Boy Names That Start With K
Boy names that start with K are a modern success story, having kicked off in the 1950s and remained among the most popular names for boys ever since.
The top K name for boys in the US today, and the only one in the Top 100, is the nouveau Kayden. Along with Kayden, boy names starting with K in the US Top 300 include Kai, Kingston, Kevin, King, Karter, Knox, and Kyrie.
Kyle, not Kevin, is now the most popular K name for boys in Ireland, while Kylian is the top choice in France and Kilian in Germany.
Historically the most popular members of the K krew actually started life with a C: from 50s favorite Kenneth (Coinneach) to 70s sweetheart Kevin (Caoimhín).
Swapping a K for a C first initial is a trend that continues to this day, with Kaiden, Kaleb, Karter, Kash, Kameron and more still among the most popular K-starting names for boys. But there are also many K boys' names that came about their kool initial organically, like Nameberry favorites Kai, Keir and Koa.
Here, our full roster of boy names that start with K. You also might want to check out our lists of Girl Names That Start With K, Unisex Names That Start With K, or our full list of Baby Names That Start With K.
Description:Kai has many origins and meanings. What does the name Kai mean? That depends on which Kai you're referring to.
Meaning:"little dark one"
Description:Long popular in Ireland and England, Kieran, the name of Ireland's first-born saint and twenty-five other saints, has been building its U.S. fan base thanks to its strong and attractive sound, and its fashionable Irish brogue. While Ciaran is the more authentic Irish spelling, Kieran is more popular this side of the Atlantic.
Description:Knox is an old Scottish surname that Brad Pitt (whose great-great-grandfather was named Hal Knox Hillhouse) and Angelina Jolie took out of the back cupboard, dusted off, and elevated to coolness--to the point where it entered the popular baby names list in 2009. Knox now ranks among the most influential celebrity baby names.
Description:With Noah taking the Number 1 spot in 2013, Koa is attracting more attention than ever.
Description:A word in the Yankton-Yanktonai and Santee dialects of the Lakota Sioux language, meaning "friend" or "ally", used for one of the main characters in the movie Brother Bear. Also a common Japanese surname or a respelling of the musical name Coda.
Description:A name of multiple identities: a somewhat soap-operatic single-syllable surname, a homonym for the biblical bad boy Cain, and, when found in Japan and Hawaii, it transforms into the two syllable KA-neh. Kane also has multiple meanings: in Welsh, it's "beautiful"; in Japanese, "golden"; and in Hawaiian, "man of the Eastern sky."
Description:Kevin was derived from the name Caoimhín, which originated from the Irish elements coém, meaning “handsome,” and gein, “birth.” The feminine name Caiomhe, anglicized as Keeva, comes from the same origins. Kevin was first popularized by the seventh century Saint Kevin, who founded a scholastic monastery near Dublin and was rewarded by being made one of that city's patron saints.
Description:Killian – aka Cillian – is a spirited yet resonant Gaelic name that was borne by several Irish saints and could make a distinctive replacement for the dated Kelly. Possible downsides: an unsavory first syllable and a connection to the trendy brew.
Origin:Scottish and Irish
Meaning:"born of fire, handsome"
Description:Kenneth may have lost much of its luster now, but Kenneth has had its moments of glory. The first king of Scotland was Kenneth, and Sir Kenneth, a Christian crusader, was the hero of the Sir Walter Scott novel The Talisman.
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.
Meaning:"narrow spit of land"
Description:Kyle is still appreciated by thousands of parents each year for its combination of simplicity, strength, and style; it was in the Top 20 for most of the nineties. As a Scottish surname, it dates back to the fifteenth century.
Origin:Irish, variation of Cian
Description:A friendly Irish name chosen for one of her twin boys by Geena Davis.
Meaning:"strong and healthy"
Description:Kenzo is a common Japanese name with several creative bearers: the single-named fashion designer, prizewinning architect Kenzo Takada, and painter Kenzo Okada, which makes it internationally recognizable.
