Parents-to-be have their work cut out for them when selecting a middle name for a future son. The current trends for male middle names fall into a few very distinct categories.
Many moms and dads choose to bestow upon their precious boy a middle name from the family. Often, the father's first name is used for the son's middle name. One grandfather or another also often gets the honor of having his first name used as his grandson's middle name. Another current trend in naming is to use the mother's maiden name as the middle name for her son. Sometimes, parents can't decide between two first names, so decide to use one of their favorites as the middle name for their child instead of having to part with one of their beloved choices. Finally, there are those who march to the beat of their own drum, and pull a name they think sounds totally cool into the middle of their son's name, for no particular reason at all.
However a middle name is selected, it's an integral part of a little man's full name. Many boys choose to go by their middle names, and some may pass the middle name given to them by their parents on to their own posterity someday. No pressure.
The 20 names on the list below are some of the most popular middle names for boys at present. They range from traditional to modern to quirky, but they all have one important quality in common: they're all gorgeous. Your future baby will be one lucky little lad if he's given any of the middle names from the collection of designations that follow. Happy naming!
Alexander III made this name, well, great after defeating his enemies and conquering the vast majority of Asia. He was a formidable fellow, also known as Alexander the Great, and his name has since been a symbol of strength and power. Alexander is a name of Greek origin that means defender of men.
Alexander has been in the top 25 most popular names chosen for boys in the United States since 1991, and is currently the 9th most popular boy's name in the U.S., up 9 places since 2016. Alexander is a royal name in Scotland, and is presently extremely popular there as well.
Other versions of this name are also lovely. Alasdair is the Gaelic version, in Italian: Alessandro, and in Spanish: Alejandro. Alex and Xander are both charming shortenings of this classic choice. The four-syllable timbre of this moniker makes it a great one to pair with a short first name. Timothy, Nicholas and Matthew are other strong options similar to Alexander.
Anthony is a name of Latin origin that means priceless. It is the 42nd most popular choice for boys so far in the United States in 2017, and has moved up in the ranks 7 places since 2016. It's a timeless name whether used as a first name or a middle one, and flows well with a variety of different first names.
Tony is a popular shortening of this name that gives it a warm, friendly feel. Anthony is the name of the patron saint of Italy and of the destitute, a man beloved by members of the Catholic church. The Italian form of the name Anthony is Antonio. In England, Antony is a popular choice.
Famous chaps with this name abound, and include actors Anthony Hopkins and Antonia Banderas, skater Tony Hawk, singer Tony Bennett and former British prime minister Tony Blair. Dominic, Christian and Joshua are similar names that may appeal to fans of the name Anthony.
Charles is a French from German name that means free man. It's dignified and dapper sounding, and it's one-syllable sound makes it a lovely name that flows exquisitely with nearly any first name.
It fell out of the top ten names used for boys in the United States in the 1960's, but is still a well-loved choice. It is presently the 156th most popular name boys in the United State. Jodie Foster and Russel Crowe are two celebrities who have chosen this name for their sons, bringing it back into the spotlight.
Charles is a name with a royal past, and has been assigned to kings of France, Spain, Portugal, Hungary and England. The current Prince of Wells also bears this title. While Chuck and Chucky aren't getting a lot of love of late, Charlie is a beloved shortening of this name that is currently popular for girls as well as boys. Other versions of the name that may appeal to its fans include Carl, Chaz, Carlo, Carlos, Siarl, Karel and Xarles.
David is a biblical name of Hebrew origin that means beloved. Currently, it ranks as the 30th most popular name used for boys in the United States, up in popularity 3 places since 2016.
David of the Bible is known for slaying the formidable Philistine giant, Goliath when he was a mere boy, and going on to become the second king of Israel. He was a cultured man who enjoyed poetry and music , and inspired artists Michelangelo and Donatello in their work. The Star of David is the symbol of Judaism, making David popular choice for Jewish progenitors.
Many celebrities bear this title, including soccer player David Beckham, former late night talk show host David Letterman and Friends star David Schwimmer. J.K. Rowling chose the name David for her son, as did Jennifer Hudson. Fans of this one may also want to consider the name Dawson, which means son of David.
