Middle Names for Boys

Torn between two names or styles of name? Want to give your child a choice of names to go by later in life? Or maybe you want to honour a relative or give a name that respects a family or cultural tradition while also giving your baby boy a name that expresses his unique personality. A middle name could be the answer. If it’s popular, cute, cool or unique middle names for boys you’re after, this list might have just the one you’re looking for!

Tips for Choosing a Middle Name for Your Baby Boy

Middle names have an interesting history. In Roman times, having more names were a sign of higher social status. In the Middle Ages, families often couldn’t decide between naming a child after a saint or a family member, so they went with both. And much later, a trend emerged of using the mother’s maiden name as a middle name. In some cultures, the concept of a middle name is rare or non-existent. Middle names aren’t used in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. In Spanish-speaking nations, a child will be given a compound first name like Juan José. In Africa, a child may be given multiple first names, each with a dedicated meaning such as birth order and even the specific day of birth. In China, children get a first name made up of two syllables, but there are no middle names. Middle names are much more popular in the UK, where as many as 80 per cent of new babies are given at least one second name. Still, it’s a relatively new phenomenon here too – based on census data, in 1911 only 37 per cent of people had a middle name. Just as with your baby’s first name, you can be as creative as you like with the middle name. There are no laws in the UK restricting names, although in exceptional cases the registering officer does have discretion to reject any that could be offensive.

Here are some tips for choosing a great middle name:

  • Honour a beloved family member

  • Match the middle name with the first name in some way

  • Consider the length – if the first name is very long, you might like to select a shorter middle name

  • Pick a name that sounds good when your child’s first, middle, and surnames are said altogether

  • Think about mixing it up a bit. If you’ve chosen a traditional first name for your son, you might like a cool or unique middle name to go with it.

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Cool and Unique Middle Names for Boys

Here are some cool and unique middle names for boys:

  1. Ajay. Meaning ‘unconquered’ in Sanskrit, this name sounds cool as either a first or a middle name.

  2. Akirou. This Japanese name means ‘autumn son’. What a great name, especially if your son is born in the season of falling leaves.

  3. Alfonso. Derived from a German name meaning ‘noble and ready’, Alfonso is the Spanish and Italian version of the name. Other variants include Alonso or Alonzo, or the French spelling, Alfonse.

  4. Andrés. This is the Spanish and Icelandic form of the name Andrew, a name with Greek origins that means ‘manly’. A pretty good meaning for a little boy.

  5. Asher. In Hebrew, this name means ‘blessed’ or ‘happy’. The name also appears in the Old Testament. Despite its ancient history, Asher is a unique and fresh-sounding middle name.

  6. Avrum. This is the Yiddish form of the biblical name Abraham. Although rooted in antiquity, this name has a very modern ring to it.

  7. Atticus. The Latin version of the Greek name that means ‘from Attica’, this name was used by Harper Lee in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

  8. Callum. Also spelled Calum, this name is a derivation of Columba, a Latin name that means ‘dove’. The most notable bearer was an Irish monk who brought Christianity to Scotland. What a peaceful and serene middle name for your baby boy.

  9. Cochise. In the Native American Apache language, this name means ‘oak’ or ‘wood’, which connotes strength. It was the name of a 19th century chieftain who became famous for leading an uprising that ended in the signing of a peace treaty.

  10. Cyrus. A Greek name that derives from a Persian name meaning either ‘far-sighted’ or ‘young’, Cyrus was used by ancient Persian kings. Much later, the Puritans popularised the name. For such an ancient name, it sounds powerful yet modern.

  11. Damon. Meaning ‘to tame’ in Greek, this is one of many great names from Greek mythology. The Damon of legend proved himself a loyal companion when he volunteered to stand in temporarily for his friend Pythias in the prison where he was waiting to be executed. The king was so impressed by this act of selflessness that they were both pardoned.

  12. Donovan. Derived from an Irish surname that meant ‘descendant of Donndubhán’. It's a unique middle name that has a dashing air.

  13. Emery. The Norman form of the German name Emmerich, Emery was never that popular until modern times, when it was also used as a female name.

