The search for baby boy names is daunting. Each time I found out I was pregnant with a boy I almost dreaded the name search. It seemed more difficult to find a unique and rare, but not weird or bizarre name that wasn't already taken by so many parents I knew. We had a long list of baby girl names, but our boy name list usually only consisted of two or three solid name choices.
Parents pioneering the world of baby boy names know exactly what a task it is. Baby naming is an adventure and parents have so many categories they can choose from. Some like nature names while others like Bible names. Some brave new mom and dads prefer something quirky and odd. Others want something super traditional and classic.
Finding that perfect baby name is tough, but can also be fun. We've put together a list that can help! For baby boy name seeking parents, this list contains some of our favorite names. These are both visually appealing and flow off the tongue. Some are new takes on old classics and some are modern inventions, but all deserve a look!
For parents who are looking for something different than the usual David, Matthew, John style names, this list is full of them! Enjoy a wide variety of ancient and new names that parents are sure to love. Grab a pen and paper and jot these ones down!
Phoenix is a super cool name that hipster parents love. It almost does the impossible by putting a name with a bad boy vibe into a category of nature and bird names.
Phoenix is Greek for "dark red." Phoenix has been a favorite of celebrities and is now on the rise in the real world too. It has broken into the top 300 and now sits at #292 and will probably only be seen getting closer and closer to the top 100.
Phoenix can also be spelled Pheonix. Names containing an "x" are difficult to find, making Phoenix rare. It is often used as a surname, like in the case of River and Joaquin Phoenix.
In ancient and medieval literature, The Phoenix is a long-lived bird that is regenerated, or born again, making this name choice immortal as well. I'm confident it will live long in the top baby names, just as the bird did!
Wilder was one of my favorite choices for our second baby boy, I just couldn't convince my husband to choose a name that was less traditional. It's so unique, but has a distinct sophistication and adventure about it.
Wilder is traditionally a surname, but is slowly being chosen more often as a first name. It's familiar name bearers include Gene Wilder, Laura Ingalls Wilder and the first African America to be elected Governor of Virginia, Douglas Wilder.
Wilder is German for "hunter." It got a slight boost in popularity when Goldie Hawn's son, Oliver, chose it for his son. It entered the top 1000 in 2015 and is currently ranked #723.
For parents brave enough to snag a name that is uncommon, and willing to hear their baby is "wilder than...", this name is perfect!
Skyler is a unisex name that used to be more common for girls, but has recently been favored more for boys. The spelling Skylar is becoming more popular as the feminine form.
Skyler is a spelling variation of the Dutch name Schuyler meaning "scholar." The Dutch version of this name was brought to the American colonies in the 17th century by settlers arriving in New York.
The original Dutch spelling of the name does offer a slightly more masculine appeal than the Americanized one. The American version didn't come into being until the 1980s. It's beginning to be recognized by celebrities, especially since Rachel Zoe named her son Skyler in 2011.
Skyler is a light and airy name with a cheerful appeal that parents are beginning to catch on to. It also has a hipster cool kid vibe that will be difficult to match.
This Irish moniker is also a favorite of celebrities and has been on the rise since 2000. It is currently ranked #175 in the U.S. and is seeing some huge success internationally as well.
The name Finn is Irish meaning "fair or white." It was derived from an old Irish myth based on the great warrior and hero, Finn MacCool. He was said to have superpowers and was well known for his wisdom and generosity.
Finn was a key character in the hit tv show Glee. It has also recently been chosen by celebrities like Christy Turlington and Ed Burns and Jana Leeves and Autumn Reeser.
Finn has several possible variations to make it even more unique like Fynn, Finlay, Finley, Finnian, Finnegan and Finnigan. No matter its chosen spelling or variation, you can't go wrong with this adorable boy name!
Canaan, pronounced KAY-nan, has been gaining some serious popularity for baby boys. It is actually a Biblical place name that just started being taken more seriously as a first name in the last few years.
It began a spree and broke into the top 1000 baby boy names in 2015. Just last year it was ranked #667. Canaan offers parents looking for a Bible name or just a name with an ancient feel a more modern appeal than the traditional names in that category.
