Parents with little boys on the way have a lot to think about, and a lot to get done, before their babies arrive. They may spend the days leading up to a baby’s birth buying tiny suspenders, fedoras or miniature Nikes, but that’s just the beginning. Along with prepping the nursery, and deciding whether or not to spring for a Diaper Genie, moms and dads-to-be have the daunting task of settling on a name for their soon-to-be infants. When the time comes to select a name for an impending arrival, it’s not surprising that expecting parents are often overwhelmed by the pressure they face to choose wisely.
Finding the perfect name for a bun in the oven often becomes particularly difficult when a boy is on the way, especially as more and more names become gender-neutral and are overtaken by the ladies. After all, the baby will carry the name chosen for him everywhere he goes for the rest of his life.
Classic choices like Jacob and Benjamin have stood the test of time, and will never go out of style. Contemporary names like Liam and Noah are undeniably gorgeous, and really can’t be overused. However, parents searching for a name that’s unique and special without being completely wacky or weird have plenty of adorable options to choose from.
The following 20 names are some of the cutest out there. While they may not ever top the baby name charts, the unexpected charm they possess makes each and every one of them a possibly perfect fit for a tiny gentleman coming soon to a nursery near you.
Ace is a short and sweet stunner of Latin origin that means unity. It’s one-syllable sound makes it a choice that flows flawlessly with nearly any middle and last name. Ace is word oozing with positive vibes. Whether referring to a poker game, the outcome of a test, a tennis match, a golf game or a high-flying aircraft, the word ace is one everyone likes to hear. Currently, it ranks as the 286th most popular name for boys in the United States, down just 4 spots since 2016.
Singer, actress and businesswoman Jessica Simpson gave her son this adorable and enchanting name, as did softball star Jennie Finch and No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont. Ace Frehley, born Paul, is a guitarist for KISS, and helps give this charming choice a bit of an edge.
Booker is an English occupational surname that means scribe. While Booker ranked as high as 177th for boys in 1910, it has since dropped significantly in popularity. This doesn’t mean it isn’t a stellar choice for any little lad with literature or history-loving parents, or parents who just love gorgeous names. At the present time, Booker ranks as the 2,028th most popular name for boys in the United States, but has risen 926 spots since 2016. It may be a name that tops the charts in the future, but, for now, it’s an under-the-radar, unexpected and lovely choice.
Booker T. Washington is a well-known historical figure with this name. He was born a slave, and later became a leader in the African American community as well as a respected educator, author, orator and even an advisor to presidents of the United States.
Calloway is a lilting Irish from Latin name that means pebbly place. Presently, it ranks as the 5,522nd most popular name for boys in the United States. A boy with this moniker will definitely stand out in a crowd, or at the playground. The three-syllable timbre of this choice makes it one that sounds sophisticated without being stuffy or old-fashioned.
Cal is a cool and captivating shortening of this name that makes it as casual as it is creative. Cab Calloway, known as the “Dean of American Jive” gives this name a jazzy background that may just add an extra pep to the step of a lucky little lad with this name. A 1951 comedy skit was entitled “Calloway went Thataway,” yet another fun fact about this name’s background.
Crosby is a daring name of Irish origin that means village with crosses. Currently, Crosby ranks as the 726th most popular name for boys in the United States, but it’s still not widely used. At least not yet. Those who love this bold name choice should be aware that it rose into the top 1,000 for the first time in 2011, and hasn’t dropped in popularity since. It may be a good idea to snatch it up while it’s still a rare choice.
Singer and actor Bing Crosby is one fabulous fellow with this designation. Another is one of the members of the band Crosby, Stills and Nash. Crosby Braverman is a fictional character on the television series Parenthood, played by Dax Shepherd, who may have helped bring recognition to this irresistible and interesting name.
Dexter is a name of Latin origin that means dyer or right-handed. It currently ranks as the 392nd most popular name for boys in the United States, up 10 spots since 2016. Dex is a shortening of the name that is equally energetic and ultra-cool.
The title character in the hit television series, Dexter, has made this hip name mainstream in recent years. While its popularity is steadily rising, this name is still used infrequently enough to be considered a rare beauty when it is selected by parents. Dexter Gordon was a talented jazz tenor and saxophonist, and Dexter’s Laboratory is a popular children’s cartoon in which the protagonist is a talented young lad with the smart-sounding moniker found in the show’s title. Dexter Green is the name of the protagonist in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tale Winter Dreams.
Enzo is a name of Italian origin that means ruler of the house. At the present time, it is ranked as the 182nd most popular name for boys in the United States, up 19 spots since 2016. Once used primarily as a shortening of the names Lorenzo or Vincenzo, Enzo is a strong and captivating name that now stands all on its own as a popular name choice. Parents around the globe have fallen for the name Enzo. It ranked 34th in popularity in Portugal in 2014 and 20th in Spain in 2016. It’s also a popular choice in France.
