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119 middle names for boys

Choosing your baby's name is one of the biggest decisions of your life for many parents. And some spend just as long agonising over their baby's middle name as they do their first name.

We already know from our list of ugly baby names to avoid that the name you give your child can have serious consequences on their life; influencing how they perform at school, the career paths they take, where they live, who they marry and a whole host of others.

So if it's so hard to choose baby names, why do put ourselves through the stress of picking Middle names, too?

In this guide, we take a look at why we choose Middle Names, the science behind it, and of course, we have a comprehensive list of 119 of the best middle names for a baby boy.

Table Of Contents

Why do we use middle names?

The concept of middle names has been around for centuries and has become a Western tradition. Looking back through the history books, you first see widespread use during the Roman Empire. Although the way they were used is understood to have been different, Roman men often used three names while women typically used two and slaves were allowed just one. Using middle names - or even more names - eventually became enshrined in aristocracy and social status, often used to highlight a prestigious lineage. In fact, The Oxford Handbook of Roman Epigraphy claims one man to have had 38 names.

The practice of using middle names did get lost, however, and didn't return until the late 13th century in Italy. Middle names were initially used by the elite members of society before becoming increasingly adopted by the rest of the social ladder - with many of the lower classes believing a middle name inflated their social status. The biblical names of saints were often used, with people believing that the saint would protect them. Over the coming centuries, popularity spread across France and Spain but didn't spread to the UK and US across the late 18th century/early 19th century.

As use became more and more common, having a middle name was less of an indicator of social status. Lineage, however, remains a consideration today - albeit for different reasons. While aristocrats of the past may have used family names to highlight their wealth or importance, in the modern day we often use a family name for our child's middle name to honour them or as a symbol of our love for them. In fact, 55% of parents say they chose their child's middle name to honour a particular relative, according to Ancestry. And, middle names are also a brilliant way of acknowledging your families national heritage.

It's not always about tradition, though. As more and more parents opt for more unique or 'out there' names for their child, some are choosing to use it as the middle name as a safer option.

What are the most popular middle names for boys?

If we can safely assume that a lot of parents use a family name for their son's middle name, we can also assume that the most popular middle names tend to reflect the most popular boy names from a previous generation. As a result, middle names are often very traditional names.

According to Ancestry, these are the most popular middle names for boys in the UK:

1. James
2. John
3. William
4. Thomas
5. David
6. Robert
7. Edward
=8. Peter
=8. Lee
=9. Christopher
=9. Alexander
=10. Michael
=10. Daniel

There are a few differences in the US, but there is still definitely a trend of using traditional names for middle names. Here are the most popular middle names for boys in the US:

1. Alan
2. Michael
3. James
4. William
5. Lee
6. John
7. Robert
8. Andrew
9. David
10. Joseph

Tips for picking a perfect middle name for your baby boy

Say their full name - You might love your pick for the first name, you might love the middle name you've chosen. But when you combine them all with their surname, it might not sound quite right.

Think about the length of the names - If you're thinking of longer first names, consider a short middle name. Equally, if you're looking for short first names, go with a longer middle name. Typically, having two names with the same number of syllables can sound quite disjointed.

Consider family - Ultimately, this is your child and you should give him the names you want. However, you should be aware that naming a child can cause friction with family members. Picture the scene; you hand your son to your dad - his first grandson - and you reveal his name, and tell him he shares a middle name with his mum's dad. Most family members will be reasonable and understanding. But be warned that some might not, and it may lead to expectations for future children or even accusations of favouritism.

Mix it up - If you're going with a traditional name for the first name, maybe try thinking of something a bit more modern and unique for the middle name. 

119 boys middle names

Let's take a look at our comprehensive list of middle names for a baby boy.

Traditional middle names for boys

Most of these names have been popular names for boys for centuries (and some just sound traditional). Although they're usually used as first names, the traditional feeling makes them perfect middle names today.

More and more parents (including this writer!) are using traditional names as middle names alongside a much more unique, modern or creative first name.

1. Benjamin

Benjamin is a Hebrew name originating in the Old Testament of the Bible. It's a very spiritual name Meaning 'son of the right hand'.

2. Blake

Blake is a great middle name surrounded in mystery. It comes from the Old English form 'blac', which means 'light', 'dark', 'black', and 'white' all at the same time.

3. Charles

In the UK, Charles was consistently in the list of top 10 boy names from the late 1800s to the 1950s, and stayed in and around the top 50 ever since. Of course, it the name of the reigning British monarch, King Charles III. Interestingly, though, it's actually a German name meaning 'free man'.

