Unique Middle Names for Boys

Unique Middle Names for Boys

Unique middle names may be a way to add character and distinction to a son's name, especially if his first name is a more traditional name or a conservative family choice. These middle names for boys can include word names, place names, surname names, names of heroes from history or the arts.

Unique middle names for boys are become less, well, unique these days, as middle names increasingly become a way to express individuality, honor a relative or signal a value, make any name more one-of-a-kind.

Some of the rare middle names we've heard most often for boys include nature names such as Bear and Ocean, spiritual names such as Journey and Justice, and hero names like Lincoln or Lebron.

A middle name can also be a way to make your son's gender identity less binary, so if you're using a conventionally masculine first name such as Henry, you might soften that with a gender-neutral middle name like Sage or True.

A select group of unique baby names that work in the middle for boys is listed here, ordered by current popularity on Nameberry.

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Unique Names

Middle Names

Boy Names

  1. Atlas
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "bearer of the heavens"
    • Description:

      Atlas is one of those names that was previously thought too powerful for a baby boy, who would have to be strong enough to carry the world on his shoulders. Now Atlas has joined the pantheon of Greek and Roman god and goddess names in the realm of possibility, along with Mars, Zeus and Apollo.
  2. Orion
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "boundary, limit"
    • Description:

      Orion is a rising star, with both mythical and celestial overtones.
  3. Bodhi
    • Origin:

      Sanskrit
    • Meaning:

      "awakening, enlightenment"
    • Description:

      Bodhi is a Sanskrit name translated as "enlightenment" or "awakening" which relates to a Buddhist concept, wherein Bodhi is synonymous with the state of nirvana, being freed from hate, greed and ego. The Bodhi tree is a large fig tree under which the founder of Buddhism received enlightenment. Spelling variations include Bodie and Bode.
  4. River
    • Origin:

      Nature name
    • Description:

      River shares the tranquil feeling of all the water names, and seems to have pretty much escaped its past strong association with River Phoenix and his unfortunate fate. Actor Joaquin Phoenix named his son with actress Rooney Mara after his brother River.
  5. Apollo
    • Origin:

      Greek mythology name
    • Meaning:

      "destroyer"
    • Description:

      With mythological names rising, the handsome son of Zeus and god of medicine, music, and poetry among many other things might offer an interesting, if high-pressure, option.
  6. Wolf
    • Origin:

      Animal name or diminutive of Wolfgang, German
    • 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, or even Wolfram or Wolfhart.
  7. Fox
    • Origin:

      Animal name
    • Description:

      Fox is one animal name backed by a longish tradition, and then popularized via the lead character Fox Mulder on X Files. Fox is simple, sleek, and a little bit wild, and could make an interesting middle name.
  8. Bear
    • 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.
  9. Jericho
    • Origin:

      Biblical place-name
    • Description:

      A biblical place name with trumpeting verve and strength.
  10. Amadeus
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "lover of God"
    • Description:

      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's middle name could make an interesting pick for music-loving parents--if only in middle place. Amadeus is the title of a Peter Shaffer play which became an award-winning film in 1984.
  11. Winston
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "wine's town"
    • Description:

      Long associated with the Churchill family and common in the West Indies, the distinguished Winston has tended to be neglected here. The exception was during the World War II period, when Winston Churchill was a towering figure and his name reached Number 234. It's now enjoying something of a renaissance.
  12. Arrow
    • Origin:

      Word name
    • Description:

      Words are not always easy to translate into baby names, but the implications of being straight and swift lend this one great potential as a name. It also has the popular o-sound ending, which brings it further into the realm of possibility. Rising rock star Aja Volkman pulled a gender switch when she named her daughter Arrow Eve.
  13. Bowie
    • Origin:

      Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "blond"
    • Description:

      Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn put this name in play as a first name, but David Bowie (born with the considerably less marketable moniker of David Robert Jones) dyed it blond and gave it charisma. He changed his surname in 1965 to avoid confusion with the then popular Davy Jones of The Monkees, and especially since his death, his admirers have seen it as an increasingly viable baby name namesake.
  14. Evren
    • Origin:

      Turkish
    • Meaning:

      "universe"
    • Description:

      A modern-sounding unisex name which belongs to a dragon in Turkish mythology. One notable bearer is American composer Evren Celimli.
  15. Cash
    • Origin:

      Word name; also diminutive of Cassius
    • Meaning:

      "hollow"
    • Description:

      With the popular 'ash' sound and a contemporary feel, Cash is a widely used name in the US. Used occasionally before the 2000s, Cash really took off in 2003, following the death of American musical legend, Johnny Cash.
  16. Beck
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "small stream"
    • Description:

      The popular single-named alternative singer (born Bek) has given this cool nature-meets-surname name a new lease of life. Another notable bearer is Beck Weathers, a Texan pathologist who survived the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, which was covered in the book and film Into Thin Air.
  17. Hendrix
    • Origin:

      Dutch and German, from first name Hendrik
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Hendrix is one of those hip rock and roll names, like Lennon, Jagger and Presley, that have been used by fellow celebs and others, to honor the seminal guitarist/singer/songwriter Jimi. And this one has the trendy 'x' ending, as well, helping to propel it up the charts and into the spotlight.
  18. Aries
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "a ram"
    • Description:

      Better than Capricorn or Cancer, not as usable as Leo, the name of the Roman god of war becomes more possible as a baby name every day, as mythological names take the place of biblical names.
  19. Valentine
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "strength, health"
    • Description:

      Valentine is an attractive Shakespearean name with romantic associations, but those very ties to the saint and the sentimental holiday have sent it into a decline, one which we think may be about to turn around.
  20. Win
    • 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.