100 Baby Boy Name Ideas by Decade

In my previous post, 100 Baby Girl Name Ideas by Decade, I listed a lot of great options for your little girl – including my own name, and Bugaboo’s real name (hidden in there somewhere).  But what business do I have writing about baby boys’ names?  Because I may have a boy someday!  There are a lot of strong boy names out there that I would like to give a try.

With boys, I tend to be drawn towards names of famous people: Saints, Biblical Names, and historical figures.  However, there have been some fun trends over the years, and let’s give them some credit!  Just be careful when trying to name your boy after a famous figure – do your research!  Find out some of my other baby naming tips!

As with my list of girls’ names, I will forego listing a few: John and Michael due to their intergenerational popularity.

If no ranking is given, it was not among the top 1,000 most popular boys names in 2017.

Pre World War

At the turn of the last century, boys’ names tended to have a flair of British nobility about them.  And they’re coming back in style – every single one is in the Top 1,000 names.

Albert

Meaning: Noble, famous

2017 Popularity: #430

If you’ve ever seen The King’s Speech, you will realize that George VI, Queen Elizabeth’s father, was actually known as Albert before he became king, and they affectionately nicknamed him “Bertie.”  I’m not sure a non-royal man could get away with such a cute nickname.  But if you are in to English history, Albert’s got a lot going for it.

Arthur

2017 Popularity: #244

Another Royal English name.  Are you looking for the golden age to come?  Do you hope for the best for your son?  This is a great name to inspire him to live a legendary life.  Call him Art or Artie for short.

Edward

Meaning: Wealthy or fortunate guardian

2017 Popularity: #169

One day my friend and I were at a restaurant, and our server – a college-aged man of medium build, strong arm muscles, and tattoos – was named Eddie.  My friend and I both thought that was a precious way to describe such a macho man.  But Edward remains a classic name – whether you nickname your son Eddie, Ed, or Ted (or even Teddy) – it’s strong and noble sounding.

Frank

Meaning: From the tribe of Francs or France.

2017 Popularity: #373

Something about the name Frank evokes an old man, in the same way Edith evokes an old woman.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t name your son Frank.  First of all, as Frank rises in popularity, it will cease to represent an old man and begin to represent a young boy.  That’s the way these cycles work.  More importantly, there’s nothing wrong in evoking age and antiquity in your son’s name.  I like the idea of giving my son a name that makes me think of an honored WWII veteran.  That was the greatest generation, after all.

It’s also fun to say, “Let me be frank with you.”  Name your son Frank to evoke honesty.

George

Meaning: Earth worker, farmer

2017 Popularity: #124

George is 100% on my top 10 list for boy’s names.  The main reason: George Washington.  I’m looking to name my son after a strong leader.  My fascination with Washington, the reason he became my favorite President, was his determination to keep the young republic free by stepping down after two terms.  Can you imagine what the world would be like if he had decided to remain President for life?  I learned a lot more about George Washington through reading his biography and then touring his mansion at Mount Vernon.  Find out more about both here!

Harold

Meaning: Army ruler

2017 Popularity: #799

With another royal baby on the way, it may be tempting to give your son a name that will allow you to call him, “Harry.”  I’d prefer to resist the temptation and call him Harold, it’s so much more majestic.

Paul

Meaning: Small

2017 Popularity: #225

We recently read The Acts of the Apostles in our Bible study – that’s inspiration enough to want to name your son Paul.  It was pointed out to me that Protestants tend to prefer references to Paul, while Catholics prefer Peter.  I like both names, and I like both saints.  I would like to see an increase of Catholic Pauls, especially if it helps encourage unity among Christian denominations.  Still, if you plan to name your son Paul, take a read through Acts.  Paul has some great characteristics, but he is also “a pest” – this is a guy who is not afraid to speak his mind to anyone, he’s confident but also pushy, and once he gets an idea into his head, he sticks to it.

In addition, the meaning of “small” makes this a great name for a premature or small baby – showing him that despite his small physical stature at birth, he can grow into something great!

Raymond

Meaning: Wise protection

2017 Popularity: #293

Everybody loves Raymond, right?  Maybe that was a cheesy joke, but I do like the name, and I like the nickname Ray even more.  Think about it – a ray of sunshine or of hope, something bright and joyful.

