Picking a first name for the bun in your oven is a big responsibility, but middle names present an opportunity for experimentation and creativity with less consequence. As such, we compiled a list of middle names for boys that includes old-timey picks, repurposed surnames, quirky and unique monikers and some timeless classics for good measure. Read on…and remember to take initials into account!
90 Middle Names for Boys You’re Sure to Love
From Asher to Ozzy
Classic Middle Names for Boys
Many powerful people have been given this name of German origin (more than one king comes to mind), so it’s safe to say it lives up to its meaning of “house ruler.”
This classic name has French and German origins, and a meaning of “strong, brave bear.” Bernards also have quite a presence in the sports world. Think: Bernard King (basketball hall-of-famer), Bernard Hopkins (World Champion boxer) and Bernard Pollard (famed ‘Patriot Killer’ of football).
Walter is a masculine name with Old High German roots and a powerful meaning of “commander of the army.”
“Wolf shield” is the badass meaning of this seriously cool name of British origin.
This masculine name of French origin has a sweet, friendly vibes and a particularly fitting meaning of “little bald one,” though we associate it more with a certain fashion designer.
Emery is a gender-neutral name of British origin with an undeniably appealing meaning: “industrious and powerful.”
Arthur, or Art for short is a Celtic moniker that boasts old school vibes, plenty of charm and a meaning of “bear.”
This timeless classic of Latin origin has Christian ties and a straightforward meaning of “conqueror.”
Traditionally used as a British occupational surname for (you guessed it) hunters, this gender-neutral given name peaked in popularity in the early ‘90s.
Spencer is a gender-neutral name with British origins, a sophisticated vibe and a meaning of “steward” or “administrator.”
This gentle-sounding name of Hebrew origin has a curious dual meaning of “rest” and “motion,” plus obvious ties to a certain biblical character with an ark.
This too-cool-for-school name has Old French roots and means “the king.” (Though you may associate it more with the Jim Croce song “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.”)
Louis, or Lou for short, is a classic name of French and German origin with a strong meaning of “famous warrior.”
This traditional boy’s name has timeless appeal, biblical ties and a close connection to the name Jacob, both of which mean “supplanter” or “substitute.”
Derived from the Roman family name Antonius, this given name has Latin roots and a fitting meaning of “priceless one.”
A solid and timeless choice that has enjoyed enduring popularity, Aaron is a Hebrew boy’s name that means “mountain of strength, exalted, strong.”
Elliott is a modernized version of the biblical name Elijah and has the same meaning of “the Lord is my God.” There are also a couple accepted spellings, so feel free to drop an ‘l’ or ‘t’ as you see fit.
This sophisticated Irish boy’s name has a meaning that’s especially well-suited to a newborn bundle of joy: “full of goodness.”
This classic boy's name has deep roots in the Hebrew tradition as the biblical name of the Second King of Israel. It also has a tender meaning of “beloved” and “uncle.”
Alan is a historic masculine name of Celtic origin that can be traced back to the Middle Ages and enjoyed a 19th century revival. It means “harmony,” “stone” and “noble.” (All of which are winning traits, right?)
Nature-Inspired Middle Names for Boys
Traditionally a surname of Scottish and Gaelic origin, this badass moniker has strong ties to nature and refers to the elm tree groves found in a (namesake) region of Scotland.
This gender neutral name of British origin has a lovely meaning of “where roses grow.”
Here, an American moniker derived from the namesake gray-green rock. We’re getting tough-guy vibes from this one.
This unusual-but-not-too-out-there name has Latin origins and a meaning of “forest” or “woods.”
Hawk is a powerful name of English origin with a pretty obvious meaning: “falcon” and “bird of prey.”
In addition to being a type of tree, Rowan is a gender-neutral name with Scottish and Irish roots and a meaning of “little red head.”
Another appealing choice for nature lovers—Aspen is a city in Colorado and a gender-neutral American name that means “quaking tree.”
This name of British origin has Southern vibes and a meaning of “land by the road.”
Here, a topographical name of English origin that means “bare hillside.”
This enigmatic, gender-neutral name has Japanese origins and a meaning of “lotus flower.”
“Hollow” is the meaning of this gender-neutral Scottish moniker, which is both a place name and surname with topographical significance.
This moniker is derived from the Hebrew word Kelev, which means “dog,” but it connotes related virtues of loyalty and love.
Forest is a nature-inspired name that hails from France and has a (fairly obvious) meaning of “woodsman.”
A shortened version of the Hebrew name Asher with the same meaning (“happy”), this one syllable moniker is a fine choice for nature lovers, being that it’s also the name of a tree.
Both gentle and enchanting, this masculine name of Persian origin means “sun.”
Here, another Scottish surname—Knox dates back to the 13th century and roughly translates (from Old English) to “round-top hill.”
Derived from the Latin word for the olive tree, a well-known symbol of peace, Ollie is commonly used as a nickname for Oliver, but has plenty of appeal as a cute standalone name with a particularly friendly feel.
This name of Greek and Latin origin is derived from Hadrian, the name of a famed Roman emperor, and has multiple meanings including “dark one,” “sea” (as in the Adriatic) and “rich.”
Made famous by late actor River Phoenix, this gender-neutral name of British origin is just right for a boy who can go with the flow.
We probably don’t need to tell you what this British boy’s name means, but we think it’s a good fit for someone who’s stoic and dependable.
Another one plucked right from nature—this gender-neutral name is derived from an Old Norse word meaning “cloud” and has a pretty heavenly sound.
Middle Names for Boys with Religious Meaning
This name of Portuguese origin is derived from the Latin word crux, meaning “cross.” Needless to say, there’s some religious significance here.
Benjamin could fit in the classic category, but we put it here because it comes from the Old Testament—Benjamin was Jacob’s youngest son in the Bible—and has a Hebrew meaning of “son of the right hand.”