Enzo Ferrari is the founder of a luxury car brand, giving this name an exciting edge sure to appeal to fans of life in the fast lane. Celebrities adore the name Enzo as well. Most recently, it has been used by actresses Patricia Arquette and Annabeth Gish.
Love to walk on the wild side? If so, Fox may be the perfect name for your impending arrival. Fox is an animal name that currently ranks as the 726th most popular name used for boys in the United States, up in popularity 31 spots since 2016.
X Files character, Fox Mulder, brought recognition to this sleek name choice. Many speculated that his name was a nod to the Fox network, on which the show aired, but the show’s creator has since shared that the character was actually named after one of his beloved childhood friend. Something about the name Fox is as intriguing as it is fun. Parents searching for a name that will turn heads may have found exactly what they are looking for in this frisky forest creature find.
Grover is a distinguished name of Anglo-Saxon origin that means from the grove. Presently, Grover ranks as the 5,542nd most popular name for boys in the United States. The furry blue creature on Sesame Street is largely responsible for giving this name a silly side in the last few decades. Before lovable Grover graced the small screen, Grover Cleveland, the only man to serve two nonconsecutive terms as the President of the United States, made this name a sophisticated and beloved one. He was a highly respected American who was well-liked and revered during his time in office.
Grover Cleveland Alexander, Hall of Fame pitcher, was named for the two-time president, and Grover Washington Jr. was a talented jazz saxophonist. Parents searching for a name with clout and panache may have found the perfect fit in the name Grover.
Hudson is a smooth and suave name of English origin that means Hugh’s son. At the present time, Hudson is the 66th most popular name for boys in the United States. While Hudson is currently a mainstream choice, ranking well within the top 100, it’s one of those names that stands out from the crowd. Hud is a macho-sounding shortening of the name that is unexpected without being too out there. Additionally, Hud is the title of an acclaimed Paul Newman film. Musician John Mellencamp has a son named Hud.
American actresses Marcia Gay Harden and Gena Lee Nolan have sons named Hudson, as does former 98 Degrees singer, Drew Lachey. The Hudson River in New York is a popular landmark that gives the name Hudson a rich and timeless flavor.
Jett is a mineral name that currently ranks as the 317th most popular name for boys in the United States. This stunning choice is one that may appeal to parents searching for a name that is one-of-a-kind, and sure to turn heads. The one-syllable nature of this designation makes it one that melds with near perfection to most middle and last names.
Actor John Travolta chose this exquisite name for his late son, and director George Lucas used it for his son as well. The double t at the end of the name gives it a little something extra. The facts behind the word jet, from which the name is derived, take this name from chic to irresistible. Along with a mode of aerial transportation, jet is a type of lignite, a gemstone and a mineraloid. It is made organically when decaying wood is put under extreme pressure. It is carvable, and is simply stunning when polished.
Kipling is an English surname, a place name and a name for cured salmon. Yum! This posh and polished name presently ranks as the 5,581st most popular name for boys in the United States. It did not rank in 2016, meaning it’s still a relatively unheard-of first name that parents searching for a robust yet rare moniker may wish to consider.
Renowned author, Rudyard Kipling, who penned the captivating children’s tales The Jungle Book and Gunga Din helps give this name a sophisticated air. His stories are filled with adventure, humor and important life lessons. Any young boy would be lucky to be named for such a respectable gentleman. In addition to the rich history this name possesses, the nickname Kip is short, sweet and completely adorable. Kipling is simply a remarkable choice.
Lennox is a name of Scottish origin that means elm grove or from the field of elm trees. It currently ranks as the 384th most popular name chosen for boys in the United States, and is up 60 spots since 2016.
The name Lennox first entered the top 500 names chosen for boys in 2015, and has since continued its meteoric rise. Possibly due to the fame of British boxer and World Olympic Champion Lennox Claudius Lewis, this name that was once just a surname has suddenly become a favorite first name choice for more than a few parents. Lennox appears in many well-known and beloved literary works. Thane of Lennox is a character in the Shakespeare play Macbeth, and Mary Lennox is the protagonist in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. Additionally, two different Agatha Christie characters bear this name.
Miller is an English occupational name that means grinder of grain. At the present time, it ranks as the 1,386th most popular name chosen for boys in the United States. Miller is an example of a well-known surname that has recently become a favorite of many parents as a first name.
Many have fallen in love with this strong and steady choice. A slew of celebrities, including fashion designer Stella McCartney, musician Melissa Etheridge, actress Tea Leoni and actor David Duchovny, have given their sons the name Miller. Interestingly, Miller is the 7th most common last name in America, meaning a little boy with this name has more than a few great namesakes to look up to. These include: authors Henry and Arthur, entertainers Sienna, Dennis, Glenn, Jonny Lee, Larry, Roger, Steve and Mitch.
