Best N Names for Boys

Best N Names for Boys

Yes, Noah is one of the most popular names for boys of this century, and N is probably the most popular ending for boy names, so there are plenty of popular Boy Names That Start with N. And yet, if you’re looking for an N-starting name for your baby boy, there are quite a few unique baby names that make greatly appealing options.


Koa is one of the hottest Hawaiian names today, entering the Top 1000 in 2017. This long form is also of Hawaiian origin, meaning "the warriors". Nakoa is a Top 100 name in native Hawaii, and was brought to the mainland's attention when it was used by actors Lisa Bonet and Jason Mamoa for their son in 2008.


We first became aware of using the surname Nash as a first name with the 1996 debut of the TV show Nash Bridges, starring the dashing Don Johnson. And sure enough, the name debuted on the Social Security list the following year, entering the Top 500 in 2011, and now at its highest rank ever, #233. Sharing the trendy ash sound with Ash, Ashton, Asher, Cash, Cassius, and Dashiell Nash has the potential to rise even higher.


Nasir is an Arabic name meaning "help" that has been in the Top 1000 since the 90s. Today he sits at number 365 in the US. Rapper Nas was born Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones. Nasser is a similar-sounding Arabic name commonly used for Muslim boys.


Many degrees cooler than the traditional Ed and Eddie nicknames for Edward, the gentler old-fashioned Ned is on the brink of a comeback. One of the popular Game of Thrones names, partly via the heroic character Ned Stark (full name Eddard). The onetime boyfriend of Nancy Drew, Ned has been off the US list for four decades, but is now #687 in England and 586 on Nameberry.


The host of reality TV show Catfish Nev Schulman (short for Yaniv) introduced Americans to this sleek Hebrew name. Nev, pronounced "neev", joins the list of chic one-syllable names more distinctive than John, Max, or Luke. Nev can also be a short form of Irish Nevin, which could make a fresh alternative to 90s favorite Devin.

Top N Names for Boys in the US


Looking for a Biblical name beyond Noah? Nehemiah, with the same iah ending as Jeremiah, Zachariah et al, was a governor of Judea who helped rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Some other Old and New Testament possibilities: Naaman, Naphtali, Nebadiah, Nemuel, and Nicodemus.


It means new and indeed it couldn’t sound more nouveau, sleek and moderne, which it has since Keanu Reeves wore it in The Matrix in 1999. Neo is more popular in Germany, where it’s in 153rd place, and in Switzerland at 155, than it is in the US.


Move over Nick Nico is the more current trending short form of classic Nicholas. Boasting that spunky "-o" ending like other popular names such as Theo, Arlo, and Milo, Nico stands perfectly well on his own. Nico is in the Top 100 in Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, Austria, and Spain, and has been rising steadily in the US in the last 2 decades.


With plenty of Eastern European strength and style, Nikolai is a variation of Nicholas used in in large numbers in Russia and surrounding countries. The cool vowel ending as well as the obvious path to nickname Niko make Nikolai a fantastic international choice. The spelling Nicolai is used more often in Slavik and Scandinavian countries.


A strong river name with a very different image from that of the Frasier brother Niles, which makes a nice addition to the list of names that mean water. It saw some use at the turn of the last century. Nilo is the Spanish and Portuguese form, and Irish sound-alike Niall is worn by the former member of the boy-band One Direction.

Unique Boy Names That Start With N


A far more individual Hebrew alternative to Noah that’s popular in both Israel and France. Linguist/social activist Noam Chomsky is its best-known bearer, and a noble namesake. Noaz is even more unusual.


One of the best virtue names for boys, Noble was a Top 500 name through the 1950s and is beginning to see a revival. Noble fits in with royal and grandiose word names such as King, Legend, and Royal, with a more virtuous touch. Noble Sissle was an early jazz legend.


This gender-neutral name is perfect for a winter baby, conjuring up images of snowy mountains and toy-making elves. This cool word name was thrown into the spotlight when used by Kim Kardashian and Kayne West's daughter with the controversial pun name North West in 2013. North works perfectly well for a boy or girl, and does not rank on the charts for either.


Another great Christmas name for boys — Noel actually means "Christmas" — as seen in Christmas carols such as "The first Noel". This French name can be pronounced "noh-ELL", or more commonly in the US, "Nole" (rhyming with Joel). Noel is used for both boys and girls, but the feminized version Noelle is more popular on the girls' side.


This Arabic and Hebrew name can mean "light" or "my fire" Nuri is common in the Middle East, but would easily work in the States. The "-i" ending feels lively and youthful, but not too cutesy.

Search Boy Names By Letter

Find all our search by letter tools on the Baby Names A-Z page.

About the Author

Brynn McKeon

Brynn McKeon

Brynn McKeon joined the Nameberry team in August of 2022 as an editor, and has written about topics such as the Ultimate Guide to Goddess Names and Redefining Classic Names. As Head Moderator, she also oversees our active Nameberry forums community. Brynn also writes the daily Name of the Day newsletter.

Outside of Nameberry, Brynn lives in New York State with her dog Raven, where she is working towards her Master's degree in Occupational Therapy. You can reach her at