Original boy names can be tough to come by. A name has to pull off a tough balancing act between being easy on the ear all the while conveying masculinity. Any expectant mama trying to avoid names that every other boy in the hospital has might wind up feeling like the miller's daughter in Rumpelstiltskin (his name was taken, sorry. )
The sad fact is that people are a little less inspired when it comes to boy names, but it doesn't have to be this way. Masculine names can be as beautiful, meaningful and varied as feminine names. One way to get your creative juices flowing is to look at mash-ups of boys' names. Many of the names that go into mash-ups or hybrids are beautiful on their own which expands the names you can pick from by many times. The hybrids are also great on their own, too, and have many of their own advantages.
For one thing, the hybridization tweaks the meaning of any given name, reinforcing something you wish for your son. For another thing, it allows you to honor multiple relatives at one time. You can also continue a naming tradition without condemning your son to answering when someone calls his dad with a hybrid. The following hybrid names have all these benefits, and then some.
The website nancy.com rustled up a baby named Keithrick that was born this year. It is an amalgamation of Keith and Richard, which are both classically masculine names.
The hard ‘k’ ending gives it a good, sturdy feel that always serves little boys well.
If it gets you thinking about naming your son Keith or Richard, you are in luck. Behindthename.com reveals that Keith is from a Scottish surname that used to indicate a place. Probably a woody place, since the name derives from a word for ‘wood.’
People started using it as a given name in the 1800’s. Richard, of course, is familiar from all those kings and explorers with the name. It’s a Germanic name made of the words for ‘power’ and ‘brave.’ Whether you spring for one of the contributory names or the hybrid, your son gets a very masculine name.
The ‘on’ ending in Calton is very trendy right now, with lots of boy names sporting it. However, they all tend to be plays on Jason. It isn’t that Jason isn’t a lovely name; it’s just that the derivatives sound suspiciously similar. If you want that charming ending but want to get a bit further off the beaten path, the blend of Caleb and Colton is pleasant. Actually, there is also an original name with this spelling, too.
According to nameberry.com, Calton is a Latin name that comes from a word that means ‘calf farm.’ Presumably, the first name bearer owned some cows. If you want to use it as a hybrid name, your name will have a great meaning. Colton is one of the English place names, meaning ‘Cole’s town.’ Caleb, of course, is one of those ubiquitous Biblical names: he was one of two Moses’s companions allowed to see the Holy Land, whose name probably meant ‘loyal’ or ‘heart.’ Calton is the naming gift that keeps on giving.
Garren has a classic ring to it, even though it is brand spanking new. This antique feel may be from the fact that it rhymes (and is probably derived from) Darren. This name became popular in the 1950’s because it was the name of an actor by that name. Darren may be derived from an Irish name or an English spelling of the French surname d’Airelle.
So, where does the Gar part in Garren come from? According to nameberry.com, it might be from Gary, a name as classy as the actor Gary Cooper. The name comes from the Germanic name element that means ‘spear.’ You may recognize this element from names such as Garret and Garth.
But let’s face it: the ‘n’ ending is sweeter in the ear.
So using Garren would give your son a name that ultimately means ‘spear’ and still sounds chill.
There is something masculine about a name that starts with a ‘k,’ and, indeed, Kyler has a very masculine aura. According to nameberry.com, it is a Dutch name that means ‘archer.’ Between you and me, though, Kyler started to appear right after the names Tyler and Kyle started to wane in popularity.
You can imagine prospective moms being enamored with both names, but wanting her their sons to stick out from the crowd.
Tyler is, of course, an English occupation name for a guy who slaps tiles on roofs. Kyle is a Scottish name derived from the word for ‘narrows, channel or strait,’ as in the English Channel or the Straits of Gibralter. Kyler is in the top 300 names now, which gives it enough of a familiar ring to appease the traditionalists, but unusual enough to spare your son from going through life as Kyler B or Kyler Jr.
Tevin became a relatively popular name back in the 1990’s, but has been losing ground since 2000. This is too bad. It derives from Devon, a currently popular for boys. According to behindthename.com, Devon is an English place name which you may recognize from famed Devonshire.
Adding a ‘t’ makes it sound like a slightly more masculine Tobiah, a Hebrew name that means ‘Yahweh is good.’