  14. Emmett. This is the masculine form of the female name Emma. It was originally derived from a surname. The name connotes strength and wholesomeness.

  15. Horacio. For a unique middle name, choose this Spanish version of Horatius, derived from the Latin for ‘hour’ or ‘time’. Other versions of the name include Horatio and Horace.

  16. Helios. Meaning sun in Greek, Helios was the name of the Greek sun god, who rode in a chariot in the sky to bring up the sun each day. That’s a nice image to have for your son, who will bring brightness every day. His sister was the moon goddess Selene, so these two could make good boy and girl twin names.

  17. Imani. In the Swahili language, this name – originally of Arab origin – means ‘faith’.

  18. Ignacio. This is the Spanish form of the name Ignatius, which is probably of Etruscan origin. Although the meaning of the name isn’t quite known, many saints bore the name.

  19. Jamal. In Arabic this name means ‘beauty’, a great meaning for your beautiful baby boy. It can also be spelled Jamaal.

  20. Jayce. As the short form of Jason, derived from the Greek for healer, Jayce makes a unique middle name.

  21. Nikhil. This Sanskrit name means ‘whole’ or ‘entire’. It would make a unique-sounding middle name for your little one, and a great fit for the boy who will be your entire world..

  22. Orlando. This is the Italian form of the name Roland. Fans of English literature will recognize the name from William Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando.

  23. Perry. This name may derive from an English or Welsh surname that means ‘pear tree’. It’s one of those names that sounds both traditional and modern at once.

  24. Ramsay. Also spelled Ramsey, this given name comes from a surname meaning ‘island of wild garlic’. Despite the unusual meaning, the name sounds cool and noble.

  25. Randall. This spelling of the name Randall was used as a surname, but as a given name it was originally spelled Randel, a diminutive of Randolf. The name has a classy ring to it.

  26. Silas. This name could have two origins. It may stem from the Latin name Silvanus, which means ‘forest’, or it may stem from the Greek form of the Hebrew name Saul, which means ‘prayed for’. Whichever meaning you prefer, this name has a classic ring to it.

  27. Stone. From the Old English word stan. In Scandinavian countries it’s spelled Sten. It makes a rather rugged name for a boy and could be a good choice if you are a nature lover.

  28. Sunil. In Hindi, as well as other languages in India, this name is the word for a very dark shade of blue. It would make a unique middle name for a little boy, whose favourite colour – you never know – may end up being dark blue.

  29. Tariq. In Arabic this name means ‘he who knocks at the door’. Quite an interesting meaning, but what makes it all the more special is that this is also the Arabic name for the morning star. Variant spellings include Tarek and Tarik.

  30. Thando. In the southern African languages of Xhosa, Zulu, and Ndebele, this name means to love. Could there be a better meaning for the love of your life?

  31. Trace. This is the masculine form of the unisex name Tracy. There are plenty of other unisex name options for your baby to choose from this isn’t quite the one you’re looking for.

  32. Vidal. This is the Spanish and Catalan form of the Latin name Vitalis, which means ‘of life’. In Italian the name is spelled Vitale. Either option is really unique for a baby boy with a meaning that is spot on.

  33. Xander. This short and more modern form of Alexander was made popular after a character in a 90s hit TV show. There’s nothing wrong with giving your child a middle name after a favourite TV character!

Check out our list of 30+ unique baby boy names for even more ideas that will ensure your boy has a middle name that stands out.

Short Middle Names for Boys

If your child’s first and surnames are relatively long, you may decide that a short middle name is the best match. Here are some ideas for short middle names for boys:

  1. Alon. In Hebrew, this name simply means ‘oak tree’, the perfect name for a boy you hope will grow up to be as steadfast as an oak.

  2. Beau. This name is French for beautiful and has been used as a common given name since the middle of the 20th century. Although popular in many countries, it is rare in France. Although the form is masculine in French grammar, the name may also be used for girls. It’s the perfect middle name for a beautiful baby of either gender.

  3. Blake. Originally a surname derived from the Old English for black, the name is now a common given name. You may consider this name for a boy born with a full head of dark hair!