4. Christopher

Christopher was one of the most popular names for boys in the US from the 1960s to around 2010, consistently in the top five for most of that period. Being a longer name, it works as middle name if you're going for a shorter first name.

5. Clark

Clark has never been a hugely popular name, reaching its peak in the US at #176 in 1881. Not even the advent of Superman - real name Clark Kent - could boost its use significantly. But it's definitely one that sounds traditional.

6. Daniel

Daniel has been one of the most popular names in the UK and the US since the end of the 19th century, making it a very traditional name. It has Hebrew origins and means 'God is my judge'.

7. Edward

Edward spent nearly 50 years in the top 10 list of boys names in the US between 1880 and 1930. It remained popular until the 1970s when it began a steady decline, and now sits as the 216th most popular boy name in the US. That makes a great case to be used as a traditional middle name to go with a modern first name.

8. Elijah

I can't lie, anytime I hear this name I think of actor Elijah Wood who played Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Regardless, it's a brilliantly traditional sounding name that would make a great middle name.

9. Gabriel

Biblical names tend to be very traditional, given that they originate hundreds of years ago through the Bible. Unsurprisingly, it's a Hebrew name with a close tie to God. It means 'God is my strength'.

10. Henry

Henry is one of those traditional names that has gone through a resurgence over the past decade, knocking on the door of the top 10 in the UK and US. It's a German name that means 'estate ruler'.

11. Jack

Consistently one of the top boys names in the UK and US, Jack is an excellent blend between the traditional and the modern. Its popularity over several decades means there's a good chance you've got an older relative called Jack you can middle name your son after.

12. Jacob

Another biblical name, Jacob means 'supplanter' and has been one in the top 20 in the UK and US since the early 1990s.

13. James

Just like Jacob, James is a Hebrew and English name that carries the meaning 'supplanter'.

14. Jonathan

Jonathan makes a great traditional middle name to sit after a short, modern first name. It's Hebrew for 'gift of Jehovah' or 'gift of God'.

15. Joseph

Most famous for as the Eartly father of Jesus, Joseph is a name stacked in tradition.

16. Jude

Probably best known for the actor Jude Law, it's one that sounds more traditional that it actually is. In the US, it has been at its most popular since 2009 and hasn't even reached the top 150.

17. Michael

Just like Jonathan, Michael is another Hebrew name that means 'gift of God'.

18. Noah

A hugely popular biblical name, obviously inspired by Noah who built the Ark to save his family and every species of animal, Noah means to 'rest or repose'. Perhaps it's a good middle name if you want your son to have a relaxing life! 

19. OIiver

Oliver comes from the Old Norse name, Olaf, which means 'ancestor's descendants', making it one of the best middle names to honour a relative. It is also derived from the Latin and French word 'olive' or 'olive tree', which are often associated with peace and dignity. 

20. Owen

Owen is the Anglicised version of the Welsh name Owain, which means both 'noble-born' and 'young warrior'. 

21. Perry

Perry is a slightly peculiar one in that it's more commonly used as a surname. But that doesn't mean it can't be used as for first or middle names. It has British-Roman origins and means 'one who dwells by the pear tree', but is also linked to the words 'traveller' and 'pilgrim'. 

22. Ross

Originally a common Scottish surname, Ross became more and more popular as a first name. It simply means 'headland'. 

23. Theodore/Theo

Theodore rose to popularity in the early 1900s, but dropped off for much of the 20th century. However, with many parents opting for the shorter, more modern 'Theo', it has had a resurgence over the past decade. It's has Greek origins, meaning 'God's gift'. 

24. William

A name steeped in tradition because of its use among the royal family, William actually comes from the German language and means 'willing protector'. It could've gone in the list of 'strong' middle names, which is coming up next but we felt there was more connection to tradition

Strong middle names for boys

These middle names are brilliant if you want your son to grow up with strength, whether physical or emotional. Some of them are pretty common middle names, while others not so much. Either way, they all have meanings that signify strength, or have some link to strength.

25. Aaron

Elijah is best known in the Bible as the minor prophet who travelled to heaven riding a chariot of fire. In addition, it means 'Yahweh is God' - derived from the Hebrew name Eliyahu, made up of 'El' and 'Yah', both of which refer to God.

