So much significance gets put on your
baby’s first name that it can be easy to forget about the importance of a good middle name for boys. But as any parent will tell you, having that second name to really emphasize when a kid is acting out can be very satisfying. For example, compare these: “Wells Gidick, you still haven’t cleaned your room,” vs. “Wells! Louis! Gidick! You pick up your room right this minute!” See the difference?
But what makes for
a good middle name for boys?
There are a host of different directions you can go in. A boy middle name is a great place to give a nod to a family member, be it a grandfather or beloved uncle.
You can give his full name a bit of classic weight and heft. Another nice thing to consider is who you want your child to look to as a role model. By giving them the middle name of that person, they’ll always be reminded of the good qualities of this inspiring figure.
Or, you could just go with a name that has a strong meaning to you. Perhaps it’s your favorite character in a book or a historic or
religious figure that resonates with you. Take Joshua, for instance. The Biblical name comes from Hebrew and means ‘may Jehovah help him.” That added meaning gives it more significance. Here are some other middle names for boys you should consider. 1 Andrew LWA/Dann Tardif/DigitalVision/Getty Images
A variant of the Greek name Andreas, Andrew means “strong, manly” (which can be kind of a funny thing to think when you look at a baby, but someday it’ll fit). Another great option: shorten the name to Drew.
In Greek mythology, Linus is the son of Apollo; in popular American mythology, he’s the best friend of Charlie Brown. The name actually means “flax,” but this is one name that’s so much more than just a meaning.
A Hebrew name meaning “happy, blessed,” this is certainly a name with positive vibes. And if you want to go the one-syllable route, you can always shorten it to Ash.
Of Celtic origins, Aiden means “the sun god, fiery” — which means your little one will surely shine bright like a diamond (and possibly have a slight temper?).
A diminutive form of Barnard or Barnaby, there are several meanings associated with this name, from “strong as a bear” to “defender,” so if strength is important to you, this might be the perfect pick.
An ideal complement to a more simple first name, this four-syllable moniker is the Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese form of Leonard and has a pretty fabulous meaning: “brave lion.”
The name James has a long history to it. Just look at English royalty to see how popular it has been with the monarchy. In Hebrew, James is a derivative of Jacob and means “supplanter.” Paired with many first names, it adds a classic solidarity to your child’s name.
Whether you’re going for John the Baptist or John Lennon, John has a long, illustrious history. It makes a solid second name and you can pick from a huge number of options your favorite John to name your son after.
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Peter is another biblical name, which means rock or stone in Greek. How’s that for imbuing your baby boy with a stalwart sense of self?
Edward in Old English stood for fortune. If you want your boy to grow up to be prosperous, this might not be a bad middle name for him.
Louis comes from Ludwig and in French means famous warrior. Encourage your son to stand up for himself by giving him this middle name.
You could choose Franklin after Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States. Or you could pick Franklin as a tribute to your love of Aretha Franklin and R&B. Your pick.
David means “beloved” and what could be a more fitting baby boy middle name than that?
Alexander the Great was one of the most famous people in the ancient world. And his nickname alone makes it a fun choice for a baby boy’s middle name. But Alexander also means “defender of men,” a strong and sturdy moniker if ever there was one.
In Old German, Robert means bright fame. Think you have a superstar infant on your hands? Tuck this little name between their forename and last name.
Fun fact: In Old French, Calvin means “little bald one.” That’s probably how your baby boy looks when he first arrives, so, if you have a sense of humor, this could be a good middle name choice. Plus Cal is just cute if you need an extra nickname.
Peaceful ruler is the meaning behind the name Frederick. What a lovely concept to impart to a baby boy by way of their middle name.
In Old French, Jasper referred to a spotted or speckled stone. Have a little freckly baby? Perhaps you want to make their middle name Jasper as an ode to their ephelides.
In Hebrew, Simon means listen. That can be a hard thing for little boys to master, but with a middle name as a reminder, perhaps your child will be two steps ahead of the rest.
Thomas is a very popular name across many cultures, with variations in more than 10 languages including Scottish and Estonian. Perhaps that’s because it has such a universally appealing meaning: twin. Is your boy like a twin of his parent? Consider this middle name.
In addition to having roots deep in both French and English royalty, Charles means “free man.” If you want your child to always be independent and a free spirit, you can’t do better than Charles as a middle name.
In German, Henry means ruler. You can come up with your own definition of what “rule” means in your household with this middle name.
Ready for a heavy middle name option? Try Oscar, which means “spear of the Gods.” If you want to start your son on a mythology-loving journey, Oscar’s not a bad place to start.
In Latin, Felix means happy or lucky, and who wouldn’t want either of those qualities for their pride and joy?
The name Bruce comes from Scottish and means willowlands. If you’re familiar with the famous Scottish warrior Robert the Bruce, this will ring a bell; it makes a great middle name if you want to give a nod to your Scottish ancestry. Alternatively, anyone with roots in New Jersey will surely appreciate the nod to the Boss.
In Greek, Theo means gift. If that isn’t extremely appropriate to describe the gift of your son, what is?
Short for Maximilian (meaning "greatest"), you can make your child an extension of your pride with this name. Just keep in mind that once they find out, they might get a big head.
In Hebrew, Levi means joined. When it comes to middle names for boys, the idea of joining a family is a nice way to welcome a new infant to the tribe.
Aside from the famous flood that made this name so popular, there’s another hidden connotation worth considering: Noah means rest or repose. To raise a boy who understands the importance of calm and rest is no small achievement and perhaps this middle name could help.
Jack is of English origin and means “God is gracious.” For faithful parents, this could be an extremely meaningful middle name for a boy.
Still struggling to come up with a list of middle names for boys? Consider Eric. The Old Norse name means “forever ruler.” Tell that to your boy and watch his mind get blown.
You can probably guess what the name Victor means — “champion” or “winner,” of course. Encourage your son to have a winning spirit by naming him Victor.
Another ideal name for a family who wants to impart their faith to their child, Elliot means “Lord is my God.”
Don’t sweat the struggle to come up with middle names for boys anymore. Just use this list to whittle down your options to find just the right middle moniker.
This article was originally published on
November 23, 2021