Soft Boy Names Are Sensitive And Strong

Soft Boy Names Are Sensitive And Strong

Soft boy names are the antidote to the hyper-macho names that have been trending for the last couple of decades, like Gunner, Maverick, Ryker and Colt.

As girls marched further into masculine naming territory, claiming previously male names like Avery and Addison for their own, boys needed increasingly macho names (or so the thinking went) to set them apart.

As with clothes, toys, hobbies, even career aspirations, boy names on girls were considered strong and empowering, but parents shied away from anything too “girly” for their sons.

Happily, times are changing and society is becoming much more comfortable with the blurring of conventional gender roles and identities. Celebrities like Harry Styles, Timothée Chalamet and Jungkook prove that boys can be strong, smart, sweet, sensitive, stylish and sophisticated, all at the same time.

And boy names are shifting toward the softer side along with this new perception of masculinity.

Soft names for boys contain lots of liquid and sibilant sounds, such as R, L and S. They are vowel-rich, and often feature vowel endings including the conventionally feminine A sound, which is more popular for American boys now than ever before.

Here, some of the most stylish soft boy names right now.

Popular Soft Boy Names

The current Top 5 boy names in the US all feature soft, warm sounds and plenty of vowels: Liam, Noah, Oliver, Elijah and William.

Popular categories of soft boy names include gentle Biblical names like Asher, Gabriel, Josiah and Silas. Suave, cosmopolitan boy names from Romance languages like Spanish and Italian also qualify: think Emiliano, Gael, Luca and Thiago.

These soft choices are all among the current Top 200 most popular names for boys in the US.

  1. Adriel

  2. Asher

  3. Beau

  4. Benjamin

  5. Christian

  6. Emiliano

  7. Elias

  8. Elijah

  9. Gabriel

  10. Gael

  11. Isaiah

  12. Jasper

  13. Jeremiah

  14. Jonah

  15. Joshua

  16. Josiah

  17. Judah

  18. Julian

  19. Leo

  20. Liam

  21. Luca

  22. Micah

  23. Milo

  24. Nathaniel

  25. Noah

  26. Oliver

  27. Samuel

  28. Silas

  29. Theo

  30. Thiago

  31. Timothy

  32. Tristan

  33. Wesley

  34. William

Cool Soft Boy Names

A little further below the radar are many cool boy names on the rise that feature softer sounds. Choices like Rio, Archie, Koa, Ambrose and Baylor were among the fastest rising boy names of 2020, the latest year on record. All jumped more than 120 places compared to the previous year.

The cool soft boy names below are uncommon but on trend. They rank below the #200 mark in the US (for now!) but within the Top 1000, and we expect to hear more of them in the coming years.

  1. Ambrose

  2. Amias

  3. Archie

  4. Arlo

  5. Asa

  6. Baylor

  7. Bellamy

  8. Callahan

  9. Camilo

  10. Caspian

  11. Charlie

  12. Eliseo

  13. Elisha

  14. Gianni

  15. Hayes

  16. Ira

  17. Ishaan

  18. Keanu

  19. Koa

  20. Leif

  21. Louis

  22. Luciano

  23. Murphy

  24. Ocean

  25. Quincy

  26. Remy

  27. Rio

  28. Romeo

  29. Raphael

  30. Salem

  31. Shiloh

  32. Sonny

  33. Thaddeus

  34. Yehuda

Unique Soft Boy Names

These highly unusual choices rank below the current Top 1000 baby boy names in the US. They’re standout choices due to their rarity, but their soft sounds and sensitive charm means that they retain a calm, unassuming appeal.

Find a selection of our favorite uncommon soft names for boys below.

  1. Ames

  2. Amory

  3. Aurelio

  4. Basil

  5. Bram

  6. Calloway

  7. Caruso

  8. Cassian

  9. Corin

  10. Dashiell

  11. Dorian

  12. Emrys

  13. Florian

  14. Fife

  15. Finlo

  16. Hiro

  17. Hollis

  18. Ishmael

  19. Isidore

  20. Joah

  21. Joss

  22. Leander

  23. Lysander

  24. Marius

  25. Mathis

  26. Pascoe

  27. Phineas

  28. Poe

  29. Reuel

  30. Roux

  31. Ruadh

  32. Shea

  33. Thayer

  34. Yves

Feminine Boy Names

We predict a rise in gender-bending and gender-busting baby names as Gen-Z starts to take over from Millennials as the primary group for new parents. And among the biggest pushbacks against the trends of the previous generation will be the rise in feminine names for boys.

These are conventionally feminine sounding names or unisex names more common for girls in the US right now. But for the next generation of fashion-forward baby namers, this will no longer be seen as a defect but as a cool and quirky subversion of gender norms.

  1. Alba

  2. Artemis

  3. Bailey

  4. Blair

  5. Briar

  6. Cassidy

  7. Darcy

  8. Dana

  9. Ellery

  10. Emery

  11. Fern

  12. Greer

  13. Hadley

  14. Harlow

  15. Harper

  16. Indie

  17. Josey

  18. Juniper

  19. Mallory

  20. Marley

  21. Marlowe

  22. Misha

  23. Nova

  24. Oakley

  25. Palmer

  26. Romary

  27. Sage

  28. Sasha

  29. Selah

  30. Sky

  31. Sunny

  32. Willow

  33. Wren

  34. Zola

About the Author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from the baby names to watch in 2022 to how not to choose the next big baby name. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active forums community ticking. A linguist by background, Emma speaks several languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and four young children. You can reach her at