20 Striking Baby Boy Names You Haven't Heard Of Before

We are seeing a huge influx of baby boy names that are being pulled from generations past; Johns, Elliots, Jacks, and the like. And while those names are beautiful and timeless, they have also been done. There are many parents out there who want a unique, different, name for their child. Parents are looking for names that invoke a feeling of intrigue but that don’t make the listener think of something rotting in the refrigerator.

Any parent of a boy will attest that there are slim pickings out there when it comes to male names; they are either too generic, or they are too far out there. But where are the middle of the road names? The ones that are special but can still be easily spelled and pronounced?

Fear not, readers. Combing through baby books, site lists and book trends—pulling from sources both near and far, we have put together a comprehensive list of baby boy names that we have never heard before. They are distinctive, rare, and yet soft on the tongue. We did not choose any names of fruits or vegetables (thank us later for that). There are no common, run of the mill items on this list.

Prepare to be enthralled.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

20 Arian

This name, which can also be spelled, Aryan, has had a bad rep in the past because people associate the spelling of the name with the term “Aryan Race”, which is directly linked with White Supremacists. I am hoping that most of us can agree that these extremists have no place in our culture and in the spirit of moving forward, maybe we can reclaim this name for good.

The changed spelling to Arian breathes a breath of fresh air into a beautiful name and will maybe give it a chance to thrive. There are many Arian’s out there have no connection to a group of bigots. Take Arian Potts Foster, who is an NFL football player. Or Arian Moayed, who is an actor. There also Arian Bedzeti-Olson, who is an incredibly talented Norwegian gymnast.

19 Camilo

This one of a kind name is pronounced ka-MEE-lo. Camilo is the masculine version of Camila, which has been very popular as of late. The name is Latin in origin and means, “young ceremonial attendant”. Deep, right? As most of us have figured out, the original meaning is not always the determining factor for choosing a particular name.

Camilo is exotic sounding and yet it is very easy to pronounce. If you name your child this, he will be destined to have swoopy bangs that are forever getting into his eyes and a smile that will light up the room. He will be handsome, charismatic, and funny. I think this name does have the potentially to be trendy in the future, so if you want to be on the upswing, now is the time!

18 Eliseo

Pronounced a-lee-say-oh, Eliseo is derived from both Italian and Spanish, and is a variation of the name Elisha. It means “God is my salvation”. This is a great name for parents who are looking for religious significance for their little boy’s name but do not want the Aaron, Andrew, Gabriel, Jacob, etc. Eliseo is classic and exotic, which is a pretty hard balance to pull off.

This name is so unique and it sounds like a character from “The Princess Bride”. I picture Eliseo growing up to be a remarkable swordsman, dressed in all black with a classy head of hair and a mustache that only someone of remarkable charisma could pull off. He will undoubtedly fall for a maiden and will eventually win her over with his great sense of humor and rock hard abs.

17 Coen

Coen is of Dutch origin and means “bold advisor”. It has been a popular last name for generations, but would make a really strong first name as well. It would set your son apart from the rest of the crowd.

Though spelled differently, Coen always reminds of the late great Leonard Cohen, who is the songwriter most famous for his haunting song, “Hallelujah”. This song has been covered by countless other talented musicians, showing the depth and popularity of his melody and lyrics.

I love names that have significance to the parents, even if it is not obvious to the rest of the world. So for you music fans out there, this might be a sweet, subtle tribute for you. It would also be a nice story to tell your son when he is old enough…

16 Lathan

Lathan is from England and has been recorded as a surname, but very rarely is it used as a first name. It is reminiscent of the highly popular boys name Nathan, which might be too trendy for many parents out there. This is a good choice if you are looking for something that sounds original but still makes people think that it sounds familiar.

Lathan is on point to be one of the popular boys a name because it sounds unique, it is easily spelled, and it is a derivation of a name that has already proven to be super fashionable. Pick this name if you want your little baby boy to a trend setter; if you want to be at the forefront of a name that will most likely gain immense admiration.

15 Bridger

Bridger is of English origin and its meaning is quite literal: “lives near the bridge”. With some of these names the origin is so factual that you have to just scrape the implication and make a new one for yourself.

Create a new legend for the name.

Personally, I think that this name’s meaning can be a lot deeper than that. For example, some parents have chosen to name their son Bridger because his heritage bridges two cultures. One of the most important things when naming your child is that the name holds meaning to YOU. So if Bridger is relational to you—if your son is going to be bridging something metaphorical or even literal—this could be a great fit. It will be unique and still hold great significance.

