Some of my kids have longer and admittedly difficult names. My youngest was in fourth grade before knowing the proper spelling of her middle name, because her first name was tricky enough.
Bad mom? I don't think so, but we all have good and bad associations with names. My first child, now a Daddy himself, was blessed with a terribly easy first name; Kyle. Easy to spell and say. Except for those with decidedly Southern drawls, such as my grandma who was peeved I'd picked a name that came out as "Cow-l," when she said it. Sorry Grandma!
Another advantage to short and sweet baby names for boys is that you can then go a little crazy with the middle name. You can incorporate unusual family names or some other rare gem that you'd maybe feel was a burden as a first name. Of course, when starting to write their name, it will be a great blessing to only have a handful of letters to form with those uncoordinated chubby fingers. Also, many of the shortest of masculine names are also quite manly and cool sounding, to be honest. No prissy, elegant and complicated handles in this list. Straightforward, perhaps classic or edgy-new, but definitely not a mouthful!
Blake is a name of contradictions, and that can actually be kind of cool. First, it is definitely Old English but it could be traced to either blæc meaning "black; of dark complexion," or blāc meaning "pale; shining; bright." While Blake can be used for baby boys or girls, for boys it ranks at #169, while for girls it's at #279, so now worries about giving your son the equivalent of a Leslie. Sorry you male Leslies out there!
This name is even more popular in places such as New Zealand (#20), Canada (#64) and England, (#73). Those are numbers for 2016. Blake is fairly popular, so there are some well-known bearers of the moniker including Blake Shelton, star of The Voice, country singer and beau of Gwen Stefani. Other Blakes include NBA star Blake Griffin, and film director of the Pink Panther movies and hubby to Julie Andrews, the late Blake Edwards.
Tye seems to have arisen more as a first name from being the nickname for names such as Tyrone or Tyson, but it is also now a standalone name that is a bit on the rare side. It ranks at #7968, so pretty unusual. Tye probably means "pasture" and comes from Middle English roots. There is an American heavyweight boxer named Tye "Big Sky" Fields.
You may remember the main character from Caddyshack, played by Chevy Chase, was named Ty. There's a gospel singer by the name of Tye Tribbett (actual first name is Tyrone.) Tye Waller is a baseball player and coach, whose first name is also actually Tyrone. Tye Sheridan is an actor, best known for playing "Cyclops" in X-Men: Apocalypse and for his first role in the film Mud, alongside Mattew McConaughey.
Birch is derived from the root word bhereg which means, "to shine; bright; white." It is an Old English wood for the slender, white-barked tree. The birch is sacred or important to many cultures. Its bark was used as a paper to write upon and many babies had cradles carved from birch. It is often associated with new beginnings, birth and wisdom or protection. So far this year, the name hasn't charted in the US, but in 2017 it came in at #11,677.
So it's pretty rare, and is used for either gender. All kinds of things find origins in the wood of the birch, from paper, to furniture, to drums and canoes. This would be a great theme to work into a nursery! Birch is the last name of a father and son senator pair from Indiana. Birch Evans Bayh II served from 1963-1981, and his son from 1999. The son was also governor of the state.
Max is another name that became a standalone from its popularity as a nickname. Typically it is a diminutive of Maximilian or Maxwell. It is an old name making a strong comeback. It is now at number 76 for US baby boys. Max is of primarily German and English origins. It means, "the greatest." Not a bad start to life to have this name meaning attached to you.
Max Ernst was a famous artist, Max Roach, a jazz musician and Max is the main character in the beloved children's classic book, Where the Wild Things Are. Max is also favored throughout Europe showing up in the top 20 in countries such as England, the Netherlands, and Ireland, as well as New Zealand, and Australia. Charlie Sheen, Christian Aguilera and Cynthia Nixon are celebs with sons named Max. Skater Scott Hamilton named his son Maxx.
Finn is a real upstart on US name charts, jumping up to #137 for 2018 thus far. Finn comes from two different origins, one being from the Irish Fionn meaning "clear; fair; white." The other origin is Old Norse, Finnrm meaning "a person from Finland." Go figure, on the second one. Finn MacCool is a mythic Irish character, the supposed builder of the Giants Causeway. Finn mac Blatha was a king in the 5th century BC in Ireland; Finn Erling Kydland won a Nobel Prize winner in economics from Norway; and Finn Ronne was an Antarctic explorer.