  4. Brock. Originally a surname derived from the Old English for ‘badger’, Brock is now a common given name, often associated with power and strength.

  5. Cade. Another former surname derived from Old English, Cade means ‘round’. Not necessarily the most interesting meaning, but a good-sounding middle name for your baby boy, nonetheless.

  6. Chad. From an Old English word meaning ‘battle’, the name Chad was also the name of a saint. It was a rare name until the 1960s, but for some reason it suits that era perfectly and you could bring it back as your boy’s middle name if you like the sound of it.

  7. Chase. Literally meaning ‘chase’ or ‘hunt’ in Middle English, the name Chase was originally a nickname for a hunter.

  8. Clark. Originally an English surname that means ‘cleric’, in Old English the name means priest. Clark is a super name for a super boy!

  9. Cole. Derived from a surname that was originally spelled Cola, Cole is an Old English word that means ‘charcoal’. It’s sometimes used as a nickname for Nicholas.

  10. Dion. This is the short form for the Greek name Dionysios, or Dionysus, who was the god of wine. It means of Zeus, who was the greatest of the Greek gods.

  11. Grant. From a Scottish and English surname that originates from the Norman French word for ‘large’ or ‘great’. Literally a great middle name for your baby boy!

  12. Jeong. In Korean, this unisex name means ‘quiet’, still’ and ‘gentle’ or ‘virtuous’, ‘chaste’ and ‘loyal’, depending on the characters used. It’s pronounced like chung. In Korean culture it’s usually combined with another character to create a two-syllable name, but it makes a great name on its own as well.

  13. Jude. This name is a variation on the biblical name Judas. In some versions of the Bible, it is used to distinguish Jesus’s second apostle – said to have authored the Epistle of Jude – from Judas Iscariot, the one said to have betrayed Jesus. The name Jude has been popular in modern times too – just think of the Beatles’ song Hey Jude.

  14. Kurt. The short form for the German name Conrad, which means ‘brave counsel’, the name can also be spelled Curt. However, the name Curt has an alternative origin, deriving from the name Curtis, which means courteous in French. You certainly can't go wrong with either meaning.

  15. Ross. A long time ago, someone with the surname Ross was likely from a place of that name, such as the Scottish region of Ross. The name means ‘headland’ in Gaelic.

  16. Tibor. The Hungarian, Czech and Slovak form of Tiburtius or Tiburcio, which originally denoted someone from the town of Tibur (now Tivoli) in Italy. Saint Tiburtius was a Roman martyr in the 3rd century.

  17. Tripp. Meaning ‘third’ in Latin, the name Tripp would make a great middle name for your third child. Why not? It’ll make a fun story when people ask why you chose the name.

  18. Uri. In Hebrew the name Uri means ‘my light’. The name also appears in the Old Testament. What a great name for a child who will be the light in your life.

  19. Vance. This name means ‘marsh’ or ‘fen’ in Old English. It exudes strength and reliability.

  20. Yūki. In Japanese this short unisex name can mean ‘excellence’, ‘superiority’, ‘gentleness’, ‘permanence’, ‘brightness’ or ‘hope’. What a great meaning for your little boy.

  21. Zane. Interestingly, the name Zane was introduced by the American author Zane Grey. And it’s already tried and tested as a middle name – although he used it as his main name, it was actually Grey’s second name, given after his mother’s maiden name.

  22. Zeke. This is the short form of Ezekiel, which is a Hebrew name meaning ‘God’s strength’. Ezekiel was an important prophet in the Old Testament. This short version sounds more modern, though!

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Most Common and Popular Middle Names for Boys

If you’re looking for the most common and popular names for boys, all the names in this next section were among the top 100 baby names in England and Wales in 2021. Any of them would make a good middle name:

  1. Alexander. This is the Latin form of a Greek name that means ‘defending men’. Alexander the Great was one of the most famous bearers of this name, but he’s not alone, and nor will your little boy be with the middle name Alexander! Many kings, emperors, and popes have also had this name.

  2. Benjamin. This Hebrew name means ‘from the south’. In the Old Testament, Benjamin was the youngest son of Jacob as well as one of the founders of the Hebrew tribes. A noble name for sure!

