Favorite Boys' Names

  1. Asa
    • Origin:

      Hebrew; Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "healer; born in the morning"
    • Description:

      A short but strong biblical name with multicultural appeal, Asa is enjoying new visibility thanks to hot young actor Asa Butterfield of Hugo fame.
  2. Byron
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "barn for cows"
    • Description:

      For centuries, this name had a romantic, windswept image due to its strong connection to the poet Lord Byron, who inspired its use as a first name. It is one of those surprise names that's appeared on the Top 1000 every year since 1880.
  3. Caleb
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "dog; whole heart"
    • Description:

      Caleb is an attractive Old Testament name that has been in the US Top 100 for nearly three decades now. Consistently popular but never too popular, Caleb feels more like a classic than a momentary trend.
  4. Devin
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "poet"
    • Description:

      Devilishly handsome, Devin arrived as Kevin was moving out. Not to be confused (though it often is) with the English place-name Devon. While both Devin and Devon are flagging somewhat for boys, the names have dropped out of the Top 1000 for girls, making it more a masculine and less a unisex name these days.
  5. Dylan
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "son of the sea"
    • Description:

      Dylan still feels poetic and romantic after years of popularity. It still ranks highly on the charts, among the top boy names starting with D, so if you choose it, be aware that yours may not be the only Dylan in his class.

      dy and llanw, meaning "sea." In Welsh mythology, Dylan was a legendary sea god who prompted all the waters of Britain and Ireland to weep when he died. The name came to prominence via the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, whose name Bob Dylan adopted in tribute.
  6. Eli
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "ascended, uplifted, high"
    • Description:

      With its sharp, succinct sounds and cool, laidback style, Eli is a popular choice among parents today. Compact and punchy, it is a Biblical name with plenty of charm.
  7. Elliott
    • Origin:

      Variation of Elliot
    • Meaning:

      "Jehovah is God"
    • Description:

      One of the four perfectly proper spellings of this name ranging from the spare (but poetic) Eliot to the full-blown Elliott. Elliott and Elliot are the two most popular, and they have given to almost the same number of baby boys in recent years. Elliott has that "-tt" ending that is so popular among parents today, with popular picks like Everett and Emmett, Beckett and Bennett. "El" names for both boys and girls have been trending in recent years, with Eli, Elijah, and Elias at the top of the charts for boys. Elliott has always been on the charts in the US, but is currently at its highest point ever. Elliott is also gaining in the UK, currently at number 107 in England. Elliott was the name of the dragon in the classic Disney film, Pete's Dragon.
  8. Evan
    • Origin:

      Welsh variation of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Evan has a mellow nice-guy image that has kept it popular, while it has been widely used in Wales since the nineteenth century. And interestingly—and surprisingly—enough, Evan charts highly for boys in France.
  9. Harrison
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Harry"
    • Description:

      Harrison, a name made viable by Harrison Ford, is increasingly popular with parents who want an H name that's more formal than Harry or Hank but doesn't veer into the stiff Huntington-Harrington territory.
  10. Ian
    • Origin:

      Scottish version of John
    • Meaning:

      "the Lord is gracious"
    • Description:

      Ian is Scottish form of John, derived from the Hebrew name Yohanan. It is an Anglicization of the Scottish Gaelic Iain, which is also a viable spelling. Ian was introduced to Americans by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.
  11. Isaac
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "laughter"
    • Description:

      Isaac has shaved off his biblical beard and leaped into the upper echelon of popular boys' names, outrunning cousin Isaiah. A favorite of the Puritans, Isaac has never dipped below Number 400 on the US list of top boy names.
  12. 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.
  13. Jackson
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Jack"
    • Description:

      Jackson is one of those names that's much more popular than you think, coming in near the top of our annual Playground Analysis, which ranks names by grouping all their spellings together. There were nearly 17,000 baby boys named Jackson -- along Jaxon, Jaxson, Jaxxon, Jaxen, Jaxyn, Jaxsen, and Jaxsyn -- which counted together makes it the Number 3 boys' name.
  14. Jared
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "he descends"
    • Description:

      Jared is an Old Testament name that has been popular for decades--it was revived in the sixties via TV westerns-- and is still an appealing option.
  15. Jonah
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "dove"
    • Description:

      Jonah, the name of the Old Testament prophet who was swallowed by the whale, only to emerge unharmed three days later, is increasingly appreciated by parents looking for a biblical name less common than Jacob or Joshua, yet not too obscure. Plus, Jonah comes with a ready-made nursery-decorating motif.
  16. Justin
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "fair, righteous"
    • Description:

      Justin has been widely popular since the 1980s, when parents were seeking a fresher 'J' boys’ name to replace Jason, Jeremy and Jonathan. It's been dipping in popularity a bit in recent years but it reached as high as Number 9 in 1990. At this point it's Justin that is suffering from overexposure.
  17. Kevin
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "handsome"
    • Description:

      Kevin came to the US with the large wave of Irish Immigrants after World War I, hitting the US Top 1000 list for the first time in 1921 and never leaving.
  18. Lee
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "pasture, meadow"
    • Description:

      A name that has a bit of a shouldn't-I-be-a-middle-name sound, though still in use as a first for both genders. Lee might be a good choice if you want something that sounds at once traditional yet modern, unisex but not newly-minted.
  19. Levi
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "joined, attached"
    • Description:

      Levi, lighter and more energetic than most biblical names, with its up vowel ending, combines Old Testament gravitas with the casual flair associated with Levi Strauss jeans.
  20. Liam
    • Origin:

      Irish short form of William
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      Liam is the top boys' name in the US, holding the Number 1 spot for the past seven years and also ranking as one of the most popular boys' names around the western world.