12 Great Boy Names Starting with J
Boy names starting with J have been hugely popular ever since the days (ok, centuries) when John was number one. Today, the J names at the top of the charts include other biblical classics like James, Jacob and Joseph, and modern favorites like Jackson and Jayden.
If you’re looking for a J name that’s just a little different, we’ve picked out some of the very best. Long and short, ancient and modern, popular and undiscovered, here are our top twelve boys’ names beginning with J. Jump on in!
J Names for Boys
That Y transforms well-known Jacob into a more unusual name with lots of potential nicknames, including Jack, Jake, Cobe and Coby. Although it’s not as popular as it was ten years ago (thanks to baseball player Jacoby Ellsbury), it’s not ready for retirement yet. The British actor Derek Jacobi shows an alternative spelling and pronunciation, with emphasis on the first syllable.
This “son” surname ticks a lot of boxes. It’s a fresh alternative to Jackson and Jason, a way to honor a special James, and gives the option of nicknames like Jamie and Jem. Jameson was new to the US Top 100 in 2017, and we predict it will keep climbing.
One of the most beloved names for Nameberry readers, Jasper is the fifth most popular name both on the site and for Berries’ own baby boys. Pretty much the only gemstone name that’s traditionally male, the Wise Men connection makes Jasper especially good for a Christmas baby. If you’re worried about popularity, the Scandinavian form Jesper is much rarer and just as lovely.
As Old Testament boys’ names remain in style, you may be looking for something longer, bolder and less expected than Noah and Elijah. Step in, Jedidiah! The obvious short form is Jed, but Star Wars fans may prefer Jedi. Jedaiah is an underused, shorter alternative. Similar-sounding Jebediah is another possibility – but if such things matters to you, be aware that this name doesn’t actually appear in the bible.
Jethro combines biblical style with a rural feel (thanks to Jethro Tull the agricultural reformer) and a folk-rock vibe (thanks to Jethro Tull the band). Mix in a cool -o ending and the nickname Jet, and it has a lot of potential. Need more persuasion? Jethro is below the US Top 1000, but in the 300s in the Nameberry chart. That’s a sure sign that it’s on parents’ minds.
Of all the international variants, from Joachim to Gioacchino, Joaquin is the coolest. This smooth Spanish name has long been popular in Latin America, but Joaquin Phoenix has brought it to the wider world’s attention in the last 15 years. It’s sitting steady in the 300s, making it a familiar but not overused cultural crossover.
This cool surname is rising fast. It has the same style as popular ends-in-s names like Brooks and Hayes, and could honor anyone with a related name like John or Jane. Jones is the most common surname in Wales, so if you have any Welsh roots, chances are you’ll have it somewhere on your family tree. Plus, the nickname Jonesy is pretty darn cute.
One of those names that everyone knows but hardly anyone is using. Joss can be short for other names, as in screenwriter Joss (Joseph) Whedon and singer Joss (Jocelyn) Stone. But it works just as well on its own. It has a medieval courtly flavor – the Normans brought it over from Brittany – and a spiritual side, as in joss sticks.
What’s great about Jude? Its simplicity, its ancient roots, and of course its namesakes in literature and song. Jude Law helped the name rise from obscurity (sorry, I couldn’t resist), but it soon gathered enough momentum to keep climbing independently of his career – it’s now a Top 200 name. If you feel it needs a little more, Judah is a longer, more obviously biblical version.
This classic name is enjoying a moment. It’s more popular now than ever before, and has been used by several celebs for their children – most recently, Robin Thicke with the memorable combination Julian Fuego. Julian travels well: it works in lots of languages, and is currently popular in countries from Norway to Chile. Alternatives include regal Julius, jolly Jolyon and streamlined Jules.
By Jove! The chief Roman god and largest planet in our solar system is an undiscovered gem of a baby name. With parents looking to mythology and the night sky for inspiration – think of Orion, Atlas and fellow sky-god Thor – Jupiter seems ripe for use. Mila Kunis’s character in the film Jupiter Ascending has launched it as a girls’ name too.
The most unisex name on this list, Justice is in the 500s for both boys and girls. As a modern virtue name, it speaks to anyone who values fairness and accountability. (Does that make it ironic that it’s banned in Australia and New Zealand?) It also feels like a fresh twist on 1980s and 90s favorite Justin. Justus is a more unusual option from the same root.
Which of these J names for a boy make you jump for joy?
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on November 27th, 2018 at 7:18 am
One of my young adult son’s best friends is a young man named Jameson. His parents evidently were ahead of the curve, as he is in his early twenties. I love the name. Also, Jude, Jedediah, and Jethro.
My older boy is a James, plain and simple, but I still love it! It is very much a family name for us, which is one reason I chose it. It bugs me that people are trying to be “kool” nowadays by using it as a middle name for girls. I personally think it sounds like they’re trying too hard to be original, and missing the mark by a large margin, as this trend already feels overdone. These same folks would most likely not middle name their sons Elizabeth! James is and will always be a boy’s name.
on November 27th, 2018 at 9:10 am
We’ve considered James as a middle name for a girl because it 1) it’s a traditional family name on my fiance’s side, but 2) we can’t guarantee we’ll have sons, and 3) it’s the 21st century, why hang ending or continuing such a rich tradition on an arbitrary 50% chance? Not “kool” at all.
I’m a big fan of Jude and Julian, but since we both have the same J name (James and Jamie) we’ve nixed other J choices altogether for the first name slot, lest we come off too close to the Duggars.
on November 27th, 2018 at 12:17 pm
I am one of 5 sisters with J names, so i sometimes think about what my mother would have named us if we were boys, so several of these names are familiar faves to me, particularly Jameson, Jude and Julian. I also really like Jacoby and Justice, I just couldn’t really see using them, I feel like Jacoby would be confused with Jacob and Justice is too modern/not my style enough.
on November 27th, 2018 at 12:53 pm
I am from a family with a lot of J names (My mum is Jennifer, uncles are Jeremy & Jonathan, dad is Joseph, ex-aunt is Jane, cousin is Jacob) so may use. I think there are some really nice options out there if you look hard enough.
on November 27th, 2018 at 5:16 pm
I really love James, plain and simple, particularly with the nickname Jem (which I also like all by itself). I also love Jupiter, Jacoby and Jesper. I used to adore Jethro when I was a a young teenager, but not it feels exceptionally American, which I’m not.
on November 27th, 2018 at 6:49 pm
Another J name, Jericho, is a GP of mine.
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