Thomas

Meaning: A twin

2017 Popularity: #48

Another of my top 10 boy names.  I’m afraid my husband won’t stand for this as a first name because he (correctly) knows that I like St. Thomas More.  (He’s against using martyrs as names).  Still, I try to tell him there are other Thomases that I admire: Thomas the Apostle and Thomas Aquinas.  But, yes, I like Thomas more – scholarly and brave, he is what we need in these trying times – someone who will stand up for his faith no matter the cost.

The name means twin, so why not use it for a baby who is a twin?  Perhaps Paul (small) and Thomas (twin) – two great apostles.

Walter

2017 Popularity: #265

I would like to know the 2018 popularity of Walter, as I know of three of them now.  That doesn’t make the name any less awesome!  This is a name that is definitely board room material, but it can easily be applied to a four year old.  The more I hear it, the more I like it.  The only problem is I tend to be hearing it a lot these days!

From the 1920’s

Carl

Meaning: Freeman

2017 Popularity: #627

I came to like the name Carl as the English version of “Karol” – the given name of Saint Pope John Paul II.

Clarence

I can’t find a meaning or a popularity for Clarence, which makes it a bit of a blank slate.  There’s something soft and easygoing about this name – perhaps good for a boy growing up in the southern or midwestern U.S.

Earl

Meaning: Nobleman

This is a fun way to evoke nobility without naming your son: King, Prince, Duke, Marquis, or Lord.  You get the picture.

Eugene

Meaning: Well borne

2017 Popularity: #814

For some reason, I feel that pop culture has decided that the name “Eugene” is for nerds.  I hear it spewed, “Eu-GENE.”  And, consequently, one of the smartest boys I knew in high school had this for his given name.  But there’s nothing wrong with giving your son a name that sounds smart – hoping he will live up to the challenge.  I can see a Eugene being a successful scientist or inventor.

Francis

Meaning: French

2017 Popularity: #461

With the popularity of Pope Francis, as well as the important message of St. Francis of Assisi to be generous to the poor, I thought this name would be higher in the list of popular boys’ names right now.  I honestly prefer the feminine Frances.  However, we’re talking about some pretty mammoth personalities to live up to if you choose Francis for your son, so I think it’s a great choice.

Fred

Meaning: Elf counselor or Peace ruler

Straightforward and simple.  Enough said.

Howard

Meaning: Heart Brave, Ewe Herd, or Chief Warden (you’ll probably want to tell him it’s the first or last definition).

2017 Popularity: #999

Jack

Meaning: God is Gracious

2017 Popularity: #35

I love this nickname for John that has become a first name in and of itself.  It’s the third one I mention that’s in our top 10 boys’ names.  Popularized in The Incredibles with baby Jack Jack.  A Jack is a friendly, down to earth John.  He’s a tradesman who is always willing to put down his tools and shake your hand.

Ralph

Meaning: Counsel Wolf

Roy

Meaning: Red

2017 Popularity: #537

From the 1930’s

Gary

Meaning: Spear of Battle

2017 Popularity: #637

I choose Gary to pay homage to my favorite uncle, but the more I say it out loud, the more inclined I am to consider it as a first name for my son.

Gerald

Meaning: Spear ruler

2017 Popularity: #824

I like the nickname Gerry for a man.  Much like Harold, you can also get away with simply going by the full name Gerald.

Lawrence

Meaning: Man from Laurentum or Laurel

2017 Popularity: #496

This name has a soft sound to it like Clarence, but if anything it carries a bit more masculinity.

Leroy

Meaning: The king

2017 Popularity: #930

This name started out as a joke for us.  Somehow we were using it when people would look at Bugaboo and ask what “his” name was.  “Leroy!”  We said (behind their backs, never to their faces).  Joke or not, it has a pleasant ring to it!

Marvin

Meaning: Sea hill

2017 Popularity: #559

Melvin

Meaning: Council protector

2017 Popularity: #737

Like Eugene, Melvin has a bit of a know-it-all connotation, but that’s not always a bad thing!  Somebody has to crunch your numbers at tax season.