Talk about a stunner. Edward is a name of English origin that means wealthy guardian. It's been around for awhile, assigned to 8 English kings and several Saxon ones as well. Fun fact: 6 gentlemen named Edward were on board the Mayflower, the first ship carrying Pilgrims, or English Separatists, that arrived in the New World.
Edward Cullen is the steamy, dreamy, if cold-hearted, hero in the Twilight series. Despite his chilly skin, he's really helped this name heat up in recent years. It ranked 107th on Nameberry.com in 2016, and also ranks highly throughout Europe and Australia. In 2015, it was the 26th most popular name for boys in England, 96th most popular for boys in Sweden and the 47th most popular for Australian lads.
Edward Norton and Edward Burns are notable actors with this name that have opted to go by Ed. Eddie, Ted and Ned are other optional nicknames for this one. Love it? Other names to consider include Edwin, Edgar and Ethan.
Finn is a name of Irish origin that means fair or white. It's enjoying a stint in the spotlight at the moment, and is often used as a nickname for the names Finnigan, Finnigen, Finnian, Finlay or Finley, but also works all on its own as a strong and super-hip first or middle name. It has reached the top 10 names used for boys in Germany, and ranked 209th on Nameberry.com in 2015.
Finn MacCool, a renowned hero from Irish mythology, was known for his wisdom, generosity and supernatural powers. Model Christy Turlington and actor Ed Burns chose this dreamy name for their son, as did former O.C. regular Autumn Reeser.
Finn Hudson, a beloved Glee character played by the late Cory Monteith may have had something to do with this dapper name's recent jump in use. Huckleberry Finn is another fictional character from literature who helps give this name an almost rebellious charm.
Fans of Disney's Tangled will forever associate this trend-setting name with the swoon-worthy cartoon renegade, Flynn Rider, a.k.a Eugene Fitzherbert. It's an Irish designation that means son of the red-haired one. Parents with red hair may wish to snatch this one up just because of its meaning, or because of its smooth, debonair sound.
Supermodel Miranda Kerr and actor Orlando Bloom used this title as the first name for their baby boy, as did another supermodel Elle Macpherson, though she chose to use it as a middle name.
Flynn became one of the top 1,000 names used for boys in the United States in 2011, and has been quietly on the rise ever since. It is currently in the top 50 names used for boys in both Australia and New Zealand. Fans of Flynn may also wish to consider other hip choices Cael, Declan or Arden.
George is a name of Greek origin that means farmer. This name, that enjoyed a lot of love in the past, is making a comeback. It enjoyed a spot in the top 10 names for boys from 1830 all the way until 1950, after which it's popularity slowly started to decline.
For over 100 years straight the king of Britain was named George, and the name has now been assigned to the adorable son of William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The royal first-born of the couple is currently third in line as heir to the throne. In the United States, George Washington will forever be known as the first president and "Father" of the country. His distinguished face also graces the one-dollar bill.
George Foreman loves this name so much, he gave it to all five of his sons. Other notable men with this name include actor George Clooney, composer George Handel, Star Wars creator George Lucas and popcorn man George Orwell. Any boy given this name has a pretty amazing legacy to continue, whichever awesome George he chooses to emulate.
This gorgeous historical name is of German origin and means estate ruler. All new parents can attest to the fact that babies basically rule the roost from the moment they arrive. What name could be more fitting for a little prince than this lovely choice?
It's a name that flows well with a wide variety of different first names, and H always sounds distinguished as a middle initial. Want more reasons to use this name? Well, it's a royal name that has been bestowed on many English kings, including the notorious Henry the 8th. Prince Harry, who is currently fifth in line to the throne, is actually named Henry.
Many of the coolest celebs are choosing Henry for their sons including Julia Roberts, Minnie Driver, Collin Farrell and Heidi Klum. Other traditional names that may appeal to those loving Henry include Frank, Benjamin and Arthur.
