It’s a boy! Congratulations on your new little man. Now it’s time to prepare for the task of naming your bundle of joy. Although there is something to be said for longer names, shorter names are coming back in style, making them very “in” right now and a wonderful option for parents who are looking for something simple yet elegant or classic.
There are many benefits to having a shorter first name. Some of these include having less of a difficult time with variations of spelling and mispronunciations during your child’s life (the less letters, the better), being able to have more flexibility with longer or more complex middle names, or maybe even just finding a first name that suits a difficult last name. Perhaps you just want a short but strong male name for no other reason than loving the way it sounds?
Whatever the reason, this list of names is sure to tickle your fancy and have you thinking that shorter might just be what you and your partner are looking for when it comes to naming your child. Without further ado, here are 20 sharp and short baby boy names that are sure to make your day and your personal baby name list!
The name Finn has increased in popularity over the years but still remains unique enough to be a great option for your little man. The name Finn is ranked 175th in the baby name rankings last year. This was up from the 201st spot in the year before.
Finn is of Irish origin and means “fair one”. The name comes from several places in Irish history, including the third century mythological hero Finn Mac Cumhail, who is sort of an Irish version of the English folk tale of Robin Hood. This same character Finn was also part of the legends of the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland, a series of unique rock formations and scientist still don’t know how they were formed today. Finn has a secondary Germanic meeting which is pretty basic: “from Finland” but is more known for its place in Irish folklore. If you love Finn as a short name but want to try something longer, then we can also be a nice abbreviation for Finley, Finnegan, or Finnian.
Jack is an English name that was originally a nickname for the popular name John but now stands wonderfully on its own as a short but sharp name choice. Both Jack and John have Biblical origins and share the meaning “God is gracious”.
Jack is a great name for parents who are looking for simplicity and tradition, as this name has a solid but elegant tone. Jack is a name with several famous bears including hockey player Jack Adams, actor Jack Albertson and comedian Jack Benny. Jack is unique in that it has no room for nicknames, aside from maybe the derivative Jackie, which is often used as a popular female name.
Jack is on the popular side, holding the 38th spot last year in the baby name rankings but staying well outside of the top 10, making a great choice for your little one.
Wyatt is a strong and bold name and is a wonderful choice if you’re looking for a shorter name with some kick. Wyatt is of English origin and means “brave warrior”. Wyatt originated as an old English surname Wigheard (“wig” meaning warrior and “heard” meaning brave). Wyatt is a classic name and is on the more popular side, being ranked number 33 last year in baby name popularity. It held similar spot the year prior, and thus has maintained a fairly consistent ranking over the last two years.
Personally, I love Wyatt for it’s cool sound and relaxed vibe. When I picture someone named Wyatt, I picture someone who is intelligent but laid back. Although it has a very strong meaning, it also has unique character, making it a timeless choice for your new baby boy.
We all remember the song “Hey Jude” by the Beatles, Jude referring to John Lennon‘s son, but how popular is the name Jude anyway?
Although Jude is likely more popular in the United Kingdom, Jude held the 161st spot in baby name rankings last year in North America. This means that Jude, although not entirely unpopular, is not even in the top 100 baby boy names. This is surprising because of its classic nature and representation in the song but is a good thing for parents who are looking for something more unique for their child.
The name Jude is a form of the name of Judas, and is of Greek origin meaning “he who is praised”. It is a lovely one syllable name that flows easily off the tongue. Famous bears of course include famous celebrities Jude Law and Jude Devereaux.
Colt is a strong but fun name that has a touch of country boy flair. Colt is derived from the English word for “young male horse”. Although it is a noun, it is also a boy’s name that is short but that has a lot of spunk due to its word meaning. This is a good option for parents who are hoping to maintain some originality, as Colt was ranked number 333 in baby name popularity last year. It is a name that is classic but not overly popular – for now.
With the increase in popularity of the Netflix original series The Ranch starring Aston Kutsher as Colt Bennett, I have a feeling this name will become more popular as the series continues. Colt can also be a short form of the name Colton, if you’re looking to add another syllable to the mix. Colt is a great option for your little boy and is a timeless choice for parents.
Jake may be very similar to the name Jack, but it sure does stand on its own as being a name with strength and character and is a great option if you’re looking for a shorter name for your little bundle of joy. Jake is of Hebrew origin and means “supplanter”. Although Jake holds its own as a standalone name, it can be variation of the name Jack or an abbreviation of another Hebrew name: Jacob.
Although Jake is more popular as an abbreviation to Jacob, it is not as popular as a standalone name within the baby name rankings. Last year, the name Jake ranked #242 on the baby name popularity charts. This means naming your little one Jake can lend to a touch of originality. Jake remains a solid choice for parents looking for a classic name with a unique twist.
