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Dad Names

Dad Names

Dad names were the coolest names through the 1980s and 1990s, so they're now synonymous with men in their 20s, 30s and 40s: new dads. They encompass the start of trends that are still hot today: there are occupational names like Taylor and Tyler, and cowboy names like Austin and Casey.

Along with Tyler and Austin, other dad names for boys still in the US Top 500 include Zachary, Ryan, Cody, Jared, Denzel, and Kyle.

Dad names also have their own unique style with a love for names starting with D, and -ell endings. Many are still appealing today, but trends have moved on and they're no longer the cutting edge of cool they once were. Here, our extensive collection of dad names.

  1. NathanielHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "gift of God"
    • Description:

      Nathaniel was derived from the Hebrew name Netan’el, meaning “gift of God,” composed of the elements natan, meaning “to give,” and ’el, in reference to God. The name is featured several times in the Old and New Testaments, typically spelled Nathanael. In the New Testament, Nathanael is also known by his other name, Bartholomew.
  2. ZacharyHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "the Lord has remembered"
    • Description:

      Zachary is the English variation of Zacharias, which itself is derived from the Hebrew name Zechariah. The name Zachary is attached to eight different people in the Bible, the most prominent being the father of John the Baptist, and it's also presidential, via 12th president Zachary Taylor. Zackery is an alternate spelling, and nicknames include Zack, Zach, Zac, and Zak.
  3. RaphaelHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God has healed"
    • Description:

      Raphael is a romantic archangel name that sounds both artistic and powerful. Raphael is also a great cross-cultural choice, with significance for people with both Latinate and Jewish roots, plus plenty of grounding in the English-speaking world.
  4. AndrewHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "strong and manly"
    • Description:

      Andrew is a variant of the Greek name Andreas, ultimately derived from the element aner, meaning “man.” In the New Testament, Andrew was one of the twelve apostles and the first disciple to be called by Jesus. Although the origins of the name are Greek, Andrew is the patron saint of both Scotland and Russia, as well as Greece. It has associations with two of America's most famous artists, Wyeth and Warhol.
  5. ChristopherHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek and Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bearer of Christ"
    • Description:

      Christopher derived from the Greek Christophoros, which is composed of the elements Christos, referring to Christ, and phero, meaning “to bear.” The name was originally used figuratively, to represent the bearing of Christ in one’s heart. Later it became used to honor Saint Christopher, a third century martyr who became the protective saint of travelers, reflecting the legend of Christopher being the giant who carried the Christ Child over a river.
  6. DanielHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is my judge"
    • Description:

      Daniel was derived from the Hebrew name Daniyyel, from the elements din, meaning "judge," and ’el, "God." The Book of Daniel in the Old Testament describes the Jewish prophet’s life of captivity in Babylon and visions of the last days of Earth. Dan and Danny are common short forms of Daniel.
  7. TristanHeart
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "noise or sorrowful"
    • Description:

      Tristan -- known through medieval legend and Wagnerian opera -- has a slightly wistful, touching air. This, combined with the name's popular "an" ending, makes Tristan very appealing to parents seeking a more original alternative to Christian.
  8. DanteHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin diminutive of Durant
    • Meaning:

      "enduring"
    • Description:

      Though closely associated with the great medieval Florentine poet Dante Alighieri -- who's so famous most people skip the last name -- it's not as much of a one-man name as you might think. Heck, it's not even a one-poet name, thanks to British pre-Rapahaelite Dante Gabriel Rosetti. Though especially well used in the Italian-American community, it would make a striking name for any little boy.
  9. DimitriHeart
    • Origin:

      Russian from Greek Demetrius
    • Meaning:

      "follower of Demeter"
    • Description:

      Dimitri is a Slavic variation of the Russian Dmitriy, a name that comes from the Greek Demetrius. Demetrius was derived from Demeter, the name of the Greek goddess of fertility and farming. Among the possible spelling variations are Dmitri, Dmitrii, Dmitriy, and Dmitry.
  10. AustinHeart
    • Origin:

      English, shortened form of Augustine
    • Meaning:

      "great, magnificent"
    • Description:

      Austin is one of the most attractive city names for babies, with an attractive southwestern feel, place-name panache and the solid base of having long been an Anglo-Saxon surname and a first name since medieval times. Austin reached the Top 10 in the 1990s, but has been gradually slipping down the list.
  11. NicholasHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "people of victory"
    • Description:

      Nicholas is derived from the Greek Nikolaos, a name that evolved from the components nikē, meaning “victory”, and laos, “people.” It shares origins with Nike, the name of the Greek goddess of victory. Nicholas is also a New Testament name that is well-used in literature, such as in Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby.
  12. AaronHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "high mountain; exalted, enlightened"
    • Description:

      The origin of the name Aaron is debated—some say it was derived from Hebrew, while others claim it originated in Ancient Egypt. In the Old Testament, Aaron, the older brother of Moses who was appointed by God to be his brother's spokesman, was the first High Priest of the Israelites. The Hebrew version is Aharon—in Yiddish it can be Aaran—and the name appears in Arabic as Haroun or Harun.
  13. AdamHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "son of the red earth"
    • Description:

      Adam -- a primal Old Testament name -- was revived as a 1960s cowboy name. Adam is not as popular as it once was and feels ready for a respite, replaced by newer A names like Aidan/Aiden, Avery and Axel. Its most prominent current bearers include Adams Sandler, Levine, Brody and Driver -- who plays a character named Adam on Girls.
  14. SpencerHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "house steward, dispenser of provisions"
    • Description:

      Spencer is a name that has everything: it's both distinguished sounding and accessible, dignified but Spencer Tracy-like friendly. Picked by several celebrities (a couple of times even for a girl), adding up to an enthusiastically recommended choice.
  15. 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.'
  16. MarcoHeart
    • Origin:

      Italian and Spanish form of Mark
    • Meaning:

      "warlike"
    • Description:

      Simple and universal, Marco is a Latin classic that would make a much livelier namesake for an Uncle Mark. It was used for her son by actress Jill Hennessy and goes well with surnames of any nationality.
  17. CodyHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "helpful, pillow"
    • Description:

      In the early 1990s, Cody was in the Top 25 most popular boys' names in the USA; but it has been in decline since then. It retains a greater degree of popularity in the UK, however. Cody might be short for Dakota but despite its nickname feeling, it's a name of its own.
  18. DesmondHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "one from south Munster"
    • Description:

      Desmond is a sophisticated and debonair name, with noble ties to 1984 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Bishop Desmond Tutu, and with some great nicknames: Des/Dez, Desi/Dezi.
  19. RyanHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little king"
    • Description:

      Ryan’s use as a given name was inspired by the surname Ryan, a variation of the Irish O’Riain meaning "son of Rían." Rían is composed of the Irish-Gaelic elements , meaning "king" and an, a diminutive suffix. Ryan is considered a unisex name in the US, where variant spellings Ryann and Ryanne are also valid for girls.
  20. ChristianHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek or English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "anointed one or follower of Christ"
    • Description:

      The name Christian has fallen a bit from its 90's and 00's heights, but it's still quite popular. Once considered overly pious, Christian is now seen as making a bold statement of faith by some, while also having secular appeal for others, perhaps influenced by such celebrities as Christian Slater and Christian Bale, not to mention the fashion world's Dior, Lacroix, Louboutin and Audigier.