Some parents have a tougher journey than others when it comes to their children and that’s completely normal. Rainbow babies are so-called because they follow a miscarriage, infant loss, stillbirth, or neonatal death. These babies are the hopeful calm after a familial storm and, because they follow loss, they are so very special to parents. If you are expecting a rainbow baby, you might want to mark the happy event with a meaningful, powerful baby name that celebrates light after darkness.
We decided to pull some baby names for boys that are perfect for rainbow babies as they have hopeful meanings that will resonate with parents who have endured hardship on their childbirth journey. These baby names offer positivity and contain so much inspiration in their meanings. Meghan Markle‘s recent announcement of her pregnancy following a miscarriage inspired us to discover baby names for boys that celebrate life and unflappable determination. Here are 25 meaningful rainbow baby names for boys that we hope you consider for your own child!
Jewish parents especially may be drawn to this soft, sensible name of the first king of Israel and the name of Saint Paul before his conversion. Today, the name is associated with Nobel Prize-winning novelist Saul Bellow. Its meaning makes it fitting for a long-awaited child. Saul has Hebrew origins and means “prayed for.”
Meyer was once a popular given name in the US until the 1930s. The name was famously favored by the Guggenheims. This gentle Hebrew name means “bringer of light.” We think that very hopeful meaning proves most appropriate for a rainbow baby.
Amal is one of our very favorite names as it has both Hebrew and Arabic origins and can mean “laborer” or “hope, inspiration.” Amal is the name of a male figure in the Bible, a member of the tribe of Asher which might be attractive for religious parents. It’s a perfect gender-neutral option that also works exceptionally well as a middle name.
If you feel like it has been an uphill battle for you, Aaron could prove the perfect name for your rainbow baby as it means “high mountain” or “exalted.” Aaron has been in and around the top 50 most popular names for boys for nearly half a century at this point and is still an attractive, perennial choice. In the Old Testament, Aaron, the older brother of Moses who was selected by God to be his brother’s speaker, was the first High Priest of the Israelites.
Frey is the handsome Norse fertility god, a worthy namesake. Frey remains rare in the US even as the similar Freya picks up in popularity. This Scandinavian favorite means “lord” or “exalted one.” We like this one for its mythological reference and casual sound.
This traditional Arabic name, found throughout several other Middle Eastern and African languages and cultures, is one of the 99 names of Allah. Colorful and dynamic, this makes a perfect rainbow baby name as it means “beloved.” Further, names with Z’s in them are very hot among new parents and we have no idea why this one has not gotten more attention in recent years!
Iain, an authentic Gaelic form of John, has been well-used in Scotland since the early 20th century, along with the shortened Ian spelling. Unfortunately, Iain is rarely found in the US. Iain takes its meaning from John, “God is gracious.” This would be an excellent choice for a rainbow baby boy.
Raphael is a romantic, archangel name that sounds both dramatic and compelling. Raphael is also a great cross-cultural choice, with importance for people with both Latinate and Jewish roots, plus plenty of grounding in the English-speaking world. Raphael has Hebrew origins that mean “God has healed.”
One of the few rainbow names that is masculine, Walken is a Noongar Aboriginal word. The name is also found in Norman-French tradition with unclear Greek roots. Walken is a subtle surname-name that would make for an unusual and unique choice among new parents. What’s a better name for a rainbow baby than one that literally means “rainbow”?
There are over five hundred names for the Arab prophet who founded the Muslim religion, making these names some of the most popular around the world. Haamid is simply a variation of Muhammed a name that means many things to many people. The two meanings most commonly cited are “grateful” and “praiseworthy.” The Muslim adage, “If you have a hundred sons, name them all Muhammad,” is spot-on.
Constantine is a Roman Emperor’s name that has long been considered too grand for an American baby boy. But in this age of children named Augustine and Atticus, it just may be prime for a surprise comeback. Constantine has Latin origins and it means “steadfast.” Constantine was last popular here in the 1980s and we would love for it to make a comeback today.
For a baby boy who has had a particularly difficult journey making it into this world, Oscar could prove a meaningful and fitting choice. Oscar has Irish origins that mean “deer loving.” But, its English meaning “champion warrior” fits for a little one who has had to fight. Oscar has been in the US top 500 baby names for boys since 1880 when records for baby names began.
Felix was originally a Roman surname but was adopted as a nickname by the ancient Roman Sulla, who believed that he was particularly blessed with luck by the gods. It is the name of four popes and sixty-seven saints. Thus, this Latin name means “happy” or “fortunate.”