It certainly charmed the parents of the singer Tevin Campbell.
Nameberry.com points out that this name frequently gets put on lists of invented names, but that isn’t really a stigma. After all, all names are invented at some point. This alternate spelling is a relatively safe level of invention for names. Devon is a very common name, but Tevin is exotic enough to let your son shine.
Nature names are always welcoming, and Laiken fills this bill. According to thinkbabynames.com, Laiken is the male variant of Lake. It can also be viewed as a combination of lichen and lake. Believe it or not, calling a boy Lake has historical precedence. It became common in the 1890’s, and the derivative Laiken entered the top 2000 names about 7 years ago.
Disneybaby.com points out that this is a relatively subtle nature name, and, while you could call it made up, it has a modern feel to it. It might be the ‘n’ ending which makes it feel a little bit like today’s favorite names. You know what else is good about Laiken? It lends itself to nicknames such as Ken, Lay, and Laky. A little boy can always do with a surplus of nicknames to pick from.
Nashton has a very Southern feel. Maybe because it sounds a little like the city of Nashville, it rings with down-home glamour. According to disneybaby.com, it is more likely a combination of Nash and Ashton. Behindthename.com reveals that Ashton is an English place name that means ‘ash tree town.’
Oddly, Nash is also from England. It is from the Middle English phrase ‘atten ash,’ which means ‘at the ash tree.’
Putting the meanings together, Nashton can be translated as ‘at the ash tree town.’ Both Nash and Ashton are on the upswing in popularity, with Nash ranking at 286 in 2016 and Ashton coming in at 133 in the same year. It’s fairly popular in other English-speaking nations as well, especially in New Zealand and Australia. This thoroughly English history and meaning gives Nashton an old-time feel with a modern feel.
Kyba is definitely a new name. It doesn’t even register on the Social Security Administration’s rolls, according to names.org. There probably are less than 5 boys with the name born every year. It is derived from Kobe, which has multiple sources. There is a Dutch, English and Polish name that is a diminutive of Jacob. It is a pretty cute nickname for a little boy, you have to admit. Kyba is also pretty cute.
Kyba is similar to Kai, which is pretty popular as a name now. You can use Kai as a shortened name in informal situations and use Kyba in more formal settings. This makes the name a bit more flexible as well as being unusual enough for your son to always be the only Kyba in the room.
Zabe follows the general rule that mashing up names that start with a 'z' gives you manly and exotic names. This one is a hybrid of Gabe and Zane, both very sturdy boyish names. Zane, according to behindthename.com, has a mysterious origin. The first time that Zane was used as a first name that they could find was the American author Zane Grey, and it was a surname before that. In fact, it was his mother’s maiden name, and she gave it to him as a middle name.
Gabe is the shortened version of Gabriel, the name of the archangel in the Old and New Testament.
It’s a Hebrew name that means ‘man of God.’
Even if you aren’t of a religious bent, Zabe has certain attractions: it’s easy to spell and pronounce, while still letting your son be the only one with this name in his class.
Zephraim is a spiced up version of Ephraim. It has an old-fashioned look and feel, and very traditional origin. According to behindthename.com, it comes from the Bible. Efrayim was the son of Joseph and Asenath. He was also a founder of one of the 12 tribes of Israel, so it is fitting that the name means ‘fruitful.’ Founding a tribe is a very fruitful thing to do.
With this fine background, it is a classic. It is 884 on the name charts. Zephraim is also related to Zephyrus. Zephyrus is a Greek name that refers to the wind. You can think of Zephraim as Ephraim plus Zephyrus so the name can be translated as ‘fruitful wind.’ Of course, you can also think of the name as a good way to make sure your little boy stands out in his classroom.
Toben is another name with a great traditional feel. According to disneybaby.com, the name spelled with an ‘I’ is a classic from Biblical times. Tobin is a version of Tobiah, a Hebrew name that means ‘God is good.’ It showed up in the apocryphal books of the Bible, the Book of Nehemiah and the Book of Tobit. Tobias became popular as a name after the Protestant Reformation, and Tobin became popular enough to enter the top 100 names in the 1970’s.
The new spelling is from putting together Tom and Ben, two favorite names for fine upstanding young men like your son.
