I’ve just found out that I’ll be delivering early due to some complications that have also landed me in the hospital on bed rest.
All this time with nothing to do has me going in circles about the name for our son. Given how tiny he will be, I want a strong name. Middle name will be a family name (probably William but we’ve got a few options if the first name doesn’t work with that).
We had narrowed it to Ezra or Leo, but neither feels quite right to me now. I love Samuel, called Sam, and my husband loves Isaac, calledIke, but we both have some resistance to the others’ choice.
Our older son is Charlie and my husband and I both have very traditional names, so I don’t feel like we can go too far afield, but using the obvious William for a first boy name felt a little too British monarchy-themed for us.
We seem to both like short, strong names (or at least a short, strong nickname). What are we missing?! Given all the bad luck we’ve had lately, I’m feeling due for a strike of brilliance here!
Cool boy names have one thing in common: They tend to be part of a pack of other cool boy names. Like actual cool boys, cool boy names tend to hang out in a gang with other boys’ names that have a similar look and feel.
If you’re a parent in search of a cool, unique name for your baby boy, this is good news. If you’re not crazy about one of these boys’ names, you might find another choice in the same style that fits better.
Here are 25 of the coolest names for boys, and the brother names in the same group that carry the same kind of cool..
Cool boy name Auden has the stylish A beginning and the trendy two-syllable, n-ending rhythm. It’s also the surname of poet W. H. (for WystanHugh) Auden. That makes Whitman, for poet Walt, a cool stand-in, especially given its supercool nickname Whit. And the gender-neutral Arden is Auden‘s almost-identical twin, with its poetic similarity to the passionate word ardent.
Many might reverse the standing of these two sound-alike names, but we prefer the ancient saints’ name Blaise, which actually means to lisp or stammer, to the modern word name Blaze. Either choice is, um, hot as well as cool.
The name Bowie shot up the charts with the death of rocker DavidBowie, but Dylan remains cool despite its long-standing popularity, Elvis is usable despite its enduring attachment to The King, and Lennon works well for both boys and (increasingly) girls.
Cool boy name Cassius is an ancient Roman name best-known in the modern US as the birth name of boxer MuhammadAli. Almost any name beginning with the Cas sound seems to be cool these days for boys as well as girls. Unique saints’ name Cassian is a cool alternative, as is the dashing Polish royal name Casimir.
Cool boys’ name Huck, as in classic American literary hero HuckFinn, is both down-to-earth and full of attitude. Huck‘s surname Finn and the surname of his sidekick Sawyer are both popular yet remain cool, while Hank carries the same earthy nickname-name image and sound as Huck.
Mythological and celestial names are both hot, and the name of benevolent planet Jupiter comes complete with appealing nickname Jupe. Mercury is another god and planet name that works for boys, while the Norse Thor is rising along with the visibility of the cinematic superhero.
Like Blaise and Blaze, Justus and Justice are identical-sounding names with different origins, though in this case they share an appealing meaning, “just”. We prefer the deeply-rooted Justus, a New Testament name and name of several saints, but the word name Justice is strong and modern.
The Biblical Lazarus, who rose from the dead, is well-known, but his new cool as a name is thanks to that appealing Laz syllable. Lazarus, Lazer, and Eleazar are all forms of the same name, while the Hungarian Laszlo, famous via the classic film Casablanca, has a different meaning and root.
Presidential name Lincoln has had a renaissance since the Stephen Spielberg film. Nickname Link is from The Mod Squad. McKinley and Truman are other unique Presidential choices, but that august group is rich with possibilities.
Seemingly all boys’ names ending in -us, a form rooted in the ancient world, are cool and on-trend. The Linus of Greek myth was the inventor of rhythm and melody, and in the Christian world Linus has been a pope’s name. Linus is a Top 50 name in several European countries. Cyrus and Aurelius are just two of the many other us-ending names worth consideration.
Is Lucius so appealing because it sounds like luscious? Or is it just part of our gender-neutral love of so many Luc-beginning, light-meaning names, starting with Lucas and Lucy? The new cool guys in town include Lucius, Lucian (or Lucien, the French spelling), and Luca.
McCoy is cool partly by virtue of its relationship to authenticity, via the saying The Real McCoy, and partly because of namesake, jazz great McCoy Tyner. It’s also got cool guy nickname Mac or Mack, which is the newer Zack and the more distinctive Jack.
We’ve been trumpeting the cool of o-ending names for boys for literally decades now, and Nico may be the coolest of this cool class. Other alternatives include the friendly Milo, sunny Elio, and romantic Orlando. But there are hundreds of great o-ending names for boys.
Ozias carries at least four kinds of cool: the o beginning, z in the middle, s ending, and ancient roots. Ozias, also spelled Osias, is a Biblical name, while brother name Osiris was an Egyptian god-king who died and was reborn every year. Oz is the extra-cool nickname for either and can also stand on its own.
Romeo is romantic, an emotional name that carries a warm kind of cool. All three names relate to the city of Rome, so may be a subtle way to honor an Italian heritage or love of the country and culture.
Word name Royal got a shot of cool via the WesAnderson film The Royal Tenenbaums, Royal being both an adjective meaning patrician and the first name of the paterfamilias. Other word names that do something similar are Noble and Loyal. All can also be used for girls.
There are lots of -er-ending occupational names in vogue for boys now, but Sayer and Booker are the two coolest. In fact, we couldn’t decide which to put first. Both relate to writing, but Sayer may also mean woodcutter ala Sawyer.
Cowboys probably have more to do than Kanye with the new cool of the boys’ name West, but both influences together vault it to prominence. West may be short for Weston or stand on its own; same with Wes and Wesley.
Wylie and Wiley are surname names with attitude that may derive from the first name William and make distinctive spins on that classic choice. Wiley, Wilder, and Wild are also word names with renegade meanings that can be cool names for boys.
A large percentage of parents-to-be are looking for a name that is instantly recognizable yet distinctive, especially appealing and yet not overly popular—aka a sweet-spot name. Well, a readymade place to look for names that fit that perfect fitting in/standing out trope is in the very lower depths of the Social Security popularity list. We’ve found 50 boy names that measure up—a mix of vintage faves, international possibilities and a few surprising word, place and nicknames. All of them were given to fewer than 300 baby boys across the country last year.