For some reason, new parents expecting baby boys tend to pick traditional classics instead of going for a unique name. For parents expecting boys, it’s totally fine to slap on a William or Henry and call it a day. Finding the right moniker can be challenging as you want something that’s recognizable but not overly used. It’s cool to be different, after all. The most popular baby names for boys got that way for a reason: they’re classic, lovable, and appeal to a broad set of parents. What’s a parent to do if they love a very commonly given name?
We decided to take the 25 most popular names for baby boys in 2019 from the latest data we have and transform them into less popular alternatives that are just as attractive and amiable. We’ll take into account their sound, origin, and style to transform the name into something special that you probably do not encounter often. These alternative baby names do not appear on the top 1000 list and instead, need more love from new parents. Here are 25 popular name transformations that offer variety and individuality.
25. Levi →Lewin
Lewin derives from the Old English name Leofwine, meaning “dear friend.” Lewin gives you the best parts of Ian and Lewis in one incredible name. Levi is fabulous, but it’s become overdone. Even if you go with Lev, you’ll be setting your little boy apart.
24. Joseph → Jove
Another name for Jupiter, king of the Roman gods, this jovial name is eminently ripe for modern use. A touch more sophisticated than good old Joe, Jove brings a touch of exoticness to the table. Due to its mythological roots, this name means “father of the sky.”
23. Matthew → Miro
Miro comes from the Slavic root word mir meaning “peace” or “world.” We could all start out with a little peace, right? Miro has a playful sound, pronounced MEE-ro, to it that seems far less buttoned up than Matthew.
22. Samuel → Shimon
Shimon is the more traditional form of the name Simon and has a history in many traditions, most commonly associated with Hebrew. Like Simon, Shimon means “to be heard.”
21. Owen → Oban
Owen is a Welsh name and if you travel north in the UK, you’ll find the Scottish name Oban. It’s a place name of a pretty town in Scotland, named for its perfect horseshoe-shaped bay. The name means “little bay.”
20. Aiden → Eamon
We’re on a trip around the UK, apparently, as we’ve now landed on the Irish name, Eamon, which is a form of theEnglish name Edmund which means “fortunate protector.” Eamon has a very soft sound with no hard consonants just like Aiden.
19. Jack → Iago
Iago is the preferred Welsh and Spanish form of the name Jack or Jacob or James. As with Jack, the name means “supplanter.” We love Iago’s fun sound that capitalizes on almost every vowel. In Cornwall, you’ll commonly find the name spelled Jago.
18. Sebastian → Zaccheus
Zaccheus is a variation of Zachariah and was borne by a tax collector in the New Testament. Like Zach, this name also means “the Lord has remembered.”
17. Jackson → Quillan
Quillan makes for a distinctive alternative to Jackson. It’s a lyrical Irish name that means “cub.” All the surname names like Hudson, Jackson, Greyson, Harrison, etc. have become rather abundant. We urge you to think outside the box.
16. Logan → Lorcan
Lorcan is a name rich in Irish history as belonging to several kings, including the grandfather of the most famous high king of Ireland, Brian Boru. Unfortunately, the name has never taken off in the US. We’d like to see that change. We find Lorcan is a welcome alternative to Logan. The name means “little” or “fierce.”
15. Daniel → Django
Daniel is beautiful, but we think parents can branch out a little further. Django is a possibility! It’s a Romani name that means “I awake.” Lovers of jazz should recognize the name as it was borne by Django (originally Jean Baptiste) Reinhardt, a famed jazz guitarist.
14. Michael → Mercury
Names inspired by Ancient gods and goddesses are all the rage right now. Parents are turning to Apollo, Zeus, and others for inspiration. We see Mercury as a possibility in this category as well. The name was ascribed to a messenger-God and comes from a Latin word which means “wages” or “trade.” Fans of Freddie Mercury could do no better.
13. Jacob → Junot
Junot is the Spanish form of the Latin name, Junius. The name means “born in June” so if you’re expecting a summer baby, why not? This name has a fun pronunciation: zhoo-no.
12. Henry → Auley
Also spelled Aulay in Scotland, Auley is an attractive form of the Scandinavian name Olaf that blends several currently fashionable sounds. The name has both Scottish and Manx origins and means “ancestor’s descendant.” If you like Henry, Hawley, Ollie, and the like, this name is perfect for you.