Both of them are Biblical names: Benjamin founded one of the 12 tribes, and Thomas was an apostle. Considering that the sound-alike name is also from the Bible, it is pretty fitting.
Graylee is more of a gender-neutral name. Children of both sexes can go by both Grey and Lee, so if you have avoided finding out the sex of your child or prefer gender-neutral names, Greylee might be for you. According to behindthename.com, Grey is one of those descriptive English names which refers to someone with gray hair or clothes and was originally used as a last name. Lee is another English name, but this is a place name.
It’s based on an Old English word that means ‘clearing.’ Grey is ranked 758 on the name charts and Lee ranked 667 on the name charts. This makes Greylee a particularly comfortable name for anybody, let alone a little boy. Both names are familiar but not trendy, so you don’t sound like you are riding on the coattails of a popular name.
Wendon is pretty sweet. You can nickname your boy with the name Wen or Don. According to disneybaby.com, it is an amalgamation of Wendell and Donald.
Despite the weedy sound of Wendell, it is derived from a Germanic name that means ‘a Vandal,’ as in the tribe that sacked Rome. Donald is a Gaelic name that means ‘ruler of the world.’
It became popular throughout the English-speaking world early in the 20th century, but you don’t see either Wendell or Donald in young men these days.
If you feel like a hybrid of conquering tribes and world rulers isn’t quite what you want for your son, you can claim Wendon is a variant spelling of Winton, which is an Old English name that means ‘enclosure belonging to a friend.’ Whether you go the variant spelling route or the hybridization of the name, Wendon is a great fit for any little boy.
There is no point in combining two names to make one name if you can’t completely remake them into something special. This is what the name Penley really represents. According to disneybaby.com, it is made of Penelope and Henry. Henry comes from the Germanic name Heimrich, which means ‘home ruler.’ It was an incredibly common name starting from the Middle Ages. Penelope is a Greek name that might come from the duck or the words for threads and face. Penley is also the name of a village in Wales that was founded as early as 1538.
Penley is also an English name that means ‘enclosed meadow.’ It can be used for either gender, and it really deserves a revival. It’s old, full of Ye Olde English charm, and easily shortened down to Pen.
Jameson was an English surname that has been gaining popularity as a given name. In fact, behindthename.com reveals that it was 128 on the popularity charts. It’s one of the many names that simply reveals ancestry: it means ‘son of James.’ I know that is pretty self-explanatory. Disneybaby.com claims that
the name can be a mix between James and Nelson. James is an interesting name on its own: it went from being the New Testament Hebrew name that meant Jacob, got translated into Greek and then into Late Latin.
Then the name got translated into English, becoming a very popular name starting the 13th century. However you want to explain the source of the name, Jameson is the classic name taken to the next level. It will be as extra as your son.
Tayson has the advantage of the ‘son’ ending that is inherently masculine and sweet at once. According to disneybaby.com, this name is made of Taylor and Jackson. Taylor is yet another English occupation name that is all the rage these days. I’m not sure how verbs got to be popular names, but Taylor is certainly charming on its own. And Jackson is in the tradition of the last name as first name, and it is incredibly popular on its own. It was rated 17 on the name charts in 2016 in the United States, and the other English speaking countries are equally enamored of it.
The combination of the two popular names creates one original name, unusual enough to make your son memorable and familiar enough to make everyone comfortable. You can always shorten it down to Taze when you feel like teasing your boy.
If there is one thing that sounds thoroughly male, it is the mash-up of Kenneth and Andrew, Kendrew. According to behindthename.com, Kenneth is an Anglicized version of both Coinneach and Cinaed (trust the Gaels to create unpronounceable names.) Coinneach is from the word for handsome. Cinead meant ‘born in fire.’ Kenneth was first introduced to the English-speaking world in 1823 through a book by Sir Walter Scott.
This makes Ken a great name for any boy. Andrew is a Greek name that means ‘manly,’ so it is another name suited for any boy.
A lot of parents agree and explains why it was ranked 34 on the name charts. Both Ken and Drew are also popular names on their own, and they give your son ready, easily remembered nicknames to use when he just wants to relax.