Canaan was the first son of Ham, who was the son of Noah. It was later given to the country Canaan that he gave his name to. The name is said to mean "the low lands."
Canaan has been on the rise and is being loved by modern parents. I know we haven't heard the last of this baby boy name!
Matteo is the Italian version of the traditional Bible name Matthew. Matteo is far less used an adds way more cuteness to the old-fashioned name.
Both Matthew and Matteo mean "gift of God." This Italian variation is heading further and further toward the top 100. The Spanish version "Mateo" is already there at #59. Both spellings have been chosen by several celebrities. Colin Firth and Ricky Martin chose the Italian version for their sons, while Tom Colicchio and Benjamin Bratt and Talisa Soto chose the Spanish spelling for theirs.
Matteo is currently ranked #5 in Italy and Mateo is #18 in Spain. Both names will most likely continue to climb the charts in the U.S. and try to catch their brother, Matthew. It's a race that we can't wait to see who wins!
This seasonal name is perfect for a little guy born in August, but definitely is not limited to the month. August is becoming one of the top baby names and has been getting recent love from celebrities as well.
August is the German form of the name Augustus meaning "great, magnificent." The month of August, where the name came from, got its name from the Emperor Augustus.
August has been chosen by celebrities like Mariksa Hargitay, Lena Olin, Dave Matthews and Jeannen Tripplehorn for their sons. Garth Brooks recently chose August for his daughter.
August is currently ranked #193 after it went back and forth between the 5 and 600s for almost a couple decades. I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing it hit the top 100 in the next couple of years!
Zane is one of those names that at first you might not love, but after you say it a few times you realize how cute it really is. Zane has pretty much held a place in the top 1000 baby names since the beginning of last century, but it has just recently made it to the top 250, with high chances that it will keep climbing.
Zane's origin is unknown, but it is possibly a variation of John meaning "God is gracious." The novelist Zane Grey's real name was Pearl, he changed his name to Zane, and we can definitely understand why. He was the grandson of the founder of Zane, Ohio, Ebenezer Zane.
The alternate spelling Zayn, is the Arabic version of the name, and is also beginning to gain a ton of popularity. Either spelling you chose, this moniker doesn't lack in masculinity, and also brings a sort of old western appeal.
Beckett is another name with a great literary sound that parents are beginning to love. This name has become a true hit as it recently reached #213 on baby name charts. It only broke into the top 1000 in 2006, which makes this one seemingly on a race to the top of the charts.
Beckett is Irish and English for "bee cottage." This is definitely one of the stranger baby name meanings I have come across, but it makes Beckett more interesting. It's a strong sophisticated name that celebrities are loving.
It's been used by Melissa Ethridge Conan O'Brien, Stella McCartney, Malcolm McDowell, Nicole Sullivan, and Natalie Maines. The celebrity trend began in 1998, and helped Beckett continue to climb the charts. This decade has been its most successful in history, and we can expect to see it continue to head toward the top 100.
Eli is a short sweet and strong name that parents have been loving since Bible days. Eli has been exploring uncharted territory as it hit the top 100 baby names in 2009 and made it all the way to #52 last year.
Eli is a Hebrew Bible that means "ascended, uplifted, high." Eli in the Old Testament was trained the prophet, Samuel. He was the last priest and judge of Israel. Eli has managed to stand well on its own, but it could also be used as a nickname for Elijah or Elias.
It's recently been chosen by celebrities like Coby Bell, Campbell Brown, Stephanie Meyer and Rachel Dratch. With such a strong celebrity liking, Eli might just continue to climb up the charts and head toward the top ten.
If we can move past the Forest Gump image, and focus on the really cool vibes Forrest has, this name might begin a new trend!
The spelling that Forrest Whitaker's parents chose for this name was a trending name up until about 2003. After the movie Forest Gump came out it declined pretty rapidly up until 2013. It began another climb up the charts after that and finally hit #633 last year.
Forest is English for "dweller near the woods." This name is perfect for parents loving the nature and more whimsical baby name trend. There is nothing more outdoorsy and adventurous sounding than the name Forrest.