Norman

Meaning: North man, Norse man

Getting back to our British names, when I hear Norman I first think of the Norman conquest of England.  So it’s a name evoking power and exploration.

Roger

Meaning: Spear fame

2017 Popularity: #625

There’s something mysterious and dangerous about a Roger.  It’s a man who is less physically powerful than who has a brilliant mind and almost sinister way of getting what he wants.  Too negative?  I see Roger as the ideal younger brother, quick to share a good joke or memory.

Stanley

Meaning: Dweller near a stony clearing

2017 Popularity: #702

This name is pretty much a blank slate.  Fill in whatever personality traits you would like to see in your son!

Wayne

Meaning: Wagon, cart

2017 Popularity: #816

When I think of Wayne, I think of a town nearby that is full of mansions, horses, and scenic drives.  You may think of Bruce Wayne, the altar ego of Batman.  Either way, there’s a sort of richness, isn’t there?  In grade school, I see Wayne as somewhat quiet who gets along with everyone.

From the 1940’s

The name of the game in the 1940’s is not to use nicknames.  As I look at this list, I think of a lot of older men like Ron and Ken and Denny.  However, to bring a new and modern twist on these boys’ names, try using the full given name and not shortening it.  It will sound mature and professional.

Alan

Meaning: The name has an unknown meaning but is very old.  It was brought to England during the Norman conquest.

2017 Popularity: #159

Perhaps because it is such an old, British name, I see this as a very good name for a British professor – wearing tweed and carrying a briefcase.

Dale

Meaning: Descendent of the gathering

Surprisingly, Dale can be a boy or girl’s name, but in this case I prefer the masculine usage.  I love that it’s short and straightforward – easy to write, spell, and remember.

Dennis

Meaning: Dionysius – God of wine and revelry

2017 Popularity: #544

I like the idea of Dennis being a man of wine and revelry.  I’m not talking about an alcoholic or even a frat boy.  Rather, I’m thinking of the guy who wants to have a good time and is good at uniting people behind these ideas.  He is someone who includes everyone – especially those who are usually left out.  He’s that handsome, popular boy who is also authentic and nice.

Douglas

Meaning: Dark – black, blue, green, gray

2017 Popularity: #628

I love that this name has so many colors associated with it.  It’s like being named for a painting – a painting of a stormy sea!  If you think your son will come out with dark hair or eyes, this is a great name.  Or if your son is going to be fair but have a stormy temper and mysterious streak, this is also a good option!

Jimmy

Meaning: Supplanting, seizing by the heel

2017 Popularity: #591

I included Jimmy because it’s one of my favorite nicknames for James.  And, unfortunately, James is running at #4 for boys in the U.S.  A Jimmy is a friendly version James – think of Jimmy Falon – bound to please and be pleased by everyone he meets.

Kenneth

Meaning: Born of fire, handsome

2017 Popularity: #218

Mark

Meaning: If the name is derived from Mars, Roman god of war, then it means War Like.  However, other sources may have it meaning manly or soft, tender.  Kind of a wide range there.

2017 Popularity: #203

I absolutely love this name for its four letter simplicity.  It’s very easily transferrable to the Board Room or C-Suite of a business.  And it’s Biblical, so it fills a lot of functions.

Patrick

Meaning: A patrician, a nobleman

2017 Popularity: #171

Those who are Irish or who pretend to be of Irish origin (don’t we all on St. Patrick’s day?) may find this a good name for a boy.  There is, after all, a lot to admire in St. Patrick.

Peter

Meaning: Rock

2017 Popularity: #213

This is one of my all time favorite names for a boy, especially with such a clear meaning: Rock.  The Peter of the Bible is one of my favorite characters to look up to because he was flawed!  Half the references to him seem to call out his mistakes, but he still manages to become the leader of the apostles.

