Names for Boys

When you don’t want to name your baby boy David or Zeus, what is the sweet-spot for choosing his name? We are struggling with this one, as I am expecting a boy, and I feel like I have to tear through school rosters so I don’t pick a super-trendy name. My favorite is when people suggest I use a family name, like someone from past generations. Ha! A name from one of the esteemed former racists and alcoholics of generations past? One of them? We aren’t the Mountbattens!

43 thoughts on “Names for Boys

  1. We had the same problem with a boy. We went with Gemma and Calla for our girls, and a boy was so difficult! We ultimately went with Nicolas, and we call him Nico (nee-COH) 100% of the time. It definitely works for our family, as our next one will be Theodore, but we’ll call him Theo. Little themes, most definitely :)

    Good luck!

  2. Our boys are McKade and Rogan! The former Scottish, the latter Irish. I was born in Scotland…more info. than you want: McKade was conceived in Scotland. And I also have Irish ancestors.

    We chose names from: Baby Names Around the World by Bruce Lansky.

    Good Luck!

    oh Yeah…and I married a Michael!

  3. If I went with themes then I should pull a boys name from a 30-40′s movie star. Ala Vivien (Leigh).

    hard not to marry a Michael. My sister and I both married Mark’s!

  4. We ended up going with Ronan, an Irish name. Luckily my husband has some Irish ancestry so we had some justification. But there are so many great Irish names (besides the very popular Aiden).

  5. Just relax, a name will come to you. I was almost ready to give birth by the time Alexander’s middle name came about. I was going NUTS trying to think of a name, wanting to somehow give a nod to both my dad (Kenneth Victor) and my husband’s dad (Verbon Biffel. Um, yes, really). One night I dreamed I was announcing my son’s name over the intercom at the Atlanta Airport: “Alexander Kennon, will you please meet your party at the luggage carousel.” Woke up and voila! There it was–Kenneth and Verbon all smashed up together.

    By the way, I ate lemon wedges and jalapenos a few hours before falling asleep and dreaming that strange interlude. Just in case you want to try….

  6. Our son’s name is Rowan.

    Just don’t go with Zachary. I’ve grown up around so many kids with my name but I haven’t, to date, met a Zachary over 8 years old. I’m worried that we don’t make it to 30!!

  7. Our other favorites, before settling on Holden, were Hudson, Henry, and Sam (Samuel). T allowed (ha) me to use Henry as H’s middle name, but I’m glad it’s not the main — I think I know five Henry’s around his age now. We have run into only one other Holden, and there’s a Hudson at our pediatrician. I’m still for Sam — I see it as classic and strong.

    What a fun thing, naming your next kid! Imagining the personality, what he’s gonna be, who he’s gonna be. I tried to think, ok, what if he chooses ballet? What if he chooses football? Will he be loud, or funny, or quiet? All such fun in wondering who he’ll be.

    What’s the due date, again, Daph?

  8. We didn’t want to go through all the traditional baby name books so we made a list from names that popped into my head or that my husband read in the newspaper. And he also went through the rosters of the major league baseball teams for inspiration. Wow are some parents mean!

    We narrowed it down to 2 and said if he looks “bookish, geeky” (not a bad designation just how I describe my brother) he would be —–, if he looked more big, sporty (like my husband) he would be Logan. Sorry I can’t share the option as it may still be in the running if Logan has any future brothers!

    I did end up using my grandmother’s maiden name for his middle name – Flynn, which I love.

    Good luck it’s a weighty responsibility!

  9. Like you, I named my son by imagining the type of preson I wanted him to be and then working from there. Our biggest hope for him was that he would be a kind person who was really great to be with. The name we ultimately decided on was Murphy. We call him Murph. Some people think he’s destinated to join AA and others say it’s great.

  10. I currently do not have children, but we’re planning for them within the next year or so. We’ve already talked about baby names, both boy and girl. It’s definitely difficult to think of boy names that are not overused, but not completely ridiculous. However, my husband’s name is Nyr (rhymes with fire) which is supposedly some sort of Scandinavian name, but with a revised spelling for the New York Rangers. My husband has had some trouble with it since our last name is Charles, but I find it to be so nice to have a different name. We’d like to continue the name, but maybe as a middle name. Gabriel Nyr is what we’ve come up with, now I just hope there’s a little boy!

  11. My hubby so wanted to name our kid “Cash”. I don’t think so~ But we decided on Jacob, and he looked like a Jacob. That same year that name soared to #1 name. What can ya do? Also in the running was: Samuel, Benjamin, Sebastian and Wyatt. Good luck….it will come to you!