Finn ranks in the top 10 or 20 in the Netherlands and Belgium, and a bit lower than that in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Celebs with kids named Finn include Ed Burns and Christy Turlington, Julia Roberts (as nickname), Tori Spelling, Jane Leeves as well as Owen Wilson.
Jude is popular old, meaning ancient, name rising up the charts in the US, currently coming in at #172. It's even more widely used in the UK, placing in the top 50 or so. Jude comes from the Hebrew, meaning "praised." Jude the Apostle was perhaps the first and most famous one with the moniker, but later Judes include Jude Law, Jude Drouin an NHL hockey player and Jude was River Phoenix's middle name.
Celebs with kids named Jude include Kelsey Grammar, hockey player Brett Hull and Walking Dead's Steven Yeun. Of course, you can't forget the famous song by the Beatles, "Hey Jude!" Jude is also sometimes given to baby girls, but in lesser numbers thus far. It ranks #1086 for baby girls, so not on an equal popularity par.
The name Grant is derived from Latin roots and means, "the great; large." It was often bestowed on a person of larger physical stature. Grant was also a Scottish and English surname and one of the most famous US person with that last name would be Ulysses Grant, general of the Union Army during the Civil War, and later president. Film icon and super suave guy Cary Grant was actually Archibald Leach, but he was right; Cary Grant is much more movie star-like.
Grant ranks at #239 for US baby boys so far in 2018. Famous first-name Grants include NBA and NCAA great Grant Hill, artist Grant Wood, best known for his painting "American Gothic," and Grant Fuhr, hockey Hall of Famer. Grant is the name of a character on the British TV show, EastEnders. Grant Ward is a character on the TV show Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Seth is derived from the Hebrew sheth, meaning "placed or appointed." In the Old Testament of the Bible Seth was one of the first humans named, as a son of Adam and Eve. You don't get much more old-school than that! Seth is coming in at #405 in the US, and typically rates in the top 100 in the UK. This is a hot name with actors, directors and TV personalities, with folks such as Seth Meyers, Seth Green, Seth MacFarlane and Seth Rogen. Seth Curry is an NBA player on the Dallas Mavericks, and little brother to NBA champion, Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Seth is an ancient name that sounds hip once more, so it fits with a wide variety of surnames and middle names. Just steer clear of a middle name like Shawn or a last name Smith to avoid tongue twisting or hissing.
Trey comes from the Latin for "three" so naturally it was traditionally given to a third-born child or specifically a son. Trey doesn't have to be only given to a third son, however. Will Smith who dubbed his first son Trey, but that's because his son is actually Willard Carroll Smith III. Yep, Will Smith is actually Willard. Similarly, Jr's Smokey Robinson and Ken Griffey have Treys for sons. Harold Watson "Trey" Gowdy III is a South Carolina congressman.
Trey currently is on the American charts for baby boys at #397. Trey Songz is a rapper whose real name is Tremaine Neverson. Trey Parker is one of the creators of the animated series, South Park. Trey Wingo is an American sportscaster on ESPN. Having a son named Trey is a great way to continue a naming tradition of a father and grandfather without having to use some old, weird or otherwise outdated names.
Lane is a pretty straightforward name, coming from the English surname taken from the word for a narrow road or path. Lane is sometimes used for girls, and currently ranks for boys at #302 with an uptick of 38 places from last year, and for girls at #6551. So needless to say, much more preferred as a male moniker.
Lane was a character in Oscar Wilde's play, "The Importance of Being Earnest." Lane was also the main character played by John Cusack in the teen movie Better Off Dead. Lane Kiffin is a college football coach at the University of Tennessee, while Lane Frost was a bull rider and the subject of the movie 8 Seconds. Frost died during the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Wyoming in 1989 at the age of 26.
Zeb is an old time name made new again, especially with this cool updated shortened form. Zeb is from the Hebrew meaning "to carry; exalt; praise; or gift of Jehovah." It is believed to have come originally from an Assyrian word, zabālu. In the Old Testament, one of Jacob's sons, and one of the twelve tribes of Israel was named Zebulon. Sounding a little like a pioneer or cowboy name, Zeb seems to exude ruggedness. So not necessarily for a family of nerds, for instance. (saying that as a family of nerds) Some famous current Zebs and Zebs from history include Zeb(ulon) Pike, a general and explorer for whom Pike's Peak is named, Zeb Terry, baseball player, and Zeb Turner, a country music singer. Zeb is ranked at #3157.