Selecting this traditional designation for a baby boy is always a good idea. It's another that will compliment nearly any first name. The name's rich, timeless sound is never going out of style. James is an English variation of the Hebrew name, Jacob, and means supplanter. What is a supplanter, you may ask? Well, it's someone who rules or someone who overthrows, both things babies are quite good at. (In an absolutely adorable way, of course.)
James was named America's favorite name for baby boys in a recent poll, and currently ranks as the 3rd most popular name for the little men born so far in 2017, up 7 spots since 2016. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick chose this name for their son, as did Collin Farrell. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds recently selected it for their daughter.
The name James has been assigned to kings, presidents and biblical men. Basically, it's an all-around stellar choice. Case closed.
Justice is one of the few boy's names that is also a virtue, making it a strong and dependable choice. The German form of the name, Justus, is another possible variation that has been assigned to saints, scholars and scientists of the past.
Currently, Justice is the 1,263rd most popular name chosen for boys in the United States. It's a masculine-sounding name that may appeal to parents searching for a name that is also a quality they want their son to emulate throughout his life.
J is another middle initial that makes nearly any name sound a bit more distinguished and respectable. It is also a letter that works great as part of a nickname. For example, if a boy's first name is Adam, and his middle name is Justice, A.J. is a possible nickname that will melt any parent's heart. Similar names those who love Justice may wish to consider include Valor and Truman.
Oscar is a name that was often used a few generations back. It is currently making a comeback, as it is used as a first or middle name honoring a beloved grandfather. Despite the negative association this name shares with Oscar the Grouch, this name is classic, cool and currently on point.
Hugh Jackman has a son named Oscar, after all. What is cooler than assigning your child the same name as Wolverine's son. Nothing. Oscar is a name of English and Irish origin that means God's spear or champion warrior. Is it just us, or is this name getting more and more awesome by the second?
Oscar also possesses a European charm, currently ranking 4th for boys in Sweden and 8th for boys in England. At present, it is the 241st most popular name for boys in the United States. It is also a popular choice among Latino families. Love it? Similar names include Felix, Milo and Theodore.
Paul is an ancient name that carries with it a sophisticated simplicity. It's yet another with one-syllable charm, fit to go well with most first name choices. It is a name of Latin origin that means small. Saint Paul, originally Saul, is a biblical hero who is credited with cofounding the Christian church with fellow disciple, Peter. Since then, 6 Popes have born the title.
Currently, the name Paul is the 226th most popular name chosen for boys in the United States, and it is presently the 3rd most popular name in Germany.
Beatle Paul McCartney, politician Paul Ryan, historical hero Paul Revere and Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul are just a few of the notable men who have helped make this name a superb choice. Parents who love the name Paul may also wish to consider the foreign variations of the name which include: Pablo, Paolo, Pavel and Paavo.
Robert is a strong name that has never really gone out of style. It's a name of English origin that means bright fame. It was the number 1 name chosen for boys in both 1925 and 1950, and ranked somewhere in the top 25 names chosen for boys for over a century! Not many names can boast such an impressive past.
More than 6,000 boys were given the name Robert in the United States last year, and it presently ranks as the 85th most common name for boys in the U.S., up 21 spots since 2016. Well-known men named Robert include acclaimed actor Robert Redford and Civil War general Robert E. Lee.
Robert is a royal name in Scotland. Robert the Bruce is the Scottish king known for freeing the Scots from English rule. Nicknames for Robert abound and include: Bob, Bobbie, Rob, Robbie, Dob, Hob, Rab and Rabbie. Roberto is a Spanish version of the name we also adore.
Story is a whimsical unisex choice currently gaining popularity worldwide, but still very much under the radar. Searching for a name that won't be heard often, but is completely on-trend? Story may be the name you've been looking for. It's a perfect name for parents who love to write or read stories, or just desire to endow their baby with a gorgeous name.
It's a title that is fitting as a middle name due to its unique nature. Some perfect pairings include Roman Story, Anderson Story and Oliver Story. Currently ranking as the 12,019th most-used name for boys, and not even ranked in previous years, this name is one to watch.