Deluke is a name that sounds like a French aristocrat’s family name. It’s the ‘De’ beginning. It’s familiar from d’Artagnan and d’Arielle. Despite the French feel, Deluke is a very modern American name. Disneybaby.com calls it a mash-up of Devon and Luke.
If it is a hybrid of the two names, it is another example of two popular names making a charming new name.
The good thing about using the name is that, despite Devon being ranked 572 and Luke coming in at 29 on the name charts, Deluke would be a 100% new name. Crazily, both of the names that Deluke is made up from place and family names. Luke comes from a Greek name that means ‘from Lucania.’ Devon comes from the English surname ‘divine’ and the Irish surname O’ Dubhain.
The ‘son’ ending is once again on display with Anson. It’s a beautiful, sweet name that is easy for all users. It’s got a traditional feeling to it, and it is rare enough for anyone looking for something that would stand out in a classroom or boardroom. What does it mean, though? There are 3 or 4 possibilities.
According to nameberry.com, it means ‘son of Anne.’ Behindthename.com gives the meaning as ‘son of Agnes.’
A quick Google search also brings up the aristocratic English family with a truckload of knights, viscounts, baronets, and bishops to their name. Any way you slice it, Anson is a surname being used as a first name, not a mash-up of Andrew and Mason, like disneybaby.com thinks it is. It is ranked 2942 on the name charts this year.
There is something magical the name Jamus. It sounds a bit like Magnus and Janus, both names of supernatural critters. In fact, Janus is a triple-headed god. James is a classic Biblical name on its own, so spicing it up by mashing it with Angus is like adding a dollop of peppers to a favorite dish. Disneybaby.com points out that Angus is a fine name on its own.
There was an Angus McBadger in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. According to behindthename.com, Angus probably is from the Gaelic name, Aoghus, that means ‘one strength or power.’ Jamus has some other benefits. The name can be shortened to Jamie while your son is young, and the full name will look impressive on official paperwork when he is an adult.
If you are a fan of short names, Dex may be the finest name for you. Disneybaby.com calls it a conglomeration of Dale from Chip ‘n’ Dale and Rex from Toy Story. Rex famously means king in Latin, and everyone thinks their small fry deserves to be royalty.
Dale is an Old English word for valley and is generally used as a surname. So it is another name that indicates where a family came from.
Neither of the names is particularly common.
Dale is 1188 on the popular name charts and Rex is practically too far down the list too even register. This name will be easy for everyone as well as very cute on your baby. It will also ensure that the substitute teacher will call on your son early during roll call. That can save a lot of time for your kid.
Blakely is a cuter version of the aristocratic Blake. Disneybaby.com thinks it is a mixture of Blake and Lyle. Blake is a former surname, and it is an Old English variation on Black. Lyle is another place name. It is derived from the Norman French l’isle. Blakely can also be seen as a variant on Blakesley. That is a name you don’t hear very often: it is ranked 28,650 on the name charts.
The lack of popularity may come from the excess of syllables in Blakesley, but definitely not from the meaning. It derives from the name of a town in Northampton that means ‘Black wolf’s meadow’ or ‘bleacwulf’s meadow’ in Old English. Blakely is considerably easier on the ears and fits better on official documents. You son would fit Blakely perfectly.
Beck is like Dex in its short, strong sound. It is popular in Germany, where it the 59th most popular name. In fact, according to behindthename.com, Beck is a sound-alike of Bach. The name means ‘stream,’ and comes from a last name.
It could also be a shortened version of Bekker, a German name that means Baker, or an Old English occupation name, Becca, that means pickaxe.
Regardless of the meaning and the source, Beck is a pretty name. It has been used as a girl’s name, too, as a Hebrew name that means ‘captivating.’
It’s not a particularly popular name here in the US. It is a 2099th among boy’s names in this country. This can be a good thing for your boy as he will definitely never have to share his name with other people of his name. Unlike a lot of names that are unusual, Beck is easy, if not obvious, for people to pronounce and spell.
Disneybaby.com may think that Archer is a mix of Archimedes and Oliver, but behindthename.com lists Archer as an English last name that is being used as a first name. It is an occupation name of Old French origin. Now, it might sound fresh and modern, but it has a long history. It was actually a relatively common name in 1889, and then it more or less disappeared from the rolls of common names.