Kade is probably derived from the name Cade, which is an unflattering Old English nickname for someone round and lumpy--which does in fairness describe most newborns. From other times and areas of English, cade can also mean a newborn animal abandoned by its mother and hand-raised by humans. Or it could be a cask or barrel, which hearkens back to the round definition.
Kade is becoming more common, but certainly not commonplace, ranking #345. Famed Kades include NFL's Kade Weston, a member of the New England Patriots, Kade Snowden, a rugby player and Kade McAllister NHL hockey player. Kade is sort like the cowboy names like Kody, Kane and the sort, but it is also hip sounding. Just avoid calling him Kady so as not to confuse it with the feminine Katie.
Sage has dual meanings, both coming down from Latin roots. It is either a healing herb, often used in ceremonial cleansing or it's an adjective or noun denoting a wise person. It is a unisex name, and is coming in at number 420 for boys and 366 for girls thus far this year, so truly a gender-neutral name. F
amous Sages include Sage Rosenfels, a former NFL quarterback; Sage Stallone, Sylvester Stallone's late son, and Sage Kotsenburg, a Gold-medalist snowboarder. Actress Tracey Gold of Growing Pains fame has a 21-year-old son named Sage Gold Marshall. Sage is a name popular with New Age Types/hippies, as well as those who like ancient names. Giving your child a name that is associated with healing and wisdom crosses a lot of classes and social divisions.
Grey means exactly what you know it to mean; "a color between black and white; having little to no color; aging." It comes from the Old English, græg. Grey is not too rare, but neither too common, coming in at number 731 for baby boys in 2018. That's down 74 places from last year, so it may rebound or it could be falling a little in favor this year.
Many folks seem to prefer the longer versions, Grayson and Greyson right now for their sons. Molly Sims and hubby Scott Stuber have a son named Grey who was born in 2017. Earl Grey tea is a favorite drink, and Grey's Anatomy is still a top TV show. More often Grey is a surname, and a favorite for that would be Zane Grey, a western novel writer. My Uncle Jim read and reread everything he wrote! It made me more interested in reading fiction as a kid.
Sean comes from the Irish Seán for John, which means, "God is gracious." Sean has long been an Irish-American name staple, only recently ceding to other Irish names such as Aiden and Liam, for instance. Sean is rating at #268 currently in the US, while in Ireland it's number 5! Not surprisingly, I'd say. Sean has plenty of famous bearers both now and in history.
Actors with the name include Sean Connery, Sean Penn and Sean Astin. P Diddy, in case you forgot, is actually Sean Combs. Sean Lennon is Yoko Ono and John Lennon's son, and other celebs with a Sean include Michael Keaton, Oliver Stone, Britney Spears as well as Audrey Hepburn and Rod Stewart. Spelled this way is much more Irish than the version spelled Shawn, if that's an issue for your family.
Boone probably immediately conjures up images of coonskin caps and log cabins, in thinking of that frontiersman Daniel Boone. Actually the name comes from French roots, and means "good or blessing." Lovely meaning for a newborn son, I'd say. Boone is not a commonplace handle, ranking #1127 currently for US boys. Boone Logan pitches for the Brewers, while Boone Jenner plays for the NHL.
Country music artist Eric Church has a son named Boone, who was born in 2011. Your grandmother will tell you all about Pat Boone, a singer, actor and entertainer. Boone was also a character in the classic comedy, Animal House. Boone is another of those rugged, western-feeling old names steadily rising in popularity. Boone is likely to be called Boonie or Boo, no matter how you discourage it.
This spelling of Dayne is unusual and is only ranks at #3873 in the US for baby boys in 2018. The spelling name is ranking at #966. This first spelling is said to mean, "valley," while the second means "from Denmark." Some sources believe it means, "a brook." Dayne is a good alternative to Drake, Dan and such. Ron Dayne was the 1999 Heisman Trophy winner, playing for the University of Wisconsin and then professionally for the Houston Texans. Day-Day, Day or Daynie could be possible nicknames, but again, I'd try to discourage it if possible. Dayne is also the singer with the first name Taylor. Dayne would also be a cool nod to some Denmark ancestors, should that be the case in your family genes.