Actress and Punky Brewster star Soleil Moon Frye chose this ethereal name for her son, as did star of Dharma and Greg Jenna Elfman. Those who love Story may also adore other interesting and uncoventional middle names Atlas, Dune or Free.
Jack is an English diminutive of the name John, and means God is gracious. The one-syllable nature of this choice makes it a golden middle name that sounds practically perfect paired with any first name a parent can dream up.
Until 2011, Jack was the number one name chosen for boys in England. It is still a top choice for boys in both Scotland and Ireland, where the interesting alternative to the name, Jock is also used. The United States has continued the trend, where the name Jack currently ranks as the 30th most popular choice for boys.
Many famous folks have chosen this name for their sons including Matt Lauer, Meg Ryan, Kirk Cameron and Luke Perry. On the small screen, many beloved characters have been called Jack, including Jack Bauer of 24, Jack Donaghy of 30 Rock and Jack Shepard of Lost. Love Jack? Similarly cheerful and relatable names include Luke, Max and Jake.
Thomas the Tank Engine is a popular character adored by toddlers the world over. This is one reason your baby boy will love his name, but it doesn't end there. Thomas is a biblical name of Aramaic and Hebrew origin that means twin.
Presently, Thomas is the 59th most popular name for boys in the United States, and currently ranks 6th for boys in both Australia and England. Tom is a strong shortening of this name, and Tommy is another friendly possibility. On average, approximately 7,000 boys are given the name Thomas every year.
Third President of the United States Thomas Jefferson, inventor Thomas Edison and actors Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks are just a few of the talented men who have born this title. Love Thomas? Other variations that may be appealing include the alternate spelling Tomas, the Italian version of this name, Tomaso, or the Scottish shortening of the name, Tam.
William is a timeless name that is as stately as it is lovely. It is a name of German origin that means strong-willed warrior. It is yet another name that has been in style for as long as names have been recorded, and comes in second to John as the most popular boy's name in English-speaking countries over the last 400 years.
Currently popular variations of the name William include Liam and Willem. The formerly popular nickname for William, Billy, has been replaced by the fresher sounding Will, but we feel both shortenings are equally adorable. Currently, William is the 40th most popular name chosen for boys in the United States.
Four United States presidents have born this name, as did the brilliant writer William Shakespeare. We mustn't fail to mention Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and the beloved heir to the throne with this name. Bill Gates is another notable man named William. Fans of this moniker may also love similar classic choices Andrew, Samuel or Daniel.
Wolf is a name similar in nature to other predatory animal names currently enjoying a lot of love including Bear, Fox and Puma. Wolf, however, has been used for much longer, and is actually a very popular name in Germany, where it is pronounced Vulf. It is, at times, a shortening of the name Wolfgang, but also stands on it's own quite nicely. It is a name of German origin that means wolf or path.
Newscaster Wolf Blitzer of CNN is a notable man with this name who was actually named after his grandfather. Painter Wolf Kahn and screenwriter Wolf Mankowitz are lesser known bearers of this wildly cool name. It is currently the 1,165th most used name for boys in the United States, up in popularity 221 places since 2016.
Love it? Hate it? However you feel about this one, there is no denying it will bring an edge to any first name it's paired with. Similar names parents considering Wolf may also love include Hunter, Asher or Silas.
Xavier is a name of Latin origin that means savior. It is pronounced two ways: ex-ZAY-vee-er or ZAY-vee-er. It also has origins in Basque and Arabic where it means new house or bright. It is currently the 70th most popular name for boys in the United States, up 18 places in popularity since 2016.
Xavier is one of the only male names to start with an X that is relatively well-known. The founder of the Jesuit order, Sir Francis Xavier, established this title as a respected and revered middle name. Javier is the Spanish version of this name that is equally lovely and timeless. Professor Xzavier, the founder of the X-men, is a fictional hero in the X-men comics; his name is spelled with a unique twist due to the added Z.
Actress Tilda Swinton and Singer Donnie Wahlberg have both chosen the name Xavier for their sons. Similar names that may appeal to parents who love this name include Xander, Sebastian and Aiden.