When searching for the perfect baby name for your little guy, there’s a lot to consider. Does it sound okay with your last name? Will there be a million other kids with the same name running around in their kindergarten class? Do you connect with the name’s meaning? That last one can be crucial — especially if you’re looking for strong boy names that carry with them a feeling of empowerment and vitality.
From Andrew to Wyatt, you can’t go wrong with any of these strong boy names.
Origin: Irish | Meaning: Fiery one
Aiden has been a super popular name of late, but it actually originated from Aodh, the Celtic god of sun and fire. Ironically, Aidens have been noted to be kind and gentle throughout history. And since the 2000s, Aiden has become one of the most popular names of the decade — meaning Gen Z will be packed with ’em!
Origin: Greek | Meaning: Defender of the people
The name Alexander has had many famous bearers throughout history — including the ancient Greek king Alexander the Great and Alexander Graham Bell, the Scottish-born inventor who created the first telephone. Nicknames for Alexander include Alex, Xander, and Zan — all of which qualify as strong boy names in their own right.
Origin: Greek | Meaning: Manly, brave
Andrew is one of those classic names that has truly stood the test of time. It has roots in biblical times, as Andrew was the first of the 12 apostles chosen by Jesus and the brother of Peter in the Bible. But it’s also been the name of American presidents (Andrew Jackson and Johnson), actors (Andrew Garfield), and artists (Andy Warhol). With its timeless quality, it’s no wonder the name is one of the most popular strong boy names in history.
Origin: Latin | Meaning: Great one, magnificent
Austin has been the name of cities (Austin, Texas), singers (Austin Mahone), and wacky fictional characters (ahem, Austin Powers). But what you probably never realized is that it’s actually a shortened version of the name Augustine.
Origin: German, English | Meaning: Mighty as a bear
Origin: Celtic | Meaning: Strength, ascension, or valor
We all know a Brian — he could be our best friend, our brother, or our husband. But centuries ago, long before Brian made its way onto the popular baby name lists, it was actually relatively unknown. Brian Boru, a high king and great national hero who defeated the Vikings’ when they tried to take his country, is credited with first making the name gain attraction in Ireland. Since then, Brian has worked its way onto classic baby name lists everywhere.
Origin: Celtic | Meaning: Bold, faithful, loyal
Caleb was one of the only two Isrealites noted in the Bible who left Egypt with Moses and lived long enough to enter the Promised Land. The name’s literal meaning comes from the word “dog,” but don’t let that scare you off. It’s often translated into “bold,” “faithful,” and “loyal” — three words you might use to describe man’s best friend. Caleb peaked in popularity around the 1800s, but fell off the charts until about the 1960s, when it popped back up again and has been steadily rising in the decades since.
Origin: French | Meaning: Manly
Charles has been known to be a popular royal name used by kings in both France and Great Britain. Today, it’s still the name of royalty (most notably with Britain’s Prince Charles), but also popular with us “common folk”. Writer Charles Dickens bore the name, as did biologist Charles Darwin. And today, we think of athletes like Charles Barkley, illustrator Charles Schulz (of Charlie Brown fame!), and actor Charlie Hunnam when we think of famous Charleses.
Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Strong, firm
Ethan is a name that has many famous namesakes, including ’90s heartthrobEthan Hawke and American revolutionary Ethan Allen. It also appears in the Bible on multiple occasions. Yet despite being around since biblical times, it’s still not so common a name that your kid will have five other friends in class with the same moniker.
Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: God is my strength
Traditionally a Spanish name, the name Gabriel goes way back. He was one of the seven archangels who told Mary about her pregnancy and that she would be giving birth to Jesus. Today, the name might seem a bit formal, but many parents use Gabe as a common nickname to make the name more conversational.
Origin: British, French, Scottish | Meaning: Tall, big, great
What a strong and simple name. Grant has been the surname to countless men throughout history — including Ulysses S. Grant and Hugh Grant — as well as the first name of basketball player Grant Hill and the Olympic swimmer Grant Hackett. It also has a rather grand meaning, meaning “tall,” “big,” or “great”. And while it’s hard to think of your little one growing up to be super tall just yet, one day he just might be.
Origin: English | Meaning: To hunt, occupational name
Hunter is, by its very nature, a strong name perfectly suited for an outdoorsy, adventurous little boy. Writer Hunter S. Thompson bears the name, as does former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
Origin: Scottish, Welsh | Meaning: Royal power, greatest champion
When we think of the name Kendrick these days, we tend to think of rapper Kendrick Lamar or basketball player Kendrick Perkins. But far before this name entered pop-culture as a first name, it was mostly known as a common surname within the U.K.
Origin: Italian | Meaning: Lion, bold
From artist Leonardo da Vinci to actor Leonardo DiCaprio, this name has been widely used for centuries. And while it may seem like a big name for such a tiny baby, when shortened to Leo it feels just right.
Origin: Irish | Meaning: Resolute protector
Liam actually started off as a shortened version of the name William, but it’s now become a popular favorite on its own — it’s been a mainstay in the Top 10 most popular American baby name lists for years now. Of course, actors Liam Neeson and Liam Hemsworth have certainly helped spread usage of the name, but it’s been going strong all on its own.
Origin: Greek | Meaning: Dark red
Nope; it’s not just a city in Arizona — in ancient Greek mythology, the Phoenix was the mythical bird reborn from its own ashes. (How badass is that?) But when it comes to baby names, it’s been on the rise since the early ’90s, probably thanks to its edgy vibe.
Origin: English; Meaning: Horseman, knight
Speaking of edgy-sounding names that connote a sense of strength … Ryder certainly fits the bill, too. It can be spelled with an “i” or “y”, though Ryder tends to be the more popular option of the two. While it’s been on the rise since the late ’80s, it’s still uncommon enough that your kiddo’s name will seem unique.
Origin: Greek | Meaning: Righteousness
Theodore was the name of several saints and popes, a U.S. president, and even three tsars of Russia. Its popularity originated in Greece and grew to become a common name in the Christian world, as well, especially in the 19th century when Britain took on the usage of the name. Think it’s too formal for a tiny baby? Switch things up with a nickname like Teddy or Theo.
Origin: German |Meaning: Resolute, brilliant
William is pretty much a hands-down classic when it comes to strong boy names. It brings to mind famous writers, like William Shakespeare and poet William Blake, as well as famous kings like William the Conquerer and the future king of England, Prince William of Wales. It’s also been the name of presidents, like William Harrison and William Taft. Plus, you can shorten it to Will, Willy, Wills, or even Billy during those kid years.