A couple other name bearers include newsanchor Forrest Sawyer, and football hall of famer Forrest Gregg. Forrest is a pretty cool name that has slightly been ruined by the idea of everyone yelling at your kid to "run, Forest, run."
Riley is a unisex name that is beginning to get a little more attention on the boy's side. Though in the past this was not the case. Riley has moved up to the #225 spot for boys, while it is in the top 40 for girls.
This moniker is Irish for "courageous." It's been used for male characters in movies like Twilight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's been chosen by actress Holly Marie Combs, athlete Tony Hawk, and actress Rebecca Ann Liberty Herbst for their sons.
Riley can also be spelled Ryleigh, but that definitely feminizes the name. Let's keep that variation for the girls and maybe try Rylee if a spelling alternative is needed. Riley is definitely one of our favorite baby boy names!
Jaden is a name that I first thought was a modern invention, but it is actually a spelling variation of a Biblical name that never really received much attention until now.
Jaden is an alternate spelling of the name Jadon, which is Hebrew for "God has heard." This moniker entered the top 500 in 1997 and quickly moved inside the top 100 not long after. However, it has dropped off slightly to #219.
Jaden is perfect for parents who like Bible names but don't want to choose an overused one, and also don't want anything to bizarre sounding. Jaden can also be spelled Jaiden, Jayden or Jaidan, though most of these spellings aren't even in the top 500. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith chose the spelling Jaden for their son.
This is another name that has been taken over by the girls, but we love it more for the boys! Bailey has moved to #116 for baby girls. It began to catch on as a first name when it was used in the tv show, WKRP in Cincinnati in 1978.
While on the boys side it has dropped from #151 in 1997 almost directly down to ##995 by 2010. It isn't even in the top 1000 anymore! I don't know what the cause of the huge decent on the charts was, but parents have really seemed to shove this one to the side.
Bailey is an English occupational name for "law enforcer, or bailiff", which made it more of a masculine name in the olden days since only men were allowed to work in that profession. Today, however, it's the perfect unisex name that suits either gender well.
Huxley is one of those rare names with an "x" that gives it an interesting appeal to parents. It's definitely one of the fastest rising baby names of the year. It entered the top 1000 in 2015, and hit #867 last year.
Huxley is an English surname that means "inhospitable place." Huxley is of Norse origin and is extremely popular in the U.K. Science fiction author and writer of A Brave New World, Aldous Huxley, is probably the most notable name bearer.
Huxley is a strong and masculine name. The nicknames Hux and Huck can be used for Huxley, but it can also stand alone. Celebrities haven't jumped on the Huxley train yet. but I'm sure they will join shortly. For now, we will leave Huxley to those parents in the real world who are looking for a name that is cool and macho.
Thorn is a variation of the name Thorne which means what you're thinking, "thorn, or thicket." This outdoorsy nature name encompasses most, if not all, of what parents having a baby boy are looking for in a name!
Thorn is a Swedish name and is extremely popular in Scandinavia. It was historically used as a surname for someone who lived by a thorn bush or hedge row. The English version was originally spelled Torne and used in Yorkshire. It was recorded first in the Doomsday Book of 1086.
Thorn has a deep rooted history that parents may find interesting. It also has a super strong and masculine sound. Thorn will most likely appeal to parents looking for something a little more out of the ordinary. It's definitely a rare baby boy name, but also one of the best we've heard!
Rhys is another name that is on the rise this decade. Rhys is the traditional Welsh spelling of the name Reese that we are loving! This shorter spelling definitely looks more masculine than the English version.
Rhys is a mega hit in Wales, but it's also doing well in England, Scotland and Ireland as well. Joey MCintyre, former New Kid on the Block named his son Rhys, along with reality tv stars J.P. Rosenbaum and Ashley Hebert.
Rhys is an old name that was famous throughout Welsh history. This old Celtic name means "ardor" and was more often used for a surname. The name was translated by the Anglicans as Reese and Reece, which today may be more popular for girls.
We love the Welsh version of this strong name! This moniker is currently #494, but we can expect it to keep climbing the charts in the future!