Isaac evolved from the name Yitzchaq, derived from the Hebrew word tzachaq, meaning “to laugh.” In the Old Testament, Isaac was the long-awaited son of the elderly Sarah and 100-year-old Abraham, so old that their news provoked laughter, giving the name its meaning. Isaac was the 34th most popular baby name for boys last year.
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Cayo is a rare and rhythmic Spanish name, all but unknown in the English-speaking world, that would make a lively choice. Cayo is has Latin origins, from the Roman family name Caius. This playful name means “rejoice.” If you’re after a meaningful yet undiscovered baby name, Cayo checks those boxes.
Darrell is a given name derived from an English surname, which was derived from Norman-French d’Airelle, originally describing one who came from Airelle in France. There are no longer any towns in France called Airelle, but airelle is the French word for “huckleberry.” It has traditionally been used as a term of endearment for a beloved and it also means “dear one.”
Zorion may seem like a funky mashup of Orion or Zorro to most English-speakers, but it is a genuine Basque name meaning “happiness.” Zorion should appeal to parents who are after a secular, unique name. As Z-names are very popular right now, it could show up on the US top 1000 in years to come.
Angel is a perennial Hispanic boys’ name, but it was Buffy the Vampire Slayer that brought it into the broader possibility, where it’s now heard more frequently than ever before. Angel is very popular, and very traditionally masculine, in the Latino community. It was a top 100 name last year and would make for an inspiring choice for your rainbow baby.
Ambrose was the name of one of the important doctors of the early Christian church, the fourth century St. Ambrose. Ambrose has Latin origins that mean “immortal,” associated with the mythical food of the gods. The name fell from the US top 1000 in 1954 and finally returned to it last year! We are thrilled this name has made a comeback today.
In the Bible, Asher was one of Jacob’s twelve sons who gave their names to the tribes of Israel. Asher is derived from the Hebrew word osher, which means “happiness.” Asher is wildly popular today but you scarcely heard it in the US before the 1980s. We love its cheerful meaning and amicable sound.
We’re sticking with the cheer theme and bringing you another baby name that means “happiness” in Gil. Pronounced zheel, Gil a dashing Spanish and Hebrew name that you often hear pronounced gill in the US. We encourage you to go with the zippier pronunciation. Gil has not been popular in the US since the seventies and we would love for that to change as this short and sweet name has a lot going for it.
Nathaniel was derived from the Hebrew name Netan’el, meaning “gift of God,” comprised of the elements natan, meaning “to give,” and ’el, in reference to God. The name is present several times in the Old and New Testaments, typically spelled Nathanael. In the New Testament, Nathanael is also known by his other name, Bartholomew. This charmer has been in the US top 500 since record keeping began.
Popular in its own right in Germany and definitely makes a more intriguing and grownup short form of the classic Timothy than Timmy or even Tim. Timo has never appealed to a large swath of American parents but we think this will change in the coming years. Present in Norwegian, Finnish, German, and Dutch traditions, Timo means “honoring God.”
Parents who like Ben and Benjamin but find those forms too popular sometimes consider Benedict as a more distinctive choice. Unlike the Old Testament Benjamin, Benedict is the name of the saint who formed the Benedictine Order and belonged to fifteen popes. This Latin name means “blessed.”
Thaddeus, a distinguished, long-neglected name, is appealing for a variety of reasons. It’s got a solid New Testament legacy, a nice antique feel, and the choice of several more modern nicknames and international variations. In the Bible, Thaddeus was one of the original Twelve Apostles. Thaddeus is a very, very old name that comes from Aramaic and means “gift of God.” We love the nickname Thadd. Last year, this distinguished choice ranked as the 746th most popular name for boys.
There you go! We hope you enjoyed these inspiring rainbow baby names for boys that celebrate all things life. With meanings that include happiness, blessed, and terms of endearment, these appellations should appeal to parents looking for names with special connotations. 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. Saul
- 2 24. Meyer
- 3 23. Amal
- 4 22. Aaron
- 5 21. Frey
- 6 20. Aziz
- 7 19. Iain
- 8 18. Raphael
- 9 17. Walken
- 10 16. Haamid
- 11 15. Constantine
- 12 14. Oscar
- 13 13. Felix
- 14 12. Isaac
- 15 11. Cayo
- 16 10. Darrell
- 17 9. Zorion
- 18 8. Angel
- 19 7. Ambrose
- 20 6. Asher
- 21 5. Gil
- 22 4. Nathaniel
- 23 3. Timo
- 24 2. Benedict
- 25 1. Thaddeus
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