Ronald

Meaning: Ruler of Decision

2017 Popularity: #460

Stephen

Meaning: A crown, a garland

2017 Popularity: #271

My personal preference is for this spelling of Stephen – as opposed to Steven.  I guess I tend to prefer “h” spellings to those without – Sarah vs. Sara, John vs. Jon, Hannah vs. Hanna, and Nicholas vs. Nicolas.  It’s also the Biblical spelling.  On the other hand, I kid you not, as a child I thought the name was pronounced “Steph-en,” which is not an uncommon mistake.  Still, your son’s peers will grow out of this confusion, and let’s face it, there are a lot of other names with confusing spelling floating around these days.

There’s not much else I can say about Stephen, except that his role as the first Christian martyr makes him a pretty cool dude.

From the 1950’s

Anthony

Meaning: Priceless

2017 Popularity: #32

This name is popular among boys’ names these days, but it’s also pretty timeless and worth including.  Continuing the trend from the 1940’s, try calling your son by the full name Anthony, rather than Tony.

Brian

Meaning: Strength, a steep hill

2017 Popularity: #217

Here’s a nice, simple name to call out any Irish heritage you have without being too obvious.

Bruce

Meaning: Unclear, but is connected to Scotland.

2017 Popularity: #431

There’s no avoiding the macho connotations of this name.  Think of Bruce Lee, Bruce Willis, and Robert the Bruce.

Gregory

Meaning: Vigilant, watchman, awaken

2017 Popularity: #375

I love that this name means vigilant.  From a Christian perspective, you could be watching out for the Second Coming.  No matter what your religious leanings, it’s nice to honor your son with a name with a deep meaning like that.  A Gregory would be watchful and observant, someone who can piece together a lot of information out of a few details.  The nickname Greg is short and fun to write.

Jeffrey

Meaning: Unclear meaning, but with clear ties to Middle English.

2017 Popularity: #323

I prefer the more anglicized Geoffrey, but you could run into the same problem I had with Stephen – young kids may not know the historical pronunciation of that word.

Kevin

Meaning: Comely, beloved, kind

2017 Popularity: #101

I don’t think you can go wrong with a practical name like Kevin.  He could be a high earning professional who comes home every night and is a great father.  Or he could be that gentle guy who has a lot of girl friends because he’s such a great shoulder to lean on.  In other words, Kevin is a blank slate, but with an easy to spell and pronounce name that will help keep doors open to him.

Larry

Meaning: Laurel

2017 Popularity: #629

Full disclosure, Larry gained popularity beginning as far back as the 1920’s and peaked in the 1930’s, but I had trouble adding it to the list.  It’s not one of my ideal boys’ names, but there are a few redeeming qualities to it:

  • It’s a once-popular name that is now less popular, meaning your son will be unique without having a bizarre or made-up name
  • It’s a nickname for Lawrence, which I like – a more masculine nickname than Laurie.

Randy

Meaning: Wolf

2017 Popularity: #665

Randy can be a boy or girl’s name, but for girls I prefer the spelling of Randi.  That way when you read the name you know what you are getting.

Scott

Meaning: Boy from Scotland

2017 Popularity: #484

There’s just something calming and reassuring about a name like Scott.  You like to think of someone who will be a steady friend, always there in a pickle, and good for some advice.

Timothy

Meaning: Honoring God

2017 Popularity: #164

From the 1960’s

Andrew

Meaning: Manly

2017 Popularity: #40

Andrew was a brother of Simon Peter, so if you have one of those names in your family, here’s an excellent addition.  When I think of Andrew, I think of the St. Andrew’s cross, which is essentially an X.  It’s on the flag of Scotland, so Andrew is a pretty good name for someone of Scottish heritage (or for a brother of Scott).  The nickname Andy is pretty good for young boys and teens, but he can also pull it off as an adult.  Leaving the name in its full form Andrew feels more sophisticated.

Christopher

Meaning: Christ bearer

2017 Popularity: #38

The legend of St. Christopher has, in recent years, come to be known as just that – a legend.  For those unfamiliar with it, St. Christopher was a martyr who carried an unknown child across a river.  After the act of service was performed, the child was revealed to be the Christ child.  Thus, the name “Christ bearer.”  I’m surprised that it took until the 1960’s for Christopher to become popular, but you can see it remains so to this day.  Unlike some other names from the era where I prefer to use the full name, Chris is a much more logical name for your son than Christopher, which is a bit of a mouthful.