Cole is a pretty hot name right now, hitting the charts at #115, up 9 places from last year. It's even more popular in Canada (#82) and Scotland (#57). Parents can decide which version they say the name is derived from. If you want to trace it to its Old English roots, from the word col for the substance, coal. It was given to dark skinned or swarthy people.
Or you can trace it to the Greek Nicolas, meaning "victory of the people." Some Coles of old include nursery rhyme star, Old King Cole who was actually a real British king, and old crooner, Nat King Cole. A great American composer, Cole Porter, was one of the more famous Coles. Cole Hamels pitches for the Texas Rangers, while Cole Whitt drives in NASCAR.
Ash is an English name referring to the ash tree. The ash tree is a strong element in many mythologies and cultures, and Vikings referred to themselves as Aescling, meaning, "men of ash." The ash tree in their beliefs connected from its roots in hell and spread upwards into heaven. Basically, it was the axis of the world. Ash trees represent health, particularly for children, and offer protective powers and mystical elements, as well. Ash is also a hawk-god in Egyptian mythology. Ash Atalla is a TV producer while in fictional works and films, Ash appears as the main character in the Evil Dead movie franchise. Ash is a character in the Pokemon series. Ash is a diminutive for other names such as Ashley and Ashton, for instance. It is currently on the charts at #1256 for baby boys in the US.
Coming from Welsh and English origins, Vaughn is more often a surname than a first name, but it is charting at #1572 right now in the US. It reached its heyday in the 1940s, but is increasing again in popularity. It means "the small; or a small boy." It is related to the name Paul, which has the same meaning. Vaughn Monroe was a trumpeter and big band leader, while Vaughn Martin was recently an NFL player. Vaughn Taylor is a professional golfer. Famous folks with Vaughn as a last name include actor Vince Vaughn, actor; Sarah Vaughn, singer; Stevie Ray Vaughn, musician and actor Robert Vaughn. Vaughn is a great choice for naming a son after a relative named Paul, or to reflect ones English or Welsh ancestry.
Jed is an old Hebrew name from the main name, Jedidiah, meaning "beloved of God or Jehovah." Jed has been on the American name charts since the early 1900s but had a big spike in the 20 year period roughly between 1970 and 1990. Currently it's at #1924 in the US for boys. It doesn't even chart in the UK right now. Fans of the TV show The West Wing will recall the president played by Martin Sheen was named Jed Bartlett. Jed Saul Rakoff is a US federal judge.
Jed Allan is a long-time soap opera actor, while Jed Whedon is a screenwriter and brother to Joss Whedon, the screenwriter/director and artist famous for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And who could forget that TV classic dad, Jed Clampett, from The Beverly Hillbillies?
Noah is a Hebrew name coming from that ancient story written in the Old Testament about a righteous man surviving in an evil world, singled out by God to build an Ark and save a sampling of life on Earth. Noah means, "rest; comfort." Noah made a huge leap in popularity over the last several years, overtaking the boy's chart in the US. For 2018, Noah ranks #2.
From 2013 to 2015 it was the number one boy's name, knocking over the longtime fave, Jacob. Around the world, it's nearly as popular, ranking in the top ten in Denmark, the UK, and Australia and #14 in Canada, and #22 in Austria. Noah Webster brought us a notable dictionary, Noah Beery was an actor, as is Noah Wylie. Other famous Noahs include Noah Schnapp, an actor starring in the big hit TV series, Stranger Things.
Kile comes from the more commonplace spelling, Kyle. It is from Gaelic origins, caol, meaning "narrow; strait; channel." Kile is an unusual name, only ranking #8426 versus the more conventional spelling, Kyle, which ranks #212 for US boys thus far in 2018. For those that like the name but would prefer something to set their son apart from so many other Kyles, the alternative spelling will do the trick.
Kile is also a geographical name, referring to a place in Scotland. It appears Kile, Kyle and Kiel are all related Scottish surnames, so if you have some Scottish ancestry, this may be a good moniker for your son. Kile had become more well-used in the 1980s and into the first several years of the 21st century. In 1996 there were 22 babies per a million name Kile. That was it's height of popularity.
Stone is a strong name that is derived from the word stainaz which is an ancient word going back to Proto-Germanic roots. It meant "made of stone." For those seeking a strong, masculine name, look no further! Stone currently is ranking at #1924, which is a steep 581 place drop from 2017.
