European boy names represent some of the most popular appellations in use in the US. In fact, many classic names that are popular today like Leo and Lucas, Mason and Mateo, and Oliver and Owen have European roots. But, if you take a closer look within Europe, you will quickly learn that there are plenty of baby names that American parents have yet to discover. Cultural and linguistic variety is the name of the game for parents looking for unique options from a number of baby naming traditions across Europe. The baby name database, Nameberry, took a look at the top 100 names for boys in a variety of countries to find popular European boy names that are being overlooked by most American parents.
You might be looking for European boy names that honor your heritage or just fun spins on English classics. For instance, John can be traded for Johan, Henrik for Henry, and Maxwell for Maxence. Sounds exciting, right? Let’s take a look at the European boy names that are flying under American parents’ radars in the US to discover some options that you will want to add to your shortlist.
European Boy Names That Start with A
- Albin – A name of Czech origin, meaning “white”
- Alessio – An Italian form of Alex, meaning “defender”
- Alvaro – A name of Spanish origin, meaning “elf warrior”
- Antoine – A French form of Anthony, meaning “priceless”
More European Boy Names That Start with A
- Antonin – A Czech form of Antonius, meaning “priceless”
- Arvid – A name of Scandinavian, Swedish, and Norwegian origin, meaning “eagle tree.”
- Augustin – A name of Greek origin, meaning “great”
- Asger – A name of Danish origin, meaning “spear of God”
European Boy Names That Start with B
- Basile – A French form of Basil, meaning “regal”
- Bertalan – A Hungarian name, meaning “son of the furrow”
- Bram – A Dutch variation of Abraham, meaning “father of multitudes”
- Brynjar – A name of Old Norse origin, meaning “warrior armor”
European Boy Names That Start with C
- Caio – A name of Latin origin, meaning “rejoice”
- Carmine – A unisex name of Latin origin, meaning “vivid red”
- Ciro – An Italian form of Cyrus, meaning “sun”
- Clement – A name of Latin origin, meaning “merciful”
European Boy Names That Start with D
- Daris – A Slovenian form of Darius, meaning “one who possesses goodness”
- Domenico – A Latinate name, meaning “belonging to the Lord”
- Dorian – A name of Greek origin, meaning “stranger”
- Duarte – A Portuguese form of Edward, meaning “wealthy guardian”
European Boy Names That Start with E
- Einar – A name of Old Norse origin, meaning “bold warrior”
- Eldar – A name found in Bosnian, Nordic, and Hebrew naming traditions, meaning “fire warrior” or “God resides”
- Emile – A name of Latin origin, meaning “rival”
- Enea – An Italian variation of Aeneas, from Greek, meaning “praised one”
European Boy Names That Start with F
- Fabio – An Italian and Spanish form of Fabian, meaning “bean grower”
- Faris – A name of Arabic origin, meaning “knight”
- Ferran – A Catalan name, meaning “baker”
- Flavio – A Latinate name meaning “yellow” and “blonde”
European Boy Names That Start with G
- Gabin – A name of French and Latin origin, meaning “of Gabium”
- Gaspard – A French form of the Persian name, Jasper, meaning “bringer of treasure”
- Gerard – An English and Irish form of a German name, meaning “spear strength”
- Gustavo – A Latinate variation of Gustav, meaning “staff of the Goths”
European Boy Names That Start with H
- Hakon – A Norse name, meaning “chosen son”
- Hector – A name of Greek origin, meaning “holding fast”
- Henrik – A Danish and Hungarian form of Henry, meaning “estate ruler”
- Hunor – A name of Hungarian origin, meaning “Hun”
European Boy Names That Start with I
- Iago – A Welsh and Galician variation of James and Jacob, meaning “supplanter”
- Ignacy – A form of the Latin name, Ignatius, meaning “fiery”
- Iker – A name of Basque origin, meaning “visitation”
- Ilya – A Russian variation of Elijah, meaning “the Lord is God”
European Boy Names That Start with J
- Jacopo – An Italian variation of Jacob, meaning “supplanter”
- Johan – A German variation of John, meaning “God is gracious”
- Julen – A Basque variation of Julian, meaning “youthful”
- Jules – A French variation of Julius, meaning “youthful”
European Boy Names That Start with K
- Kajetan – A Polish variation of Gaetano, meaning “from the city of Gaeta”
- Kari – A name of Norse origin, meaning “curly hair”
- Kolya – A Russian, diminutive form of Nikolai, meaning “people of victory”
- Kuba – A Polish short form of Jacob, meaning “supplanter”
More European Boy Names That Start with L
- Lars – A Scandinavian from Latin Laurentius, meaning “crowned with laurel”
- Laurin – A German form of Laurentius, meaning “crowned with laurel”
- Leander – A name of Greek origin, meaning “lion-man”
- Livio – An Italian variation of Livius, meaning “envious”
European Boy Names That Start with M
- Mael – A French or Breton name, meaning “chief”
- Malo – A Breton name, meaning “shining hostage”