Porter is a Latin occupational name that means gatekeeper. Currently, it ranks as the 417th most popular name chosen for boys in the United States, up 16 spots since 2016. Porter became one of the top 1,000 names chosen for American boys in 1999. It has risen in popularity every year since, and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.
Then name Porter has links to both professional sports and beautiful music. Terry Porter played in the NBA for the Portland Trailblazers and has been the head coach of both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns. Darrell Ray Porter was an American professional baseball player. Cole Porter was an American composer, best known for composing the music and writing the lyrics for the musical, Kiss Me, Kate, which won a Tony Award for Best Musical.
Rocco is a name of German origin that means rest. Presently, it ranks as the 532nd most popular name choice for boys in the United States. It’s an understated stunner that is as sweet as it is friendly. Roc is a possible shortening of the name that possesses style and pizzazz. Rocco is the perfect choice for parents searching for a melodic name that will never go out of style.
Madonna and her former husband, Guy Ritchie, made the name Rocco a cool-as-can-be choice when they selected it for their son. Two boxing legends, Rocky Graziano and Rocky Marciano were both given the name Rocco at birth. Other notable Rocco’s include Rocco Landesman, a talented Broadway producer, and celebrity chef Rocco Dispirito.
Rockwell is a strong name of English origin that means rock spring. At the present time, Rockwell is the 5,581st most common name chosen for boys in the United States. In other words: not very common.
Norman Rockwell is a famous 20th century artist, painter and author known for his realistic depictions of American life. His iconic artwork beautifully captures a bygone era and is celebrated by his many fans all over the world. Perhaps those given the name Rockwell are destined to be creative. Rockwell Kent was another well-known and much respected American artist, illustrator, writer, printmaker and adventurer. Rock is one possible shortening of this name that will fit any brave little lad. Wells is another nickname option it’s impossible not to adore. In short, Rockwell is one of those spectacular names that any young man would be lucky to have.
Titus is a gorgeous biblical name of Latin origin that it is believed means title of honor. It also has origins in Greek and means defender. Presently, Titus ranks as the 346th most popular name used for boys in the United States.
The popular USA television series Titus 2000 may be part of the reason this name has ranked in the top 500 names for boys for the last three years in a row. It’s a strong, robust and regal sounding name that will fit any young boy with a bright future perfectly. Titus was the name of one of St. Paul’s most beloved companions in the New Testament, and the painter Rembrandt had a son named Titus. The name Titus also appears in multiple works of Shakespeare including Titus Andronicus, Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus.
Truman is a stately name of English origin that means loyal one. Currently, Truman is the 1,764th most popular name chosen for boys in the United States, up 150 spots in popularity since 2016. It reached its peak of popularity in 1945 when Harry S. Truman succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt as President of the United States.
Writer Truman Capote is an acclaimed author who was born around the same time this name reached the height of its use. Since then, while Truman has fallen far from where it once was, it has remained a quiet contender for the best baby names for boys. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have a son named Truman, and Martha Stewart’s grandson was given the name as well. Jim Carrey did a brilliant job portraying the character Truman Burbank in 1998’s The Truman Show, and Will’s last name is Truman in the popular sitcom Will and Grace.
Wilder is a common surname, as well as a word name. Currently, Wilder ranks as the 631st most popular name chosen for boys in the United States, and has risen 356 places since 2016. It’s a name that is steadily on the rise up the baby name ranks, and one parents may want to grab before it becomes a mainstream choice.
Goldie Han’s son, Oliver, named his baby Wilder, giving the actress a grandson with one of the hippest names around. Wilder is the last name of many well-known people including author Laura Ingalls, director Billy, actor Gene and composer Alec. Additionally, Douglas Wilder was the first African American to be elected as the Governor of Virginia. Need another reason to love this rugged-sounding designation? Wild is a shortening of the name that perfectly describes nearly all young boys, ensuring it will be a perfect fit for a tiny terror with a heart of gold.
Zeke is a diminutive of the biblical name Ezekiel that means God strengthens. At the present time, it ranks as the 428th most popular name for American boys. It currently ranks 173rd in popularity for boys on the baby name website Nameberry.
Running back for the Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliot goes by Zeke. Zeke Braverman is the fictional wise and witty father and grandfather on the hit show Parenthood. Zeek is an alternative spelling of the name parents may also wish to consider. In love with the name Zeke? Similar names include Zane, Xander and Ezra.
Little boys have been said to be made of “snip and snails and puppy dog tails.” They’re also full of spunk, a zest for adventure and are some of the best snugglers. Enjoy your baby boys, because they’ll be men before you know it. Selecting a name from the list above will ensure your little man will be rocking an unexpectedly superb name that fits him perfectly throughout every stage of his life.
Sources: Nameberry.com, BabyCenter.com, BehindTheName.com
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