Boys

  1. Barrett
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "bear strength"
    • Description:

      Barrett is one of many surname names that are up and coming for boys in recent years. Barrett joints Bennett, Beckett, and others in the trend of "-tt" ending boy names taking over the charts. Barrett first experienced a small bout of popularity in the 60s and 70s, but never quite cracked the Top 500. However, since 2000 Barrett has been rising quickly, and is now officially in the Top 200. Barrett has a pleasing sound and literary association with poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and would be a fresh way to honor a grandpa Barry.
  2. Ben
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "son of"
    • Description:

      Ben, the diminutive of Benjamin or Benedict, can easily stand on its own as a simple, strong, nice-guy choice, though it's somewhat attenuated. Ben is this generation's Bob or Bill.
  3. Edmund
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "fortunate protector"
    • Description:

      The sophisticated Edmund and its nearly-identical French twin Edmond are coming out of mothballs now that Edward, inspired by Twilight, is once again a hot name.
  4. Felix
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "happy, fortunate"
    • Description:

      Felix is one of those ancient but nontraditional names for boys that have come into favor over the past few decades, a favorite of parents who want a masculine name with history and heft that breaks ranks with the standard Franks and Freds. Felix is also an international darling, ranking in the Top 100 in several European and English-speaking countries.
  5. Forest
    • Origin:

      French occupational name
    • Meaning:

      "woodsman or woods"
    • Description:

      The Forest variation of Forrest, used by actor Whitaker, nudges the meaning more toward the woods and away from the woodsman.
  6. Frederick
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "peaceful ruler"
    • Description:

      Frederick, and friendlier nickname Fred, seemed almost to have disappeared, leaving just the memory of Freds past such as Astaire, Mr. Rogers and Flintstone. But today's parents are beginning to recognize it as a strong classic and one of the top royal baby boy names.
  7. Gallagher
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "descendant of foreign helper"
    • Description:

      Gallagher is, like so many of its genre, friendly, open, and optimistic. Some might associate it with the fraternal members of the band Oasis, Noel and Liam Gallagher.
  8. Gray
    • Origin:

      Color name, also diminutive of Grayson
    • Description:

      The girls have Violet and Scarlet and Ruby and Rose, but for the boys there's a much more limited palette of color names. Gray (or Grey), is one exception, which could make for a soft and evocative--if slightly somber-- choice, especially in the middle. Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney recently named their son Leo Grey.
  9. Gulliver
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "glutton"
    • Description:

      Gulliver is an obscure Gaelic surname known almost solely through its literary Travels until actor Gary Oldman used it for his son, instantly transforming it into a lively option. British actors Damian Lewis, of Homeland, and Helen McCrory also have a son named Gulliver.
  10. Henry
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Henry is back. The classic Henry climbed back onto the Top 10 in the US in 2021 for the first time in over a century, and now stands at Number 8.
  11. Hudson
    • Origin:

      English place-name and surname
    • Meaning:

      "Hugh's son"
    • Description:

      Hudson has risen quickly up the charts over the past 30 years, getting a lot of its style value from New York's Hudson River. That makes it a nature name and a place name that's also got the fashion gloss of New York City.
  12. Hugo
    • Origin:

      Latinized form of Hugh
    • Meaning:

      "mind, intellect"
    • Description:

      Hugo, the Latin form of Hugh, has more heft and energy than the original -- and of course we love names that end (or begin, for that matter) with an o. This one is especially appealing because it's backed up by lots of solid history and European style.
  13. Jack
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Jack may have fallen from its Number 1 place in England, but in the US it's as popular as it was at its height in the 1920s and 1930s. A durable, cheery, everyman form of John, Jack ranks as one of the most popular boy names starting with J.
  14. John
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      John reigned as the most popular of all boys' Christian names for 400 years, from the time the first Crusaders carried it back to Britain until the 1950s. Then American baby namers finally seemed to tire of this straight-arrow, almost anonymous John Doe of names, replacing it with fancier forms like Jonathan and the imported Sean and Ian.
  15. Lewis
    • Origin:

      English variation of Louis
    • Meaning:

      "renowned warrior"
    • Description:

      Lewis is the best spelling to choose if you want this pronounced with the S. Lewis has been in the Top 5 in Scotland since 2000, and is one that parents in the U.S. are just beginning to rethink.
  16. Locke
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "enclosure or fortified place"
    • Description:

      Usually adding an e to the end of a name makes it more feminine, but Locke is at most recent count used only for baby boys. Still, this stylishly strong one-syllable name is theoretically gender-neutral.
  17. Luke
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "man from Lucania"
    • Description:

      Luke is a cool-yet-strong Biblical name with a relaxed cowboy feel, which has been on the rise since the advent of Luke Skywalker.
  18. Max
    • Origin:

      English and German diminutive of Maximilian or Maxwell
    • Meaning:

      "greatest"
    • Description:

      Max was derived from Maximilian, a Latin name that originated from the Roman family name Maximus. The character name Max in the children's classic Where the Wild Things Are had an impact on baby namers. Max is a widely used name internationally.
  19. Machray
    • Noah
      • Origin:

        Hebrew
      • Meaning:

        "rest, repose"
      • Description:

        Noah is nearly a patriarch of popular baby names at this point, going from Old Testament graybeard to Top 10 name in 2009, hitting Number 1 in 2013, and now settled into second place in the US for the past seven years.