According to data from the Social Security Administration, this much-loved Greek moniker was among the top ten most popular boy names from 1967 to 2009, so there’s a good chance you know a Christopher (or Chris) already. It means “bearing Christ.”
This soft-sounding and sweet name has roots in the Old Testament and a Hebrew meaning of “God is my judge.”
This gender-neutral biblical name of Hebrew origin has a meaning of “first rain” and “autumn rain.”
Krish is a shortened version of Krishna, the name of a Hindu deity. It means “black-blue” and “dark-skinned one.”
This gender-neutral name of Hebrew origin boasts a meaning that’s certain to correspond with what you’ll feel when you finally meet the bun in your oven: “Blessed and happy.”
This name of Old English origin has a simple meaning of “sheep herder,” but rich religious and cultural symbolism.
This unique name meaning “awakening” and “enlightenment” has Sanskrit origins and deep ties to Buddhism.
Aside from being the stage name of a rockstar (Axel Rose, anyone?), Axel is also a given name with Icelandic, Scandinavian and German roots. It has ties to the biblical name Absalom and has a corresponding meaning of “father of peace.”
There are multiple spellings of this moniker, but all of them have Welsh and Scottish roots and a Gaelic meaning of “youth” and “God is gracious.” (There’s also some celebrity clout, thanks to a certain actor of Star Wars fame.)
This modernized version of John or Jacques is a little rough around the edges and way too cool for school. Plus, the meaning—“God has shown favor”—is pretty auspicious, too.
This name of Hebrew origin is an alternate spelling of the more common ‘Elijah,’ and has a religious meaning of “the Lord is my God.”
Levi is a Hebrew boy's name that means "joined" and has religious significance as the name of the father of the Levites tribe in the Old Testament.
Fierce Middle Names for Boys
The shortened form of the Italian name Lorenzo, this spunky and cute moniker means “home ruler.”
This Irish name is a variant on the English name William and has a formidable meaning of “strong-willed warrior.”
Tai is a name of Chinese origin that boasts a powerful meaning of “vast,” “highest” and “great extreme.”
“Venerable” and “revered” are the meanings of this fierce sounding and fun-to-say name of Greek origin.
This gender-neutral name of English and Irish origin packs a one-syllable punch and has a meaning of “brave, daring and dauntless.”
Yet another powerful one-syllable name—this one has German and English origins and a meaning of “strong.”
Maverick is an American name with a meaning derived from the word: “an independent man who avoids conformity.” Pick this one for a free-spirited boy.
This masculine name of Welsh origin has a meaning of “well-born” and “young warrior.” (Rawr.)
This moniker of Gaelic origin might have a rather unassuming sound, but it means “sea warrior” and is the most common family name in Ireland.
This name of French origin was derived from an Old English surname and has a meaning of “to hunt.”
This one is a modern take on quite a few traditional names—Oswald, Osborn, Oscar and Osmand, to name a few—and we’re fans of the decidedly fierce rockstar connection (Ozzy Osbourne, duh) and super cute, somewhat diminutive sound.
In addition to having obvious ties to a killer movie franchise (hello, Sylvester Stalone), this name has English origins and a pleasant meaning of “rest.” (Not that you can bank on getting much of that.)
This moniker of Latin and English origin has Robin Hood vibes and a fairly obvious meaning of “bowman.”
This middle name has heartthrob vibes (didn’t Cupid use those?) and a meaning that we probably don’t need to explain.
Here, a storied name with Welsh roots that has belonged to many a king and nobleman and boasts a pretty swoon-worthy meaning of “ardent fire.”
Nico, a gender-neutral name with Italian roots and ties to the Greek name Nicholas, means "victory of the people."
This sturdy-sounding moniker of English origin is derived from the name Nicholas and shares the same triumphant meaning of “victory of the people.”
Damon is a masculine name of Greek origin with a meaning that matches its strong sound: “one who tames, subdues.”
This capital city of Egypt is also a given name of Arabic origin that means “the vanquisher” and “the conqueror.”
A Spanish form of the Old German name, Hildebrand, this commanding moniker means “battle sword.”
This boy’s name of Spanish, Basque and Arabic origins has a fierce sound that belies its friendly meaning of “new house.”
Last Names as Middle Names for Boys
This energetic-sounding name is traditionally an Irish surname that’s caught on as a given name, thanks to its fresh but timeless vibe. It means “red complexion.”
“Untamed” and “wild” is the meaning of this hip name, which has German roots and a long history as a surname that dates back to the 10th century
Traditionally an English occupational surname meaning “transporter of goods,” Carter caught on as a given name in the ‘70s thanks to US President Jimmy Carter.
This surname meaning “son of Hudd” is also a topographical name (i.e., the Hudson river) and is catching on as a given name, too.
…Ford, anyone? Harrison is another patronymic surname (it means “son of Harry”) with North English roots and decidedly smart sound.
One of the oldest recorded English surnames—Warren is also a masculine given name of French and English origin that means “park keeper.”
John Lennon of The Beatles comes to mind when we hear this gender-neutral name of Irish origin, which means “lover.”
Aside from being the surname of the fifth U.S. president and, over a century later, a certain blonde bombshell—Monroe is also a given name of Scottish and Irish origin with a topographical meaning of “mouth of the River Roe.”
This old occupational name of British origin has a casual-cool sound and a meaning of “arrow maker.”
Houston has Scottish, Irish and English origins as a topographical surname meaning “from Hugh’s town” and “settlement on the hill.” It’s also impossible to hear it without thinking “...we have a problem.”
Brooks is the last name of famous comedian and filmmaker Mel Brooks, as well as a gender-neutral given name of German and English origin that means “small stream.”