Nameberry Picks: The Best O Names

We’ve always loved O Names, from our first book Beyond Jennifer & Jason when we declared names that ended (and sometimes also began) with the cheery letter O to be “So Far Out They’re In.” A quarter century later, they still are, with choices like Leo and Marlo officially stylish and a raft of other O names gaining much-deserved attention.

We’re still so fond of the O names that we find it difficult to narrow our favorites down to a dozen, but these to us feel both fresh and usable, contemporary and also deserving of respect. The only down side of the O names as a class is that there are more great choices for boys than for girls.

With photos that connect the letter O’s eternal circle with things relating to childhood, here are the best O names right now.


Picture 1 of 12

Benno is one of the most distinctive and undiscovered of the o-ending boys. Though it sounds like an Italian play on Ben, it’s actually German, the name of an 11th century saint, patron of anglers, weavers and—sufferin’ succotash!—alliteration. Two notable bearers: Benno Schmidt Sr., the venture capitalist who invented the term venture capitalist, and Benno Schmidt, Jr., one-time president of Yale.

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29 Responses to “Nameberry Picks: The Best O Names”

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CountryLizB Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 1:51 am

I think Margot would make a good addition to this list.

Mara_lyn86 Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 3:40 am

Juno is cute, but I like Juniper more. Otto is a family name on my husbands side (his grandfather) but I don’t want to use it if it will become the next big thing. Theo is cute and probably will take off soon.

freya55 Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 4:52 am

I like a lot of names on this list- Hero, Indigo, Juno, Otto- but if I had a little boy right now, i’d call him Arlo. Its my biggest name crush at the moment and another great O name.

Laura Kathleen Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 5:44 am

There is a Clio in Maeve Binchy’s book The Glass Lake. Her full name is Cliona which is pretty.

samjaymc Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 6:16 am

I love Hugo!

aunt_ning Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 6:32 am

First, can I just say the little girl in the Juno pic is absolutely adorable!

I have a friend whose grandson is named Otto, its adorably fresh. I also adore the name Milo, I have for years. Orlando is great but I am such a big Disney fan and despise Shakespeare so much people would think I named my child after the Disney Town

pam Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 6:33 am

Freya55, we agree on Arlo but felt we’d written about him so much lately that we didn’t want to include him again. And CountryLizB, I was so torn about leaving Margo off this list that I nearly included her at the last minute, but we don’t like to end up with 13 picks — triskaidekaphobic!

stairwaytoastar Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 6:41 am

You guys must have looked at my favorite names list! I think you are missing Viggo though. 🙂

pam Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 6:51 am

We know! Love Viggo! But since Natalie Hanson just wrote about it — — we didn’t want to cover again so quickly.

Lou Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 6:56 am

One of my favourite -o names is Callisto

skizzo Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 7:33 am

Just wanna say that Juno can also be used on boys – its a male name in Portugal.

I really like Indigo best out of these. I also suggest Calypso and Kaio.

stairwaytoastar Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 7:46 am

There is also Cosmo, Rocco and Leo.

MinnieAbby Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 7:48 am

Love Otto,Juno,and Theo! Where are Odessa, Oceana,Odelia,and Olivia?

henrye Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 8:15 am

Hero was the top of our list about five years ago, and Milo was up there as well, though neither is as high on the list now that we’re actually expecting. We have been considering Inigo (not Indigo) for a boy) right now. We’d also talked about Aino for a girl, from the Kalevala, but worried it sounded too much like “I know;” I also like Medo as a nickname for Medora. Otto, however: I just cannot picture an Otto looking like anything but SZ Sakall, which is to say, short, Germanic, and chubby.

LyndsayJenness Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 8:18 am

I love almost all of these! My favorite O names are Viggo, Vonnoh, Milo and Leo for boys, and Margo, Juno, Cleo/Clio.. I also love Rocco for boys and Hero for girls but I don’t think I’d be brave enough for either of them.

phoebesmom Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 8:31 am

No Margo? She’s the classic big sister of the ‘O’ names!

kyemsma Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 9:03 am

Clio, Milo and Theo are my favorites!

augusta_lee Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 9:31 am

I LOVE o-ending names. My favorites are Waldo and Roscoe. Great list!

Mischa Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 10:25 am

I love o-ending names for both genders. I love Clio and Juno for girls and Hugo, Milo, Theo and Otto for boys. If I wasn’t such a nitpicker about sibsets, I may want to add Inigo and Camlo to the list as well. Hey, if the Kardashians can have all K’s and the Duggars all J’s, why can’t I have all O’s?

XxaShLeIgHxX Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 10:56 am

Orlando’s my favorite! Love that name, but I don’t think I’ll use it, for the same reason as aunt_ning 😛

auroradawn Says:

August 10th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I like a lot of these. Benno might be a cool way to honor a Benjamin–what do you think?

AmandaChristine Says:

August 11th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

The worst thing about “o” names is they’re so fun and distinct that I’m finding other names pale in comparison and yet I couldn’t use another because it sounds far to matchy for my taste! (my son is Theodore, called Theo) Theo and Clio? Nope. Theo and Otto? Nope. Theo and Margo? Sadly no. Oh well 🙂

Saskia5575 Says:

August 11th, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I’m new here, and i was just wondering how you post a question on the forums?

Poppy528 Says:

August 11th, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I think Enzo & Apollo are awesome and very handsome. Others I really enjoy are words: Minnow, Sparrow, Meadow, and the most intriguing, Hallow. I do like the simple Beau/Bo, as short for Boaz.

MaryB Says:

August 13th, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I also really love Bruno, so handsome and masculine. I first heard it on a 50-something coworker when I moved to the heavily italian north jersey area in 2003 and really liked the distinctive sound. Plus it stands on its own, no nicknames necessary.

Divine1 Says:

April 10th, 2013 at 1:24 am

The title of this post is a bit misleading ‘O names’ (most names end in O on these list)…
Oceana is my fav O name! I like Odessa too.

Ocean and Obediah are my fav boy O names.

charmingwitch Says:

October 25th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

I really love the name Hero ever since reading Much Ado About nothing the first time. Beatrice is actually my favorite character but unfortunately I’m not much a fan of the name ^^.

ToNameAFlutist Says:

January 11th, 2014 at 2:32 pm

I like Hero because it reminds me of a book character.

The_Supernatural_Hufflepuff Says:

October 10th, 2014 at 7:23 pm

I love Clio, Hugo, Indigo, and Otto

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