Stone was at its height of use in the 1990s and began decreasing in popularity around 2000. In 1997 it reached its zenith with 150 US baby boys being named Stone per million births. Stone Phillips is a TV journalist, while Stone Gossard is a musician with the band, Pearl Jam. Stone Hopper is a character in the 2012 movie, Battle Ship. Personally I'd avoid a middle name that is a word like the aforementioned character as it sounds rather hokey.
Deon comes from the French Dion, which in turn derived from Dio, which is Greek for "of Zeus." Some state it means "wine," and is probably linked to the Greek god, Dionysus, who was the god of the grape harvest, and generally considered the god of partying. One of the most famous recent bearers of the name would be Deion Sanders, who has a slightly different spelling. For those with the exact spelling, famous Deons include Deon Figures, an All American and NFL player, and Deon Burton, an English-Jamaican soccer player. Deon now ranks at #1790, down more than 500 slots in popularity from 2017.
Through the 1970s and 1980s Deon was in a solid upswing, then took a dip until around 1990 until 2000, when it rose significantly again. Now it's holding at the same levels of the 70s and 80s, meaning about 130 babies per million in the US are named Deon.
Klay comes from Clay, which comes from Clayton which is derived from the Old English roots claēg meaning "clay" and tūn meaning, "settlement; town." Klay is part of a trend where names starting with "C" are changed to start with "K." Klay spelled with the K ranks at #1457 while beginning with C Clay rates #937.
Another meaning is "mortal." Probably one of the most big name Klays would be Klay Thompson, an NBA star on the Championship Golden State Warriors. Another famed Klay is Klay Hall, who is an aptly named animator now working for Disney. Klay is also the name given to his son by English soccer play Wayne Rooney. Folks who favor nature names may like this choice, as would parents who want a rugged, masculine name with modern sensibility.
Wyatt is shooting up the US boys' name chart, coming in right now at #24. From the 1800s when Wyatt first emerged on US charts, it stayed at under 100 per million US births, then in the mid-1980s it began to surge upwards, with 1485 baby boys per million in 1995, then upwards to over 5000 this year.
Wyatt Earp is one of the better known holders of this moniker, making it have what seems a permanent air of toughness and a Western flavor. I mean, the whole gunfighter, shootout at the OK Corral and all really pushes the name that way. Depending on how and from where you trace the name it could be Old English or French and comes from Wyot and Guyot, meaning "leader; guide; brave in war."
Cruz is a Spanish name meaning "cross," referring to the cross of Jesus and so popular among Hispanic Catholics, in particular, but not exclusively by any means. Cruz is coming in on the charts at #389, and began its rise in 1990 in the US. In 2013 there were 661 baby boys named Cruz per million babies born in the US. Cruz is nearly equally popular in the UK, possibly due to David and Victoria Beckham naming their third son Cruz.
Hilary Duff's son with hockey player ex-husband Mike Comrie is named Luca Cruz. Soccer player Nick Garcia has a son named Cruz, as does tennis player Lleyton Hewitt and actress Bec Cartwright. Cruz sounds hip and cool, and like nearly every name on this list does not yield to nicknames easily.
Creed started a strong rise in popularity in 1990 and continues on that path. It currently isn't common at all, but is neither too rare, charting at #1195. That means it's statistically unlikely there will be another Creed in your son's class, or likely even his school. Creed comes from the Old English from the Latin word credo. A creed is a set of principals and beliefs, often religious in nature, that direct one's life and purpose.
Creed was an American rock band, and Creed was the surname of characters in the Rocky film series. Creed was a character on the hit TV show, The Office and Creed is also a character in the X-Men series. Creed C. Hammond is a US Major General. Creed is a cool meaningful name that has a very modern feel to it.
Reeve is an Old English occupational name meaning, "steward; sheriff." It dates to the medieval times when land owners had protectors called reeves. Reeve currently rates at #5985, a drop of nearly half its total over the past year. It may rebound in the second half of the year, since it's too soon to predict. It's overall been gradually trending upwards since the 1970s and had a big upturn in the 2000s.
Reeve Carney is an American singer/songwriter and actor, and appeared on Broadway as Peter Parker in Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark. Elon Musk, billionaire businessman/inventor's middle name is Reeve, and in fiction, reflecting its medieval history, "The Reeve's Prologue and Tale," is part of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Many Americans think of Superman's Christopher Reeve with the mention of the name.
Sources: Babycenter.com, BehindTheName.com, BabyNameWizard.com, and Nameberry.com.