Description:Strong but gentle, Keith is one of the Scottish surnames that, along with Douglas, Craig and Bruce, were considered the epitome of cool in the 1960s and early 1970s, when it was a Top 40 choice.
Meaning:"cool breeze over the mountains"
Description:An evocative name brought from Hawaii to the mainland by Keanu Reeves, who was born in Beirut to a part-Hawaiian, part-Chinese father. It moved into the Top 1000 for the first time in over a decade in 2016. Keanu ranks among
Description:Kellen is German in origin and Irish in spirit. Kellen has fallen a bit in popularity for boys since its peak in 2012, but it has possibilities for girls too. In fact, Kellen's similarity to such feminine names as Helen, Ellen, and Kelly makes it feel more unisex or even female, though Twilight actor Kellan Lutz has done much to popularize this name for boys.
Description:A favorite among younger parents, this is one of the names that rose to the surface when Tyler and Kyle started to sink.
Origin:Spelling variation of Kellen
Description:Kellan Lutz is the attractive young actor who plays Emmett Cullen in the Twilight series.
Origin:Variation of Kyle
Description:Kylo Ren is the villain played by Adam Driver in the seventh Star Wars movie, released in December 2015. The original Kyle has sparked many variations, including Kylie and Kyler. Kylo, which takes on the fashionable o ending, is sure to follow for those who don't mind crossing to the dark side. It debuted on the US Top 1000 in 2016 -- and indeed, was the year's fastest rising boys' name.
Description:Chosen for their first son by musical couple Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, this Jamaican place and elegant British surname also boasts the more regal yet user-friendly short form, King.
Description:Kaiser, as in roll and Wilhelm, appeared for the first time on the US Top 1000 in 2017. It fits the two-syllable -er ending style that's all the rage, and it lends itself to the short form Kai. But we hope this Germanic version of what is essentially a title rather than a name doesn't keep rising on the charts.
Description:One of several Japanese names that refer to a child's place in the family birth order.
Origin:Spelling variation of Caden
Description:A popular member of popular family: Kadin, Kaeden, Kaiden, and Kayden -- along with Caden, Caiden, and Cayden, as well as Cade and Kade.
Meaning:"son of Egan"
Description:Keegan is one of a clan of spirited Irish surnames starting with K and ending with 'n'--this one with the cheery double 'e' in the middle-- that are appealing to an increasing number of parents. It derives from Mac Aodhagáin, meaning "son (or descendant) of Aodhagán," a diminutive of the Irish name Aodh--pronounced Aye.
Description:Though used quite often for babies of both sexes, Khari, meaning "kingly," was traditionally a boys' name. Musical couple Fetty Wop and Masika Kalysha, however, named their daughter Khari.
Description:Kingsley is a sophisticated Harry Potter name that entered the US Top 1000 in 2013.
Origin:English and Scottish
Meaning:"royal ruler, champion"
Description:Harsh name that found some favor in the last couple of decades—potentially due to rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was one of the quickest rising baby names in 2013 when it reached its high point at Number 318.
Origin:Spelling variation of Kaden, modern invented name
Description:This version of Kaden is also a popular choice and one of the many boys' names starting with k that can also start with a C, as in Caiden, Cayden et al.. Kaiden Alenko is a character in the video game Mass Effect.
Meaning:"son of Kyle"
Description:An update of Tyson for parents who prefer the Ky nickname to Ty. It was the middle name of a character on Heroes.
Meaning:"grace of God"
Description:One of the many South Asian names skyrocketing up the U.S. popularity charts. This one, with its user-friendly similarity to Ryan, was brought to the fore when Bollywood superstar Karisma Kapoor used it for her son in 2010.
Origin:Spelling variation of Caleb
Meaning:"devotion to God"
Description:Kaleb is one of several boys' names starting with k that started life as a classic C name, Caleb. Kevin Federline named his boy Kaleb Michael Jackson.