Craig

Meaning: Rugged rocks, crag

2017 Popularity: #984

Eric

Meaning: Eternal ruler

2017 Popularity: #143

One of the biggest disappointments of my life was to learn that the mysterious Phantom of the Opera was named “Eric.”  I’m not saying it’s a bad name at all!  But it was a bit of a let down for such a mythic figure to have such a “normal” name.  But if your son isn’t a mad composer who lives in the bottom of an opera house, Eric is a wonderful name!  I see Eric as an architect – someone who is logical and scientific but with an artsy side!

Keith

Meaning: The wind, wood

2017 Popularity: #493

Philip

Meaning: Lover of horses

2017 Popularity: #425

Philip is a name that feels princely – think of Prince Philip from Sleeping Beauty or Philip of Macedonia, Alexander the Great’s father.  In addition, it pairs well with other names: Alexander or Stephen.  Don’t take the “lover of horses” meaning to heart – it’s very hard for me to picture a cowboy or wrangler named Philip.

Rodney

Meaning: Roda’s Island, dwelling place, village

2017 Popularity: #775

I haven’t met a Rodney in a while, so I was surprised to see this so far up on the list.  Its positioning makes Rodney both a unique and common name.

Russell

Meaning: Red-haired

2017 Popularity: #403

I love Russell and its nickname Rusty, which evokes a macho man who lives on the edge.  Here’s where your cowboy name comes in – a perfect name for a boy growing up in a rural setting.  Do you live in a city?  Russell’s that guy who surprised everyone by creating a multi million dollar startup.

Todd

Meaning: A fox

Why not bring Todd back to the list of Top 1,000 Boys’ Names?  It’s great as a four letter name, and it means fox – crafty.

Troy

Meaning: From Troyes in France or from Troy in Asia Minor

2017 Popularity: #351

From the 1970’s

Boys’ names don’t trend up and down as fast as girls’ names.  Names from the 1970’s are still really popular.  Perhaps men born in the ’70’s are now naming their sons after themselves.  Or perhaps these names just have staying power.

Adam

Meaning: Red earth

2017 Popularity: 77

Why not start at the very beginning, with the first name?  Adam has a nice ring to it regardless of your religious views, but it is a common denominator among Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic families, which I like.

Brandon

Meaning: Dweller near the brushwood hill

2017 Popularity: #114

The name originally began as a surname, which really works well for boys!  If you’re considering Brandon, also look at last names in your own family.  Is there any that you would like to turn into a first name?  Perhaps pay homage to the women in your family by using their long-gone maiden names.

Chad

Meaning: Uncertain meaning, coming from the Old English “Ceadda” (say that three times fast).

2017 Popularity: #956

Jason

Meaning: Healer

2017 Popularity: #92

Apparently in 1971 all the expectant mothers in the U.S. got together and decided that “J” names were in (as you will see below).  There followed a time where every fifth boy was named Jason, and with good reason.  It’s a very likeable name.  Now that it has dropped in popularity, it may be safe to use again.

Jeremy

Meaning: The Lord loosens, God will uplift

2017 Popularity: #193

Jeremy is a form of Jeremiah or Jerome (which are my personal preferences) and is a perfect name for a young boy.

Jonathan

Meaning: God has given

2017 Popularity: #55

In my opinion, Jonathan and John are two very different names, but you can’t deny a lot of overlap.  For the shortened name, I do prefer John.  Jon is the typical spelling of the nickname for Jonathan.  Johnny works for either name.

Justin

Meaning: Lawful, right, just

2017 Popularity: #126

Everything about this name sounds Roman, which I think is pretty cool.

Nathan

Meaning: Gift

2017 Popularity: #45

Nicholas

Meaning: Victory of the people

2017 Popularity: #68

Sean

Meaning: God is gracious

2017 Popularity: #251

Sean is the Irish version of John.  I’m a fan of all variants of John including Ian (Scottish), Johann (German), Jean (French), Juan (Spanish), and Giovanni (Italian).  My preference is for this spelling of Sean, but Shawn also works nicely.  Consequently, “Shawn” can be a girl’s name as well!

