Favorite Boy Names

  1. Anton
    • Origin:

      German, Russian, and Scandinavian variation of Anthony
    • Description:

      Cultured and cultivated in an old-style, Old World way. Sometimes associated with the classic writer Anton Chekhov. Al Pacino has a son with this name.
  2. Arnau
    • Origin:

      Catalan variation of Arnold
    • Description:

      A name sometimes used by Latino parents, perhaps relating to the popular Spanish TV mini-series of that name.
  3. Arthur
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      " bear"
    • Description:

      Arthur, once the shining head of the Knights of the Round Table, is, after decades of neglect, now being polished up and restored by stylish parents, inspired perhaps by the new generation of royals. Arthur has led the list of possible names for the young British princes, chosen as a middle name for Prince Louis, son of William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales.
  4. 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.
  5. Holden
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "hollow valley"
    • Description:

      Holden is a classic case of a name that jumped out of a book and onto birth certificates--though it took quite a while. Parents who loved J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye are flocking to the name of its hero, Holden Caulfield -- not coincidentally in tune with the Hudson-Hayden-Colton field of names. (Trivia note: Salinger supposedly came up with the name while looking at a movie poster promoting a film starring William Holden and Joan Caulfield, though other sources say he was named after Salinger's friend Holden Bowler.) Another impetus was provided by a soap opera character introduced in 1985.
  6. Jasper
    • Origin:

      Persian
    • Meaning:

      "bringer of treasure"
    • Description:

      Jasper originated as a variation of the Latin Gaspar, which ultimately derived from the Persian word ganzabara, meaning "bringer of treasure." As a given name, Jasper’s etymology is unrelated to that of the gemstone, which comes from a Semitic word meaning "speckled stone." Jasper is the usual English form for one of the Three Wise Men who brought gifts to the infant Christ according to medieval tradition and appears in the Bible as a reference to the stone itself in Revelations 4:3.
  7. 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.
  8. Mateo
    • Origin:

      Spanish
    • Meaning:

      "gift of God"
    • Description:

      Mateo vaulted into the boys' Top 10 in 2023, ranking all the way up at Number 6. Counting Mateo and Teo along with Anglo equivalents Theodore and Theo make this by far the Number 1 boys' name in the US.
  9. Nikita
    • Origin:

      Russian cognate of Greek Aniketos
    • Meaning:

      "unconquered"
    • Description:

      Redolent of Khrushchev and la femme.
  10. Nolan
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "champion"
    • Description:

      The friendly and sporty feeling Nolan blends some of the best qualities of other popular boy names. With the gentle but energetic sounds of Noah, a hint of the classic Nicholas, and the cool, surname-style vibe of Greyson or Colton, it makes for a familiar and grounded choice.
  11. Oliver
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "olive tree or elf army"
    • Description:

      Oliver is an international star, ranking near the top of the charts in the US and throughout the English-speaking world, along with a host of European and Latin American countries, from Norway to Chile, Slovenia to Switzerland.
  12. Reid
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "red-haired"
    • Description:

      The Reid spelling is the most popular by half, probably because it feels more like a name than Reed, which looks more like a word. It's used occasionally for girls but this name is firmly in the boys' camp.
  13. River
    • Origin:

      Nature name
    • Description:

      River shares the tranquil feeling of all the water names, and seems to have pretty much escaped its past strong association with River Phoenix and his unfortunate fate. Actor Joaquin Phoenix named his son with actress Rooney Mara after his brother River.
  14. Santiago
    • Origin:

      Place-name or Latin
    • Meaning:

      "Saint James"
    • Description:

      Santiago is a spirited Spanish name with great crossover potential. It's a place-name (a city in Chile), a surname, and the name of the patron saint of Spain.
  15. Theodore
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "gift of God"
    • Description:

      As unlikely as it may seem, Theodore is a hot new hit name, vaulting into the Top 10 in 2021 for the first time ever and rising three more points last year to rank at Number 7.