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Best Scottish Boy Names

Scottish names for boys are a handsome group, including choices that have traveled far beyond Scotland's shores, such as Douglas and Malcolm and the nouveau Knox, along with many names that are still most at home in the Highlands, from Hamish to Kelso to Baird.

Along with Malcolm and Knox, other Scottish boy names in the US Top 1000 include Callum, Douglas, Duncan, and Lachlan. Baby boy names popular in Scotland include Oliver — also a popular name in the US — Jack, James, and Logan.

Other Scottish names for boys rising in popularity include Campbell, Graeme, Teague, and Wiley. While boys' names from Scotland have not traveled as widely as Irish names for boys, they certainly have the same potential. Our favorite Scottish boy names in the Nameberry database include the choices here.
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FinnHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "fair or white"
  • Description:

    Finn is a name with enormous energy and charm, that of the greatest hero of Irish mythology, Finn MacCool (aka Fionn mac Cuumhaill), an intrepid warrior with mystical supernatural powers, noted as well for his wisdom and generosity.

ArchieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Archibald, Teutonic
  • Meaning:

    "truly brave"
  • Description:

    Archie made global news as the surprise first name of the newborn royal baby, son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aka Harry and Meghan. Archie has now officially transcended Archie Bunker and Riverdale's Archie to take the, um, throne as the quintessential retro nickname name.

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.

LachlanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "from the fjord-land"
  • Description:

    Lachlan is as Scottish as haggis and tartan plaid kilts—a favorite used throughout England, Scotland, Australia, and New Zealand—and just beginning to be noticed in the US: it reached the Top 1000 for the first time in 2013. An ancient name, Lachlan was originally used to describe the Viking invaders of Scotland, those from the land of the lochs.

CallumHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish form of Columba, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "dove"
  • Description:

    Callum was derived from Latin Columba, a unisex given name meaning “dove.” Callum was popular among early Christians because the dove was a symbol of purity, peace and the Holy Spirit. St. Columba was one of the most influential of the early Celtic saints.
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KnoxHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "round hill"
  • Description:

    Knox is an old Scottish surname that Brad Pitt (whose great-great-grandfather was named Hal Knox Hillhouse) and Angelina Jolie took out of the back cupboard, dusted off, and elevated to coolness--to the point where it entered the popular baby nameslist in 2009. Knox now ranks among the most influential celebrity baby names.

BlakeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired, dark"
  • Description:

    Blake -- an early unisex option -- dropped out of the Top 100 in 2017 for the first time since 1988, but remains a sophisticated choice. And yes, both conflicting meanings of Blake are accurate. It originated as a surname in England derived from a nickname. Much of its masculine image was influenced by the wealthy, silver-haired character Blake Carrington in the massively popular 80s TV series Dynasty. Rosie O'Donnell has a son named Blake.

EvanderHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish; Greek
  • Meaning:

    "bow warrior; strong man"
  • Description:

    Evander is a name that could build on the popularity of shorter form Evan, and could work and play well with schoolmates like Zander and Xander.

MaxwellHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "great stream"
  • Description:

    A happy medium between the weighty Maximilian and the laid-back Max, Maxwell is one of the most classic and attractive Scottish names. Early influences on the name's revival include Maxwell Smart of the television show, and then movie, Get Smart, and the Beatles song about Maxwell's Silver Hammer.

LennoxHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "elm grove"
  • Description:

    Lennox is an aristocratic and powerful Scottish surname name made truly special by that final x. The worldwide fame of British boxer--World and Olympic champion--Lennox Claudius Lewis brought the name into the spotlight as a first name, while as a last it's tied to Eurythmics singer Annie L.
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MalcolmHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "devotee of St. Colomba"
  • Description:

    Malcolm is a warm and welcoming Scottish appellation (originally Mael-Colium) that fits into that golden circle of names that are distinctive but not at all odd. A royal name in Scotland, Malcolm is also a hero name for many via radical civil rights activist Malcolm X.

ColinHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Nicholas or Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "pup"
  • Description:

    Thanks to its dashing Anglo-Irish image--due partly to Colins Firth and Farrell-- and its c-initialed two-syllable sound, Colin and its cousin Collin have enjoyed a long run of popularity, reaching as high as Number 84 in 2004.

LewisHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Louis
  • Meaning:

    "renowned warrior"
  • Description:

    Lewis is the best spelling to choose if you want this pronounced with the S. Lewis has been in the Top 5 in Scotland since 2000, and is one that parents in the U.S. are just beginning to rethink.

TateHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Norse
  • Meaning:

    "cheerful"
  • Description:

    A strong single-syllable surname with a joyful meaning, Tate is finding a place on more and more birth certificates.

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.
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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.

HamishHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of James
  • Meaning:

    "supplanter"
  • Description:

    Just as Seamus/Seumus is Irish for James, Hamish is the Scottish form — one that's not often used here, but still redolent of Olde Scotland. If you're ready to go further than Duncan and Malcolm, out to Laird and Ewan territory, this may be worth consideration. It also sounds just like the Yiddish word for homey.

AlecHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Alexander, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    Alec, though an old nickname for Alexander, is much fresher sounding than Alex, with the additional advantage, at least to some parents, of being distinctly male (there are as many girl Alexes these days as there are boys). While Alec has a clipped British image, it's actually one of the classic Greek names for boys, by way of father name Alexander.

GrantHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish from French
  • Meaning:

    "large"
  • Description:

    One-time beach-boy compadre of Glenn, Greg, and Gary that originated as a nickname for a tall person, Grant has become a no-nonsense, career-oriented grown-up and one that is seeing new appreciation. It was chosen for his son by actor Morris Chestnut. It has cultural cred via artist Grant Wood, whose best known painting is 'American Gothic.'

FergusHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "man of force"
  • Description:

    In Celtic lore, Fergus was the ideal of manly courage; Fergus is a charming, slightly quirky Scottish and Irish favorite.
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HectorHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "holding fast"
  • Description:

    Previously used primarily by Latino families, this name of the great hero of the Trojan War as related in Homer's Iliad is beginning to be considered more seriously by others seeking noble ancient hero names as well--it was also the name of the knight who raised King Arthur as his own son.

KeirHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "dark, black"
  • Description:

    Keir is a single-syllable name that packs a lot of punch, might suggest -- thanks to its similarity to the word care -- a caring person. Sir Keir Rodney Starmer is a British politician and head of the Labour Party in 2020. Keir Dullea is an American actor who starred in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

MacHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish or Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son of"
  • Description:

    In Ireland and Scotland, Mac and Mc mean "son of"; here, Mac is a generic fella, or a short form cooler than either Matt or Max. Mac can be a nickname of any longer Mac or Mc starting name such as McCoy or Macalister. If you want to make it feel more complete, you can always spell it Mack.

ArchibaldHeart

  • Origin:

    Teutonic
  • Meaning:

    "truly brave"
  • Description:

    The short form Archie is so open and friendly --and very trendy in the British Isles--that some parents are now beginning to consider the formerly fusty Archibald as well. SNL comedians Amy Poehler and Will Arnett are one couple who made this breakthrough choice.

DuncanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "dark warrior"
  • Description:

    Duncan is jaunty, confident, and open, a Scottish royal name that's brimming with friendly charm and makes it into our golden circle of names that are neither too popular nor too strange. Popularity aside, Duncan is one of the most classic Scottish names for boys.
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CallenHeart

  • Origin:

    Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "rock"
  • Description:

    Callen is a unisex Gaelic name growing in popularity here. Its newfound trendiness is possibly related to the Chris O'Donnell character on "NCIS: Los Angeles", known only as G. Callen. Jazz musician Cal Tjader's full name is Callen.

JamieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of James
  • Meaning:

    "supplanter"
  • Description:

    The cool form of James in the 1970s and '80s for both sexes. Still a more stylish short form than Jimmy, though many parents will want to call James by his entire, not-very-long name.

FraserHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish from French
  • Meaning:

    "strawberry"
  • Description:

    Though TV's "Frasier" made the name famous, and Frazier is a well-used variation, Fraser is the original, used mostly in Scotland.

FinlayHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired hero"
  • Description:

    Finlay is a formerly fusty Scottish royal name--it belonged to Macbeth's father, Finlay MacRory--or Findlaech mac Ruaidri--that has a bit of a split personality. It has two acceptable spellings--Finlay and Finley, the first more popular in its native Scotland, where it ranks Number 14, the second in the US. It is also becoming more and more unisex in the States, with the Finley spelling now split between girls and boys.

HarrisHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Harry"
  • Description:

    When Harrison is too much, but Harry isn't enough, try this stylish surname name with a touch of British flair. It briefly reentered the US Top 1000 for the first time since 1988 in 2016, but has since dropped just below the radar again.
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BlaineHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "slender, angular"
  • Description:

    Attractive Scottish and Irish surname name of a seventh-century saint, associated with the illusionist and escape artist David Blaine.

LyleHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and English from French
  • Meaning:

    "someone who lives on an island"
  • Description:

    Straightforward single-syllable name, but be warned that by the time he's three, any Lyle will be sick of hearing "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile".

LaithHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic or Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "lion or wet"
  • Description:

    Laith is a cross-cultural boys' name that's among the Top 1000 in the UK, with a leonine meaning in Arabic that is on trend right now. As a Scottish name, it derives from the name of the river Leith in Edinburgh.

IvorHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of Welsh Ifor
  • Meaning:

    "yew"
  • Description:

    Ivor, a favorite choice for upscale characters in Brit Lit novels by authors like P.G. Wodehouse and Evelyn Waugh, is an interesting and unusual name just waiting to be discovered by parents in this country.

GordonHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "great hill"
  • Description:

    As this long-term Age of Jordans, both male and female, begins to wind down, the neglected Scottish favorite Gordon, with its more distinguished history, could come back as a distinctive alternative. Gordon is one of the most classic authentically Scottish names for boys.
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RossHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "upland, peninsula"
  • Description:

    Like Friends, Ross is off the air and into syndication as a baby name, having plummeted from its zenith in the late 80s to fall off the US Top 1000 in 2013. Today, Ross is more likely to be a dad name than a newborn name.

DouglasHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "black water"
  • Description:

    Douglas, and more particularly its nickname, Doug, had a real romantic swagger in the 1950s and 1960s dating back to swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks, but today is more likely to conjure up your mom's prom date. Originally a Celtic river name, it became attached to a powerful Scottish clan, renowned for their strength and courage. In its earliest incarnation, Douglas was used equally for girls and boys.

MungoHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish nickname
  • Meaning:

    "my pet"
  • Description:

    Mungo is one of the most classic Scottish names but perhaps also among the most difficult names to carry. There is a St. Mungo whose proper name was Kentigern; he is the patron saint of Glasgow.

BrodieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish surname
  • Meaning:

    "little ridge"
  • Description:

    This geographic Scottish surname is more often spelled Brody in the US. Both forms have seen decreasing popularity, which may be linked to its association with club-hopping Hills star Brody Jenner.

WileyHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish diminutive of William, German, English
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection; from Wylye"
  • Description:

    Wiley is a perfectly appropriate way to spell the Scottish name also known as Wylie. Given all the babies named William and Liam today, Wiley or Wylie can be a wonderful variation that's more distinctive but still honors Grandpa Bill. Wiley might also be considered an Attitude Name, given that its other meaning lends it a lot of sass.
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MurrayHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "settlement by the sea"
  • Description:

    Murray, you may be surprised to discover, is a Scottish surname name --that of an ancient noble clan--with a sea-swept meaning, and just could be in the next wave of reevaluated grandpa names. Currently Number 60 for baby boys born in its native Scotland; it was at its highest in the US in 1922, when it reached Number 208, but has been off the list since 1975. Could it be time for a comeback?

TavishHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of Thomas
  • Meaning:

    "twin"
  • Description:

    This Scottish form of Thomas has a lot of charm, evoking images of men in plaid kilts playing the bagpipes. As for the 'ish' ending, it could either be seen as cozy and hamish, or a little wishy-washyish.

InnesHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "from the river island"
  • Description:

    Innis is the name of an island (and Gaelic word for island) which became a Scottish surname and clan name before being used as a first. It hasn't been heard much in the U.S., but could attract more attention with the growing popularity of Latin s-ending boys' names such as Atticus.

EuanHeart

  • Origin:

    Gaelic, Anglicized form of Eoghann
  • Meaning:

    "born of the yew tree"
  • Description:

    The attractive Euan and Ewan are just coming onto the U.S. radar, via actor Ewan MacGregor and Harry Potter's Euan Abercrombie.

ArranHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish place name
  • Meaning:

    "ridged island"
  • Description:

    Arran Island (not to be confused with the Aran Islands in Ireland) is a large island in Scotland's Firth (or bay) of Clyde. Attractive name, long popular in Scotland, but elsewhere would be forever be mixed up with Aaron.
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AlasdairHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of Alexander
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    In this country, more recognizable with the Alistair spelling.

NivenHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "little saint"
  • Description:

    Excellent candidate for use as an undiscovered surname name. Niven is the Anglicized spelling of the Irish name Naomhan, a diminutive of the word naomh which means saint. This handsome but unusual name was given to only six boys in the US last year. Your parents may be familiar with actor David Niven.

StruanHeart

  • Origin:

    Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "stream"
  • Description:

    A strong, eminently usable which is currently highly fashionable in its native Scotland, but little known elsewhere. With its cool two-syllable, n-ending shape and attractive nature meaning, Struan is a fresh Scottish name that feels ripe for import.

RamsayHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "low-lying land"
  • Description:

    A surname occasionally used as a first, as in former attorney general Ramsey Clark. This spelling is now closely associated with the psychopathic Game of Thrones villain Ramsay Snow (later Ramsay Bolton), and so is probably best avoided as long as the show and books are popular.

GraemeHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of Graham
  • Description:

    An interesting vowel combination lightens up Graham.
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