Boy Names Starting With W
Baby boy names that start with the letter W were the second most popular category until the 1910s, largely thanks to royal William’s 40-year reign as the #2 name. And timeless classic William still ranks among the Top 5 boy names in the US.
Along with William, W boy names ranked among the Top 300 boy names in the US include Wyatt, Weston, Wesley, Waylon and Walker.
A little further down the list, cool vintage W names for boys are making a quiet comeback. Distinguished vintage gem Walter has been rising recently in the popularity charts, after unlikely anti-hero Walter White exploded onto our screens. Along with Walter, Winston and Wallace are two other handsome, old-fashioned W names for boys which rank in the US Top 1000.
And in England and Wales, even fustier vintage picks like Wilfred and Wilbur are newly fashionable: both rank in the Top 600 baby boy names.
Riding the W wave are a whole new breed of W-starting boy baby names with a decidedly tougher, edgier image: from Wade and Wilder to Wesson and Wolf.
Here, our full collection of boy names beiginning with W. The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.
Meaning:"brave in war"
Description:Wyatt was derived from the Medieval English name Wyot, itself a form of the given name Wigheard, with wig meaning "war" and heard, "brave." Wyot, along with variations Wiot and Gyot, were also used by the Normans as nicknames for names such as William. Wyatt became a patronymic surname later in the Middle Ages.
Origin:Surname or word name
Description:New to the US Top 1000 in 2015, Wilder is on many parents' possibility lists, one of the new generation of bad boy names growing in popularity. Wilder got a big boost in interest through Goldie Hawn's grandson, born in 2007, via son Oliver.
Origin:English from German
Description:William is derived from the Germanic name Wilhelm, composed of the elements wil, "will," and helm, referring to a helmet or protection. The name was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, with William being the Norman variation of the name. In Central and Southern France, it was translated as Guillaume.
Meaning:"from the western town"
Description:Weston has gone from being a Jane Austenish British surname to a first name with a relaxed American western cowboy feel. Along with other trendy 'n'-ending boys’ names, Weston is rising in popularity, and is now more popular than ever. Weston also has a glimmer of creative appeal via its connection to the great photographer Edward Weston. Nicolas Cage chose Weston for his son back in 1990, when it was much more unusual; The Office's Jenna Fischer used it for her baby more recently. Cousin name Easton is even more popular.
Description:Wesley is one of a group of W-starting surname names reminiscent of the Old West that are making a comeback -- though it's not as well used as it was in the 1970s, when he ranked as high as Number 66.
Origin:Surname from place name
Description:Wells is a newly-famous baby name thanks to pregnancy guru Rosie Pope, who uses it as the short form of the buttoned-up Wellington, name of her youngest child.
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.
Meaning:"land beside the road"
Description:Country singer Waylon Jennings bestowed a kind of outlaw image on his name. However, for many children of the 1980s and '90s, Waylon will be forever associated with The Simpson's character, Waylon Smithers.
Waylon Jennings' son, also named Waylon, is called Shooter, and Shooter's young son Waylon Albert with actress wife Drea DeMatteo will be addressed as Blackjack. Grandpa Jennings was originally called Wayland, but the name was changed early on by his mother.
Description:Walter was seen as a noble name in the Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Walter Scott era, but it then spent decades in baby name limbo. Now quite a few independent-minded parents are looking at it as a renewable, slightly quirky, classic, stronger and more distinctive than James or John, second only to William among the handsome classic boy baby names starting with W. The recent popularity of Breaking Bad has brought us Walter White, conferring on the name Walter a new kind of cool and prompting a fresh wave of popularity.
Origin:English from French
Description:Long lingering in limbo, Warren suddenly seems to be on the cusp of revival. One of the oldest recorded English surnames, Warren's popularity in the U.S. dates back to the nineteenth century, and by 1921, reached its peak at Number 24.
Origin:English occupational name
Description:Walker is both a Waspy surname name—as in the W in George W. Bush—but it also has a gentle ambling quality and a creative connection to such greats as writer Walker Percy and photographer Walker Evans, whose father was also named Walker.
Meaning:"at the river crossing"
Description:Wade has never been outside the US Top 1000 for boys - there's a reason for that. It has a clean spelling, fresh sound and is neither too trendy (unlike Kade or Cade) or too old-school (like Richard or Albert). We think Wade is a winning name.
Description:Wallace is so square could almost be ripe for a turnaround, especially with the hipness imparted by the British Claymation series Wallace & Gromit. And Wally makes an adorable Leave it to Beaver retro-style nickname.
Meaning:"son of Will"
Description:Wilson is a substantive presidential choice far less prevalent than Taylor or Tyler, and with the advantage of being a new route to friendly nickname Will. We see Wilson growing in popularity as an alternative to William; and as a patronymic, it would make a conceivable (if possibly confusing) choice for a son of William.
Origin:English and Scottish surname related to Walter
Meaning:"son of Wat"
Description:What with the resurgence of W names like Weston and Walter, the prominence of high profile actress Emma and golfer Bubba, and even the attention paid to Watson, the IBM computer on "Jeopardy" (named for IBM's founder, Thomas Watson) this name could be in line for a revival of its own.
Origin:English occupational name
Meaning:"maker of wagons"
Description:When Marion Michael Morrison became John Wayne around 1930, his last name took on an air of cowboy cool that lasted about thirty years, but by now it's strictly a dad or granddad name.
Origin:Diminutive of William
Description:Will has definitely replaced Bill, not only as a nickname for William but as a stand-alone name as well, partly thanks to England's Prince William, also known as Wills.
Origin:Variation of Wesley
Description:This variation of Wesley moved into the Top 1000 among boys' names in the US in 2016, perhaps because it makes the name less like Lesley and more Western, with the cowboy nickname West.
Origin:Spelling variation of Weston
Description:A spelling variation of Weston most associated with the Westin hotel chain. To avoid looking like an advertisement, we think it’s best to stick with the more traditional spelling.
Description:This weapon name, linked to arms manufacturer Smith and Wesson, entered the US Top 1000 for the first time in 2016.
Origin:Diminutive of William
Description:There have been many great Willies (Mays, Nelson, Wonka), but a boy with this name could never ever go to England. Most people will also assume it is short for the more traditional William, which might be the best avenue for achieving this nickname.