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Prince Names

The prince names here are those chosen by royal families around the world for their little boys over the past decade or so. Your idea of prince names can be expanded to include those used over past generations—Charles and William, say—and to extend to fictional princes such as Phillip or...well, maybe not Charming.

Along with Charles and William, other prince names in the US Top 500 include Alexander, Carlos, Emmanuel, Felix, Louis, Magnus, Nikolai, and Pablo. Among the more extravagant recent prince names are Baudouin, Guillaume, Konstantinos, and Valdemar.

Some of the real little princes have three or four middle names, as used to be custom in the royal families. For more details, see our blog on prince names.
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FelixHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "happy, fortunate"
  • Description:

    Felix was originally a Roman surname but was adopted as a nickname by the ancient Roman Sulla, who believed that he was especially blessed with luck by the gods. It is the name of four popes and sixty-seven saints; in the Bible, Felix is a Roman procurator of Judea.

OscarHeart

  • Origin:

    English or Irish
  • Meaning:

    "God spear, or deer-lover or champion warrior"
  • Description:

    Oscar has Irish and Norse roots—Norse Oscar comes from the Old English Osgar, a variation of the Old Norse name Ásgeirr. The Irish form was derived from the Gaelic elements os, meaning “deer,” and car, “loving.” In Irish legend, Oscar was one of the mightiest warriors of his generation, the son of Ossian and the grandson of Finn Mac Cumhaill (MacCool).

TheoHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Theodore
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    Many modern parents use Theo as the short form for Theodore rather than the dated Ted--including some celebs, such as Dallas Bryce Howard-- but others bypass the Grandpa name Theodore entirely and skip right to the hip nickname Theo. Short and ultra-chic, Theo's a cool, contemporary baby name choice.

JamesHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Jacob, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "supplanter"
  • Description:

    James is an English derivation of the Hebrew name Jacob. James is biblical (the name of two apostles in the New Testament), royal (kings of both England and Scotland), presidential (with more U.S. Chief Executives named James (six) than any other name), and it is shared by countless great writers and entertainers.

LucasHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin form of Luke
  • Meaning:

    "man from Lucania"
  • Description:

    Lucas is the Latin derivation of the Greek name Loukas. The meaning of the name references Lucania, an ancient territory in Southern Italy. Lucas is related to the names Luke and Luca; however, Lucius and Lucian derive from a different root and have a different meaning.
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MaxHeart

  • Origin:

    English and German diminutive of Maximilian or Maxwell
  • Meaning:

    "greatest"
  • Description:

    Max was derived from Maximilian, a Latin name that originated from the Roman family name Maximus. The character name Max in the children's classic Where the Wild Things Are had an impact on baby namers. Max is a widely used name internationally.

LouisHeart

  • Origin:

    German and French
  • Meaning:

    "renowned warrior"
  • Description:

    Kate and William shocked the world when they announced that they'd named their third child Louis -- Prince Louis Arthur Charles, to be more precise. But we've been predicting a comeback for this classic name for a long time.

MagnusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "greatest"
  • Description:

    Magnus is a Latin name, literally meaning “greatest,” that has a Scandinavian feel. It dates back to Charlemagne being called Carolus Magnus, or Charles the Great. Norwegian king Magnus I, named after Charlemagne, introduced it to his culture, and thus Magnus was the name of six early kings of Norway and four of Sweden. It is still a highly popular name in Denmark and Norway.

WilliamHeart

  • Origin:

    English from German
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection"
  • Description:

    William is derived from the Germanic name Wilhelm, composed of the elements wil, “will,” and helm, referring to a helmet or protection. The name was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, with William being the Norman variation of the name. In Central and Southern France, it was translated as Guillaume.

SamuelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "told by God"
  • Description:

    Samuel was derived from the Hebrew name Shemu’el, meaning “told by God.” In the Old Testament, Samuel was one of the great judges and prophets of the Israelites, destined for a holy life from birth. He established the Hebrew monarchy, anointing both Saul and David as kings.
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AlexanderHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    Alexander is derived from the Greek name Aléxandros, composed of the elements aléxein, meaning “to defend,” and aner, meaning “man.” According to Greek legend, the first Alexander was Paris, who was given the nickname Alexander by the shepherds whose flocks he defended against robbers. He was followed by Alexander the Great, aka Alexander III, who conquered much of Asia.

JohnHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is gracious"
  • Description:

    John is an English derivative of the Hebrew name Yochanan via the Latin name Iohannes, itself coming from the Greek Ioannes. John was a key name in early Christianity, borne by John the Baptist, John the Apostle and John the Evangelist, plus 84 saints and 23 popes, as well as kings and countless other illustrious notables. Contrary to popular belief, the names John and Jonathan are unrelated, the latter being an elaboration of Nathan.

VincentHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "conquering"
  • Description:

    Vincent is a name with a complex image. After being quietly used for centuries, it is suddenly seeming stylish, along wih other V names. Even the nickname Vince has been given a reprieve via actor Vince Vaughn and country singer Vince Gill. Vin Diesel was born with the more prosaic name Mark Vincent.

CasimirHeart

  • Origin:

    Polish and Slavic
  • Meaning:

    "destroyer of peace"
  • Description:

    Casimir, a traditional name of Polish kings, would have problems assimilating here. But like Leopold and Laszlo, Casimir is strong and exotic and worth considering if you've got an adventurous streak -- and bet your son will too.

GabrielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is my strength"
  • Description:

    Gabriel was derived from the Hebrew name Gavri’el, taken from the elements gever, meaning “strong,” and ’el, in reference to God. In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is the archangel who heralded the news of Jesus' birth, and appears in Christian, Jewish and Muslim texts. He presides over Paradise, serving as the angel of mercy, life, joy, judgment, truth and dreams.
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CarlosHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Charles
  • Meaning:

    "free man"
  • Description:

    Notable namesakes include musician Santana, writers Fuentes and Castaneda, and numerous athletes. Carlos Irwin Estevez is the birth name of Charlie Sheen.

PhilipHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "lover of horses"
  • Description:

    Philip, the name of one of the 12 apostles, is still favored by parents in search of a solid boys' classic that is less neutral than Robert or John and more distinctive than Daniel or Matthew and has many historic, royal ties.

MariusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, from a Roman family name related to Mars, the god of war
  • Description:

    Marius, frequently heard in Germany and France, is a slightly fusty yet accessible name that has (Les Mis) to Anne Rice. With the rise in interest in such Latin names as Maximus and Atticus, Marius might start attracting more attention. Mario, the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese version of Marius, is much more widely used.

LeopoldHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "brave people"
  • Description:

    This aristocratic, somewhat formal Germanic route to the popular Leo is a royal name: Queen Victoria used it to honor a favorite uncle, King Leopold of Belgium. Though Leopold sounds as if it might be a leonine name, it's not really a relative of such choices as Leon, and Leonard.

EmmanuelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is with us"
  • Description:

    Emmanuel--spelled with one or two 'm's'-- was popular with early Jewish immigrants, until overused nickname Manny caused it to fade. Now, this important biblical name is being revived in its full glory.
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RichardHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "dominant ruler"
  • Description:

    A classic old Norman name popular for a thousand years and favored for kings (Richard Nixon was named for Richard the Lionhearted), as well as the hoi polloi (as in every Tom, Dick and Harry), Richard was the sixth most popular US boys’ name in 1925, and was still Number 8 in 1950, but is now much less popular.

ChristianHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "follower of Christ"
  • Description:

    Christian has fallen a bit from its 90's and 00's heights, but it's still quite popular. Once considered overly pious, Christian is now seen as making a bold statement of faith by some, while also having secular appeal for others, perhaps influenced by such celebrities as Christian Slater and Christian Bale, not to mention the fashion world's Dior, Lacroix, Louboutin and Audigier.

NikolaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Nicholas
  • Description:

    Russian forms, like Russian supermodels, are hot these days. This is a strong, exotic way to make Nicholas new; it was chosen for his son by Barry Bonds, Jr.

PabloHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Paul
  • Description:

    Pablo, the commonly used Spanish version of Paul, has the added bonus of some fantastic artistic bearers: painter Picasso, cellist Casals, and poet Neruda.

StefanHeart

  • Origin:

    German, Scandinavian, Polish, and Russian variation of Stephen
  • Description:

    An elegant, continental name for the post-Steve era. It debuted on the US Top 1000 in 1949 and has been on the list every year since except for a year off in 2008.
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ValentinHeart

  • Origin:

    French, German, Russian, Czech, Scandinavian variation of Valentine
  • Meaning:

    "strength, health"
  • Description:

    Romantic name used throughout Europe, though sure to lead to pronunciation problems here. Though it's never been too widely used in the US, it's quite popular in Switzerland, France, Austria, and Romania.

JuanHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of John
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord is gracious"
  • Description:

    Juan, the Spanish version of John, is ubiquitous in the Spanish-speaking world, and is familiar to all ethnicities via such references as Don Juan and San Juan.

HenrikHeart

  • Origin:

    Danish and Hungarian variation of Henry
  • Description:

    The long history and solid usage of Henry has infiltrated other cultures, where a number of variations experience the same degree of popularity. In the US, Henrik first entered the Top 1000 in 2014. In Norway, Henrik is a mega popular choice.

NicolasHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Nicholas
  • Meaning:

    "people of vistory"
  • Description:

    Nicolas is the French and Spanish form, or streamlined spelling, of Nicholas, popularized by actor Nicolas Cage.

FelipeHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Philip
  • Description:

    A royal name in Spain that could make a lively alternative to our Philip/Phillip. Despite its status as an international version of a English name, it has ranked on the US Top 1000 almost every year since the beginning of the twentieth century, with 1904 the only exception.
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JeffersonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Jeffrey"
  • Description:

    The name of the third U.S. President sounds, like Harrison and Jackson, more modern and stylish now than its root name. Used as a first name long before our surname-crazed era, Jefferson was most famously connected to the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis--and is the middle name of another Prez, William Clinton. Fictional Jeffersons include Jefferson Bricks in Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit and Jefferson Almond in Henry James' Washington Square, the title character in the Frank Capra classic film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," plus others--for better and for worse-- in "Married With Children," "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "Kit Kittridge: An American Girl."

JacquesHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of James and Jacob
  • Meaning:

    "supplanter"
  • Description:

    Classic French name that becomes pretentious when used for an American baby.

HenriHeart

  • Origin:

    French and Finnish variation of Henry, German
  • Meaning:

    "estate ruler"
  • Description:

    The chic Euro spelling of Henry is rising along with the original form.

AlexiosHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    Very popular on its native turf, foreign-sounding here.

ValdemarHeart

  • Origin:

    Nordic variation of Vladimir
  • Description:

    Ten years ago we would have advised people to steer clear of this name (and maybe choose the similar sounding Walter instead); but with the rise of other Nordic and Eastern European names like Viggo and Casimir, maybe its time to re-thing Valdemar. It's a big name, but with enough penache, it could be pulled off. Valdemar was introduced to Scandinavia in the 12th Century by a Danish king named for his Ukrainian grandfather, and is currently in the Danish Top 20.
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GuillaumeHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of William
  • Description:

    An everyday name in France, a charismatic possibility here.

FriedrichHeart

  • Origin:

    German variation of Frederick
  • Description:

    One of the most familiar German names, with an upright Prussian image. Friedrich might just have been out for long enough to start coming back in.

SverreHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch
  • Meaning:

    "wild"
  • Description:

    An intriguingly wild alternative to Sven.
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