Unusual Names for Baby Boys and Where They Come From
The history behind different names is not only fascinating, but can add another meaningful layer to what you choose to call your bub.
With unique names, often comes the ability to shorten, lengthen, or use it in a gender-neutral way, which allows the owner of the name the chance to be creative and totally individual.
Here are 25 unusual names for baby boys and their original meanings.
Adan is the Spanish version of Adam, the Hebrew word for “man” and the name of the first man ever created, as the story of Adam & Eve goes.
This name means “defending men” in Greek and can be shortened to Andre, Dre and Ale.
Despite being super popular in places like Turkey, the Balkans and the Middle East, Amir is still a pretty unique name in western countries. It means “prince” or “commander” in Arabic and TBH, it’s kind of sexy don’t you think?
This is a super old-fashioned boy’s name, but actually sounds pretty modern. Its origins are widely speculated. Some believe it’s a place name from the Irish town Aherlow, meaning “between two highlands”, while others credit the fictional “Arlo Hill” from an amazing poem written by Edmund Spenser in the sixteenth century, called The Faerie Queene.
In Greek mythology, Atlas was a famous Titan who carried the heavens on his shoulders, so this name certainly has some power behind its meaning. In Greek, Atlas means “bearer of the heavens”.
This one has an obvious meaning, referring to the “edge of a river” and originating as a last name, but it actually makes a super unique and cute first name too.
Boaz was the name of one of the pillars supporting Solomon’s Temple, and if that’s not incredible imagery and metaphorical power, then I don’t know what is. Meaning “swiftness” in Hebrew, you could also shorten Boaz to Bo.
Bradford has such a cute retro feel to it, and the added ability to give them cute nicknames like ‘Brad’ or ‘Ford’! Bradford was once a surname that came from the name of a town in the UK. It means “broad ford,” which is a wide, shallow part of a river that you can walk across.
For some reason when we hear Dante, we always think cheeky. Probably because the most famous bearer of this name was the Italian poet Dante Alighieri, author of The Divine Comedy. It’s actually the medieval short form of Durante, and means “enduring”.
Elias comes from Elijah, most predominantly across Europe.
Unique biblical names are a minefield for beautiful names with historical—and often poetic—meanings. Ezra was a prophet in the Old Testament, and the name means “protect” in Hebrew. Its original longform is said to be Azaryahu, meaning “God protects”. Ezra was also the name of famous poet, Ezra Pound.
Finlay originated in Ireland and means “fair-haired hero”.
Kendric can also be spelt Kendrick, and it hails from Britain, meaning “royal ruler” or “champion”. It’s hard to think of the name Kendrick without thinking of Kendrick Lamar — but that’s surely a good sign.
Kenji is a Japanese name that means “strong and vigorous” and it’s a strong choice, especially if you have a Japanese background. You could also shorten it to Ken, Kenny, or Ji.
Lazlo is the English version of the Hungarian name László, who was a king of Hungary in the 11th century. László is also the Hungarian version of the Slavic name Vladislav, meaning “rule” and “glory”.
From the Irish word maddah, Madden means “little dog”, and although it’s more often known to be a last name, it works in a unique and beautiful way for a first name too.
This name comes from the town of Odell in Bedfordshire, and it comes from two words that mean “wood hill” when put together.
If you’re a nerd for exquisite vintage films, then naming your bub after Orson Welles has got to be the highest form of love, right? The name Orson means “bear cub” and is a diminutive name coming from the Latin word for bear (ursa). This name is cute, but also strong and very unique.
Reggie is an adorable short version of Reginald, meaning “king”, while its feminine counterpart — Regina — means “queen”. Iconic.
Rehan means “sweet, scented plant” — like basil — and originated from the Koran. It has also been said to be a name with Irish roots, coming from a Gaelic surname; a variant of Regan.
Another ancient Roman and biblical name, the origins of the name Silas are somewhat vague. Many people think it’s short for ‘Silvanus’ which means “wood forest”, while others believe it’s from the Hebrew name Saul, which means “prayed for”. Honestly, all of them are pretty rad.
Thiago (Tee-ah-go) is a Portuguese name variant of Tiago, which is actually a form of the name James. James is obviously a popular name of its own, but it actually derives from Jacob, which means “holder of the heel”.
Waylen comes from the Old English name Weland, also spelled Wieland, this is a mythological name from Germany. In Old Norse, Waylen (spelled Völundr) meant “a skilled craftsman”.
Wren is a gender-neutral name that comes from the Middle English name for a small bird. It’s also a shortened version of the name Wrenley.
Xandros is a variant of Xandro, which comes from the Portuguese name Alexandro, originating from Alessandre. All the variants of Alessandre, Alexandro, Xandro and Xandros mean “defending men” in Greek.