy and strong yet sensitive – a true rebel poet name, borne by the influential modernist poet Hart Crane.
Its majestic natural namesake also qualifies it as one of the most sophisticated of the wild nature names. White harts have featured strongly in folklore and legend for centuries, from Celtic myth to Arthurian legend to Harry Potter.
The rarest name on this list, Isander nevertheless feels like one of the most conventional in terms of sound. Sharing its strong ending with hits like Alexander and Evander, it likewise has its roots in Greek mythology.
If the other -ander names feel too expected but you love their powerful, dynamic sound, Isander could be a straightforward yet virtually undiscovered alternative to consider.
The O ending is huge in boy names right now: think Leo, Theo, Milo, Arlo, Hugo and Enzo. If you love the bright, energetic sound but not the popularity of these fashionable options, this undiscovered gem could be one to consider.
Deriving from a Slavic root meaning "peace" or "world", Miro has a wonderful meaning to match its sleek sound. Art lovers might also appreciate the link to iconic Catalan artist Joan Miró, famed for his unconventional style.
If you prefer your ancient names with a bit more drama, this extravagant option strikes all the right style notes for bold namers in 2023 and beyond.
Meaning “victory of the people”, it boasts a powerful meaning and plenty of gravitas, but shortens naturally to the cool and easygoing nickname Nico.
We're loving cute yet edgy nickname Ozzy or Ozzie right now – and so are new parents! Ozzy entered the Top 1000 for the first time in 2021, and rose significantly last year as well.
Fashionable long forms could include Oscar or even August, but if you're looking for something rarer, the Old English name Oswin is a great option to consider.
It derives from two elements meaning "god" and "friend", and belonged to a 7th-century king of Northumbria.
Surname names are evolving, and single-syllable, ends-in-S options have replaced the traditional -er and -son endings to become the coolest new kids on the block.
Banks, Briggs, Riggs and Wells were all among the fastest rising names of recent years, and Parks is a preppy, outdoorsy option in the same vein.
Parks inevitably calls to mind the iconic civil rights activist Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her seat to a white man acted as a catalyst for the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56. It’s hard to think of a worthier namesake for any child.
We’ve been big fans of Rafferty for years – it’s just so much fun to say! And with jaunty, rhythmic Irish surnames like Sullivan and Finnegan now positively mainstream, we think it could finally be Rafferty’s time to shine.
Ahead-of-the-curve namers Jude Law and Sadie Frost famously chose it for their son in 1999, but they’re not the only ones to fall for its raffish charm. Rafferty has been on the rise in the UK in recent years, currently ranking at #208.
Even edgier than cowboy-cool Wilder, this word-name-meets-surname also has an esteemed literary namesake in Irish poet, playwright and famous wit Oscar Wilde.
Wilde and its wordier counterpart Wild have been popping up in more and more high-profile birth announcements lately. Most recently, rapper Eve chose it for her son: full name (deep breath) Wilde Wolf Fife Alexander Somers Cooper.
With echoes of cowboy cool choices like Wiley and Wade, this punchy option straddles several different styles and feels bold but wearable for a 2023 baby boy.