11. Alexander → Auberon
Rarely heard in the US, Auberon has a gentle autumnal feel that’s rare in a male name. Possibly starting as a pet form of Aubrey, it was also infuenced by Oberon, the king of the fairies in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The English and German name means “bearlike” or “noble.”
10. Ethan → Esau
Esau is a forgotten biblical name that’s criminally underrated. This Hebrew name does mean “hairy” but we don’t think that’s a dealbreaker. Unlike Ethan, a name that’s been broadly popular for decades, Esau hasn’t cracked the popularity charts since 1902.
9. Mason → Mattison
Mattison is an English surname name that means “son of Matthew.” Its cousin Madison is currently far more popular and has been trending toward girls for several years. We think Mattison offers the opportunity to honor a relative named Matt or simply to try something different.
8. Lucas → Ludo
Nico and Hugo have both had time in the sun and we think it’s time to shine a light on Ludo. Ludo is a shortened form of Ludovic a German name that means “famous.” Names like Lucas and Tobias are fabulous but we’re also fans of an O at the end of names.
7. Benjamin → Barnaby
Barnaby, a genial and energetic name with an Irish-sounding three-syllable lilt, is an ancient appellation that manages to be both unusual and highly attractive and deserves to be used more than it is. Barnaby is an English form of Barnabas, an Aramaic name, that means “son of consolation.”
6. James → Jemmett
We promise we did not make Jemmett up! It’s an Old English name that’s a form of James. It began as a nickname before it was adopted as a surname and later given to baby boys. In the most recent naming data, fewer than 5 boys were given the name in the US. You get the best of James and Emmett all rolled into one tidy name!
5. Elijah → Étienne
By all means, feel free to lean into classic French names. They’re wonderful. Etienne is a form of Stephen a name that means “garland” or “crown.” This name is pretty straightforward and most non-French speaking people can nail its pronunciation (Eh-ten)on the first try so go for it!
4. William → Wolfram
Wolfram would be an adventurous alternative to name like William. Wolfram has both German and English origins. In German, the name means “wolf raven.” In English, it’s an old surname that means “wolf secret.” The English pronunciation is WOLF-rum and German is VOLF-ram. Dealer’s choice!
3. Oliver → Olivier
Get Gallic with it! Olivier is the preferred French form of the name Oliver which is wildly popular around the world. We have not got a clue as to why this name is not on the top 1000 now or never has been in the past. Today, the name is most popular in the Netherlands. Bring it to America’s shores, parents.
2. Noah → Nilo
Even though Nilo is an alternative, Spanish form of Daniel, we actually find it as a suitable transformation from Noah. Nilo sounds so endearing and would undoubtedly bring tons of joy. Nilo, like Daniel, means “God is my judge.”
1. Liam → Finnian
Liam’s unlikely rise to the top is easy to understand as it’s such a gentle and handsome name. If you love Liam but are put off by how many little Liams there are these days, consider the Irish name Finnian. Finnian can be spelled Finian and we like both. You might recognize this name from the classic 1968 Broadway musical Finian’s Rainbow, later made into a film starring Fred Astaire as Finian McLonergan. Finnian means “fair.”
There you go! 25 popular baby names for boys transformed into more uncommon options. We hope you enjoyed this list and found a name or two worth considering! Happy baby name hunting!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 25. Levi →Lewin
- 2 24. Joseph → Jove
- 3 23. Matthew → Miro
- 4 22. Samuel → Shimon
- 5 21. Owen → Oban
- 6 20. Aiden → Eamon
- 7 19. Jack → Iago
- 8 18. Sebastian → Zaccheus
- 9 17. Jackson → Quillan
- 10 16. Logan → Lorcan
- 11 15. Daniel → Django
- 12 14. Michael → Mercury
- 13 13. Jacob → Junot
- 14 12. Henry → Auley
- 15 11. Alexander → Auberon
- 16 10. Ethan → Esau
- 17 9. Mason → Mattison
- 18 8. Lucas → Ludo
- 19 7. Benjamin → Barnaby
- 20 6. James → Jemmett
- 21 5. Elijah → Étienne
- 22 4. William → Wolfram
- 23 3. Oliver → Olivier
- 24 2. Noah → Nilo
- 25 1. Liam → Finnian
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Baby Name Generator
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