14 Keon

Keon is another name that is believed to be a combination of two other popular names—Kevin and Leon. Kevin is Irish and means “handsome”, while Leon is Greek and means “lion”. So you can see why the collective mash-up of “handsome lion” is a great meaning to bestow on your child.

I like this name because it is different but because it is a combo of two names we already are so familiar with, it does not sound too out there. It is easy to spell and pronounce and is a great choice for parents who want to set their kid apart. I love the idea of naming a little baby boy Keon, and instilling in him a sense of distinctiveness and integrity. Plus, I cannot picture a little boy with this name that is not ADORABLE.

13 Maxton

Maxton is utilizing the popular name Max but adding a little spice to its ending. It sits besides Maxon, Maxfield, Maximus and Paxton as some of the more unique cousins of plain Max. Celebrities and normal folks alike are taking Max and adding a pizazz to create a name that stands out in the crowd and gives their child a name that is distinctive.

Maxton can be traced back to England as a surname, but it is still very rare to find in the United States. It means “greatest”, which is a pretty sweet attribute to bestow upon your baby. You can tell little Maxton that he will be the greatest at everything.

It would also be a great name to shout from the sidelines with pride at a sports event. “GO MMMAAAXXXXTTOOONNNN!”

12 Cayson

Cayson is a variation of Carson, which has been wildly popular in the last decade. It is also is akin to another trendy name, Grayson. You may enjoy Cayson because it sounds like a common name yet it is actually quite different.

Cayson is spelled very phonetically, which will be helpful for any boy who is learning to spell their name. (In Kindergarten I went to school with a child named Aloysius. That poor kid didn’t stand a chance at spelling his own name, and the rest of us had trouble pronouncing it. It should be noted that he grew up to be a very attractive, successful man. But back to the point…)

Cayson is a great choice for parents who are looking to make their son’s name something that people will remember.

11 Turner

Turner is derived from old England and was an occupation surname; men who worked with a lathe were called Turner. I like the fact that this name comes from a strong, honest profession that let a man feed by having a distinct skill.

I also like this name because even though it is very simple, Turner is not a name that you ever hear as a first name. This trend of naming children after surnames has created a really interesting phenomenon; the names are familiar and seem traditional, and yet you cannot name a single other person who has that name.

(If you are an artist or have an affinity for art, there is a famous British painter, JMW Turner, who is known for his detailed watercolor paintings of the sea.)

10 Arlo

Arlo is Anglo-Saxon in origin and means “fortified hill”. This is one of my personal favorites because it is soft but also masculine. There not a lot of little Arlo’s running around, which will make your child stand out.

Every parent is looking for different things in a name, but this one for me makes me picture a sweet, gentle little boy. It is unique and yet intriguing. There are some people that love a name that requires no nickname, and this one is perfect for that, as well.

The most well-known Arlo is on the hit TV Show “Justified”, Arlo Givens. He is the father of Raylan Givens, and he has a reoccurring role. Fans of this show are already starting to cash in on the name, but it will likely remain uncommon.

9 Roderick

Boy (10 months) rejoicing

Roderick is German and means “famous ruler” (which is kind of ironic because I cannot name one famous ruler whose name is Roderick). It has been a last name in some Western European countries, but has never been highly popular in any name-realm. But that does not mean that this name is not strong, confident, and worthy of your newborn son.

If this names sounds slightly familiar to you, it might be because there i a character whose name bears a close resemblance—on the highly revered show “Game of Thrones”. Sir Rodrik Cassel was the Master-at-Arms at Winterfell before he was murdered by Theon Greyjoy (I know—that bastard). He trained many of the most beloved people on the show, including Robb Stark and Job Snow. It was a sad day when his life was tragically taken…

8 Zaire

Am I the only one who loves a good name that starts with the letter “Z”? Clearly not, because names that start with this have become more and more prevalent in the last ten years. They include Zepher, Zain, Zachery, and Zander.

Zaire pulls its origin from Africa, from a Kongo term that means “the river that swallows all rivers”. Talk about a solid, compelling name meaning, right? Your son is destined for greatness with a name like that. But what is also really awesome about this name is the fierceness of it—just try saying it out loud-- Zaire. It reminds me of a Nordic or Roman God; powerful, and potent.

If you are looking for a name that no one else has, than this a good one for you. It is matchless.

