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 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 unique 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.
Meaning:"bearer of the heavens"
Description:Previously thought too powerful for a baby boy – who would have to be strong enough to carry the world on his shoulders – Atlas has joined the pantheon of Greek and Roman god and goddess names now in the realm of possibility, along with Mars, Zeus and Apollo. It was one of the fast-rising names on the list in recent years in the USA, jumping from oblivion in 2012 into the Top 500 in 2015, and climbing several hundred places higher since then. Anne Heche was one of the first to make this audacious choice, but several celebrity parents have followed suit.
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.
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. Keri Russell and the Taylor Hansons both have sons named River, Natasha Henstridge used it as the middle name of her boy Tristan, and Jason Schwartzman pluralized it for daughter Marlowe Rivers.
Origin:Greek mythology name
Description:Orion is a rising star, with both mythical and celestial overtones.
Origin:Greek mythology name
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. But if Romeo and Venus are now deemed baby-appropriate, why not Apollo? Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno might inspire some parents. And now that it's been chosen by Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, it could take off as their first son's name—Kingston—has.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Origin:Word name; also diminutive of Cassius
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.
Origin:Dutch and German, from first name Hendrik
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.
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.
Description:Sky is an ambigender nature name that was first legitimized as the character of Sky Masterson in the 1950 musical Guys and Dolls, played in the film version by Marlon Brando. It's a name we appreciate for its clear, wide-open feel, less hippyish than others like Rainbow and Starlight, and makes an appealing middle name possibility.
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.
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.
Origin:Latin from Greek
Description:Yes, it's the name of the brightest star in the sky, but can't you just hear people saying, "Are you serious?" Singer Erykah Badu used it as a middle name for son Seven.
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.
Description:Though some may find such names rather harsh and severe, increasing numbers of parents are gravitating toward this kind of flinty, steely, stony single-syllable name.
Description:A spiritual word name used by actor Zoe Saldana for her son.
Description:King is a name that sends a mixed message. While some might think of it as more fitting for a canine, others see it as a strong name with offbeat style and a full court of rich associations, from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Elvis.
King Vidor was an important early Hollywood director; King Camp Gillette invented the safety razor.
If it's king names you're after that aren't King itself, see our list of Names with Royal Meanings or other lists and blogs on royal names.