26. Adan

Certainly better known for the present-day billionaire businessman, Elon was also the name of a biblical judge. It can be used for a boy or girl and means 'oak tree'. Using it today might suggest support and adoration for Elon Musk, rather than its biblical connections, however.

27. Emmanuel

Alexander is a Greek name meaning 'defender of men'. It also takes meaning from the Greek ruler, Alexander the Great, who conquered much of western Asia and Egypt. He is considered to be one of the greatest military leaders of history.

28. Ambrose

Ambrose arguable works best as a middle name. And nothing implies strength like immortality.

29. Andrew

Consistently one of the most popular first names for boys, Andrew is perhaps starting to feel a little outdated - so perhaps it's time for it to become a popular middle name instead. It's another Greek name, this time meaning 'manly and powerful'.

30. Armando

Sports fans may recognise the name from the record-breaking pole vaulter Armando Duplantis, or the footballer Armando Broja. It has German origins, simple meaning 'soldier'. It's a popular name in Hispanic and Latino cultures, but less so in English-speaking countries. Maybe it's one to add to your list of possible middle names if you have German or Hispanic heritage.

31. Arthur

Arguably a traditional name, we've included Arthur here because it means 'Bear'. Of course, it's also synonymous with the Celtic myths and legends of King Arthur.

32. Axel

Axel is probably on the list more for how it sounds, rather than it's meaning. A Scandinavian name, it actually means 'my father is peace', but it just sounds strong, doesn't it?

33. Bear

If Arthur gets on the list for meaning Bear, surely Bear itself makes the list!

34. Bjorn

Carrying on the theme, Bjorn is a very popular Scandinavian name that means... you guessed it, 'Bear'.

35. Blade

Giving your son a first name meaning 'knife' or 'sword' isn't necessarily the best idea or naming him after a vampire killer, so perhaps it works better as a middle name. I can't help but think of THIS scene from Dodgeball whenever I hear it, though.

36. Cassius

Cassius comes from the Latin word Cassis, which means 'helmet' - and the name's meaning has evolved to 'the helmeted warrior'. It's also the real first name of arguably the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali.

37. Drake

Warning, people will probably ask if you've given your son a middle name after the rapper, Drake. But it's actually an English word meaning 'dragon'.

38. Eric

Eric feels like one of those outdated first names, but when you learn that it's a Scandinavian name meaning 'everlasting ruler', it makes for a perfect middle name.

39. Ethan

Ethan nearly made it to our 'traditional' list, but there still feels air of modernity around it. It's an excellent compromise between tradition and strength, a Hebrew name meaning 'enduring and strong'.

40. Finley

Finley is a hugely popular Scottish name. I toyed with putting this in the list of 'cute' middle names, but discovered that it means 'fair warrior'.

41. Garrett

'Spear rule'... if that doesn't sound strong, I don't know what does.

42. Griffin

Griffin is a Welsh name meaning 'strong in faith'. It possibly sounds a little old to be a first name, but it makes for a great middle name if you want something that is both traditional and strong.

43. Harland

Cue Manchester City fans using this middle name so they can name their sons after Erling Haaland without explicitly naming them after Erling Haaland. Harland is actually an English word for 'army land'.

Side note - Erling is Scandinavian for 'heir of the clanchief'. Sounds pretty strong.

44. Hector

Hector is a Greek name meaning 'steadfast', however it's most commonly associated with Prince Hector - the eldest Trojan prince who lead the defence of the city against the Greek army until his untimely demise at the hands of Achilles.

45. Hunter

Hunter... enough said.

46. Ibrahim

Ibrahim takes its strength from leadership, rather than physical strength. It's an Arabic name that means 'father of nations'.

47. Idris

Most people will think of the actor Idris Elba (he's a pretty strong guy anyway). But it's actually a Welsh name meaning 'fiery leader' and 'prophet'.

48. Leo

Fans of star signs will already know that Leo is the Latin word for 'lion'.

49. Liam

It might not be the strongest sounding name in the world, but Liam is an Irish name meaning 'helmet of will', 'protection' and 'strong-willed warrior'.

50. Luis

Luis is a Spanish name meaning 'famous warrior', which is just about as strong as it gets.

51. Magnus

One of the more popular names in Scandinavia, Magnus is actually the Latin word for 'great'. You could say it makes a... great middle name.

52. Marco

You're probably familiar with this beautiful Italian name, but did you know it means 'warlike'?

53. Mason

Mason is a strong-sounding name coming from the English word for 'stone'.

