Congratulations on the baby boy! What is he called? This is the number one question that all new parents are asked. Sometimes parents just don’t have an answer, having waited to get to know the baby before choosing a name that suits his character and temperament. Sometimes the answer is disappointingly ‘normal’, maybe one of the most popular names such as James, John or Samuel.
But occasionally people will come across a name that makes them stop and think ‘wow, I wish I had thought of that!’. These are the names that make other moms jealous. Whether they are at the doctor’s, the baby group or the playground, these are the names that make people feel amazing when calling a child across the room. Parents can visibly see other moms stopping and gasping at an incredible name choice.
But what makes these names so good? Is it that they are so rare or is it the way they roll off the tongue? Is it just that they are so extraordinarily pretty or handsome? What feelings do they evoke? Here is a list of 25 boy names that are guaranteed to make other moms sigh with pleasure and wish that they had thought of that first.
This striking name is great for a boy with a hot and fiery demeanour. Literally named after a flame, it is sophisticated and smart with a modern feel. Despite its modern feel, it is actually a very old name, coming from the Old English word ‘blæse’, meaning ‘torch, flame’. Alternatively, it could also be a respelling of the French name Blaise. This name comes from the Latin ‘blaesus’, which has the unfortunate meaning of ‘deformed or stuttering’.
Other spelling variations include Blayze and Blase and it has also been used for girls.
This rocking name, made famous by Guns ‘n’ Roses frontman Axel Rose is from Scandinavia and should actually be pronounced ‘AHK-sel’. Currently the 15th most popular name in Sweden, it is from the old Biblical name Absalom and developed into Axel through the Old Norse name Ásleikr. The meaning of the name is ‘my father is peace’ and whilst King David may have been peaceful, Absalom certainly wasn’t, conspiring and rebelling against him. Notable for his amazing good looks and abundant hair, Axel is a great masculine name.
Pronounced ‘BOH-dee’, this name is a nod to Buddhism. This word represents the concept of a Buddha and his follower being aware of and understanding the nature of the universe. They experience spiritual awakening by this knowledge and believe in karma. Lord Buddha was even sat under a ficus tree with the name Bodhi when he had his moment of enlightenment.
Any Patrick Swayze fans may remember that his character in the 1991 film ‘Point Break’ was Bodhi, whilst currently, it is becoming more popular for celebrity world children.
With a choice of pronunciations, this name is rising in popularity around the world. Whilst in the US it is more commonly ‘CASH-us’, Europeans tend to say ‘CASS-ee-us’ instead. Most notably the birth name of boxing superstar Muhammed Ali, the name does not have the best of translations. Despite sounding like a Greek god, it actually translates from Latin meaning ‘hollow, vain or narcissistic’. Whilst examples of Cassius can be found right back to Roman times, the name has remained popular throughout history, featuring in Shakespeare’s play ‘Julius Caesar’ and being still in use today. Alternatives include Casseus, Cassio, Casshus and Casius.
Now a common abbreviation for both a famous magazine and a cocktail, you can have your own Cosmo with this stunning name. Translating from the Greek for ‘order, decency and beauty’, this is actually the English form of the popular Italian name Cosimo. In the 18th-century the Duke of Gordon introduced Cosmo to Britain when he named his son after his friend Cosimo III de' Medici.
Cosmo is the Arabian patron saint of doctors and was also revealed as Kramer’s first name in ‘Seinfeld’.
If you’ve got an independent child who just doesn’t like following the rules, then this is the name for you. This name actually has an interesting history, as it is unusually taken from just one man’s actions. In the 19th-century there was an American rancher who refused to brand his calves like the other ranchers did. His surname, Maverick, came to signify men who avoid conforming to the norm.
Of course if you happen to be a fan of Mel Gibson or Tom Cruise then this is also a great reason to use this striking name.
This occupational boy’s name is originally French and means ‘ward or guardian of the forest’. Although this is a job that is still relevant today, this name has never reached the US top 1000 so would make a unique name. Whilst it is rare as a name, the use of the word can be found throughout popular culture in series such as ‘The Lone Ranger’, ‘Walker, Texas Ranger,’ and children’s nature magazine ‘Ranger Rick’. Variations of Ranger include Rainger and Range.