- Marius – From Latin, a Roman family name related to Mars, the god of war, meaning “warlike”
- Mathis – A French and German form of Matthias or Matthew, meaning “gift of God”
More European Boy Names That Start with M
- Maxence – A French form of the Latin name Maximus, meaning “greatest”
- Milan – An Italian place name or a Slavic name, meaning “gracious”
- Mirko – A Slavic name, meaning “peace” and “world”
- Miron – A Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian and Polish variation of Myron, from Greek, meaning “fragrant”
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European Boy Names That Start with N
- Nandor – A Hungarian and Scandinavian name, meaning “voyager”
- Noam – A name of Hebrew origin, meaning “pleasantness”
- Nicolo – An Italian form of Nicholas, meaning “people of victory”
- Nikolai – A Russian form of Nicholas, meaning “people of victory”
European Boy Names That Start with O
- Olav – A name of Norse origin, meaning “ancestor’s relic”
- Olivier – A French name, meaning “olive tree”
- Oriol – A name of Catalan origin, meaning “golden”
- Otso – A Finnish name that means “bear”
European Boy Names That Start with P
- Pavel – A Russian form of Paul, meaning “small”
- Pietro – An Italian form of Peter, meaning “rock”
- Pim – A Dutch diminutive of Willem or William, meaning “resolute protection”
- Platon – A Russian variation of Plato, from Greek, meaning “broad-shouldered”
European Boy Names That Start with R
- Radek – A Czech and Polish name, meaning “happy”
- Rafal – A diminutive form of Raphael, meaning “God has healed”
- Ragnor – A name of Norse origin, meaning “warrior”
- Rasmus – A Finnish and Scandinavian variation of Erasmus, meaning “beloved”
More European Boy Names That Start with R
- Rene – A French name, meaning “reborn”
- Roc – A Catalan form of Rocco, meaning “rest”
- Rurik – A Russian variation of Roderick, meaning “famous ruler”
- Ruslan – A Russian variant of Turkish Aslan, meaning “lion”
European Boy Names That Start with S
- Sander – A Dutch and Scandinavian, diminutive of Alexander, meaning “defending men”
- Seppe – A Flemish diminutive of Sebastian, meaning “man from Sebastia”
- Sixten – A name of Norse origin, meaning “stone of victory”
- Storm – A word name that has become wildly popular in Denmark today
More European Boy Names That Start with S
- Sacha – A French variation of Sasha, meaning “defending men”
- Sergio – An Italian and Spanish variation of Sergius, a Latin clan name
- Sven – A Scandinavian name, meaning “youth”
- Sverre – A Dutch name, meaning “wild”
European Boy Names That Start with T
- Tibor – A Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and Slovene name, meaning “of Tibur” or “of Tivoli”
- Timeo – An Italian name from Greek, meaning “honor”
- Toivo – A Finnish name, meaning “hope”
- Tygo – A Dutch form of Tycho, of Greek origin, meaning “hitting the mark”
European Boy Names That Start with V
- Valentin – A French, German, Russian, Czech, or Scandinavian variation of Valentine, meaning “strength”
- Valerio – A Spanish/Latinate form of Valentine, meaning “strength”
- Vasco – A name of Spanish origin, meaning “from the Basque region”
- Vito – A name of Latin origin, meaning “life”
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Y and Z European Boy Names
- Yanis – A name of Hebrew origin, popular in France today, meaning “gift of God”
- Yuri – A Russian variation of George, meaning “farmer”
- Zalan – A very popular name in Hungary today, but the meaning is unclear, possibly “from the Zala river” or “from the Zalan region”
- Ziga – A Slovene, Silesian name, meaning “victory protector”
There you go! What did you think of these European boy names? We hope you found some options that are worthy of your consideration. If you are still looking for more baby name inspiration, keep reading. We have rounded up a list of rare Irish boy names that most American parents don’t know about. Enjoy!
Pronounced TUR-lock, Turlough is a popular name during the Middle Ages. Toirdelbach (Anglicized as Turlough or Turlach) is the name of two High Kings of Ireland. It means “abettor” or “instigator,” from Gaelic toirdhealbh meaning “prompting.”
Pronounced SEN-an or SHEN-an, Senan is one of the origins of the surname turned popular first name Shannon. It’s surprising that this saint’s name remains unknown outside of Ireland. Senan is thought to derive from Old Irish sen “old”, but parallels have also been drawn with the name of the goddess of the River Shannon, Sinann.
Many non-Irish speakers are familiar with Ruairí and Ruaidrí, the Gaelic spellings of Rory. They derive from Irish ruadh meaning “red” + rí meaning “king”. But Ruadh or Rua is also given as a name in its own right! 18 Ruas and 15 Ruadhs were born in Ireland last year.
Caedmon has deep Celtic origins and means “wise warrior.” It’s related to a more popular, Anglicized version Cadman. The name is pronounced the same, KAD-muhn. St. Caedmon was a Celt who was the first known poet of the vernacular in English.
