So, you are searching for unique boy names for your soon-to-be bundle of joy. Congratulations! Naming a new baby is both a thrill and a huge responsibility. Your child has to live with it for the rest of his or her life, and the right name could provide a great foundation for your child. The task gives you a lot to think about.
Do you want a name that has a great origin or meaning behind it? Maybe you’d like to name your baby after a relative or close friend. Have you decided on whether you want to use a nickname or choose a name that won’t lend itself to nicknames? Perhaps your heritage is important to you, and you’d like the name to reflect that, or maybe you want to make sure your child is the only one in his kindergarten class that bears a particular name. If you are hunting for less-common names with great meanings behind them for your new son, read on for our list of the top 20 unique boy names.
Choosing Unique Boy Names
1. Consider the Cadence
After you have found a name or names you’re seriously considering, say them out loud to make sure they roll off the tongue easily. Say the full name—first, middle, and last. This is a good way to avoid tongue-twister names. Share the list with loved ones and get their opinions. A word of caution though: it’s probably best not to share your baby names with too many people until you have decided on one with certainty. The more people you share your names with, the more opinions of the name you are subjecting yourself to; this could cause you to second-guess your baby name or names and could make deciding on one more difficult.
2. Don’t Forget the Initials
Remember to check what your son’s initials will spell (both in the first, middle, last order and monogram-style with the last initial in the middle). Spare your sweet baby the horror of having initials that spell a profane or offensive word.
3. Keep a Running List
As soon as you start considering unique boy names, keep a running list of the potential winners. This way you won’t forget any ideas that come to you. Seeing the full name down on paper is also a great way to work out how you would like to spell your son’s name.
4. Get Back to Your Roots
First, decide if you’d like a name for your son that is a nod to your heritage or perhaps honors a beloved family member. The names on this list of unique boy names originate from several cultures and languages, giving you plenty to work with.
5. Traditional vs. Trendy
Many unique boy names popping up today are modern twists on more traditional names. This is a good way to ensure that your child’s name will be unique. This is also a great idea if you’d like to name your son after a relative with a more traditional or common name, but would like to add a contemporary vibe to it.
6. To Nickname or Not to Nickname
Are you a fan of nicknames or would you rather pass on them? If you like nicknames, consider all the potential nicknames that could come from your son’s proper name. Ensure that you like the nickname as much as you like the proper name. If you would rather forgo a nickname, steer towards name options difficult to shorten. There are plenty of monikers on this unique boy names list that fit both bills—those that can be shortened into cute, spunky nicknames and those that are virtually nickname-proof.
7. Do Your Research
Nearly all names have a meaning, be it historical or linguistic. Some names derive meaning from famous people or historical figures that bore the name. Is the meaning of a name important to you? If so, do your research. Not much is worse than finding a name you adore only to find out later that it has a negative meaning. All the unique boy names that follow are accompanied by a short description of their origins and meanings.
How We Reviewed
These unique boy names were chosen based on their current and past positions on most popular boy-name charts. They were also reviewed based on their origin and meaning, and whether they have nickname potential.
What We Reviewed
The name Malachi is derived from a Hebrew word that means “messenger.” This is a biblical name as Malachi is a prophet in the Old Testament. This name was also popular amongst the Puritans. Though quite a few 90s babies bear this name, it is less popular today, ensuring your little one will have a unique name.
Hayden, meaning “hay hill” or “hay valley,” is an English name. Popular among celebrities, Hayden is a name used for both boys and girls. It can be shortened to Hay, Den, or Denny.
The name Colin is a semi-popular name that can be spelled several ways (it can also be pronounced KAHL-in or COAL-en). It stems from two root words: the Greek Nicolas, which means “victory of the people” and the Gaelic word Cailean, which means “young dog.”
Fourth on our list of unique boy names is Zander. Zander, or Xander, is a shortened form of Alexander, which means “defender of man” or “warrior.” Alexander is an ancient name, most famously claimed by Alexander the Great, and Zander is a contemporary twist on it. This would be a great option for those wanting to name their child after a beloved Alexander. Potential nicknames include Andy, Zany, and Ander.
The name Thatcher finds its roots in Old English. It is the name of someone who works on thatched roofs. In medieval times when the title was used, a thatcher was a prestigious occupation to have. This is another unique name that has not broken into the top 1000 boys’ names in the U.S. It can also be used as a girl’s name.