Description:Keaton is an engaging surname with warmth, energy and a sense of humor, identified with silent comedian Buster Keaton and contemporary actors Michael and Diane Keaton. Although rare as a first name, a young Keaton would fit right in with classmates Keenan and Kellen.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:This member of the aden/ayden extended family is a popular choice not only in the US but across the pond in England, Wales and Scotland as well. Angie Everhart has a son named Kayden Bobby.
Origin:Spelling variation of Cade
Description:Kade is a prime example of the new trend for substituting K's at the beginning of traditionally C-starting names.
Meaning:"narrow or wooded river"
Description:A tributary of the River Clyde in Scotland, called in Scottish Gaelic Abhainn Cheilbhinn: caol (“narrow”) or coille (“wooded”) + abhainn (“river”). As a surname, it derives from the name of the river.
Description:Spelled in various ways, this name was first brought into the American consciousness by the Lebanese-American poet and artist Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet.
Description:Kyrie may be a name of God used widely in the ancient church refrain Kyrie Elieson, or Lord, have mercy, but it's rising in popularity for boys in the US on the strength of basketball star Kyrie Irving. Irving pronounces the first syllable of Kyrie to rhyme with my, whereas with the religious word it rhymes with fear.
Description:Kabir is the 37th name of God in Islam. Kabir is also the name of an Indian poet and mystic saint. In the US, Kabir is on the rise as a boys' name, favored by Muslim parents.
Origin:Spelling variation of Cash, word name
Description:Even tackier (and without the musical tie-in) than the original Cash, but still a widely used choice.
Origin:Spelling variation of Khalil
Description:Kalel first entered the US Top 1000 as a one-off appearance in 2009, then reentered in 2013. It's possible that some parents see it as a spelling variant of the classic Arabic name Khalil, meaning friend. Or maybe some—Nicolas Cage, we're looking at you—were inspired by the birth name of Clark Kent, AKA Superman, Kal-El. Cage was long associated with attempts to remake a big screen story about the Man of Steel. He and wife Alice Kim gave the name to their son in 2005.
Origin:Spelling variation of place-name Cairo
Description:Varying the spelling of an established name or word to substitute a k for a c has become more and more kommon, oops, common. Some parents feel that using a different spelling makes the name more of a name and less of a place or a word. Kairo may seem to lend itself particularly well to this practice given that the K spelling turns the first syllable into the stylish name Kai. But we prefer the more authentic Kai or Cairo.
Origin:Variation of Kamaria, Swahili
Description:A melodic name that's taking off in the African-American community.
Origin:Spelling variation of Kai
Description:With the rising popularity of Kai, this more phonetic spelling has been gaining traction as well. Kye debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2015, and was one of the fastest-rising names of the year in 2016.
Origin:Spelling variation of Cillian or Killian, Irish
Meaning:"war or strife"
Description:The Kylian spelling of this popular Irish name was introduced to the lexicon by French soccer star Kylian Mbappé.
Description:This name of three ancient saints, one Wayans brother, and an NFL wide receiver makes an energetic choice.
Description:Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, whose name was inspired by a Japanese steak house, brought this energetic and appealing name into -- and out of -- the mix. Bryant's tragic death in a helicopter crash in 2020 may only increase the popularity of his name, as fans and admirers name their children Kobe in honor of the star.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:Is Kaison really a variation of Kason or Kayson or Kaysen, or are they all equal inventions? Think of it as Jason or Mason, Kardashianized. Cason is the more traditional spelling, one that has the better chance of standing the test of time.
Description:Khalid has flirted with the Top 1000 for several decades now, climbing back on in 2015 after more than a decade's absence. Its return could be in part because of the popularity of snapchat personality and rap collaborator DJ Khaled. R&B singer Khalid may also be contributing to its newfound popularity. The name is important in Islamic history thanks to a 7th century military leader. Khalida is the feminine version.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:Jason with a K or Kase with an N or Karson without the R.