Coolated Names for Boys

Coolated Names for Boys

Cool boy names can sometimes be made from less-than-cool ones. Some old-school names can be modernized with an up-to-date variation, such as Bill to Liam. Other times the classic version is the best way to update a name, such as going from Chuck to Charles.

If you want to honor someone without using their unfashionable name, try coolating it. Grandpa Jimmy’s name can be coolated to baby Jameson, and Uncle Ronald’s can be the basis for Ronan. With a bit of ingenuity, you can ramp up a name you like to a similar one that's cooler or tone it down if you want to go in a quieter direction. Here are some examples:

  1. Henry
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Henry is back. The classic Henry climbed back onto the Top 10 in the US in 2021 for the first time in over a century, and now stands at Number 8.
  2. Milo
    • Origin:

      Latin and Old German
    • Meaning:

      "soldier or merciful"
    • Description:

      Milo is most commonly considered to be Germanic name derived from the Latin word miles, meaning "soldier." However, there is evidence to suggest it also may have independently spawned from the Slavic root milu, meaning "merciful." Milo predates brother name Miles, a variation that evolved when the name immigrated to the British Isles in the Middle Ages. Mylo is an alternate spelling.
  3. Asher
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "fortunate, blessed, happy one"
    • Description:

      Asher—an excellent, soft and sensitive Old Testament choice—is a baby boy name on the rise, and is a Nameberry biblical favorite.
  4. Leo
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "lion"
    • Description:

      Leo is a strong-yet-friendly name that was common among the Romans, used for thirteen popes, and is now at its highest point ever in the US thanks in part to Leonardo "Leo" DiCaprio.
  5. Miles
    • Origin:

      English form of Milo
    • Meaning:

      "soldier or merciful"
    • Description:

      Miles, which has a permanent veneer of cool thanks to jazz great Miles Davis, is a confident and polished boys' name that's an American classic. Always ranking in the US Top 1000, it's been drifting up the charts for the past half century but has never been TOO popular.
  6. William
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      William is one of the most enduring of classic names for boys. It's also among the most popular boys' names, as American parents see it as being ideally conservative yet contemporary, and hands-down the most popular baby name beginning with W of all time.
  7. Emmett
    • Origin:

      English masculine variation of Emma, German
    • Meaning:

      "universal"
    • Description:

      Emmett, honest and sincere, laid-back and creative, is on the rise as a male cognate of the megapopular Emma and Emily, not to mention being a character in the popular Twilight series.
  8. Archer
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "bowman"
    • Description:

      Archer is an Anglo-Saxon surname that feels more modern than most because of its on-target occupational and Hunger Games associations. And it's a nice way to bypass the clunky Archibald to get to the cool nickname Archie.
  9. Ronan
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little seal"
    • Description:

      Ronan is the compelling legendary name of twelve Irish and Scottish saints that is now drawing some deserved attention; this cousin of the ascending Roman and Rowan was chosen by actor Daniel Day-Lewis and his writer-director wife Rebecca Miller in 1998, and more recently by actress Catherine Bell.
  10. Jack
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Jack may have fallen from its Number 1 place in England, but in the US it's as popular as it was at its height in the 1920s and 1930s. A durable, cheery, everyman form of John, Jack ranks as one of the most popular boy names starting with J.
  11. Enzo
    • Origin:

      Italian variation of Henry, also diminutive of Vincenzo and Lorenzo
    • Description:

      Enzo originated as the Italian variation of Heinz, a German name derived from Heinrich, related to Henry. It has historically been used as a short form for Italian names such as Vincenzo and Lorenzo. The most famous bearer of the name is Enzo Ferrari, founder of the luxury sports car brand.
  12. John
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      John reigned as the most popular of all boys' Christian names for 400 years, from the time the first Crusaders carried it back to Britain until the 1950s. Then American baby namers finally seemed to tire of this straight-arrow, almost anonymous John Doe of names, replacing it with fancier forms like Jonathan and the imported Sean and Ian.
  13. Adrian
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "man of Adria"
    • Description:

      Adrian is one of those names that’s easy to picture on all kinds of people. From an active and energetic five-year-old to your great grandpa, from the coolest, breeziest guy you know, to the quiet, serious one, it’s no wonder Adrian has always made the US Top 500 since the early 20th century.
  14. Charlie
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Charles
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Charlie derives, of course, from the classic name Charles which, in turn, comes from a German word meaning "free man." Charles became very popular in France during the Middle Ages due to the fame of Charles the Great, also known as Charlemagne. Charley is an alternate spelling.
  15. Edward
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy guardian"
    • Description:

      Unlike perennials William, John and James, Edward is a classic that moves in and out of fashion. This royal Anglo-Saxon standard has benefited in recent years from the popularity of the hot hero of the vampire sensation Twilight — Edward Cullen — who has given his name a new infusion of cool.
  16. Ray
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Raymond
    • Meaning:

      "wise protector"
    • Description:

      Ray, still and forever, is one of the all-time hippest boys' names, with its jazzy Ray Charles biopic overtones. It's one of the coolest middle names), but works perfectly fine as a first.
  17. Ash
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Asher, English
    • Meaning:

      "ash tree"
    • Description:

      Ash has Southern charm plus the arboreal-nature appeal. Plus your little boy will prize Ash as the name of the hero of the Pokemon cartoons. Ash can also be a dashing short form of Asher, Ashton, or any other "Ash" name.
  18. Zane
    • Origin:

      Possible variation of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Western novelist Zane (born Pearl!) Grey made this name famous. Now, it's in tune with the style of our times, retaining that appealing cowboy image.
  19. Ivo
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "yew wood, archer"
    • Description:

      Ivo is an unusual, catchy name with the energetic impact of all names ending in 'o'. Hardly heard in the U.S., it is used a bit more frequently in England, as is the related Ivor, a favorite of such novelists as Evelyn Waugh and P.G. Wodehouse. Ivo is currently most popular in the Netherlands.
  20. Darius
    • Origin:

      Latin, Greek, Persian
    • Meaning:

      "possessing goodness"
    • Description:

      Darius is a historic name via Emperor Darius the Great, a key figure in ancient Persian history, and several other Persian kings. His name today has an appealingly artistic image, which might well be found on a concert program or gallery announcement.