7 Kael

Kael is Gaelic and means “slender, fair”. There is a character in Irish folklore named Cáel, who was a great warrior in the Fianna clan. Legend has it that Cáel fell in love with one of the most beautiful women of Éire, or modern day Ireland. She was known throughout the land as a woman whose heart could not be won, but Cáel was the one man who stole her heart. Tragically, Cáel was killed in battle, and the love of his life lay down beside him and died from her own grief. It’s a heart wrenching tale, but romantic none the less.

For those parents who love a good story or have Irish roots, this a great, unique name for you. It will also give you a tale to tell your child.

6 Agustin

Agustin is of Latin origin and means “the exalted one”. This name tops our list because it so simple and sweet, and yet there are not many Agustin’s in the world. It also has roots in American history, dating back to the 1800’s.

This name has been more popular in Hispanic countries, but also has ties to Florida. In St. Augustine, Florida, there is a lurid history of settlers claiming it as their own and then quickly losing it to an enemy. It was not until 1822 that Florida officially became United States land, and not until 1845 that it formally became a state, inclusive of St. Augustine.

St. Augustine also was an important site for Civil Rights movements in the mid 1960’s. This name is rich with cultural and history meanings.

5 Damari

There is no meaning that is 100% tied to Damari. It is pronounced da-mar-EE. Some people speculate that is a variation of the name “Amari”, which is Hebrew and means “eternal”, but it is really just a guess on the part of name researchers.

I like the thought of a name not holding significant historical meaning because that gives your son a blank slate. He is not tied to past Damari’s, or what they have done or said. There is no pressure to live up to anyone or anything; he can just be himself.

Furthermore, this name is so different that there will be no other kids on the playground with it. Your son will most definitely be one of a kind, and in this day and age that can be really hard to achieve.

4 Enoch

Enoch is of Hebrew origin and means “dedicated”. Enoch plays a big part in the Old Testament, and for those who are not well versed in The Bible, he is the grandfather of the famous Noah. For those with religious backgrounds, Enoch is a way to incorporate your beliefs into your child’s name while also coloring outside of the lines.

For those who do not hold a personal connection to The Bible, don’t fret. Enoch is not very common among young boys, and yet everyone can spell it and pronounce it. It is a sturdy, strong, male name that also has roots in poetry. Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote a famous poem entitled, “Enoch Arden”. Enoch Arden is “a rough sailor’s lad”— and you should read the whole poem for further inspiration.

3 Jakobe

Jakobe is the unique child of the wildly popular names Jakob and Kobe—and I am digging it. Jakob comes from the Hebrew meaning of “supplanter”, which is a verb which means “to trip up or overthrow”. Kobe is Swahili for “tortoise”. You put these two names together and you have a great image going on—a gentle, giant tortoise that is going to take down the status quo. Boom.

If that meaning is steeped a little too heavy for you, you can instead relish in the fact that this one of a kind name will not only set your child apart but will be easy enough for others to pronounce. He will have an exuberant, eccentric name whose meaning you can draw from a number of sources (including my rebel tortoise idea).

2 Malachi

Malachi is of Hebrew origin and it means “my messenger”. It is pronounced mal-ah-KYE and is pulled from the Bible, from Malachi who is one of the twelve prophets. Religious names are highly popular for people who want to bestow some pious nature to their children, and this name accomplishes that but is also very unique.

Malachi has also been used in literature; James Joyce wrote the famous “Ulysses” and a character from this epic novel is Malachi Mulligan. I see this name becoming popular with Hipsters dads who can use this as an excuse to talk about ”Ulysses” at great length, whilst twirling their man bun between their manicured nails.

(On a personal note: I have only met one Malachi in my life. So that should count for something.)

1 Thaddeus

Thaddeus means “gift of God” and is one of the Twelve Apostles. Even though Biblical names tend to make surges throughout the years, Thaddeus has remained one of the guarded secret names of the Bible to those who are not familiar. But maybe not for long. This distinguished name was not meant for the shadows and will likely be present in Kindergarten classes across the globe in the near future. If you want to be at the start of a trend, than this name is for you.

Thaddeus is a cousin to the highly popular name, Theodore, which has been an American staple for decades. I appreciate this name for its historical origins, with a twist. This name sounds regal, established and traditional, while also maintaining the appeal of being rare.

Sources: Nameberry, Wikipedia, Baby Center, Vocabulary.com, Oh Baby Names

More in Baby Names