Influenced by, but not technically related to the Biblical name Malachi, Malachy is an Irish saint’s name. It’s the Anglicized form of either Maeleachlainn (“disciple of St. Seachnall”) or Maelmhaedhoc (“disciple of St. Máedóc”). Irish actor Cillian Murphy chose the name for his son in 2005. The name is pronounced MAL-uh-kee.
This Irish Gaelic name might look like a mouthful, but Coinneach is simply pronounced CON-ak. It’s a variation of the name Kenneth. The name means “handsome one.”
Cormac isn’t nearly as popular in the US as it is in Ireland. The Irish name deserves some more love from Americans as it’s exceedingly strong and handsome. The name means “of a charioteer.” The name belonged to Cormac Mac Airt, one of the legendary high kings of Ireland.
This traditional Gaelic name can be found in a variety of forms throughout the Celtic nations. Famous examples include Scottish King Domnall, Irish High King Domhnall, actor Domhnall Gleeson. It’s another form of the name that’s fallen from favor, Donald. It means “ruler.”
The preferred Irish form of Edward, Eamon has its own charms. Pronounced, AY-mon this name can also be spelled Eamonn. It means “wealthy protector.”
Farrell is an uncommon given name in the US. This Irish name takes a few different forms including Fergal and Fearghal. The name means “one is courageous.” If you’re looking for a unique alternative to Darryl, this would be the one.
Fergus is a Gaelic name that can be found in both Scottish and Irish traditions. This slightly quirky name means “man of force.” Fergus I is a mythological first king of Scotland, and the name is also borne by the High Kings of Ireland. Sir Fergus was one of the knights of the round table.
Lorcan has never been given to more than 20 babies a year in the US and is the perfect rare alternative to Liam or Logan. In Gaelic, Lorcán means “little fierce one.” A great choice for a little fighter.
Both Keenan and Keane come from the same origin, Cian. The name can be found throughout the Celtic tradition. It means “ancient.” In Ireland, the spelling Cian is the favorite, but we prefer Keane to help make this name even easier.
Keir is a single-syllable name that packs a lot of punch. The name is pronounced Keer. The Irish Gaelic form of this name means “dark” or “black.”
A saint’s name, Anglicized from Ádhamhnán or Adomnán, which may derive either from Ádhamh (Adam) or from Gaelic adomnae “great fear”. St Eunan was a 7th-century abbot of Iona best known for his “Law of Innocents,” which protected women, children, and non-combatants. You pronounce Eunan, YOO-nan.
Several medieval saints were named Laisren. It’s an Irish name that means “flame.” If you really want to get fancy and traditional with it, you can spell the name: Laisrén.
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Cahir is pronounced CAH-hir. It means “warrior,” from Old Irish cath “battle” and fer “man”, Cahir is an Anglicized form of Cathair or Cathaoir. It’s especially popular in Northern Ireland, given to 27 baby boys there in 2021 (additionally 9 are called Cathair/Cahair).
Nealon is a form of the Gaelic name, Niall, which means “cloud” or “champion.” It’s like a fancier version of Neil.
Nels is a popular Celtic name that refers to a “chief” or as the “son of Neil.” However, if you travel to Sweden, you’ll find it there as the preferred form of Nicholas. Nels sounds casual and fun.
Riordan is more popular as a last name but may be used as a first name to honor a family Irish name. We love that it sounds similar to Jordan or Jaden. The name is pronounced REER-den. It means “royal poet.”
An Anglicization of Bairre, now more popular in Ireland than the original, Barra is a short form of the Gaelic names Fionnbharr (Finbar) or Barrfhionn, meaning “fair-headed.” Gaelic barr means “head”, but also “height” or “hill.”
Like Rowan, Sheridan is another excellent gender-neutral name. Sheridan had a moment 100 years ago in the US, but it isn’t heard often. This popular Irish name means “searcher.”
No, it’s not a nickname for Arthur, though you’d be forgiven for thinking so! In Ireland, Art is an ancient name, deriving from Proto-Celtic artos meaning “bear” and figuratively meaning “hero”. It belonged to two legendary High Kings of Ireland, Art mac Cuinn and Art mac Lugdach.
Tiernan is rare in the US but relatively common in Northern Ireland. A famous example is Tiernan, who was a 12th-century king of Breifne in Ireland. This Gaelic name means “little lord.”
RELATED: 25 Rare Celtic Baby Names for Girls That Are Virtually Unheard of in the US
Triton might conjure images of a Greek god, but this form of the name (even though it’s spelled the same) actually has Celtic origins and is a diminutive of Tristan. In Arthurian legend, Tristan was a knight of the round table and the unfortunate hero of the medieval tale Tristram and Isolde. Triton sounds very fun!
There you go! 25 Irish names that you’ll find in the UK but not in the US. We hope you enjoyed this list and feel inspired to choose one of these monikers for your son. If you would like to learn about even more Irish names, keep reading for a list of names inspired by the saints of Ireland.
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
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