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Attitude Nicknames for Boys

Attitude nicknames? We never thought about it until we noticed someone searching for them, and decided, Well, yes, there are attitude nicknames for boys. (And for girls too, but one at a time).

Attitude nicknames for boys have panache. They’re ultra-short and punchy, often with hard consonant sounds such as those in Dax and Zeke.

Along with Dax and Zeke, other attitude nicknames for boys in the US Top 1000 include Ace, Bo, Cash, Dash, Duke, Jax, Max, and Van. A rare attitude nickname can set your son even further apart from the crowd; Baz, Fletch, Puck, and Ziggy are among the coolest options.

An attitude nickname may be the perfect compromise when deciding between a traditional, formal name and a cool, modern one. Consider Asher called Ash, Oswald called Oz, or Edwin called Win. Here, more boys' nicknames with attitude.

Attitude Nicknames for Boys
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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.

NicoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian diminutive of Nicholas, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "people of victory"
  • Description:

    Nico is one of the great nickname names, full of charm, energy and effortless cool -- a neo Nick.

AceHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "one, unity"
  • Description:

    No longer tied to the hapless Ace Ventura, this jaunty, high-flying nickname name is starting to take flight among celebrity and other parents, with its countless positive references to doing well in tests and poker games, on the tennis court and golf course, and in the air.

KitHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Christopher
  • Description:

    Actor Kit Harington, aka the dreamy Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, has given this nickname-name new style and appeal for boys. Actress Jodie Foster used it for her son. For girls, it's an updated diminutive of Katherine.

AshHeart

  • 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.
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BearHeart

  • Origin:

    Animal name
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    Bear has suddenly lumbered onto the baby name landscape. Perhaps inspired by British adventurer Bear Grylls (born Edward Michael), first celebrity chef Jamie Oliver used it as the middle name for his boy Buddy, and more recently Alicia Silverstone called her son Bear Blu., followed by Kate Winslet's Bear Blaize. It's part of a current trend normalizing once aggressive animal names like Wolf and Fox. Bear is now Number 218 on Nameberry and in the Top 900 in England.

NashHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "by the ash tree"
  • Description:

    Nash is an English surname whose sound puts it right in step with currently trendy names like Cash, Dash and Ash. It first came to prominence via TV character Nash Bridges, portrayed by Don Johnson in the late nineties, and also via mathematician John Nash, played by Russell Crowe in the acclaimed film A Beautiful Mind.

CashHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name; also diminutive of Cassius
  • Meaning:

    "hollow"
  • Description:

    Whether it's due to its economic connotations, or its link to American legend Johnny Cash, this name is widely used, and has been used by several celebrities including Annabeth Gish and Joshua Morrow.

ZekeHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Ezekiel
  • Meaning:

    "God strengthens"
  • Description:

    Zeke is a casual form of the name Ezekiel, an important prophet from the Old Testament. How well Zeke holds up depends on the boy: it could be a cooler alternative of Zack, or it could prove too close to "geek." Both Zeke and Ezekiel lag behind in popularity on the UK charts.

JaxHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Jax is the Dex-Jex-Pax type of x-ending cool -- possibly too cool -- variation of Jack or nickname for Jaxon or Jackson.
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DaxHeart

  • Origin:

    French place-name
  • Description:

    The appealingly energetic Dax, with its trendy X-ending, re-entered the Top 1000 in 2007. Its somewhat sci-fi vibe emanates from his appearance as a fictional being in the Star Trek universe, seen on the TV show "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." The Power Rangers character Dax Lo was the Blue Ranger.

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.

MontyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Montague, Montgomery
  • Description:

    Monty, a name with a World War II feel, is rarely used on its own. But we're hearing rumblings of a comeback and think that Monty, whatever it's short for, is an adorable vintage nickname name of the future.

ZiggyHeart

  • Origin:

    German, diminutive of Siegfried and Sigmund
  • Description:

    The ultimate nicknamey name, à la Ziggy Stardust or the comic-strip character Ziggy. Then again, there's Ziggy Marley, and most anything Marley is cool. Originally named David, his father Bob Marley gave him the nickname "Ziggy" due to the soccer move of the same name.

RockyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Rocco, Italian
  • Meaning:

    "rest"
  • Description:

    How many decades will it take for Rocky to triumph over its association with Sylvester Stallone's battered but not beaten boxer? The moment may have come, now that Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. have named their son Rocky. It helps, too, that Madonna's son Rocco helped make the name child-appropriate again.
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BoHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse nickname
  • Meaning:

    "to live"
  • Description:

    A popular name in Denmark, in this country Bo has some cowboy swagger and a lot of substance in its minimal two letters. In Mandarin Chinese, Bo means "wave".

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.

VanHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch
  • Meaning:

    "of"
  • Description:

    Whether it's used as a short form or on its own, this jazzy midcentury name is poised for a comeback along with brothers Ray and Walt.

DashHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Dashiell, meaning unknown
  • Description:

    Dash is a nickname that can stand on its own and sounds, well, dashing. Connected these days with Kardashian enterprises.

IggyHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, diminutive of Ignatius
  • Meaning:

    "fiery"
  • Description:

    Iggy is the quintessential pop star name, though it's the nickname Cate Blanchett uses for son Ignatius. Iggy does bring any grander-sounding name down to earth.
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BeckHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "one living beside a small stream,"
  • Description:

    The popular single-named alternative singer (born Bek) has moved this onetime shortening of Becky into male territory.

BanksHeart

  • Origin:

    English surname
  • Meaning:

    "one who lives on the hillside or riverbank"
  • Description:

    Banks is a topographical surname that refers not to those places where people keep their money but to riverbanks or hillsides, and specifically the people who live on them. Just as Fields is a last name that relates to people who lived in, yes, fields, so Banks was a name originally given to people who dwelled on the banks of a river. Today, used as a first name, Banks is more likely to sound like an upwardly-mobile name related to financial establishments, okay if you're going for the glitter.

HuckHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Huckleberry, word name
  • Description:

    Though forever tied to Huck, short for Huckleberry, Finn, this is an undeniably cute short form that may have some life as part of the hipster taste for names like Duke and Bix.

LexHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Alexander
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    Cool short form of Alexander, fresher than Alex and less trendy than Xander... for now.

OzHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "strength, powerful, courageous"
  • Description:

    This may be a legitimate Hebrew name denoting power, but to any American kid, it will evoke ruby slippers and a yellow brick road. The full Hebrew name is Ozni, who was a grandson of Jacob in the Bible.
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FitzHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of"
  • Description:

    Any number of Fitz names -- Fitzgerald, Fitzpatrick, Fitzroy, Fitzwilliam -- have been used as Christian names, in fact Fitzwilliam was the given name of the dashing Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. Fitz can be a short form of any of them and is often, like Mac, a nickname drawn from a surname.

IkeHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Isaac
  • Description:

    Ike, once the quirky one-person nickname of President Dwight Eisenhower, has morphed into a cool kid nickname of the early 21st century. The rise of Isaac and the stylishness of short down-to-earth nicknames like Max and Gus means that many parents like Ike once again. In the Top 200 (!) at the end of the 19th century, Ike fell off the Social Security Top 1000 by the end of Eisenhower's presidency in the late 1950s but may rise again -- though our guess is that more modern parents will put Isaac or Isaiah on the birth certificate.

ZebHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Zebediah or Zebulon
  • Description:

    Short and to-the-point, it turns an ancient biblical name into a friendly cowboy.

XanHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Alexander
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    With the plethora of Alexes around, Xan (and Xander) have emerged as hot new nicknames for Alexander. Xan also stands well on its own. It can be found--not surprisingly--in several computer games.

DukeHeart

  • Origin:

    English rank of nobility
  • Description:

    While John Wayne and Duke Ellington are worthy role models, the reason Duke is currently enjoying a revival and returned to the Top 1000 in 2013 as one of the year's fastest-rising boys’ names is more likely due to the name given to high-profile TV couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic. Christened Edward Duke, he has always been called by his middle name, just as Edward Duke Ellington was. Duke is just one of several aristocratic titles being increasingly used by ordinary citizens.
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JuddHeart

  • Origin:

    Medieval short form of Jordan
  • Meaning:

    "flowing down"
  • Description:

    Judd is a strong but sensitive short form that can easily stand on its own, the second 'd' giving it a lot more substance, and it would also be a good middle name choice. Two recent actors have given it credence--Judd Nelson and Judd Hirsch, and now it's most noticeably represented by comedy director Judd Apatow.

CyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Cyrus
  • Description:

    Where Sam, Max, and Gus may be leading us.

WardHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "guard, watchman"
  • Description:

    Until recently Ward was, like Wally, a Cleaver name, but today's parents are seeing it as a cooler nickname for Edward than Eddie, and are also beginning to use it on its own.

BusterHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern nickname
  • Description:

    An old-fashioned nickname in the Bud/Buzz/Biff mold; this one's kind of belligerent. Michelle Hicks and Jonny Lee Miller moved outside the box when they used it for their son--given the safer middle name of Timothy.

DexHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Dexter
  • Meaning:

    "dyer; right-handed"
  • Description:

    Dex, the nickname for Dexter that is sometimes used on its own, has lots of energy and dynamism. It was chosen by comedian Dana Carvey for his now grown son. With the growing popularity of Dexter, we may be seeing more of Dex.
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BazHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Sebastian or Basil; Kurdish
  • Meaning:

    "regal; falcon"
  • Description:

    As Bas, it's a popular name in The Netherlands, but Baz, as in director Luhrmann, has potential for independent life too.

    Curiously, Australian-born Moulin Rouge director Luhrmann was born neither Sebastian nor Basil, but had the name Mark Anthony on his birth certificate; his nickname arose from his supposed resemblance to a British TV fox puppet named Basil Brush.

AxHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name or short form of Axel
  • Description:

    Ax makes a somewhat threatening short form of the popular Axel, given to more than 3000 baby boys last year. It can also be used on its own, though it usually isn't. There were, however, seven baby boys named Axe in the US in 2015.

WinHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Winslow, Winthrop, or Winston
  • Description:

    Win is an upbeat, can-do name that can be a short form of one of the buttoned-up British choices above or can stand on its own. Welsh Wyn is another possibility.

    Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and singer Ciara named their son Win Harrison. Harrison is Wilson's father's first name.

DocHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Description:

    A boy with this name is certain to be bombarded with "What's up, doc?" every day of his life. Even Doctor would be preferable.

DezHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Desmond
  • Description:

    More of an abbreviation than a short form that can stand on its own.
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BuzzHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern nickname
  • Description:

    Brother for Biff and Bud. McFly rocker Tom Fletcher transformed this from midcentury short form to modern cool name when he used it for his newborn son.

PuckHeart

  • Origin:

    Literary name
  • Description:

    Puck was Shakespeare's mischievous pixie whose only known real-life incarnation was the insufferable neohippie on an early season of MTV's "Real World." Now, though, the attractive bad boy character on "GLEE" is giving Puck new possibilities, at least as a nickname.

BixHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern nickname
  • Description:

    Bix is a cool and jazzy nickname name, thanks to that final x. It's largely associated with the legendary and influential cornet player (and inspiration for the novel Young Man With a Horn), Bix Beiderbecke. He was born Leon Bismark Beiderbecke and his nickname derived from his middle name.

SiHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Simon, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "the listener"
  • Description:

    Si is an intriguing antique nickname for Simon and Silas, and we’ve also heard it as a short form of names that contain the “sigh” sound, like Josiah and Osiris.

JockHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of Jack
  • Description:

    This is a Scottish pet form of John, the equivalent of Jack in England. Has long been used as a generic name for a Scotsman, here it's a generic name for a--well--jock.
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MoeHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Moses
  • Meaning:

    "delivered"
  • Description:

    If Gus and Max have made it, why not Moe? Can it be the lingering Three Stooges effect? We think that Moe, like Joe, is one of the friendliest and most open of regular guy nickname names and should get a little more attention.

MoeHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Moses
  • Meaning:

    "delivered"
  • Description:

    If Gus and Max have made it, why not Moe? Can it be the lingering Three Stooges effect? We think that Moe, like Joe, is one of the friendliest and most open of regular guy nickname names and should get a little more attention.

HitchHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Hitchcock
  • Description:

    The charming Hitch played by Will Smith in the eponymous movie put this into the lexicon. Also known as the nickname of director Alfred Hitchcock and writer Christopher Hitchens, who titled his autobiography "Hitch."

PoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian river name
  • Description:

    A river (in Italy), a writer (Bronson), a Teletubby: the Bo of the new millennium.

HuxHeart

  • Origin:

    Short form of Huxley
  • Description:

    As Huxley and Huck become more popular and accepted, so does Hux, either as a full name or a diminutive.
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