This is a name that just oozes out cool and modern! Dexter, along with its equally trendy short version Dex, is currently at number 447 in the popularity charts, so just rare enough to make people stop and admire it.
It comes from the Greek ‘dexiteros’ and the Latin ‘dexter’, meaning ‘right-handed, fortunate or skilled’. Being dexterous is still a skill that is admired today and suggests someone who is agile and deft.
Famous bearers of this name can be found in all walks of life from sport to music to film and even the founder of Seattle’s first bank.
Another ancient Greek name, Dmitri translates as ‘earth-lover’. This is actually the Slavic version of the Greek name ‘Demetrius’. In Greek mythology Demeter is the Greek goddess of corn and the harvest and sister to Zeus. When her daughter Persephone has to go down to spend time with the god of the underworld she goes with her, and this is the reason that we have winter.
There are a plethora of variations on this name including Demetrios, Dimitrios, Dimitris, Dmytro, Dimitri, Demitri, Dhimitër, and Dimitrije.
Rock ‘n’ roll springs to mind when this name is mentioned and of course if you are a Rolling Stones fan then you may well be considering this name already. However, it is actually an ancient surname, first recorded in Yorkshire in the 14th century. A jagger was a hawker or peddler of goods, from the word ‘jag’, meaning to pack or load. So essentially an early door to door salesman. We can thank the US for taking this surname and turning it into a really cool and modern sounding first name.
Nico is the short form of Nicholas, a name steeped in history, with links to multiple saints and is, of course, the inspiration behind Father Christmas. Nico is most common in Holland, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain but comes from the original Green name Nikolaos. This comes from ‘nike’, meaning ‘victory’ and ‘laos’, meaning ‘people’. Although Nico is predominantly a masculine name, it has been used for girls too and has rapidly increased in popularity over the last 30 years.
This strong masculine name is currently the 32nd most popular in Sweden. It is used widely across Scandinavia and translates as ‘war’. Also spelt ‘Wiggo’, there are two main theories about its origin. It could stem from the Old Norse word ‘vig’, meaning ‘to battle or fight’. Alternatively, it could come from the Icelandic name ‘Vöggur’, coming from old Norse 'vöggr', meaning ‘one who lies in a cradle’.
If you’re still not sure about Viggo, try one of its European variations such as Vígi, the Ancient Scandinavian name, Wiegand, the German version or Vygantas in Lithuanian.
A cool and funky modern name, Zevon makes a great alternative to the increasingly popular Devon and the ancient Evan. Named after the singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, this name is another example of a surname that wants to be a first name. This is a relatively new name, being first recorded in 1892 and since then, the Social Security Administration has recorded only 49 babies born with the first name Zevon in the United States. Zevon is currently way down the popularity list at number 46,920.
This beautifully lyrical name is so gentle that you’ll just want to keep saying it. It is a Welsh name meaning ‘beloved’, which is the perfect sentiment towards your child. Other similar options include Anael, Anwill, Aniol and Anwel. Despite sounding so delightful, this name has yet to make it into the top 2000 US names.
According to name analysis, Anwyll makes a great leader and is very independent. He longs for harmony and balance in his life and enjoys beauty.
This Old English name has been around since Anglo-Saxon times. It has several meanings, firstly as two words ‘here’ and ‘hlaw’ respectively meaning ‘army or troops’ and ‘mound or hill’. Therefore Arlo is a fortified hill. Secondly, it is thought to come from the name ‘Harley’, from the Old English ‘har’, meaning ‘hare’ and ‘ear’ meaning ‘eagle’.
Other variations include Arlow, Arlowe, Arrlo and Harlowe.
Arlo can be found as a character in hits such as the 2015 Pixar film ‘The Good Dinosaur’ and on the television series ‘24’.
In French Campbell, or ‘campo bello’ has the lovely translation of ‘from the beautiful field’, However, this name is really primarily a Scottish surname. The two Gaelic words ‘cam’ and ‘beul’ join together to create a ‘crooked mouth’ or ‘wry mouth’. Whilst this may not sound very flattering at first, you could imagine it as a cheeky nickname for someone who perhaps has a charming or unusual smile. Some people say it refers to someone who lies or makes false promises.
