Smart Boys’ Baby Names

Names that mean or convey intelligence

smart baby boy names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Some parents want their babies to be beautiful, some put an upbeat disposition first, while others wish most for an intelligent child.

If you’re interested in a name that means or conveys intelligence and wisdom, here are a range of choices for boys. (Of course there are wonderful choices in this vein for girls too, including the popular Sophia, name of the goddess of wisdom. But today is the boys’ turn.)

Aakil — This Hindi name means intelligent or smart.

Alden – This English surname, quietly but historically used as a first, means “old wise friend”.

Alfred – After nearly touching the bottom in 2013, Alfred — which means “wise counselor” — has regained nearly 200 places on the US popularity list. The name is Number 19 in Sweden and was discussed as an option for one of Britain‘s royal babies, so its profile is rising. Alfred was a Top 50 names until the early 1930s.

Apollo — This GrecoRoman god ruled wisdom and knowledge, along with light and the sun. And was obviously adept at multi-tasking.

Boman – This unusual-but-accessible Persian name has a stylish sound and means “great mind”.

Cato Roman statesman Cato the Elder was renowned for his wisdom; the name means “all-knowing”.

Ethan – Popular Ethan, the Number 6 name in the US that’s in the Top 50 throughout the English-speaking world, was an Old Testament figure praised for his wisdom.

Hugh or Hugo – Both the English Hugh and his more dashing Latinate brother Hugo mean mind or intellect. After a low in 2008, Hugh has been slowly but steadily climbing in the US charts.

Kendry — This unusual-but-highly-usable name from Madagascar means “wise man”.

Nestor – The legendary wise ruler whose advice helped the Greeks win the Trojan war.

RafikiRafiki was the wise elder in Lion King.

RainierRoyal and mountain name that means “wise army”.  Can be varied, but not improved, to Rainer.

Raymond – This German name that means “wise protector” is a rising Geek Chic name, with cool short form Ray. Redmond is an attractive Irish variation.

Sage – This word name can suggest a wise person…or an herb.

Senan — This name, which might also be spelled Seanan, is in the Irish Top 100 but virtually unknown in the US, where it might make a good Sean update.  It means “old and wise”.

Solomon – Though the name means peace, Solomon was a biblical king renowned for his wisdom.

Wisdom – For those who don’t want to merely suggest wisdom, but come right out and say it.

Zeki — It means clever in Turkish and is certainly translatable and cute, though feels like a nickname for Ezekiel or Zachary or even Isaac.

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11 Responses to “Smart Boys’ Baby Names”

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lesliemarion Says:

March 21st, 2016 at 11:08 pm

There is a big difference between a male name that sounds intelligent and a male name that means intelligent. After all, kids don’t go around saying, “My name means big brains.” No, a boy would go around being called Alfred (good butler name) or Cato (good parrot name), wishing to God he’d been named something normal.

elifsu Says:

March 22nd, 2016 at 5:05 am

Both Aakil and Zeki are originally Arabic names but whatever they are good names.

dindlee Says:

March 22nd, 2016 at 5:10 am

@lesliemarion Snarky much? Cato and Alfred are fine boys names. I know one of each. There are ways to express dislike without being rude.

dindlee Says:

March 22nd, 2016 at 5:15 am

Anyway, I’ve always liked Alden as an alternative to Aiden. The meaning gives it a boost too. Nice list of names!

esita Says:

March 22nd, 2016 at 6:32 am

I like a lot of these. Alfred is prime for a come back (Alfie is adorbs). Hugo has always been a favourite of mine, but just too popular where I live. Cato is so great and unexpected. And I really like the freshness of both Kendry and Boman – a new discovery!

Haids1987 Says:

March 22nd, 2016 at 9:25 am

The only place I have ever heard Cato is in the Hunger Games, and I had no idea it had such a rich history! Makes me like it more.

teacupsandtiaras Says:

March 22nd, 2016 at 11:48 am

Alfred is a family name, so I’ve always wanted to use it for a middle, and I think it’s due for a major comeback! It’s in the top 1000 in the U.S., so I don’t see the problem with its use. Hugo is definitely very useable and popular, as well!

Star_Girl Says:

March 22nd, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Alfred was the name of Batman’s butler, and I might use the name Isaac if I were to have a son, and it’s my friend Vance’s middle name.

lesliemarion Says:

March 22nd, 2016 at 3:26 pm

It is hardly “snarky” to make a distinction between a name that has the meaning of intelligence and a name that is commonly associated with intelligence.

It’s like saying Cecilia conveys blindness b/c of its original meaning. If we were judged by the meanings of our names, it would be a far different namescape.

No, I don’t much care for Alfred or Cato as names, but nor do I associate them with wisdom. If people choose those names, that’s fine, but I’m not obliged to like them or find them positive names for most kids.

Cordelia16 Says:

March 26th, 2016 at 9:47 am

Aakil — This Hindi name means intelligent or smart. Akhil Sharma is an award-winning Indian-American novelist.

Just wanted to point out that Akhil is not the same name as Aakil, nor is it a spelling variation. Akhil, in Sanskrit, means “complete, whole.”

Pam Says:

March 26th, 2016 at 10:12 am

Thanks, @Cordelia16. I corrected it. We’d love to have a blog from someone who knows something about Hindi and Sanskrit names — let us know if you ever want to write one!

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