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Uncommon Boy Names

  1. 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.
  2. HamzaHeart
    • Origin:

      Arabic
    • Meaning:

      "lion or strong"
    • Description:

      Hamza was the legendary uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, hero of The Hamzanama, the Story of Hamza.
  3. LaszloHeart
    • Origin:

      Hungarian
    • Meaning:

      "glorious ruler"
    • Description:

      The Hungarian classic Laszlo, with its zippy 'z' middle and energetic 'o' ending, has become something of a hipster option, beginning to be considered by cutting-edge parents.
  4. FlorianHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "flowering"
    • Description:

      If Flora and Florence have returned full force, Florian, with its trendy Latinate ending, could also have a chance. Popular in Germany, Austria and Switzerland -- he was the venerated patron saint of those in danger from water and of firefighters -- might sound a tad feminine and floral to English speakers. But as a middle name, Florian could be a great way to honor grandma Florence (or any other flower name).
  5. BramHeart
    • Origin:

      Dutch variation of Abraham
    • Meaning:

      "father of multitudes"
    • Description:

      Bram has an unusual measure of character and charm for a one-syllable name; it started as a hipper-than-Abe diminutive of the biblical Abraham, but is also an independent Irish and Dutch name, made famous by Irish-born Dracula creator Bram (nee Abraham) Stoker. Bram is currently Number 16 in the Netherlands; Bram Howard was a character on The West Wing.
  6. 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.
  7. ConstantineHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "steadfast"
    • Description:

      This Roman Emperor's name has long been considered too grand for an American boy. But in this era of children named Augustine and Atticus, it just may be prime for an unlikely comeback.
  8. EmilHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "rival"
    • Description:

      In the US, the preferred boys' spin on the mega-popular Emily and Emma is Emmett, but in much of Europe it's Emil. As Emmett gets trendier in the US, parents in search of a more unusual Em name may look to Emil.
  9. CiaranHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little dark one"
    • Description:

      Extremely popular in Ireland, Ciaran is also well used in England and is beginning to be adopted by parents in the U.S., though usually via the more American-friendly Kieran spelling. The Irish spelling is, however, becoming more familiar on this side of the Atlantic, due to the rising popularity of Belfast-born actor Ciaran Hinds.
  10. JulesHeart
    • Origin:

      French form of Latin Julius
    • Meaning:

      "youthful; soft, downy"
    • Description:

      Though Jules hasn't been on the US popularity list in fifty years, it is a current hit in its native France—where it's currently in the Top 10—and we can definitely see it making a comeback here, being far more romantic than, say, Jim.
  11. RafeHeart
    • Origin:

      Variation of Ralph
    • Meaning:

      "wolf-counsel"
    • Description:

      Used almost exclusively in England; would make an equally amiable short form here for Raphael or Rafferty -- and could also stand on its own. If you're looking for boys' names starting with R, this is one of your cooler choices.
  12. SvenHeart
    • Origin:

      Scandinavian
    • Meaning:

      "youth"
    • Description:

      Especially for parents of Scandinavian descent, Sven is an accessible and attractive name with an appealing mix of strength and swagger. It comes from the ancient Swedish tribe, the Sviars, who gave their name to Svealand, which later morphed into Sweden.
  13. MarcelHeart
    • Origin:

      French variation of Marcellus
    • Meaning:

      "little warrior"
    • Description:

      Marcel, despite distinguished namesakes including Proust and Duchamp, suffers from a terminal headwaiter image in this country. But along with its sister name Marcella and French variation (and Jolie-Pitt pick) Marcheline, Marcel may be on the brink of a style renaissance.
  14. IdrisHeart
    • Origin:

      Welsh; Arabic
    • Meaning:

      "lord; studious"
    • Description:

      A common Welsh name virtually unknown before the emergence of the charismatic Idris Elba, first on The Wire and then depicting Nelson Mandela in the acclaimed film.
  15. MiroHeart
    • Origin:

      Slavic
    • Meaning:

      "peace, world"
    • Description:

      Miro comes from the Slavic root word mir meaning "peace, world". Sometimes Miro is used as a diminutive of longer names like Miroslav or Vladimir, but it can also be given as a name in its own right. Miro has a wonderful meaning and fits right in with trendy names Arlo and Milo, as well as being an artistic honor name for Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miró.
  16. AntonHeart
    • Origin:

      German, Russian, and Scandinavian variation of Anthony
    • Description:

      Cultured and cultivated in an old-style, Old World way. Sometimes associated with the classic writer Anton Chekhov. Al Pacino has a son with this name.
  17. EoinHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish, variation of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Though Eoin is a Gaelic form of John, its Anglicized pronunciation links it directly to Owen. Eoin is currently a Top 30 name in Ireland. Other variations: Ewan, Ewen, Evan and Eoghan (pronounced as Owen but also translated as Eugene).
  18. AlessioHeart
    • Origin:

      Italian variation of Alexis
    • Meaning:

      "defender"
    • Description:

      Alessio, simpler than the related Alessandro, would be a welcome settler here.
  19. TiagoHeart
    • Origin:

      Portuguese diminutive of Santiago, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "Saint James"
    • Description:

      Tiago, also spelled Thiago, is a popular Portuguese boys' name derived from the more formal Santiago but these days usually used on its own. English speakers won't intuitively get the pronunciation but this might be a creative way to honor an ancestral James or Diego.
  20. OlivierHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "olive tree"
    • Description:

      More and more frequently heard as the Gallic version of Oliver, Olivier could be seen as a tribute to the great British actor, Sir Laurence O.