54. Max

Max is the English form of the Latin name Maximus, both of which mean 'greatest'.

55. Miles

Miles maybe doesn't sound strong, but it actually comes from the Latin word for 'solider'.

56. Milo

Milo is the German version of Miles, so it also means 'solider'.

57. Neil

I'll admit, Neil isn't a name I thought I'd be including in the list of strong middle names. However, it's a Scottish name that simply means 'champion'.

58. Nicolas

A Greek name that gained popularity in English-speaking countries, Nicolas means 'victory of the people'.

59. Nikolai

Although it's an incredibly common name in Russian-speaking countries, Nikolai is also a Greek name carrying the same meaning as Nicolas.

60. Odin

Image: Bart

Arguably best known in the modern day from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the character Odin is steeped in actual Norse mythology. Odin is the god of war and death, and the 'one-eyed All Father' after sacrificing one of his eyes so that he could see everything that happens.

61. Ozzy

Best known for the legendary rock musician, Ozzy Osborne, Ozzy is actually a German name meaning 'God's power' or 'spear of the Gods'.

62. Phoenix

The bird that is born again from its ashes.

63. Rex

Closely associated with the largest, strongest, most dangerous dinosaur to have existed, Rex is also the Latin word for 'King'.

64. Roger

I was torn about including Roger. It doesn't sound strong in the slightest. But the meaning... well that's a very different story. It's a German name that means 'famous spearman'.

65. Ryder

Ryder is a English name meaning 'mounted warrior'.

66. Talon

Although it has French and German connections, Talon is the English word for a bird of prey's claw. A bird of prey uses its talons to seize its prey.

67. Titus

'The avenger'...ooof, that sounds strong, doesn't it?!

The only Titus that springs to mind is the former Newcastle United defender, Titus Bramble.

68. Tyson

Not only do you have the heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury, it's an English word for 'firebrand'.

69. Victor

Unsurprisingly, Victor is a Latin name meaning 'victory' or 'champion'.

70. Wilder

Wilder is the German name name for 'hunter'.

71. Wyatt

And the final of our strong middle names, Wyatt is an English name that means 'brave in battle'.

Unique middle names for boys

These are the unique names; the ones you don't see or hear every day, or perhaps you've familiar but have fallen out of favour in recent years. Either way, they would make fantastic middle names for all sorts of reasons.

72. Alon

Alon is a Hebrew name meaning 'oak tree'.

73. Akins

The name Akins originated in Africa, and means 'brave boy'.

74. Andrew

A French version of Andrew, Andre also means 'manly'.

75. Ajay

Pronounced 'ah-jay' rather than 'AJ', this is a name coming from Sanskrit, and carries the meaning 'unconquered'.

76. Archer

Caption: Mike Quinn

Archer means 'bowman'. I'll admit, this is one that had me going 'ooh, that's cool!'.

77. Asher

Asher is a brilliant middle name for inspiring happiness in your son's life. It simply means 'blessed' or 'happy'.

78. Atlas

This is a Greek name, meaning 'enduring'.

79. Brannon

Brannon comes from Ireland and means 'Raven'.

80. Brock

Brock comes from the English word 'badger'. In medieval England, it was used to describe people who looked like badgers, sporting a strip of white in their hair.

81. Callan

Originally meaning 'descendant of Cathalán', Callan is a Scottish name meaning 'battle' or 'rock'.

82. Chase

Chase is a French name meaning 'to hunt', however it has also been found in Old English and was used as a nickname for huntsmen.

83. Cole

Despite its roots in ancient Greece, Cole is a popular first name and surname in the US and Australia. It means 'victory of the people'.

84. Constantine

Constantine comes from the Latin for 'constant' or 'steadfast'.

85. Cooper

A really cool sounding choice for a middle name, Cooper is actually an Old English word for a barrel maker.

86. Damon

Damon comes from the Greek legend of Damon and Pthias, who suprised the Greek God of fertility, Dionysus, with their loyalty and friendship.

87. Egan

Egan is an Irish name meaning 'little fire'. It has been linked to eagerness and ambition.

88. Emilio

A great middle name if you have Italian heritage, Emilio means 'to rival'.

89. Everett

Everett certainly has a more traditional sound to it. It's an English name meaning 'brave boar'.

90. Faris

Certainly unique, Faris is an Old English term for 'iron strong'.

91. Fletcher

Fletcher is one of those vintage names that doesn't seem very cool. Then you learn that the name comes from the medieval profession of arrow-making, and suddenly it becomes a pretty cool middle name.

