Naming your baby is kind of like going into a candy store. So many sweet
baby name options to choose from. But after a while, you start to realize that you’ve seen and heard all these names before, and well, you want something slightly different for your child. Instead of coming up with creative spellings (think Hayden: Haydn, Hayden, Haydyn, Haiden, etc.), just grab your proverbial passport, because these European baby boy names are worth considering.
There might be other reasons to opt for European
baby boy names. You, your partner, your families (or all of the above) might be from across the pond and you want a baby’s name that honors their heritage. Or, you just might like the uniqueness of the sounds and significance of the names themselves. And perhaps, you don’t want to take a chance and have your child be the fourth Aiden in their kindergarten class (because that happens... a lot). A European baby boy name automatically gives your child that certain je ne sais quoi (i.e. something special) that makes your little guy mysterious and sophisticated... even if he’s only hours old. 1 Leandro Artem Varnitsin / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images
This name is a blend of two Latin words (Leo "lion" and Andro "man"), both with strong, powerful meanings. This adorable name would be a great excuse to decorate your little one’s nursery with a lion theme.
A boy’s name of Portuguese origin meaning “blessed,” you’ll set your little one off on the path to good fortune with this name. Plus, you can always go with “Ben” for short.
With both Scandinavian and Latin roots, Magnus has a cool vibe and a one-of-a-kind sound. Magnus was a popular name for kings in Sweden and Norway and is still popular in those places.
Another name ending in “us,” you know this one from
Peanuts – but it’s actually a Greek name meaning “flax.” Meaning aside, it’s an absolutely adorable name in any part of the world. 5 Rafferty
This Irish name meaning "floodtide, abundance, and prosperity," definitely has a lucky kind of vibe to it. Plus, it has the excellent nickname option of “Raff.”
6 Soren skaman306/Moment/Getty Images
Of course, you might get some confusion by people thinking your baby’s name is “soaring,” but Soren is a sweet name for your little guy. The name, which is of both Danish and Norwegian descent, is a variation of Severus, which, sure, sounds a little severe. Although the name means “severe,” it’s also a name that reflects deep thinking, as 19th century philosopher Kierkegaard was a Soren as well.
If the name Cosmo has you feeling all sorts of
SATC vibes, it’s understandable. But delicate drinks aside, Cosmo is a cool European boy’s name. It’s of Greek and Italian descent, and means “order” or “beauty.” But if you think of Cosmo as in the universe (and not, you know, the annoying neighbor on Seinfeld), it might make this an out-of-this-world choice for your baby. 8 Stellan
If those cravings for Swedish fish during your pregnancy have you thinking of European baby boy names, you might develop a taste for Stellan. Stellan is certainly a Swedish name, and it means “calm,” which could be perfect if your baby is super chill. It’s one of those trendy baby boy names that end with the “an” or “en” sound, which is popular as of late. Nicknames for Stellan include Stell, Stelly, or even Ian.
Take a trip to the Emerald Isle when you name your baby boy Callum. It is a Scottish Gaelic derivative of the Latin “columba,” which means “dove.” St. Columba was an Irish abbot who was credited with helping to bring Christianity to Scotland. With its symbolic nature of peace and purity, Callum could wind up at the top of your baby name list.
Leave it to the one-syllable baby boy names to be among the coolest out there. Lars is certainly no exception, and comes from Scandinavia (which includes Norway, Sweden, and Denmark). It means “crowned with laurel” and originates from the Latin word “laurus,” which also means “laurel.” So if you’re looking for a more natural European baby boy’s name, Lars could look like a contender.
A little Greek, a little Spanish, Alejandro is a name that represents multiple cultures and countries. Pronounced “Al-ay-han-dro”, it means “defender” or “man’s warrior,” so it’s one of those baby boy names that signifies strength. That might not mean much now, since your baby can’t even hold their head up, but it will.
Coming to you straight from Spain is the beautiful baby name Diego. Diego has a whole bunch of derivatives; it’s most recent one is from Spain, where it means “supplanter.” It’s believed to come from the name Santiago, and way back, it was Didacus, of Latin origin. Interestingly enough, the English translation of Diego is not David, or any other D boy name, but James.
Liam, Liam, Liam. If it seems like you can’t throw a rock (not that you should throw rocks at kids, of course) without hitting a Liam, well, you’re totally right. Liam is much-beloved name, which might explain why this
Irish baby name currently ranks number one as the top baby boy’s name in the U.S. 14 Oliver
Just across the pond (in England, that is), Oliver is an English boy’s name that is quite common. It comes from the French Olivier, and eons before that, the Ancient Germanic Alfihar, which means (get ready for it), “elf army.” Oliver is popular because it’s plucky and fun, and as a nickname, you just can’t beat Ollie.
Julien is one of those European baby boy names that has several derivations. It’s thought to derive from Julian, which comes from Julius. Julius is a Roman family name, and means “youthful.” Whatever its original origin, Julien (and the fab nickname Jules) is a name that is lovely in any language.
Raphael is a name with so many lovely layers, it’s easy to fall in love with it. Of Hebrew origin, it means “God has healed,” and could be just the right name for a rainbow baby. Of course, Raphael has Biblical ties, as he was one of the seven archangels, which just might be the reason why it’s a popular baby boy’s name across Europe. It also has a slew of spellings, such as Rafael (in Spain), or Raffaello in Italy.
You can get your Greek on with the baby boy name Elias. Meaning “Yahweh is God,” Elias is of Greek origin, since it is the Greek variation of Elijah. And as far as baby names go, you have plenty to choose from, like Eli, Elly, Lee, or Lias.
Ooh la la! If you prefer Parisian-inspired baby names, try out Tristan. Although its meaning is “sad” and “sorrowful,” there’s nothing depressing about this beautiful European baby boy name. Just don’t be surprised if you hear several iterations of the name, since Tristan is popular in other countries, too. For example, you may find a Tristom, Tristão, Tristram or Tristen, too.
A lot of countries are trying to claim Andrei as theirs, but it’s Russia who ranks highest. In fact, Andrei is a Russian baby boy’s name, and it means “manly,” ideal for your little man. But don’t let the “i” at the end fool you; Andrei is pronounced “Andre,” and the ending “i” is silent.
If you’ve gone through every American name imaginable and can’t come up with a keeper, consider a European baby name instead. It might inspire some wanderlust for you and your family to go visit the location that inspired your baby’s name.
This article was originally published on
November 6, 2021