It leaped back to the top 1000 most popular names in 2009. It has a history in media, especially as the titular character of the cartoon and as the name of Dr. Doolittle’s father, which might explain the surge in popularity. Of course, an Archer can be called Archie as a nickname. Nothing gives a little boy a kick start in life like a recognizable nickname.
Slaton has a refined air for your young gentleman. The aura might come from the ‘ton’ ending, which normally indicates a name originating from a place. Sure enough, names.org reveals that Slaton is an English name that means ‘from the valley farm.’
It is not a particularly common name as a moniker, but it frequently shows up as a surname.
Yes, it’s another name that comes from a family’s place of origin. There are probably dozens of English families whose started out as farmers in a valley somewhere in the many shires the green isle. Using it as a first name gives you the advantage of having a name that no one will have to share without giving your son a mouthful of a name that no one can pronounce.
Sometimes, all that you need to make a too-common name special is to switch one letter. That is the source of Kade, a beautiful name that is a variant on Cade. This name comes from an Old English nickname that means ‘round.’ Cade became a last name, probably for the descendants of a particularly chubby parent. Americans are rather fond of the name as a first name and it was ranked 408 on the name charts in 2016.
Spelling the name with a ‘k’ makes it slightly less common: Kade is 411th in the popularity race as far as names go. Disneybaby.com thinks it is a hybridization of Kanga and Slade (from Amos Slade in The Fox & The Hound, but appeared in the top 1000 names on the Social Security Administration rolls in 1988. That is about 7 years late for the name to be inspired by The Fox and The Hound.
Ryatt is a genuine hybrid. Nancy.cc points out that it is composed of Ryan and Wyatt. Ryan comes from the Irish surname O Riain (unpronounceable Gaelic name strikes again.) Ri was the Gaelic word for king, so the surname probably meant ‘little king.’ You will probably agree that your son is a little king.
Wyatt was an originally an English given name, Wigheard, which means ‘battle brave.’
Wigheard became Wyot, which would eventually come to be spelled as Wyatt. It became an English surname after the Middle Ages, but then it got used as a first name again, like Wyatt Earp. Ryatt is a trendy-sounding name, but there are less than 5 Ryatts in this world, so your son can be a trendsetter with that name. Plus, it translates as ‘king brave.’
Fredarius feels Greek but is definitely a recent American invention. Nancy.cc found this name on the list that the Social Security Administration compiled from the baby’s born this year. There may be only one Fredarius in the world currently, but the name could catch on. Behindthename.com says that Darius is the Greek version of the famous Persian king. Darius translates as ‘possessing goodness,’ which is always a nice thing to say about your son.
Frederick is a more traditional name that stems from the Germanic words for peace and ruler or power. This means that the name can be interpreted as meaning ‘peaceful ruler that possesses goodness.’ That’s a great way to describe a boy, you have to admit. This pretty name may catch on with such a great meaning and sound.
Jonovan is as sweet as a perfume but sturdy as a rock. It is a combination of Jonathan and Donovan, taking names that sound a little alike but have very different origins. Behindthename.com says that Jonathan is a Hebrew name that means ‘God has given.’ The original Jonathan played a part in the Old Testament, but his name didn’t become popular in the West until after the Protestant Reformation. Donovan is from Ireland. It was a surname derived from Ó Donndubh in.
Hilariously, this family name literally means ‘descendant of Donndbhán.’ In other words, Donovan is a first name that is from a last name that derives from a first name.
The inception ends with Donndbhan, which means ‘dark brown.’ Regardless of the tortured origins of the names, Jonovan is a beautiful name with a self-explanatory spelling. Few things get better.
Timarcus is another name that nancy.cc collected from the Social Security Administration rolls from this year. It is an amalgamation of Timothy and Marcus. According to behindthename.com, Timothy comes from the Greek name Timotheos, which means ‘honoring God.’ The most famous Timothy was an associate of St Paul, but it wasn’t a common name until after the Protestant Reformation.
That seems to be a common fate for more obscure biblical names. Marcus is an archetypal Latin name that comes from the Roman god of war. The English form is Mark. If you give your son this name, not only will he have a stand-out special creation for his name, he will have a very sweet meaning name. The important part though would be that you can call your son Timmy. It’s the best nickname for a little boy.