From the 1980’s

There’s something masculine, muscular, and dangerous about a lot of the 1980’s boys’ names.  These guys could be the stars of action movies and westerns.

Bradley

Meaning: Broad wood

2017 Popularity: #230

The name Brad certainly makes me think back to my days in elementary school, where our redheaded Brad towered over the rest of the class.  I wonder whatever happened to him?  To avoid assigning too many unnecessary connotations to the name, stick with Bradley, which is more unique for our time.

Derek

Meaning: King

2017 Popularity: #239

Dustin

Meaning: Thor’s stone

2017 Popularity: #527

Here’s another rough and tumble name for you.  I don’t see Dustin as the CEO of a large corporation, but that doesn’t mean your Dustin (or Dusty) won’t be successful in life.  He’ll have more social skills and a wild and free spirit.

Jesse

Meaning: Gift, wealth

2017 Popularity: #186

Jesse and Dustin could be friends – both strong, masculine, and willing to go on all kinds of adventures together.

Kyle

Meaning: Narrow, a strait

2017 Popularity: #211

I never knew that Kyle could be used as a girl’s name until I met one – she shortened her name to Ky, which I find adorable.  But in its full form, I see Kyle as more of a boy’s name, and it’s a pretty good boy’s name, too.

Richard

Meaning: Brave ruler

2017 Popularity: #175

Ryan

Meaning: Little king

2017 Popularity: #43

Travis

Meaning: Toll house operator

2017 Popularity: #300

Tyler

Meaning: Brick layer, title maker

2017 Popularity: #106

I grew up with a few Tylers, and I always thought it was an adorable name for a six year old boy.  I never thought it would translate well for an adult.  But guess what?  All those Tylers I knew have grown up, and now it’s a perfectly masculine name for an adult!  In other words, it’s versatile, and I love it!

Zachary

Meaning: Remembrance of the Lord

2017 Popularity: #103

From the 1990’s

Austin

Meaning: Great

2017 Popularity: #75

I’ve been waiting to use this name!  I find Austin one of the most pleasant to listen to boys’ names out there.  Add its connection to Texas, and this name has everything you need.  If you’re looking to give your child a Catholic name, it’s also good to know that Austin is just a form of Augustine.

Caleb

Meaning: A dog, faithful

2017 Popularity: #50

Cameron

Meaning: Crooked nose

2017 Popularity: #60

The Cameron I knew growing up told me one time that he would have been named Carmen if he was a girl.  I thought that was a creative way of feminizing the name.  But back to Cameron – I like the sound of it, despite it’s unfortunate meaning.

Christian

2017 Popularity: #52

It doesn’t seem that most of the Christian’s I meet anymore were actually named because they or their parents adhered to a certain religion.  It would be as if I were to name my child Druid because it sounds cool.  No matter what your incentive, Christian is a great choice for a boy.

Cody

Meaning: Wealthy

2017 Popularity: #278

I feel about Cody the way I used to feel about Tyler – except that if our Codys have grown up at all, they have grown up to be millennials.  So right now, Cody in my mind is either a young boy or a millennial hipster.  This is not a bad thing at all – a boy who is environmentally conscious, at peace with his inner self, and drinks a lot of coffee.

Gabriel

Meaning: God is my strength

2017 Popularity: #31

I just love this name, and we’re lucky it’s only #31.  I was trying to avoid names in the top 30, and this name squeezed out #29 Dylan, another name I really enjoy.  Gabriel, or Gabe, is an archangel – the messenger.  It has a great Biblical tradition, sounds good, and is mainstream.  Its only drawback right now is its popularity.

Hunter

2017 Popularity: #53

Ian

Meaning: God is gracious

As mentioned before, Ian is a form of John, and I just love this take on it.  As I searched for Ian’s popularity, I noticed that the three letters form parts of other popular names: Sebastian #22, Julian #36, Christian #52, Adrian #58, Damian #119, Emiliano #208, Brian #217, Kilian #249, Maximiliano #294, Cristian #298, Fabian #388, Kian #453, Maximilian #464, Luciano #511, Gianni #528, Dorian #532, Elian #565, Lucian #583, Kristian #706, Darian #817, Cristiano #853, Caspian #868, Davian #935, Tristian #942, Gianluca #986, Giancarlo #992.