This is an old Latin name meaning ‘from the fortified camp’. Looking at place names, you will find that anywhere ending in -chester was the site of a Roman fort or encampment. As a name it has been in use since the 12th-century.
Whilst Chester was very popular in the late 19th-century, it has declined steadily since and now sits at number 2,515 in the popularity charts. The reason for its popularity may well have been thanks to Chester A. Arthur, who was inaugurated as the 21st President of the United States in 1881.
Along with Huey and Louie this name may well bring to mind Donald Duck’s triplet nephews. But if you can cast aside the images of small ducks, this name is a very beautiful and ancient one. Borne by the 5th-century St Dewi, the patron saint of Wales, this is the anglicized version of the Welsh Dewi. This, in turn, is a nickname for Dafydd, which is the Welsh name for David. All of these names have the lovely translation of ‘beloved’.
This name’s origins go all the way back to the 8th-century BC when the Aemilius family name was very important. Emilio is the Spanish, Portuguese and Italian form of this Roman name. It translates as ‘rival’ and can be pronounced either as ‘e-MEE-lyo’ or ‘e-EMEL-ee-oh’. Whilst this meaning doesn’t sound great, it is actually quite flattering, as an ancient Roman named Mamercus, who is thought to be either the King’s son or that of Pythagoras, first received the name because of the persuasiveness of his language. It is said that no one could rival him.
In Gaelic, this has to be one of the best boys’ names ever as it translates as ‘handsome’. However, if that is a little vain then consider that it also relates to a Scottish place meaning ‘green water’. In the early 20th-century, this name peaked, featuring in the top 100 or just outside it, but it has steadily declined since and was last ranked at number 984. A lovely and therefore rare name, Irving has notable bearers such as the composer Irving Berlin.
Larkin is a variant of Lorcan, which is also related to Laurence. An ancient Irish name, it means ‘silent and fierce’ and was used as a nickname for brave warriors. The Irish surname Ó Lorcáin originates from the Gaelic family of Galway.
Another Victorian favourite, Larkin has been laying low for over 100 years and now sits at number 2,794. Famous bearers include the poet Philip Larkin and the Larkin family in ‘The Darling Buds of May’ TV series.
Sitting at number 549 in the name charts, Rocco has kept a steady interest. This funky name has variations such as Roch, Rocky and Roccuzzo. Originally of German and Italian origin, the name is made up of two parts. ‘Rohon’ means ‘roar or battle cry’, whilst ‘hrok’ means ‘rest or repose’. So whilst these two parts may seem to contradict each other it does result in a very cool and laid back name.
Famous bearers include Saint Rocco, a Christian saint who is specially invoked against the plague.
If you happen to be from the French town of St Maur then this name is literally perfect for you. Seymour was a name given to Normans who moved to England after the conquest of 1066 as a way of identifying where people were from. St Maur himself was a popular medieval saint who rescued a fellow Benedictine monk from drowning by miraculously running across the surface of a lake. With famous bearers such as Jane Seymour, wife of Henry VIII, you might think that this is a popular option, but it has hardly been used for the past 70 years.
Drago is the Italian version of the Latin word ‘draco’. This translates as ‘dragon’. However, it also derives from the Slavic word ‘dorgu’ meaning ‘precious’. So if you have a precious dragon at home this might be the ultimate name that will make all those other moms wish they had named their son by this amazing masculine name.
A notable Drago is from ‘Rocky IV’, the boxing film in which Dolph Lundgren’s character Ivan Drago fights Rocky Balboa. Drago is often used in popular culture as the rather unoriginal name for dragons.
Don’t worry, your child doesn’t have to be half-vampire, half-mortal man who protects the mortal race in order to use this unusual name. It is actually an old English name with the brilliant translation of ‘wealthy glory’. If you are looking for a unique name to charm those other moms then this would be a great choice as it currently sits way down the baby names list at number 6,208. A great alternative to the more common Blake, this name is sure to make the other moms wish they had used it.
References: ohbabynames.com, thinkbabynames.com,
sheknows.com, en.wikipedia.org, britishbabynames.com, nameberry.com,