The letter “W” is one that starts so many adjectives that you probably hope will define your child-to-be: Wise, wonderful, winsome, wealthy in love and fun. If you’re expecting a baby boy, but aren’t quite sure you’ve landed on the perfect name, glancing through a list of boy names that start with “W” might give you the inspiration you’re seeking.
Many of us are hoping for a baby name that’s sure to stand out from the crowd, and a lot of boy names that start with “W” fit the bill wonderfully well. There’s nothing wrong at all with popular baby names, and t
he most popular names last year feature so many lovely choices. But maybe you’re looking for something a bit unusual. Though they’re not quite as uncommon as the boys names that start with “U”, there’s a lot of “W” names that feel unexpected or fresh in a surprising way. Other than the uber-popular William, many of these baby names that start with “W” are a lot less commonly known or have fallen out of style in recent years. From Waldo to Wilbur, a lot of “W” names sound like blasts from the past. But everything old is new again, and so it could be with a lot of these “W” names — no need to leave these perfectly good names behind in your grandparent’s generation. 1 William
From the princes to poets to presidents, the name William has been held by some of the history’s most famous people. It’s a classic name that never goes out of style, and means “strong-willed warrior.” And of course there’s no shortage of nicknames; you could try Billy, Bill, Willy, and Will.
The Walters are an impressive bunch: Walter Scott, Walt Whitman, and Walt Disney, for starters. Walter is a “W” name that means “commander of the army.”
Some names just have a cool factor, and Wyatt is definitely one of them. This “W” name means “brave at war” or “having the strength of a warrior.” Though it’s not a particularly rare name, it still has an edgy feel. It’s become a
unisex baby name in recent years, but is still more commonly a W name for boys. 4 Warren
Warren is one of those names that just sounds like it belongs to a person who means business. It has English roots and meaning “keeper of parks.”
There are all kinds of famous Wesleys: Snipes, Anderson (better known as Wes), and Clark, who invented the first personal computer. That name hits the sweet spot of neither super unusual nor super common: It’s always been in the top two hundred names during the past century, but never at the tippy-top of the name popularity list.
6 Wave Image taken by Mayte Torres/Moment/Getty Images
If you love to surf, love the ocean, or just love the sound of this name, you might be really happy with this choice. It’s gender-neutral, and more unusual than some other
ocean-inspired baby names like River or Ocean. 7 Wilmer
If your baby boy has been long-awaited, you might pick Wilmer for its sweet meaning, which is “strong desire.” It could also be a good choice if you want an unusual name that’s both easy to pronounce and can easily be shortened to the more common “Will.”
A recently trendy choice for both boys and girls, this name is positively poetic. Characters name Wren have popped up in lots of recent middle-grade books and stories, so your Wren can see himself in lots of great adventures.
9 Wilbur ballyscanlon/Stone/Getty Images
Of course, the name Wilbur is most associate with the terrific, radiant, and humble pig from
Charlotte’s Web. But its actual meaning — “resolute” or “brilliant” — is great, too. It’s a name that’s fallen in popularity, and your little Wilbur could be part of bringing this underrated name back. 10 Weston
This once very-rare name just cracked the top one hundred most popular boy’s names in 2021. Its star is definitely on the rise, but it’s not ubiquitous yet. Meaning “from the western town” it evokes wind-swept cliffs in far away places.
There’s lots of great “noun names” for girls: Charity, Hope, Faith. Why not Wisdom for your little guy? It means just what you’d expect, and what all of us hope that our children will gain (and what we’ll impart to them).
Whether you want to call him by his full name or go with a shortening (Will, Fred, or even Fredo), it might be hard to pass up this cute name. And its meaning — “desiring peace” — is hard to beat.
Since Vincent is so much more common, you might not realize that you can also start the name with a “W”. But the German popstar Wincent Weiss has made many people aware of the name Wincent for the first time. It means “conqueror,” from the Latin word “vincere.”
Elegant, untamable, smart, and loyal: Wolves have a lot of awesome qualities. And a little boy with this “W” name will definitely stand out from the pack. Wolves has often symbolized freedom or the unknowable power of nature in stories from cultures all around the world.
15 Wilfred Stefan Tomic/E+/Getty Images
This is a great choice for the family that loves the name William but wants something a little less common. And you can hope that your little Wilfred will be inspired by the meaning of his name -- “peace” — and get along with everyone.
When he’s little, he might delight in the Raffi song “Willoughby, Wallabee, Woo,” and when he’s older he might love that there’s a street in Brooklyn and towns all across America that bear his name. Willoughby means “farm near the willow” and it hasn’t really caught on in the United States. But maybe your Willoughby will change that.
Maybe you’re asking for a lot of sleepless nights if you choose this name, but it’s cool enough that it might be worth it. It means “high spirited” or “a leader.” While the name Wilder has gotten pretty popular in recent years, its slightly shorter cousin Wilde is still rare.
You’ll have to check out Kevin Henkes’s
A Weekend with Wendell if you go with this super-cute name, and of course, an association with Wendell Berry can only be a good thing. It’s never been very popular, but fell off the top thousand names all together back in 1995. It means “traveler” or “wanderer.” 19 Waldo
Yes, he might get a few
Where’s Waldo? jokes, particularly if he’s wearing a red-and-white striped shirt, but if you can live with that, this is a nice and underused name with the meaning “to rule.” It last appeared in the top thousand most popular names nearly 80 years ago, in 1943. 20 Walker
Will your little boy live up to his name and be one of those kids who is already steady on his feet at 9 months? There’s only one way to find out. The name Walker means “cloth washer” so here’s hoping in a few years he’ll be doing laundry for the whole family.
21 Walden eclipse_images/E+/Getty Images
Whether you’re a fan of Thoreau or of the pond itself, you can’t go wrong by naming your son after a beautiful place in nature that inspired one of the country’s most famous works of literature. Despite being so associated with a particular pond, the word Walden means “wooded valley.”
Get your running shoes on if you choose this name, because it means “to go.” Short, easy to spell, easy to say, and not very common, it might check a lot of your baby name boxes.
Whatever name you pick for your little guy, he’s sure to be a real winner with one of these wild and wonderful “W” baby names.