This French occupational name has been climbing to the top of the charts since 1999. It has finally hit #422, and can be expected to keep heading to the top ten. In the early 1900s Porter was in the top 500 names, but slid past 1000 around 1944. It stayed there until 1999 when it began its climb to the low 400s, where it sits today.
Though Porter originated as the French occupational name portier, it is now a common English given name and surname name first recorded in the year 1086 at Winchester Castle.
This deep rooted English name is Latin for "gatekeeper." It was probably used for someone who was the gatekeeper at a large estate back then, but today it's turning into a hit as a first name for parents in the U.S.
I love this name, mostly because Gladiator is one of my favorite movies of all time. Russell Crowe's character, Maximus Decimus Meridius, is one of the best bearers of the name! It was during the year of the release of the film in 2000 that this moniker popped up on baby name charts.
Maximus is, of course, Latin for "greatest." It was used in Roman times as a title of honor given to powerful and successful military commanders. It eventually became a given name, and is now one of the fastest rising baby boy names of the last two decades.
If course for parents who choose Maximus as a first name can always shorten it up a bit and use the nickname Max, which has also received a lot of love from parents in the past few years.
Ryker is an ultra cool hipster style name that parents are loving these days. This German moniker has risen to the #149 spot this past year. This one is a slow and steady wins the race type of name. It has been creeping up the charts gradually since 2004.
Ryker is a variant of the German surname Riker, which means "rich." Though Ryker is of Dutch or origin, it is more often used as a first name in English speaking countries. The spelling variation Riker was used for a commander on Star Trek, which may be part of the reason it started to gain some popularity.
Ryker is one of the top trending names in the baby boy category. It may sound relatively unique now, but it probably won't be for long. Parents are loving this one and we do too!
Gunner is another popular Scandinavian name that parents in the States are loving! Gunner is an extremely macho name that dad's will definitely be into. It's a strong and solid name that has an old fashioned and classic kind of feel. Vintage names are a insanely popular right now so this one will definitely be a hit!
Gunner is the Scandinavian variation of the German name Gunther, which is also super cute. Gunther means "bold warrior" and is currently ranked #250 in the U.S. Parents are also loving the spelling Gunnar to soften it up a little bit.
Gunner is doing so well with parents that the variations Gunnar or Gunther might be the better option if you're looking for something more rare. However, for parents looking for an uber masculine and militant type of name, stick with Gunner!
Blaze is the newer and cooler variation of the name Blaise. However, we love both spellings of this name! Each one has so much to offer and checks off the boxes of several different name categories.
Blaze is Latin for "one who stutters." Blaise is actually an old Christian martyrs name. It was also the name of Merlin's secretary in the legend of King Arthur. Blaise is a deep rooted name that is seen throughout history, however, Blaze makes it slightly more rare.
Blaze is an ancient name, but can also be considered a color name and a seasonal name as it definitely has a fiery feel. Blaise was the name of the saint of wild animals and those with sore throats. Blaise Pascal was a 17th century mathematician and physicist.
"Q" names are super rare, but Quinton has been underappreciated these past few years! Quinton, Quenton, and Quentin and any other spelling variation of this name are on our list of favorites!
Quinton is English for "queen's manor." Though this moniker is still relatively appealing to parents, it has definitely been slipping. It is currently ranked #594 on baby name charts. Its most popular year was in 1990 when it reached #297. Quinton remains popular in places like Ireland, the U.K and France.
Parents could always opt for the nickname Quinn as a first name as well. Quinn makes an adorable girls name too. Though, I think Quinton is definitely the more masculine choice. For parents who prefer the spellings Quentin or Quenton, these are more offbeat choices, but is doing slightly better in the polls.
We love this Italian baby name! Enzo is seeing huge success as it climbed up to the #309 spot in 2016. It's beginning to make some waves internationally as well. It's also mega popular in France and Italy.
Enzo is a short form for Lorenzo and Vincenzo and the Italian variation of the name Henry, which means "estate ruler." One of the most famous name bearers was the founder of the luxury car brand, Ferrari, Enzo Ferrari. Enzo has also recently been chosen by celebrities like Annabeth Gish and Patricia Arquette for their sons.