Eli is a wonderful boy’s name for parents looking for short three letter name with a lot of spunk. Although Eli stands wonderfully on its own, it is also unique in that it is an abbreviation to several other wonderful names including Elijah and Elias.
Eli is of Hebrew origin and means “uplifted or ascended”. With its Biblical tone, we get the impression that the name’s meaning is related to one who is closer to a creator figure. Eli is a very popular name at the moment and was ranked 33rd on the list of baby name popularity last year. Along with being popular in the United States mainstream culture, Eli is also a very popular name among the Amish community. Eli has had various ups and downs in popularity over the years but remained its most popular during Puritan times, apart from its current popularity today. Eli is a great name with a strong meaning and is an excellent choice for your baby boy.
Henry is a two syllable name that has stood the test of time in terms of origin and popularity. Henry is of German origin and means ruler of state. It is no wonder that many kings held this name including Henry VIII and also Prince Harry (Harry is a derivative of Henry), who is very popular in the media right now with his recent engagement to celebrity Meghan Markle.
Henry has a long history and a classic story but is also a name with a sweet ring to it. When I picture someone named Henry, I picture a gentleman who is poised and well-mannered but also full of life. It is no wonder the name Henry so popular, holding the 22nd spot in baby name popularity in the United States last year. It is likely even more popular in the United Kingdom and in parts of Europe. Despite its popularity, the name Henry remains a classic choice for moms and dad’s looking for short but traditional name for their new baby boy.
Luke is a strong and classic name that remains a timeless choice for your new bundle of joy. Luke is of Latin origin and means “from Lucania”, which is a place in Italy. It is a name that originally derived from the Greek name Lucas and was adopted by the Romans. Luke has been extremely popular because of the Biblical character and Saint bearing the same name.
Due to its extensive history, Luke remains a popular baby name for boys in the United States. It was ranked #29 last year and #28 the year before. Although Luke is a wonderful name to stand on its own, it can also be an abbreviation of the name Lucas, which is also on the shorter side and has an endearing ring to it. With its colorful history, Luke remains a wonderful choice for your new addition.
Miles is another classic short name that has history of famous bearers including jazz musician Miles Davis, and English actor and comedian Miles Jupp. Miles is of German origin and means “merciful”.
Miles has grown in popularity over the years and last year in the United States it was ranked #105 in baby name popularity, up from the year before where it sat in the 108th spot.
Miles is an interesting name because it doesn’t have very many associated names. The only one that comes to mind is the name Milo, which is related to the name Miles. There is no mistaking the spelling of miles or the pronunciation when the name is read aloud. It is simple yet dignified and would be a wonderful option for your little man.
Noah is another classic name that is a sharp choice for your new bundle of joy. It has grown in popularity over the years because of its simple yet profound meaning. Noah is of Hebrew origin and means “rest and comfort”. You have probably heard of the name from the Noah’s Ark Bible story, where Noah was instructed to build an ark to house his family and every male/female pair of animals on earth, so that they could all survive the flood and start over in the new world – poetic, isn’t it?
The name Noah is very “in” right now. It was ranked number one in baby name popularity last year in United States, a spot that held from the previous year. Although this name is incredibly popular, it still made the list because of its solid sound and deep history. It remains a classic choice for your baby boy.
Shay is very interesting name because it has several places of origin and different meanings. In its English origin, the meaning of Shay is “admirable”. Its Irish roots on the other, describe the name to mean “hawk-like”. Shay also has a spelling variation: Shea, giving parents an option to make it their own.
Shay is a great name because it is very diverse. Not only is the name considered to be unisex, but it also has a cool sound to it bringing in a chic quality. This name is also very unique and is a wonderful choice for parents who are looking for something different. Last year, the name only ranked #1775 in baby name popularity for boys with the “Shay” spelling. Spelled “Shea”, the name was #1616 on the list of popularity for boys in the United States. I wouldn’t be surprised if the name jumped the list quite a bit in terms of popularity in England and Ireland, where the name originated. Shay is an original name, making it a wonderful choice for your new little boy.
Zack is another sharp name that remains strong choice as a standalone name but also can be a diminutive of a longer as well, being a short form of the name Zackary. Zach is another name of Hebrew origin and means “remembered by God”. Although the longer name Zachary is more popular, the name Zack on its own remains a unique choice for parents. Last year in the United States, the name Zack hit #1058 and baby name popularity for boys. This name rose by approximately 150 places from the previous year, showing a significant growth in popularity but remaining rather unique compared to other popular names that are in the top 100.
The name Zack has several different spelling variations that include: Zak, and Zach. Zack also has a few famous bearers including rock musician Zack de la Rocha and baseball player Zach Wheat. This short name remains a solid choice for your baby boy, offering a classic first name and the potential to include a longer middle name – maybe a family name perhaps?
This refined and simple name is a chic and bold choice for your baby boy. The name Jay has several different origins including its Latin form, which means “bird” and its Englishand Hindi forms, which both mean victory. I personally love this name because it stands solidly on its own but it also can be a derivative of names like James and Jason.