92. Gavin

Gavin is a well known, but not overly popular name. It comes from the Welsh language and means 'little white falcon'. If you want to go extra unique, you could go for my dad's name 'Garvin'.

93. Grant

Grant comes from the French word graund, meaning 'tall' or 'big'. It's also popular in England and Scotland.

94. Hudson

Hudson means 'son of Hugh' or 'son of Hudd'. So if your name is Hudd or Hugh... you might have just found your son's middle name.

95. Isaiah

A very popular biblical name, Isiah is Hebrew for 'God is salvation'.

96. Ismael

Surprisingly, Ismael is a Spanish name, and means 'God will hear'.

97. Kaison

The origins of the name Kaison are unknown. There are numerous cultures with various stories of how it originated. Wherever in the world you look, however, it carries similar meanings... 'warrior', 'healer', 'strong-willed', 'leader' and more. 

98. Kyro

Kyro is an Arabic name meaning 'victorious'. It's unique enough to make a brilliant middle name that accompanies a more traditional first name.

99. Leonidas

Most famous as the Spartan king who led a 300-strong resistance against the Persian army, which numbered in the tens of thousands.

100. Nico

Nico is a variation of the Greek names Nicolas and Nikolai, and carries the same meaning, 'people of victory'.

101. Orlando

Orlando means 'famous land' or 'famous throughout the land'.

102. Otis

One rising in popularity in recent years (no doubt thanks to Netflix's Sex Education), Otis means 'son of Ode', and so has links to musicality and poetry.

103. Otto

A German name, Otto the Great is considered to be the founder of the Roman Empire. The name means 'wealth', but more than just financially.

104. Parker

A very traditional sounding name, it perhaps sounds better than its meaning. It's an Old English word for a 'park keeper' or 'keeper of the park'.

105. Pierce

Pierce has origins in English, Welsh and Irish languages, typically meaning 'son of Piers', which itself is the Norman word for Peter. Sounds like the perfect middle name if your name is Peter!

106. Quill

The huge popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe means that Peter Quill, or 'Star-Lord', is a name a lot of people are familiar with. It's certainly out there, but we think it makes for a cool middle name.

107. Ramsary

Again, it sounds nicer as a middle name than its means... 'low-lying land'.

108. Randall

I think of two things when I hear the name Randall... the weazly snitch from Recess and the villain from Monsters Inc.. But it actually has a very cool meaning behind it. It's a British version of the Old Norse surname Rannúlfr and means 'wolf shield'.

109. Reign

Given that a 'reign' is the length of time someone rules or leads a group of people, Reign is often taken to mean 'rule' or 'lead'.

110. Rocky

Surprisingly, Rocky means 'rest'. It comes from the anglicised version of Roch, the patron saint of the sick.

111. Rowan

Linked to both Scotland and Ireland, Rowan means 'little red-head' or simply 'red hair'.

112. Ruslan

Coming from Russia, this name means 'Lion'.

113. Samson

Samson means 'sun' in Hebrew.

114. Theron

A very unique one, Theron is Greek for 'hunter'.

115. Vidal

Vidal is a wonderful Latin name meaning 'life' and 'vitality'.

116. Walker

Walker was the professional name of a fuller, someone who cleans cloth (especially wool). So, it means 'fuller of cloth'.

117. Xander

Xander is the short form of Alexander, which gives it a more modern feel.

118. Zale

One for loves of the sea, Zale is a Greek word for 'sea-strength'.

119. Zane

Zane is another Hebrew name meaning 'gift of God'.


What are the most common middle names?

In the UK, the three most common middle names for boys are James, John and William. In the US, it's Alan, Michael and James.

What is a great vintage middle name for a boy?

You could argue that the likes of William, James, Charles, Christopher or Edward will never go out of fashion, whether they're first names or middle names. That gives some parents a degree of comfort.

What are some cool, edgy middle names?

We're big fans of Adan, Archer, Kaison, Orlando and Ramsay. But everyone has different taste!

Why do some people use their middle names instead of their first name?

Some people just prefer their middle name. They may have a nickname linked to their first name that they want to get away from, or they may think their middle name is more interesting. Alternatively, they might think their first name is too strange and prefer their more 'normal' middle name.

And it's not uncommon for friendship groups to use middle names when there is more than one person with the same name.

The post 119 middle names for boys appeared first on DaddiLife.

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119 middle names for boys


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