Menu

Cool International Boy Names

Cool International Boy Names
Cool international boy names from Italy and Ireland, Scandinavia to the Middle East and beyond include a wide variety of choices. Some of these international names for boys, such as Cruz and Orion, are cool in the US and abroad, but many have yet to be discovered by American parents.

Along with Orion and Cruz, other cool boy names from around the world in the US Top 1000 include Aarav, Gunnar, Joaquin, Luciano, Mateo, Roman, Santiago, and Soren. Aurelio, Laszlo, Elio, and Wolf are among the more unique choices that we expect to be hearing on more American babies in the coming years.

You may want to choose an international boys' name that reflects your family's ethnic heritage or represents a culture you love. Or you may simply be looking for unique boys' names and want to consider international names as one source. Here, a selection of cool boy names from around the world.

SorenHeart

  • Origin:

    Danish and Norwegian variation of Severus
  • Meaning:

    "stern"
  • Description:

    This gentle Scandinavian name, soft and sensitive, is being discovered in a major way by parents in the US. It's most closely identified with the nineteenth century philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, but there have been modern fictional Sorens as well, in The Matrix Reloaded and the book series Guardians of Ga'Hook, Charlie and Lola, and Underworld.

KaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "sea"
  • Description:

    Kai has many origins, but in the US is most commonly referred to as being of Hawaiian derivation, meaning “sea.” In Europe, Kai is largely considered to have Frisian origin as a diminutive of the name Kaimbe, meaning “warrior”, or as a short form of Gerard "brave spear". Kai is also found as an independent name in African, Chinese, Turkish and Native American cultures. Kai is a strong, evocative multi-cultural name that packs a lot of power in its single syllable.

OrionHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name
  • Description:

    Orion is a rising star, with both mythical and celestial overtones.

AriHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Ariel, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "lion of God"
  • Description:

    Ari, the short form of Ariel (or any other Ari- beginning name, such as Aristotle) stands up better as a boys’ name than its progenitor does. It is also short for Aristotle, as in Onassis, and is a prominent character on TV's Entourage -- the uberagent Ari Gold.

RomanHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "citizen of Rome"
  • Description:

    Roman -- a surprise hit name of recent years -- owes much of its popularity to Cate Blanchett and Debra Messing, who almost simultaneously chose Roman for their sons, as Molly Ringwald did later.

    In fact, several relatives of Roman are also newly stylish, from Romy to Romilly to Romeo. Definitely a romantic name, however you use it.

ElioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian, Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "sun"
  • Description:

    Elio is a sunny and spirited Italian and Spanish name that makes a great crossover prospect, which could catch on as Enzo has. Elio is also currently popular in France, ranking in the Top 250.

MateoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    Mateo is a Latinate form of Matthew, which derived from the Hebrew name Mattiyahu, consisting of the elements mattan, meaning "gift" and yah, which references the Hebrew God. Mateo can also be spelled Matteo, which is the Italian variation. Matheo is an archaic Spanish spelling, although it is used in France as Mathéo.

CosmoHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek, Italian, English
  • Meaning:

    "order, beauty"
  • Description:

    We all heard it on Seinfeld as the long-concealed first name of Kramer, then considered a punchline. Now some pioneering parents are embracing this expansive Greek name, which makes a creative and cool choice for a baby. Influential celebrity couple Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost chose it for their son, born in 2021, which will likely drive Cosmo up in popularity. In the UK, it currently ranks within the Top 1000 boy names and is trending upwards.

OdinHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Óðinn, Old Norse
  • Meaning:

    "god of frenzy; poetic fury"
  • Description:

    Odin is the name of the supreme Norse god of art, culture, wisdom, and law — who was handsome, charming, and eloquent into the bargain. The name projects a good measure of strength and power and has excellent assimilation potential.

LucienHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Lucian
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Sophisticated Gallic version of Lucian, Lucien may appeal to parents attracted to this meaning over that of Lucas and Luke, which have a different root, and also looking for a more unusual choice.

DimitriHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian from Greek Demetrius
  • Meaning:

    "follower of Demeter"
  • Description:

    Dimitri is a Slavic variation of the Russian Dmitriy, a name that comes from the Greek Demetrius. Demetrius was derived from Demeter, the name of the Greek goddess of fertility and farming. Among the possible spelling variations are Dmitri, Dmitrii, Dmitriy, and Dmitry.

CillianHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "war strife or church"
  • Description:

    This classic Irish name , which is better known in this country by its Anglicized form Killian, is one of several newer recommended Gaelic choices that have entered the American name pool. Killian now stands at Number 516 in the US, while Cillian is 22 in its Irish homeland.

AngusHeart

  • Origin:

    Anglicized form of Aonghus, Aonghas, Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "one strength"
  • Description:

    Angus is a traditional yet stylish choice in the UK, especially in Scotland. And it's a cool choice for US parents too, particularly those whose roots go back to Glasgow. The ancient Celtic form Oenghus has important historical overtones in Scotland, and the Gaelic form Aonghas is associated with two distinguished modern poets. In Irish folklore, Angus Og is a chieftain-lord who used his magical powers for the pleasure and prosperity of mankind--and in Irish myth, Aonghus was the god of love and youth.