Jonah is a biblical name that is associated with peace; it means “dove.” Jonah is a prophet in the Old Testament for whom an entire book of the Bible is dedicated. This unique boy name is rising in popularity.
Knox is a name that comes from the Old English word “cnocc.” “Cnocc” means a hill with a rounded top, and the surname Knox was commonly assigned to people who lived near such a hill. Today, it is gaining popularity as a unique first name. Knox is not easily shortened, so if you are not into nicknames, this may be one to consider.
An attractive name, Logan is popular these days, ranking at number 3 in the United States. It comes from the Gaelic word “lagan” meaning “little hollow.” It was originally given as a descriptive name to those who lived in little hollows. Logan can be used as a boy or girl name. Like Knox, Logan is another name to consider if you’re searching for a nickname-proof name for your new baby.
Though heavily preferred for boys, Rylan is another unisex name on our list of unique boy names. It is a shortened form of Ryland, which means in Old English “fields where rye is grown.” If you’re looking for a more modern spin on classics like Ryan or Rylie, this could be just the one.
Titus is a masculine and strong-sounding Latin name. The meaning of Titus is debated, but it could mean “title of honor” or “defender.” Ty is a natural nickname for Titus.
Victor is fairly popular in the U.S., especially among Hispanic families. Babies named Victor have an impressive legacy behind their masculine name; a long list of popes and saints have been named Victor. Meaning “conqueror,” early Christians used this name to remind them of Christ’s victory over sin.
Cameron is a Gaelic name derived from a nickname: the Scottish word “cam sron” means crooked nose. Cameron has been used as a girl name but is much more popular for boys. Nicknames include the short and easy “Cam.”
The name Parker comes from “parchier,” the French word for a park-keeper. A patchier was a noble occupation which often involved keeping and maintaining royal lands for hunting. The word parchier was also used in Old English to mean “gamekeeper.” Parker, used as a name, first appeared in 11th-century England.
The name Davin could have originated from a few different cultures. First, it could be a spin on the Hebrew name David which means “beloved.” Second, it could come from the Irish name Devin meaning “poet.” Finally, it could also be derived from the Finnish word for “bright” or “shining.” Davin has never been a common name, so if you’re looking for something unique, this name should be a contender. Davin could also be a nod to a relative named David or Devin.
Simon is derived from the Hebrew word “shim’on” which means “to hear or listen.” If you imagine your little guy to be an introspective, good-listener type, Simon could be a good option. It is a biblical name that was popular in the late 1800s through the 1960s and is now seeing somewhat of a resurgence in popularity.
Elijah comes from the Hebrew word “eliyahu” which means “Jehovah is God.” Elijah was a major Old Testament prophet, so this name definitely has biblical connotations. Elijah is a fairly popular name today, especially when compared with other biblical names. A logical nickname for Elijah is Eli.
Barret could come from the Old English word for “argument” or “dispute,” but could also be traced back to the Old German word for “bear strength.” The origins of this name and the time when it was used as a first name are uncertain. Barret is a common last name but makes a unique and strong first name. Barry, Bear, or Ret are all possible nicknames.
Kendrick is another name that can be traced back to a few different origins, including the Scottish, Gaelic, and Welsh languages. It could mean “greatest champion,” “high hill,” or “son of Henry.” It is not currently in the top 500 most common names making it a good, unique name choice. Possible nicknames could be Ken, Kenny, Kendy, Rick, or Ricky.
Reed is an Old English name. It means “red,” which could refer to the person’s complexion or their hair color. If you’re a family of red-heads, or you’d like to honor a red-headed loved one, Reed might be a good name for your new son. This simple name can also be spelled Reid and is pretty much nickname-proof.
There is no one name or even a list of names that are better than the others. Naming a baby is a deeply personal experience, and everyone wants something different out of a name. Some people have been compiling potential names for their children long before their baby arrives or is even conceived, while others will begin the process of finding a name during pregnancy. There are even some people who believe they need to see and meet their baby before they can choose the right name.
What’s important is that you find a name you love, and that will serve your son well throughout his life. We hope this list has been helpful in finding a unique name for your bundle of joy!