Are you looking for a fun baby name that holds a touch of mystery? Well, not mystery but instead meanings, other names, and words when you read the name in reverse. These baby names for boys are genuine, established names that you know and love and that you might not have thought to read backwards. Because, why would you? When you look at them in reverse they can reveal all sorts of things and help add an extra layer of meaning to a baby name.
We decided to start looking at names backwards to discover which ones spelled the most exciting things in reverse. Baby name experts at Nameberry point out that the most successful name in this class is Nevaeh, a name that musician Sonny Sandoval seemingly launched in 2000 on MTV. He explained that he gave the name to his daughter because it is “heaven spelled backwards.” Following this, the name exploded and is now in the top 100 baby names in the US. Let’s take a look at some other examples or boys, shall we? Here are 25 backwards baby names for boys contain something special in reverse.
Axel is the quintessential butch baby names for boys. In fact, it’s so butch that parents have begun using for baby girls as well because of the strength the name imparts. The name has Scandinavian origins and is a form of Absalom. It means “father of peace.” However, spell this name backwards and it gives you Lexa. Lexa is a female name and form of Alexandria. It means “defender of men.”
Celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D named her son Leafar to celebrate his father Rafael Reyes. Rafael is Spanish name and a form of Raphael which means “God has healed.” Leafar is a complete invention but it could be a subtle nature name considering it contains the “leaf” element.
Jamaican psychologist and motivational speaker Leahcim Semaj, whose birth name was Michael James. James, of course, the reverse of the name and has Hebrew origins. It means “supplanter.” Semaj has been very popular among Indian families who have propelled the name to the top 1000 since 1999.
Etan has become a popular alternative to the more ubiquitous Ethan. They share the same Hebrew root that means “strong.” Flip Etan around and you get another favorite, Nate. Nate is a shortened form of Nathaniel. It also has Hebrew origins and means “gift of God.”
Emil has Latin origins and means “rival.” This name was one of America’s favorite and remained in the US top 1000 from 1880 until 1984. We love it even though it is slightly sour when you read it backwards. You get the word “lime.” You can fondly remember that every time you squeeze your little Emil.
Liam has emerged as one of the country’s favorite names for boys and it was number one last year! This means there are many, many boys with this name today. Liam is the Irish form of William a name which means “resolute protection.” We wonder how many parents with little Liams have realized the name spells “mail” backwards.
Evan is a gender-neutral name today, although it does go way more often to boys than with girls. Evan is the preferred Welsh form of John, a name that means “God is gracious.” Lovers of architecture and churches will love to learn that this one spells “nave” backwards.
Amir is a beloved name around the world and it has been used in a variety of traditions from Arabic to Persian to Hebrew and now, in the US. The name has been on a steady rise since 1976 and it’s become one of the most-given names for baby boys. This name has many meanings including “ruler,” “king,” “treetop,” “prince,” and “power.” Flip this baby around and you find Rima. Rima was famously introduced as a fictional hero of WH Hudson’s novel Green Mansions, featuring a girl living in the rainforest of South America.
Milo is most commonly considered to be a Germanic name derived from the Latin word miles, meaning “soldier.” The baby name is more popular today than ever before in the US. Milo flips to Olim. Olim is a Latin word meaning “formerly” or “once” and also refers to immigration. An obscure one, but it’s still something!
Rab is an English nickname for Robert and it is used as a given name as well. Robert has German origins and means “bright fame.” Rab flipped around gives you “bar.” Not the most attractive word for this name, but a word nonetheless.
Angel is a perennial favorite among Hispanic parents who give the name to their baby boys. It’s a top 100 name for boys today. Angel has Spanish and English origins and means exactly what you think it does. Angel spelled backwords gives you “legna” an Italian word for “wood.” Do with that what you will.
Aidan is a very popular name in English-speaking communities. In the US it has long been a top 500 name. It has Irish origins that mean “little and fiery.” While the name is almost exclusively given to boys, its reverse is exclusively given to girls. Nadia is a Slavic name that means “hope.” There’s a lot to love about that one!
Nero, the infamous Roman Emperor who was an absolute monster, does not inspire a lot of favor from many new parents, but it’s still a possibility as a lot of water has flowed under that bridge. Nero has Latin origins that mean “stern.” Flip that baby around and you find Oren. Oren is a Hebrew name that means “laurel” or “pine tree.” Not bad! Maybe, just go with Oren!
Cam is a shortened form of Cameron, a Scottish name that really means “crooked nose.” Cam is a popular nickname but has not made the US top 1000 except for one year in 1896. Cameron, is a completely different story. Cam brings you Mac. Mac is also found in Scotland as a name meaning “son of.”
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A title of the Hindu sun god, Ravi means “conferring.” Ravi is an excellent name that you can expect to hear more and more of in coming years. Ivar, Ravi backwards, is very popular in Europe and a top 100 name in Sweden. Iver has Norse origins and it means “yew wood” or “archer.” Not bad!
Issac is a Hebrew favorite and even this alternative spelling has made the top 1000 since record keeping began for baby names in the US. Issac means “laughter.” Flip that bad boy around and you get Cassi, a Greek name for girls that means “shining.” We think any baby would appreciate those meanings!
Zaid is an Arabic name that’s been in the US top 1000 since 2003. It means “growth.” If you read the name backwards you will see Diaz. Diaz is a Spanish surname-name that has been growing in the US. It means “days.”
Allen is one of America’s most beloved names for boys. The Irish import means “handsome” or “cheerful.” Backwards, you get Nella, a name that has not been widely used for girls in the US since the 1950s. Nella is an English diminutive of Helen or Helena, which come from Greek and mean “bright” and “shining one.”
Avon is a vintage classic that we should dust off and start using again. The name has Celtic origins and means “river.” What a lovely nature name! Avon flipped around gives you Nova, a unisex name with Latin origins that means “new.” We can get behind this name for a number of reasons!
Leon is a Greek name that means “lion.” It is found in the US top 500 just about every year since 1880. Leon spelled backwards gives you Noel! Noel is a French name for both boys and girls, traditionally given to babies born on Christmas since the Middle Ages. It’s still a top 500 option for boys today!
Ira is a Hebrew name that took some time off the US top 1000 for about thirty years, but he’s back! Ira means “watchful one.” Ira transforms to Ari, another Hebrew name! Ari is the more popular name of the two today and it means “lion of God.” You’ll have yourself a little watchful lion with this appellation.
Hakim is a popular Arabic name that means “judicious.” It along with its many spellings are popular around the world today. Turned around, Hakim turns into Mikah. Mikah is a fresh form of Michael that’s been gaining traction in recent decades. Mikah has Hebrew origins and it means “who is like God?”
Miles has been charming new parents for centuries and it is currently on the upward climb once more. This name has English and Latin origins and means “soldier” or “merciful.” Selim is an Arabic name meaning “safe.” Miles just has tons going for it, right?
Rafa is an adorable short form of Rafael that is being used as a given name. It means “God has healed.” Rafa sounds so fun and when you turn it around you get the word “afar.” Perhaps this could mean that fortune waits on the horizon for your baby boy!
Wolf is a German name that comes from the very fussy-sounding Wolfgang. Wolfgang means “traveling wolf.” This distinguished name means something rather silly when you read it backwards. You get the word “flow.” Now, you could come up with some great things to do with that knowledge and taunt your child with it down the line! How fun!
There you go! We hope you enjoyed this names that contain other names and hidden meanings when you read them backwards. From interesting to funny, mildly entertaining to benign, these baby names for boys have so much going for them.
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.
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