Boys firsts

  1. Absalom
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "father of peace"
    • Description:

      Absalom, because of its biblical and literary associations, just might appeal to the daring namegiver.
  2. Apollo
    • Origin:

      Greek mythology name
    • Meaning:

      "destroyer"
    • 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.
  3. Artemas
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "gift of Artemis, goddess of the hunt"
    • Description:

      This name has a nice mythological, historical, Three Musketeers-ish ring.
  4. Atlas
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "bearer of the heavens"
    • Description:

      Atlas is one of those names that was previously thought too powerful for a baby boy, who would have to be strong enough to carry the world on his shoulders. Now Atlas has joined the pantheon of Greek and Roman god and goddess names in the realm of possibility, along with Mars, Zeus and Apollo.
  5. Atticus
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from Attica"
    • Description:

      Atticus, with its trendy Roman feel combined with the upstanding, noble image of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, is a real winner among boy names. Atticus entered the US Top 1000 in 2004 and is a firm Nameberry favorite.
  6. Augustin
    • Origin:

      Greek variation of August
    • Description:

      This form and its German variant Augusten are moving up fast as the preferred long forms of the trendy Gus.
  7. Balthazar
    • Origin:

      Phoenician
    • Meaning:

      "Baal protects the King"
    • Description:

      This evocative name of one of the Three Wise Men of the Orient, also spelled Balthasar, may finally be ready for prime time. Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar were the Magi who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus, though their names were not mentioned in the Bible.
  8. Barnabas
    • Origin:

      Aramaic
    • Meaning:

      "son of consolation"
    • Description:

      Barnabas, whose birth name was Joseph, was one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem, who undertook missionary journeys with Paul the Apostle, His name is a bit Old World compared to the update Barnaby, but could gain some attention as boys' names ending in 's' are enjoying a comeback.
  9. Barnaby
    • Origin:

      English variation of Barnabas, Aramaic
    • Meaning:

      "son of consolation"
    • Description:

      Barnaby, a genial and energetic name with an Irish-sounding three-syllable lilt, is an ancient appellation that manages to be both unusual and highly attractive and deserves to be used more than it is. A sweet-spot name that's a real winner.
  10. Benedict
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "blessed"
    • Description:

      Parents who like Ben and Benjamin but find those forms too popular sometimes consider Benedict as a more distinctive choice. Unlike the Old Testament Benjamin, Benedict is the name of the saint who formed the Benedictine Order and of fifteen popes,including a recent one.
  11. Benno
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "bear"
    • Description:

      Benno is a cool name in its own right -- there was a tenth century Saint Benno -- though it is also used as a lively nickname for Benjamin. Saint Benno of Meissen is the patron saint of anglers and weavers and, strangely enough, alliteration.
  12. Caledon
    • Origin:

      Irish place-name from Caledonia
    • Meaning:

      "hard or rocky land"
    • Description:

      Caledon, the name of the arrogant Billy Zane character in "Titanic," is an Irish place-name related to Caledonia, the Latin word for Scotland thought to be derived from the ancient Celtic word for "hard." Cal is a wonderful nickname, and Caledon an inventive way to get there.
  13. Calloway
    • Origin:

      English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "pebbly place"
    • Description:

      Calloway is one of those irresistibly jaunty, animated three-syllable surnames, like Sullivan and Finnegan — but this one has the added attraction of jazzy ties to the immortal "Dean of American Jive," Cab Calloway.
  14. Calvin
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bald, hairless"
    • Description:

      Calvin is a slightly quirky but cozy name that has a fashion edge thanks to Calvin Klein. It has been steadily on the popularity list since records were kept, never lower than Number 250, peaking in the 1920s, the era of the Calvin (originally John Calvin ) Coolidge presidency.
  15. Caspian
    • Origin:

      Place name
    • Meaning:

      "white"
    • Description:

      One of the most romantic of appellations, Caspian is a geographical name referring to the large salty sea between Asia and Europe. It's also the name of the hero of C.S. Lewis's beloved Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian.
  16. Crusoe
    • Origin:

      Literary surname
    • Description:

      Crusoe, as in castaway hero Robinson, is a literary invention by author Daniel Defoe. The character says his name is an Anglicization of the German Kreutznaer, which may be a place name or mean a crossing of the river Nahe. Short form Cru was given to nearly 50 boys in a recent year.
  17. Darwin
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "dear friend"
    • Description:

      Enough parents have found naturalist Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution, a worthy hero to keep Darwin relatively consistently in the Top 1000 (it dropped off in 2021 but is back in 2022)—though some might just like its trendy two-syllable sound. It has a lovely meaning too—"dear friend."
  18. Dashiell
    • Origin:

      Anglicization of French surname de Chiel, meaning unknown
    • Description:

      Dashiell, though missing from many other name sources, is among the hottest new names, chosen by such celebs as Cate Blanchett and author Helen (Bridget Jones) Fielding. With its great dash and panache, Dashiell is associated with detective writer Dashiell Hammett (born Samuel, as in Sam Spade, Dashiell being his mother's maiden name). Alice Cooper was ahead of the game: He named his son Dashiell in 1985.
  19. Elwood
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "elder tree forest"
    • Description:

      The "el-" sound is red-hot these days, and a myriad of place names and surnames give this name a wealth of possible namesakes. The main drawback is its kinship to the name of the hero of the Legally Blond series, Elle Woods, though that will fade with time.
  20. Ephraim
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "fruitful, fertile, productive"
    • Description:

      Ephraim is an Old Testament name we would place high on the list of neglected Biblical possibilities, solid but not solemn.