It may be a little unusual to call someone a nickname based on the last part of their name, but if you like Ian and any of the names listed, you may consider getting the best of both worlds.  Or if you like the sound but are looking for something with a different meaning or origin, I thought this list might be helpful.

Jordan

Meaning: Jordan river, to flow down, descend

2017 Popularity: #73

I hear Jordan as a girl’s name more often these days, which may be just the reason to utilize it as a boy’s name.  I think about the waters of the Jordan river and the warmth of the Mediterranean sun.  This is a boy who is loving and cuddly, but a young man who is responsible for his future and willing to put in the hard work to make his dreams happen.

Trevor

Meaning: Belonging to the big estate, discreet

2017 Popularity: #364

Currently the least popular name on our list, perhaps the age of Trevor has come and gone.  Or you could keep the legend alive.

From the 2000’s

Adrian

Meaning: Man from Adria or Hadria

2017 Popularity: #58

Chase

Meaning: Dwelling at the hunting ground, to hunt, to chase

2017 Popularity: 94

I’ve always liked the name Chase – it’s so short and precise!  As I watch my daughter grow, she hones in on “ssss” sounds, and I’m sure she would have fun pronouncing Chase as “ssss” if given the option.  In other words, it will be an easy name for your son (and his siblings) to pronounce.

Cole

2017 Popularity: #115

Connor

Meaning: Wisdom, council, strength; dog lover

2017 Popularity: 56

Do you see all those photos on Instagram of babies with their pet dogs?  They lay on them, they stand together staring out the window.  Unfortunately, my experience with owning a dog and having a baby has not always been so picture perfect.  Yet, Maggie is part of our family and is here to stay!  If you loved your dog before your baby was a twinkle in your eyes, how about naming your son Connor?

Gavin

Meaning: Hawk, battle

2017 Popularity: #96

Gavin comes down to us as a form of Gawain, one of King Arthur’s knights of the round table.

Isaiah

Meaning: Yahweh is salvation

2017 Popularity: #47

This name came to us during the Biblical names revival of the 2000’s and beyond.  Other boys’ names like Noah, Ezekiel, Hosea, and David are also popular.

Julian

Meaning: Downy bearded youth

2017 Popularity: #36

I love Julian and other forms of the name (Julia, Julius) because they sound so bright and joyful.  I also love their connection to Roman antiquity.  What I can never understand is why their meaning has to be about beards.  I prefer to connect these names to the month of July.  While Julian is a perfect name any time of year (think of the Julian calendar we use, after all), if you’re expecting a son in July, try this name.

Landon

Meaning: A form of Brandon – dweller near the brushwood hill

2017 Popularity: #57

Seth

Meaning: Appointed

2017 Popularity: #355

This is a soft and short name with Biblical beginnings.  However, the Seth of the Bible really didn’t do much – except repopulate the earth after Abel was murdered and Cain exiled.  There’s no preachy Bible story to go along with the name, which makes it a nice blank slate.  There’s a lot of soft sounds in the name, so I tend to think of a smaller boy, light blonde hair.

Xavier

Meaning: Related to St. Francis Xavier or Xavier in Navarre.  The Spanish form is Javier.

2017 Popularity: #89

I’ve avoided Spanish names in this list because neither I nor my husband are Hispanic.  Some cross cultural names can be used by anyone, but I feel that I would be an imposter if I tried to name my son Javier.  But it’s a good name!  So the more common Anglicized version is Xavier, which makes me think of the X-Men.

Conclusion

I feel that boys’ names have more staying power and aren’t as subject to unique spelling trends like girls’ names.  This also means that some of my favorite classic names are in the top 30, which I was afraid to touch.  Boys names are more concentrated among popular names than girls’ names are, per the chart above, and perhaps using some of these names is just unavoidable.  So as a quick bonus, I’d like to call out names in the Top 30 that I really love:

  • James #4
  • Benjamin #6
  • Oliver #9
  • Michael #12
  • Matthew #16
  • Joseph #19
  • Sebastian #22
  • David #23
  • John #27
  • Luke #30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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