  12. I have two boys and definitely had similar issues. I loved the name Ryan, and chose it for my first son but little did I know how hugely popular it is and we now know many other child-Ryans. Who would of known? I had only known one Ryan in my entire life before that. Second son is named Trevor which we just love as well and is not common. Other favorites were Nicholas, Zachary (popular also though), Levi (husband hated that one), Will you let us all know what you pick or will you wait until after he arrives?

  13. We’re having a boy in about three weeks (yikes!) and we’ve gone back and forth, too. We’re really sold on the idea of going into the delivery room with 2 or 3 options and deciding when we meet him.

    That said, we love Aidan (but it’s so absurdly popular!) and Asher (both with the middle name Isaiah) and then, all of a sudden yesterday, we fell in love with the name Benjamin Jack. Ben. Ben. It’s cute, right?

  14. HI, Love your blog Im expecting baby #2 afer a miscarrage too, and just wanted to tell you that boy names are so hard we have a Logan and now we decided on Gavin fot the new baby all the best of luck to you .

  15. oh my god, how have I overlooked these comments for so long!! there are so many good ones and so many good one liners. Where do I start?
    I’ll work backwards…. I always loved Miles. My hubby not so much. With Viv we liked Henry for a boy, but it has gotten pretty commom. A problem I have with many names ( since I got around) is I don’t want to name my son after a former love. So Nathan is out….and Earl and….Tony and oh, really I could go on.
    Ben is great, it’s my older stepsons name. I had Gavin on my list as well… not sure if that is still on the list. Seeing lot’s of Nicholas’s and Logan’s and Aidens.
    Oh, Clinton, great idea, cause then he could be Clint and I loved the ’90′s so that’s interesting.
    Brogdon has gone through my head, but not Don as that was an uncle who was not…hmm, uh, esteemed. But, it’s a hard name as a last name let alone as a first. Every time you use it “B as in boy, r, o, G as in george, D as in dog,o, N as in Nebraska.”
    I like Roan as well ( husband doesn’t) and since I dated one but never went to bed I thought it would be okay.
    love the story about names in a dream.
    And I always loved Holden. like names from books.
    thanks everyone!

  16. Tiger? No joke, I have a girlfriend who named one of her boys Tigger. I suppose he could be called Tig when he grows up….but not for me.

  17. Seriously glad you are considering Brogdon. See, I knew that you were.

    But seriously! Holden. Really. Never can think of that without thinking Holden Caufield. Messed up.

    But then there’s William Holden. YOUNG William Holden. Mmmm.

  18. My maiden name is Foster. So I want to name our first son, if he should ever grace us with his presence-Foster. I love that it’s offbeat and still very masculine. and it’s Australian for beer! so there’s that…

  19. Hey Daph,

    So I have 2 boys that I had no problem naming and now that I’m pregnant with a girl I’m completely lost. My boys are Trystan Victor (Victor after his grandfather) and Jackson McCabe (2 names I just loved). When I was pregnant with Jackson I loved Mc- names and his first name probably would have been McCabe but even as a middle name I find myself repeating and then spelling it for people.

    Now I’m having the hardest time picking a girl name. I agree about not wanting something too trendy. When I was in 5th grade there were 4 Jennifer’s in my class. I never want that to happen to my kids. And my husband is no help. He keeps suggesting super popular names. So I’m thinking we’re gonna be the people that don’t have a name for like a week after their baby is born.

    So I have to ask you since you’re almost exactly as far along as I am… Have you gone into psycho mama panic mode about not being ready, especially after the cramping? Ever since my last dr. app. 2 weeks ago I have been freaking out. I have lists all over my house of stuff I still need to do/buy before the baby comes. And with Christmas and everything coming up I’m starting to feel like I’m just running out of time. It’s crazy, I know. I think I’m just afraid of being put on bed rest again.

  20. Daphne,

    I applaud you for trying to find something unique – being an Elizabeth myself, I have lots of school memories of having to use my last initial to signify which Elizabeth I was. Yuck. And yet, I gave my son one of the most popular boy names on the planet, because I was hyped up on the most beautiful drugs on the planet (thank you epidural!). However, I can give you a name recommendation all the same, now that I’m not on anything and am thinking clearly.

    How about Dennis? You could call him Denny, for short (and no, this did not come from an obsession with “Grey’s Anatomy” – it was my father’s name and my son’s middle name).

    One baby name book I absolutely love is 50,001 Best Baby Names by Diane Stafford – not only was it incredibly thorough, but in the front, there were also lots of lists of different “categories” of names.

    Can’t wait to see what you decide on!

  21. We went with Jake Ari. Not Jacob. I think the weirdness you’re describing can go ethnic or take away the formality of the name, go with the nickname. That’s what we like.