By itself, the name Jay remains mildly popular and has been for many years. For baby boys, Jay was ranked #394 in baby name popularity with 800 occurrences in the United States last year. This is actually down slightly from the year before, but the name Jay has remained under #500 for several years. Jay has several different spelling variations including Jae, Jay and Jaye. There are also many people who have held the name Jay in Hollywood and probably the most notable one would be Jay Leno. Jay remains an excellent choice for a short first name with a bit of flair, yet embodying a classic feel.
Rowan is a wonderful shorter name that is sure to turn some heads but in a good way! This name has gone through ups and downs in terms of popularity and is currently on an upswing and held #182 in the baby name rankings for boys in United States last year. Although it is more commonly used as a boy’s name, it is considered to be a unisex name and can be used for girls as well.
Rowan is of both English and Irish origin. In its Irish origin, Rowan means “tree with red berries” or “little redhead”. In the English origin, it simply means “from the rowan tree”. Rowan is a shorter name that has a few spelling variations including: Rohan and Roan. It is interesting to note that the name Rowan is derived from the spelling “Rhonwen” which is actually a name borrowed from the Welsh word for “spear”.
Rowan is a name that is rooted in a rich Celtic history, from all over Great Britain and Ireland. This shorter yet adventurous name is a great choice for your new little guy.
Originally a diminutive of Raymond, the name Ray is a wonderful choice for parents who are looking for a chic but shorter name for their little boy that can easily stand on its own. The name Ray is of both German and English origin but shares the same meaning: “counsellor and wise protector”.
Ray has gone up and down in terms of popularity but still remains a classic choice for mom and dad. Last year, Ray Ray ranked #748 in baby name popularity for boys in the United States as a standalone name compared to its counterpart Raymond, ranking #284. This is a good thing for parents who are looking for something slightly more unique. The name Ray has one spelling variation, Rae, which is a far less popular spelling for boys. Ray is a great option overall because it gives parents flexibility with a middle name and it also goes well with a vast number of more complicated last names. It is a solid choice for your new bundle of joy!
Sam is an interesting choice for parents who are looking for a shorter name but want to hold similar meeting to Samuel or Samson. Both Sam and Samuel are of Hebrew origin and hold the meaning “name of God” or “God is heard”. It is a classic name but it is also a unique option for parents who are looking to have the name standalone.
Although more popular as a derivative, the name Sam on its own was ranked #581 in baby name popularity for boys in the United States with 474 occurrences last year. Sam is also a unisex name because it can be short form of the name Samantha, which actually holds the same meaning as Sam and Samuel. The name Sam has plenty of character. It is a fearless and refined name, making it an excellent choice for your new baby boy.
Theo is a sweet name that is one of my personal favourites for a shorter baby boy name. Theo is of Greek origin and holds the meaning “God’s gift”. It was also adopted by the French later on in history and holds the same meaning as it does in Greek.
Theo is considered moderately popular and as a standalone name was ranked #354 in baby name popularity for boys in the United States last year. This number jumped substantially from the previous year, where it was ranked #404. Theo has had an interesting history in terms of popularity with several ups and downs, however, it is in a bit of a popular upswing at the moment.
I love Theo in particular because the sound seems to just roll off your tongue. I like how it’s simple and that there are no variations in spellings and although it could be considered a derivative of Theodore, it has historically also been a shorter standalone name. The simplicity yet luminosity of this name makes Theo a wonderful name choice for your little man.
Will has, of course, originated as a shorter version of the name William but has come to be increasingly more popular as a stronger shorter standalone name. Both Will and William are of English and German origin and hold the meaning “determined protector”.
Will as a name on its own is very slowly but surely rising in popularity. Last year, the name was ranked 827th in terms of baby name popularity in the United States and was up 10 points from the year before, where it ranked #837. The name will is likely more popular in the United Kingdom with one of the popular British monarchs holding the name William.
Other notable Wills include: Will Ferrell and Will Smith, who remain popular celebrities in Hollywood. The name Will is a short but classic name with a lot of depth. It is a great choice for parents who are looking for these elements in a shorter baby name for their little one.
Ian is a name that has been around for a long time, making it a sturdy choice as a shorter baby name. Ian is an interesting name because it is actually a form of the name John but it sounds slightly more creative. It is of Scottish origin and means “God is gracious”.
Although it is on the popular side, holding #78 in baby name popularity for boys United States, it is a favorite of mine because of its rich history and notable name bearers. Ian’s namesakes include several popular actors such as Ian Bannen and Ian Holm.
This strong Scottish name is sure to be an appealing option for parents who are looking for sharp but steadfast name for their new little man. Ian is a name that has stood the test of time, being steadily popular (but not overly so), with no end in sight.
Sources: Baby Center; Our Baby Namer