“Bo” Names are Booming

“Bo” Names are Booming

Of all the names that start with B, those with a “Bo” sound are the biggest trend. The most popular for boys are Bodhi, Beau and Bowen. Beyond them, there are plenty more names for boys and girls with the same cool sound.

Popular Bo names


The most popular name with a "Bo" sound, the cowboy-vibe French spelling entered the Top 100 boy names in 2021, and is still rising. Breezy Bo is just within the Top 500 for boys.

If neither of those spellings do it for you, other less common options include jazzed-up Beaux, surname-esque Boe, or word name Bow — but whichever you choose, you and your child are likely to have to spell it out a lot.

In the States, all these spellings lean strongly male, but elsewhere they are more gender balanced. For example, Beau ranks in the Top 500 boy and girl names in England and Wales.


Twenty years ago, Bodhi was an obscure name known only to people familiar with Buddhism or Indian culture.

Then came a trickle of celebrity babies named Bodhi — Amy Brenneman’s son in 2005, Goldie Hawn's grandson 2010, and both Megan Fox and Teresa Palmer in the same week in 2014 — to put the name on parents' radar. Mix in a growing interest in spiritual and nature names, and it was a winning formula that sent it rising through the charts.

Bodhi is the most popular spelling, but also in the Top 1000 boy names are surname-like Bodie, and Bode — as in skier Bode Miller, whose name has two syllables. Bodhi is also the top spelling for girls, but was only given to 50 girls in 2022.


This Welsh surname has come virtually out of nowhere in the last ten years, but with the cool sound combo of "Bo" and "Owen", it feels like it was meant to be.


Another two-syllable surname ending in N, Boden is a cool alternative to names like Logan and Nolan, and has the connection to the clothing brand. The Frenched-up spelling Beauden is rare Stateside, but popular in New Zealand thanks to the rugby player Beauden Barrett.

Rare Bo Names

Boaz — A punchy and distinctive biblical name that parents have really started to take note of recently. For the last two years it has been just a whisker away from the Top 1000 boy names.

Bohannon — A recent addition to the charts with huge potential. This Irish surname honors the Motown musician Hamilton Bohannon. It has been in the charts for boys since 2014.

Bowie — After David's Bowie's death in 2016, this music hero name rose fast for both sexes, making it one of the most gender-balanced "Bo" names. It ranks just outside the Top 1000 boy names, and slightly lower for girls.

Bowman — An occupational surname with the same meaning as Archer, but a warmer, more laid-back sound.

Beaumont — If Beau feels incomplete to you, you might like this French name, meaning “beautiful mountain”. It's less cowboy, more preppy; less casual, more elaborate; and could have the nickname Monty. Roald Dahl-esque Beauregard is another option.

Almost-Bo Names

These bonus names don’t begin with a Bo sound, but have the spelling, or the sound somewhere else

Bobby — A cute old-fashioned nickname that’s in the Top 100 in England and Wales, but still in style limbo in the US, as is Bobbie for girls.

Bonham — This buttoned-up last name is familiar from Helena Bonham Carter, but barely used as a first name.

Bonnie — The only Bo name in the Top 1000 for girls, this upbeat Scottish name is showing signs of a comeback.

Booker — A stylish surname that pays tribute to Booker T. Washington.

Boomer — Oh, poor Boomer. When Olympian Michael Phelps chose it for his son in 2016, it was surprising, original and very cool. Its future as a name looked bright… until it became a generational put-down. Still, we kind of love the sound and hope it bounces back.

Boone — A short but powerful surname, almost a word, and one of the fastest-rising names of the 2010s.

Bora — Girl name meaning "snow" in Albanian.

Bosco — Italian names ending in O are having a moment, and this jaunty one has great potential.

Boston — Move over, Brooklyn: Boston is one of the hottest new city names. Bolton is another place name possibility.

Boyd — This chirpy Gaelic name was never as popular as Lloyd and Floyd, but is perhaps more timeless.

Boyce — Another deliciously preppy last name that we can see rising on the tails of Royce.

Isabeau — This medieval form of Isabel makes a rare alternative to a very popular name.

Jacobo — Spanish version of Jacob that could be shortened to Bo.

Rainbow — Colorful, whimsical word name given to 18 girls in 2022.

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare Green

Clare Green has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from names peaking right now to feminist baby names, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. Her work has featured in publications such as The Independent and HuffPost. Clare has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and recently completed an MA dissertation researching names in multilingual families. She lives in England with her husband and son. You can reach her at clare@nameberry.com