    Yeah, we had like 40 girls names and just one girl. Boys names -are- hard!

  22. Just strolled over here from momversation. I don’t have kids, but I think to think of my obsession with mommyblogs as preparation for when I DO have them. That’s not *too* weird. Right?

    Anyway, here are my favorite names for boys (and I agree that it’s much harder to find good, not-overdone ones):
    Devin (my brother’s name)
    Cody (I do know a lot of dogs named Cody, though)
    Kenton (definitely what I’m naming my son, if I ever have one. Kent for short)
    Keene
    Graham

    The only experience I have in naming things is in pets, and they ALWAYS end up with different names than I’ve picked out beforehand, so I think you’re right to wait until you meet him. Good luck!

  23. Alyia- I am with you, and I worry about being too weird too.. Lol. Only my husband knows. We are planning to become pregnant this year, and I am OBSESSED with names. I have a million girls names. And boys names are a nightmare. Anything remotely different my DH hates, and I hate his names.. names like Michael and John, and Jacob. They are good names. But EVERY BODY has them. A few I like that we are kind of in agreement on:

    Archer
    Asher
    Kenton(really weird cuz never heard of anyone with that name and Alyia has it too)
    Simon
    Tobin
    Elliot
    GarreTT
    My favorite ever that my husband absolutly positively will not stand is Callum. I think its amazing. He thinks I am insane. :D Good Luck!

  24. I had Graham on the list, hubby not into it. Part of problem is his last name is Peel. So you don’t want to food descriptors as names.
    I hadn’t heard of Kenton either. I was hot on Reggie, but he is cool to that. What I liked about it is according to my research no one has name a kid that in 30 years. which I love.

  25. Okay. Confession time. I got Kenton from….

    a sign in Kentucky announcing we were entering Kenton County.

    I would never be able to tell my kid he was named after a particularly rough-looking county in Kentucky. But it has a ring to it nonetheless, doncha think?

  26. Place names are hot. Lol. My DH has an obsession w/ superman honestly is where ours came from. He would love to name our kid Clark or Kent (He knows that any combination will NEVER happen) but I don’t really like momosyllabic names. And you hear all these trenton, brenton etc. names. So why not Kenton was our theory.

  27. I always thought boys should have traditional no nonsense names like Steve or Tom. Then I married a Colman and had a son named Liam. We had legit family cred on the name, but it has become rather trendy which makes me cringe. Every team and class he is in has two Liams, two Gavins, two Ryans, a few Keenans and Conors. I am always happy to meet the Bobs and Johns.

    My brother named his kids totally normal names and people actually comment on how nice it is to hear boys with BOY names. (Tom, Mike, Joe etc.)

    I think with a last name like Peel I would go with a trad name like Kevin, Brian, David or Daniel. Or Patrick Peel. That sounds kinda cool. Just my 2 cents.

    Or riffing on the Vivian theme, there is Clark Peel. Hee.

  28. Our oldest son is named Dallin. I love the name, but he finds it a pain…”Dillon?”

    No, DAllin, with an ‘a’

    “Dallas”

    Dallin, with an ‘n’.

    How do you spell that?

    On and on it goes. He’s 14 now and has threatened to start going by DJ (middle name Jeremiah) just to not have the bother.

    For our 2nd son, my H wanted Sebastian or Gabriel so badly. I hated both of them. But, at about 7mo prego, I dreamed of Sebastian. That’s is so totally him. Now I love the name. We thought it would be different, but in just the 2nd grade alone, we know 5 other Sebastians!

    Now, with boy #3, we are thinking of Xavier, but even that is becoming more popular. I do like Gavin or Talmage.

    My H wants Mariano, a play on his mother’s name Ana Maria, who just passed away. I hate it! And I don’t want to name a boy in honor of a woman. It just rubs me the wrong way. We’ll see. 7 more weeks to fight about it.

    Right now, we call him Xavi…we’ll see. Good luck with yours.

  29. Rex.

    Are you sure? Rex sounds like some 70′s swinger who tries so hard to be cool. Yeah, not digging the name but trying not to feel bad as you put yourself so out there and ask our opinions.

    Give Rex a kiss :)

  30. I know this is an old post, but I just had to say I love the name Rex!

    We named our son Kale. We had heard it in a movie just before we got pregnant and fell in love with it :)

  31. We combined my father’s name (Kenneth) and my father in law’s name (Dennis) into Kenden. Now the dilemma is that we have set the bar so high, nervous on what to name the second child, providing it’s a boy. Thinking about my grandfather’s middle name Lawson. Having a hard time coming up with a middle name though.

    I think Rex totally fits him! Just watched the ex-boyfriends FB vlog!

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