  3. Daniel. Meaning ‘God is my judge’ in Hebrew, Daniel was a prophet and interpreter of dreams in the Old Testament.

  4. Dylan. In Welsh mythology, Dylan was a god of the sea, and the name reflects this, deriving from the Welsh words meaning ‘great tide’. With this name, don’t be surprised if your little one will love splashing about in the bathtub!

  5. Elijah. This name originates from a Hebrew name that means ‘my God is Yahweh’. Elijah was a prophet and miracle worker in the Old Testament. The Latin form of this name is Elias, which was also used by saints.

  6. Ethan. A Hebrew name that means ‘solid’, ‘firm’ or ‘enduring’, it appeared in the Old Testament but didn’t become popular until the 20th century. In this way, the name straddles both the traditional and modern.

  7. Henry. From a German name meaning ‘home ruler’, the name was popular among German kings and later became popular in France and England too. The most famous royal with this name is King Henry VIII. The nickname for Henry is Harry, another great middle name possibility.

  8. Jack. Although it was originally a nickname for John, Jack has been the more common and popular of the two names in the UK since the 1990s.

  9. Jackson. This name stems from the name Jack and literally means ‘Jack’s son’. It was originally a surname but as a given name it has a modern ring to it.

  10. Jacob. This name has Hebrew, Latin, and Greek origins. Interestingly, James and Jacob come from the same source. In the Middle Ages, Jacob was considered the Jewish version and James the Christian version. Religion aside, the name Jacob is pretty popular and can be shortened to Jake.

  11. James. Of Latin and Hebrew origin, James was the name of two apostles in the New Testament. It’s also been the name of many English and Scottish kings. Don’t forget the famous fictional character James Bond. Your son will be in good company with this as his middle name!

  12. Liam. This is the Irish short form of William, and it has been popular in England since the 1980s. Plenty of famous actors and musicians have helped to keep this name fresh and fashionable.

  13. Logan. A surname derived from a Scottish place; Logan means ‘little hollow’ in Gaelic. It’s an adorable meaning and a stately name.

  14. Lucas. The Latin-derived form of the Greek name Luke, Lucas meant someone from Lucania, a region in southern Italy. The name Luke also appears in the New Testament.

  15. Mason. A surname meaning stoneworker, Mason has Germanic origins. It was the 42nd most popular name given to baby boys born in England and Wales in 2020. However, it still has a unique sound to it, especially when used as a middle name.

  16. Michael. In Hebrew Michael translates to the rhetorical question ‘Who is like God?’ In the Bible he is an archangel and is considered the patron saint of soldiers. It was a popular name among Byzantine and Russian emperors too.

  17. Noah. In Hebrew, Noah means rest. In the Bible, Noah built an ark in which he saved his family and animals from the Great Flood. The name became popular among the Puritans. If you think about it, it’s a middle name your son can be proud of.

  18. Oliver. The most popular boy’s name for new babies in England and Wales in 2021 it’s the English version of the French name Olivier, the German name Alfher, and the Nordic name Olaf. The name Oliver also has origins in the Latin word for olive tree. The name became popular in the 19th century after the Dickens novel Oliver Twist.

  19. Sebastian. From a Latin name that meant someone from Sebasate, a town in present-day Turkey, or from the Greek name that means venerable, Sebastian was the name of a popular saint who was persecuted for being a Christian. Despite that history, the name is both classic and modern.

  20. William. From a German name that means ‘desire’ and ‘protection’, William was a common name among Normans, eventually becoming popular in England after William the Conqueror. English and Prussian kings have had the name.

The Bottom Line

Picking a middle name for your baby boy may not be as nerve-racking as choosing the first name, and you might even have a little fun with it. Some parents decide to go with an unusual or unique middle name while others choose a name inspired by a beloved family member. Before making your final choice, think about how the name pairs with the first name, and how the full name sounds altogether. We've given you a few options in this article, but if you’re still looking for inspiration check out these 1,000 baby boy names, any of which could make a great middle name as well. For a more targeted search, try our Baby Name Generator, which lets you sort names by theme, first letter and more. Happy name-hunting!