Best K Names for Boys

Best K Names for Boys

Boys names starting with K are some of the trendiest in this millenium so far. Many names traditionally starting with a C have taken off with their alternative K spellings, including Karson, Karter, Kameron, and Kaleb. The Aiden revolution has led Kayden, Kaiden, Kaden, and many other spellings to bloom in popularity. However, if we look beyond these trends, there are many K names for boys that are underappreciated and undiscovered today.


This surname belonging to renowned Mexican painter Frida Kahlo makes a striking choice for a boy. Kahlo is surprisingly German in origin, which makes more sense knowing that Frida was born to a German father. Kahlo is truly unisex, given to roughly equal numbers of boys and girls each year.


With use in Hawaiian, Japanese, Mandarin, Navajo, Maori, Swahili, and Persian (and more), names don’t get much more global than Kai. In the Top 100 in several English-speaking countries (plus Number 177 in the US and 48 on Nameberry), cool-guy Kai feels both mainstream and slightly offbeat. Kai has several attractive long forms, including also-Hawaiian Kainoa.


Kalevi is a variation of the also-masculine name Kaleva, but we think the "-i" ending has more potential over taking off here in the states. This Finnish name is pronounced "KAH-leh-vee", despite its similar looks to the name Levi. Kalevi is an energetic option for parents who love that popular 3-syllable flow.


This surname brings to mind poet John Keats, joining Auden, Eliot, Frost, and Marlowe in the list of appealing poet names. Keats is an English name meaning "kite", and we think the upbeat, fun vibe as well as the simplicity and ease of pronunciation make Keats a great addition to the one-syllable name repertoire.


Irish names have enjoyed enduring popularity in the US, but Keir is virtually unused. A striking one-syllable name, Keir works well as a first or as an unexpected middle. Similarly, Kieran would make a great alternative to overused Irish imports like Aidan, Connor, and Ryan.

Top K Names for Boys in the US


The endearing and emotion-filled Disney film Brother Bear brought Kenai into the spotlight in 2003. The name Kenai, like the Disney protagonist, is Native American in origin — a place name meaning "flat lands". With Kai being oh-so-trendy today, similar-sounding Kenai (pronounced "KEE-nye") might be the next step.


Benji is a sweet and vintage nickname for classic Benjamin, but add a K and Kenji is a whole new name. Kenji is one of the most accessible Japanese names, meaning "second son", and has been gaining traction in recent years from Japanese parents and non-Japanese parents alike, entering the Top 1000 in 2020. Kenji's spunk and cool sound make him one of the most probable new imports in the States.


Another spunky Japanese name meaning "strong and healthy". Kenzo can also have other meanings, all positive, depending on the Japanese characters used. With Enzo being one of the hottest names today, Kenzo's rise in popularity up to number 530 makes perfect sense. Kenzo, as well as cousin Kenji, would make fresh alternatives to honor a Ken in one's life.


In Ancient Egyptian mythology, Khepri is a scarab-faced god who represents the rising sun, as well as new life. Today we think Khepri is a lively addition to the list of mythological names in style today, including Atlas, Freya, Jupiter, and Apollo.


Another Irish entrant on this list, Killian may seem divisive at first, but he is rising fast! Killian is also in the Top 100 in Ireland and Germany. Actor Cillian Murphy shows how wearable this name can be, and the K spelling makes pronunciation more intuitive.

Unique Boy Names Starting With K


Kit is one of our favorite gender neutral names. A diminutive of Christopher on the boys' side, or a diminutive of Katherine on the girls' side, Kit is great either way. Actor Kit Harington, aka the dreamy Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, has given this nickname-name new style and appeal for boys.


A big title name to join Royal, King, Saint, Noble, and Duke in the list of royal names. Knight, however, has an extra edge over these names with the image of a noble knight in shining armor, saving kingdoms and partaking in daring adventures. Another appeal of Knight over other names of the same caliber is Knight's lack of popularity — he has yet to crack the Top 1000.


Knox is one of the coolest names of the last decade, rising from outside of the Top 1000 to Number 219 in 10 years. This spike is credited to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's use of the name Knox for their son in 2008 (the year before Knox entered the charts). The cool -x ending puts Knox in the category of other trending names like Pax, Maddox, Phoenix, Jax, and Felix.


Noah has been in the Top 10 for over a decade now, and parents may be looking for a fresher alternative. Koa may just be that name. Koa is one of the several stylish Hawaiian names starting with K that have been trending in recent years. Koa, meaning warrior, is also a type of tree native to the islands, its wood favored for building canoes and surfboards. This stylish mini name currently sits at 546.


The second name on this list used in Disney's Brother Bear Koda has multiple origins, including Sioux as well as Japanese. Cody had a spike of popularity in the 90s, making it all the way up to the Top 25. Unisex Dakota made it up to the Top 100 during the 90s as well. While both have fallen out of favor today, Koda just may take their place. Boy names that end in A are extra cool today, and Koda's recent rise in popularity is showing that.

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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