WolfHeart

  • Origin:

    Animal name or diminutive of Wolfgang
  • Meaning:

    "traveling wolf"
  • Description:

    Wolf is a name with a split personality. It can be seen as one of the fierce animal names, like Fox and Bear and Puma, with a touch of the werewolf, or it can be viewed as a quieter, Wolf Blitzer kind of name, fairly common in German (where is pronounced Vulf) and Jewish families, sometimes as a short form of Wolfgang.

LeifHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "heir, descendant"
  • Description:

    Leif is one of the most recognizable Scandinavian names, thanks to Icelandic explorer Leif Erikson, and is still one of the best, with a pleasant aural association with the word leaf.

CormacHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "charioteer"
  • Description:

    Both offbeat and upbeat, this evocative traditional Irish name that runs through Celtic mythology is known here via award-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy (born Charles). The author's adopted name is related to Cormac Mac Airt, one of the great legendary high kings of Ireland.

JoaquinHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Joachim
  • Meaning:

    "God will judge"
  • Description:

    Actor Joaquin Phoenix (brother of River, Rain, Liberty and Summer) highlighted this one, then Kelly Ripa began talking about younger son Joaquin on her daily TV show, and presto—it's now one of the hottest and most appealing multicultural baby boy names.

AaravHeart

  • Origin:

    Hindi
  • Meaning:

    "peaceful"
  • Description:

    Aarav is derived from the Sanskrit root “rav,” which is related to peace and music. Aarav is also associated with the concept of wisdom. It has traditionally been a common name among Hindus, who intentionally select names to inspire particular values in their children.

ArjunHeart

  • Origin:

    Hindi
  • Meaning:

    "bright, shining, white"
  • Description:

    Popular in India and among Indo-Americans, this name of the hero of a famous Hindu epic has an extremely pleasing sound.

DionHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "child of heaven and earth"
  • Description:

    In ancient Greece, a student of Plato; in modern America, a cool guy.

LarsHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian from Latin Laurentius
  • Meaning:

    "crowned with laurel"
  • Description:

    Lars is a perfect candidate for a cross-cultural passport: it has been heard often enough here to sound familiar and friendly, yet retains the charisma of a charming foreigner.

LaszloHeart

  • Origin:

    Hungarian
  • Meaning:

    "glorious ruler"
  • Description:

    The Hungarian classic Laszlo, with its zippy 'z' middle and energetic 'o' ending, has become something of a hipster option, beginning to be considered by cutting-edge parents.

LevHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, Russian
  • Meaning:

    "heart; lion"
  • Description:

    This concise one-syllable name, has two possible derivations and two positive meanings associated with it. In Hebrew, it means "heart", while in Russian it means "lion". So strong and simple Lev has both a soft and a fierce side.

FlorianHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "flowering"
  • Description:

    If Flora and Florence have returned full force, Florian, with its trendy Latinate ending, could also have a chance. Popular in Germany, Austria and Switzerland -- he was the venerated patron saint of those in danger from water and of firefighters -- might sound a tad feminine and floral to English speakers. But as a middle name, Florian could be a great way to honor grandma Florence (or any other flower name).

SantiagoHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name or Latin
  • Meaning:

    "Saint James"
  • Description:

    Santiago is a spirited Spanish name with great crossover potential: a place-name (it's a city in Chile), a surname, and the patron saint of Spain. It's a name on the rise in the charts.

OrlandoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Roland
  • Meaning:

    "famous throughout the land"
  • Description:

    Orlando, the ornate Italianate twist on the dated Roland, with a literary heritage stretching back to Shakespeare and before, has appealing book-ended o's, and is open to combination with almost any last name, a la British actor, Orlando Bloom.

LorenzoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Laurence
  • Meaning:

    "from Laurentium"
  • Description:

    Latinizing Lawrence gives it a whole new lease on life. Like Leonardo, Lorenzo has been integrated into the American stockpot of names, partly via actor Lorenzo Lamas. Other associations are with Lorenzo de' Medici, the Florentine Renaissance merchant prince and art patron, Renaissance artists Ghiberti and Lotto, and the upstanding young man who married Shylock's daughter Jessica in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

DjangoHeart

  • Origin:

    Romani
  • Meaning:

    "I awake"
  • Description:

    Django — the D is silent as most everyone now knows — the nickname of the great Belgian-born jazz guitarist Django (originally Jean Baptiste) Reinhardt, makes a dynamic musical choice for any jazz aficionado. Reinhardt's nickname "Django" is Romani for "I awake." The name has become more familiar with the release of and acclaim for the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained.

IvoHeart

  • 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.

BjornHeart

  • Origin:

    Swedish
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    Bjorn is one of the most recognizable Scandinavian names, thanks in large part to tennis great Björn Borg, winner of five consecutive Wimbledon singles titles and six French opens and something of a rock star figure.