Enzo is beginning to get a lot of love internationally. Names with the letter "z" are hard to find. Enzo not only has that going for it, but it's also short exotic, which gives it a multi-cultural appeal to parents.
Jameson screams class and pedigree. There is an undeniable sophistication, yet strength about this one. This moniker has been considered unisex, but definitely favors the boys side. It can also be spelled Jamison, which has been climbing up the charts too.
Jameson English for "son of James." James is an extremely classic Bible name that still gets a lot of hits from parents, but Jameson makes it a little more unique and contemporary. This name would be perfect to literally use for the the son of a daddy named James!
Jameson is currently ranked #128 on baby name charts. It broke into the top 150 in 2015 and will likely either continue to move up or stay near the top 100 for the next few years. This one is appealing to parents who love a strong old fashioned name, but don't want one that is overused. It's a great twist on a classic!
If we all haven't heard enough of the much loved name Aiden, than let's pick Zayden instead! Zayden is a visually appealing rare "z" name that has leaped up the charts to #185.
This moniker is one of those modern made up names, that I am honestly not usually a fan of. However, Zayden has so much going for it that I can't help but join in on the love for this one. If you don't mind that the name doesn't even have a meaning, than this guy might just be for you!
Trendy hipster parents have been adoring this name since 2006, when it entered the top 1000 names. Since then it has just been on a steady climb to the top. I love the alternative spelling Zaiden too, however, it feels a little too close to Aiden.
Harry Potter's nemesis, Draco Lucius Malfoy, might be to blame for the negativity that this name may receive, but if it wasn't for that, Draco would be getting some seriously high ratings.
Draco is Greek from Latin and means "dragon." It does have a bit of a Dracula feel, but maybe using the double "c" or "ck" variations would be more visually appealing. This name is definitely for the brave parent searching for something modern and different. It's not for parents looking for something traditional.
Draco is popular in countries like Slovania, Croatia, Italia and Macedonia. However, in the U.S. it is not even ranked. It was chosen by famous singer/songwriter Danica McKellar in 2010 for her son. Though this wasn't enough to give the name much of celebrity boost, we think Draco will start to catch on!
The other day I heard a mom call for her son Cash and I knew this kid was going to be super cool. He was. This name is definitely the name of a cool kid. It's a top trending name that's gaining a lot of momentum up the baby name chart.
Cash is currently ranked #253. Several celebrities have chosen it recently like Annabeth Gish, newscasters Courtney Friel and Carter Evans, Joshua Morrow, John Rich and Chris Powell. This may be the reason for the huge boost in popularity that Cash has been getting.
Cash is a word name, but it can also be considered a diminutive of Cassius. It's meaning is "hollow." This name will most likely continue to climb up the charts, especially if celebrities keep choosing it.
Dean has been the name of some seriously suave men in Hollywood. Dean (Dino) Martin and James Dean, Dean Foster and Dean McDermott just to name a few.
Dean is English for "church official." It originated from the Greek word monk. Dean's begun a climb up the charts as it did in Dean Martin's day. It is currently ranked #205 after a decline to the high 300s since the 1990s. Dean was chosen by professional athlete Jennie Finch, actress Bree Nicole Turner and model Anansa Sims.
Dean is one of those names that is strong, despite how short in length it is. Parents also love this name as a middle name. To make it a little different it can also be spelled Deen or Deane. Whichever spelling you choose, Dean is a solid choice that we love!
Ronan is a super strong and masculine name that brings me back to Roman days, however, this name isn't of ancient Rome at all! It's actually of Irish and Scottish origin and its meaning is nothing like I thought it would be.
Ronan is Irish for "little seal." It's obviously hugely popular in both Ireland and Scotland, coming in at #65. It is also getting some popularity here as it recently hit the #315 spot. Ronan was chosen by Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, Catherine Bell and Daniel Day-Lewis for their sons.
Ronan is a deep rooted Gaelic name that is loved in his founding country. It's the perfect name for parents with an Irish ancestry. Even if there isn't any Irish blood in the family, it is still an adorable take on the names Roman and Rowan.