The Boys of Summer: Apollo, Elio and Leo

The Boys of Summer: Apollo, Elio and Leo

By Linda Rosenkrantz

We looked at some great options for summertime girls, now it’s the boys’ turn. Here are 20+ relevant baby name options related to the season, the sun and the sea.

APOLLOThe powerful name of the Greek god of the sun is currently heating up in the US, especially since it was chosen by Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale for their son. Fictional Apollos have appeared in the Rocky films, in the Percy Jackson books and in video games. The space program reference is another definite plus. Apollo is currently at its highest ever–#535 nationally and 267 on Nameberry. The Latinized Phoebus is a more unusual possibility.

ARUN—This Sanskrit name is the modern form of Aruna, the Hindu god charioteer who drives the sun god Surya across the sky; it is also the name of a river in West Sussex, England, giving it some nature cred. Arun was in the UK Top 500 from 1996 to 2008.

AUGUST/AUGUSTINE/AUGUSTUS—For a summer boy baby, there are several Augustan possibilities, starting with August itself. With its split-screen image of distinguished word name (emphasis on the second syllable) and sunlit month, it has a SSA popularity near-record of 191, is 45 in Sweden. The saintly Augustine reentered the US list in 2013, while the ancient Roman Augustus (#423) boasts the friendly nickname Gus, as well as Augie. Augustin is a Top 50 name in France.

CASPIANThere are many salty sea names appropriate for a summer boy, but I think Caspian—established in books by C. S. Lewis—is our favorite. Used by Neve Campbell for her son in 2012, Caspian is #50 on Nameberry (up from 94 in 2017).

CYRUSA Persian name meaning ‘sun’, Cyrus has a distinguished history via the ancient Persian leader known as Cyrus the Great. The name has made a recent comeback, especially since it was chosen by Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy for their son in 2012, and has also appeared on Gossip Girl and Scandal. On the latest US listings, Cyrus is #427—and 120 on Nameberry.

DENIZA Turkish name related to the sea that’s a lot more jazzy than Dennis—but could be confused with Denise.

ELIOElio is the romantico Italian form of Helios, the Greek god of the sun. Not as popular in Italy as it once was, it still feels fresh and energetic here and is also a high-ranking name in France. Elio is the young main character in Call Me By Your Name played by Timothée Chalamet, for which he earned an Oscar nomination. Currently 116 in France, Elio has his NB fans—it’s 507 here and we predict a rapid climb.

JULIANIf your summer son is due this month, Julian could be the perfect choice. A rapidly rising star, charming Julian now ranks at #39 and was chosen by several celebs, including Jerry Seinfeld. More serious cousin Julius is somewhat behind at 336, but climbing. We also like the Italian Giuliano.

LEO/LEON/LEONARDIf your boy is born between July 23rd and August 22nd, he’s a Leo and a legit owner of one of the leonine names—which are riding an international wave of popularity. Leo, chosen by numerous celebs, ranks at #61 in the US, #9 in Scotland, 13 in England, 14 in Spain and 14 on Nameberry. Appealing foreign versions include Lionel, Leonardo and Lev.

MURPHYA jaunty Irish surname connected to summer via its meaning of ‘sea warrior’.

OCEANLike River, Ocean is a water name flowing back onto the shores of the baby name landscape, conjuring up nice beachy images. It also links to popular  singer Frank Ocean.

RAVIRavi, meaning sun in Sanskrit, is a title of the Hindu god of the sun. Associated with the supreme sitar player Ravi Shankar, it was on the UK popularity list in the late 90s, and is a Top 200 name in the Netherlands.

RIVER—By far the most popular of the water-related names, River is currently #201 for boys (and 274 for girls), chosen by such celebs as Keri Russell, Taylor Hanson, Jamie Oliver, Jeff Goldblum and Megan Fox for their sons.

SAMSON—The super-strong biblical Samson means ‘sun child, bright sun’. Parents have begun turning to Samson as an alternative to Samuel; it’s now at #608 and 298 on Nameberry.

SEATONHow about a surname that relates to the season? The English-Scottish Seaton means ‘town or farm by the sea’ and has the popular ‘on’ ending.

SOL—The image of this long forgotten grandpa nickname name changes radically when seen as the Spanish/Portuguese word for sun. In the US, Sol peaked in 1913, a period of intense Jewish immigration. #1913. Could Sol possible join his old gin rummy pals Jake and Sam on baby name lists? (Better call Sol?)

SORIN—As opposed to the Scandinavian Soren, Sorin derives from a Romanian word for sun and is quite common in its native habitat. For literary cred, Sorin is a character in Chekov’s The Seagull.

THEROS—This is a rarely heard Greek name that actually means summer.

And now for your weekend bonus: Katinka‘s treasure trove of provocative gems gleaned from the Forums–don’t forget to respond in the Comments!

When dad likes Tiberius, and mom… doesn’t. Are there any warrior boy names that feel a little less, well, tyrannical?

Talking of awesome baby boy names: what’s the very coolest boy name you’ve actually heard used IRL?

The best and the worst-matched sibling sets you know of? And does a super-eclectic sibset strike a nerve with you?

Anything goes in the middle” — yay or nay? Surely there are some names too crazy even for the middle spot… WDYT?

And following on from all the recent buzz around “guilty pleasure” and downright outrageous baby names — where does this fancy floral option sit on the spectrum?

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.