NikoHeart

  • Origin:

    Finnish variation of Nichoals; diminutive of Nikolaos, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "victory of the people"
  • Description:

    Slightly more worldly spelling of Nico.

RemiHeart

  • Origin:

    French, variation of Remy
  • Meaning:

    "oarsman"
  • Description:

    Makes the jaunty REMY a little more nicknamey and feminine.

AndreasHeart

  • Origin:

    Original New Testament Greek variation of Andrew
  • Meaning:

    "strong and manly"
  • Description:

    Andreas is a beautiful name, with the patina of an Old Master painting, one that could make a dashing namesake for an Uncle Andrew.

CruzHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "cross"
  • Description:

    For a single-syllable Latino surname, this new popular kid on the block packs a lot of energy and charm and is one of the most stylish Spanish names for boys in general use today. Victoria and David Beckham named their third son Cruz, following Brooklyn and Romeo, and it was also picked up on by tennis star Lleyton Hewitt for his son. Other parents may prize its Christian associations.

BrunoHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "brown"
  • Description:

    Bruno is a popular name throughout Europe and South America that deserves more attention here. Its color meaning makes it one of the perfect names for November babies, or really a boy born in any of the autumn months.

AlessioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Alexis
  • Meaning:

    "defender"
  • Description:

    Alessio, simpler than the related Alessandro, would be a welcome settler here.

AurelioHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Aurelius
  • Meaning:

    "the golden one"
  • Description:

    Aurelio is an energetic Italian name rarely heard here, with an attractive aura. As the female version Aurelia gains greater notice, we expect to hear more from Aurelio too.

TeoHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Teodoro, Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    An international take on Theo that would be easily wearable for a child in the US. Teo is traditionally a nickname for Theodore, but like Theo can stand on its own.

IlyaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Elijah
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord is my God"
  • Description:

    A rare example of an a-ending boy's name that sounds masculine, Ilya has a large measure of creative Slavic charm. >p>Ilya Ilyich Oblomov is the central character in Goncharov's novel "Oblomov." Unfortunately, he spends most of his life in his bathrobe and slippers.

LucianoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Lucian
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    A vibrant, operatic Latin choice.

ZenoHeart

  • Origin:

    Anglicized form of Greek Zenon, related to Zeus, king of the gods
  • Description:

    Zeno, the name of two ancient philosophers, has a muscular dynamism that's lightened by its cheerful final vowel, resulting in a kind of offbeat sci-fi feel. Zeno of Citium was the founder of the Stoic school of thought, Zeno of Elea was another early, original Greek thinker, famed for his Paradoxes.

PascalHeart

  • Origin:

    French; English
  • Meaning:

    "of the Passover; Easter"
  • Description:

    The French-accented Pascal was historically used for sons born at Easter, and can make an interesting choice for a boy with Gallic roots arriving around that holiday.

AlexeiHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    Alexei could well join the legion of Alex names popular in the US. There are countless opportunities to liven up Alexander, and Alexei (or Alexey) is one of the most straightforward and appealing.

ZeusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name
  • Description:

    The supreme Olympian god represents a mighty image for a little fella to live up to, but more and more parents are beginning to consider it seriously. The Roman equivalent Jupiter has also come down to earth. And Zeus wasn't just the supreme god, he was also the god of the sky, thunder, lightning, and fate, among other weighty responsibilities.

FritzHeart

  • Origin:

    German, diminutive of Friedrich or Frederick
  • Meaning:

    "peaceful ruler"
  • Description:

    Since female cousins Mitzi and Fritzi have entered the realm of possibilities, there's a chance that Cousin Fritz could as well. Fritz is the name of several notables, from early German-born film director Lang to early footballer Fritz (born Frederick) Pollard, the first African-American to play in the Rose Bowl in 1916.

OriHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "my light"
  • Description:

    Friendly but substantial.

SvenHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "youth"
  • Description:

    Especially for parents of Scandinavian descent, Sven is an accessible and attractive name with an appealing mix of strength and swagger. It comes from the ancient Swedish tribe, the Sviars, who gave their name to Svealand, which later morphed into Sweden.

LaurentHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Lawrence
  • Meaning:

    "of Laurentium"
  • Description:

    A French accent makes almost everything sound better, especially when attached to a Twilight vampire. Laurent also has a high-style feel via designer Yves St-Laurent. Laurent de Brunhoff is the French author-illustrator who continued his father Jean's series of Babar books.

MiguelHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish and Portuguese variation of Michael
  • Description:

    Mike Tyson put a twist on his own name by naming a son Miguel. It's the first name of Cervantes, the great Spanish novelist and poet who wrote Don Quixote.

ArmandoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Italian and Portuguese form of Herman, German
  • Meaning:

    "soldier"
  • Description:

    Armando takes the flat-footed Herman and makes it romantic. This is another of the Latin names we expect to be seeing more of.
Loading ...