“Do you have any names picked out?” If you or your partner are pregnant, you’ll probably get this question from every friend and family member at some point, and hey, it’s understandable. Everyone wants to know what their new little loved one will be called, and you’re probably pretty excited to decide on a name, too. Some people select their
baby’s name because of a special meaning while others are focused on the sound or spelling. If you’re on the hunt for boy names that start with “P,” there are plenty of precious options to choose from.
Maybe you like classic, timeless baby boy names that are sure to never go out of style (or cause a substitute teacher to stumble over them during roll call). If so, maybe “P” names like Peter, Patrick, and Preston are the ones for you. Or, maybe you like names with a little edge and uniqueness, like Pace or Pax. Or, maybe you are determined to have your little lad really stand out, like the little Pharaoh or Peregrine that he is.
So, whether you want to find the perfect boy name that starts with “P” because of how it sounds with your last name, or because the rest of your family also has “P” names, there are options in this list that will check those boxes and appeal to your personality.
Peter has Greek origins (and began as Petros, meaning “stone”) but is probably most famous for its Biblical roots. Jesus gave his disciple Simon the new name Peter, and as Jesus’ go-to guy for all kinds of things, his new name became associated with trustworthiness and reliability. Even if you’re not religious, Peter is a seriously meaningful name.
Thanks to Pierce Brosnan’s turn as James Bond, the name Pierce has a strong, distinguished vibe. It’s a derivative of Piers, which is the Norman version of Peter.
In Ancient Egypt, pharaohs were the religious and political leaders, and were understood to be a sort of a liaison between gods and people. So, giving a name like this to your baby will always give them a sense of royalty.
4 Prince Praveenkumar Palanichamy/Moment/Getty Images
If you love the idea of a royal name but need to keep it to one syllable, consider Prince. In 2021, Prince made it into the top 400 most common baby names in the United States. Of course, it would be a great nod to the musical artist, too, if you and your partner happen to be big fans.
Paxton is a gender-neutral “P” baby name option with Latin origins. It means “peace town,” and while your house may feel like the exact opposite when you have a newborn or small child, maybe it will remind you to be present and feel at peace when hanging with your babe.
Pax (the Latin word for peace) is usually used as a nickname for Paxton. But, if you’re looking for a single-syllable boy name starting with “P,” it’s strong enough to be a standalone first or middle name.
Pace has roots in both Hebrew language, referring to Passover, and in English as a last name meaning “peaceful one.” It also has an athletic sound, so if you’re hoping to raise a little runner or lover of the game, Pace should be a strong contender for your baby’s name.
So many popular boy names (think Harper and Hunter) started as English last names to describe the job a person did. Parker is one of them, referring to park keepers who maintained hunting grounds for guests. So, it’s got a roundabout tie to nature, gender-neutral vibes, and of course, it starts with a “P.”
Fans of the name Parker will also love Porter, which is another English last name meaning “door keeper.” Porters on trains would help passengers between the train and platform and load luggage, and hopefully your little Porter is just as helpful to others as he grows up.
Want a name that strikes a balance between
vintage and modern? Perry was fairly popular in the 1910s and 1950s, but has otherwise flown under the radar. Perry could work for a baby girl or boy, so even if it’s not right for this baby, it could be a perfect fit for a future child. 11 Price
If you like Pierce and Pace, Price will probably make your list of baby name candidates, too. It’s a name of Welsh origin meaning meaning “son of Rhys,” though today it has more of a money-related meaning.
Pablo is a Mexican name related to Paul, which means “small” or “humble.” It’s a perfect fit if you’re hoping your little fellow will have an appreciation for the arts, with figures like Pablo Picasso and Pablo Neruda to look up to.
Padgett hasn’t been in the top 1,000 baby names in the United States since 1900 (or maybe ever), which means your little boy will be the only one you know with this name. It’s a French name connected to the word ‘page’, which is what young servants for knights were called. So, if you’re a history buff hoping to raise a young scholar, Padgett is a very cool option.
Percy peaked in popularity in the early 1900s and has been a slow decline ever since (probably since its full name version, Percival, can sound outdated to some). There have been YA characters bringing the name back into the limelight in recent years, like Percy Jackson and Percy Weasley, so it’s a niche
literary name for bookworm parents. 15 Penn
Which Penn came to mind for you, Sean or Badgley? It’s most commonly seen as a last name — it’s never ranked in the top 1,000 U.S. names — but with its strong yet laid back feel, it should be way more popular.
If you like everything about the name Peter except, well, the name itself, look to other parts of the world to see how they stylize the name. Pietro is the Italian version and would be a very cute name for a newborn baby boy.
If you think your babe might grow up to save the world in their own way, why not give them a hero’s name? In Greek mythology, Perseus was the original Hercules — son of Zeus, slayer of monsters, and rescuer of damsels. He even started his very own dynasty, so, you know, #goals.
Preston means “priest’s town.” It’s recognizable yet has a
preppy, high-class style, which may be why it has been in the top 350 most popular boy names in the United States since 1900. 19 Pranav
This Indian name symbolizes Om, which is a sacred word and sound in Hinduism. It’s said to represent the universe and humanity’s connection to everything in it, so the name Pranav is a beautiful reminder to your son that he’s part of something much bigger.
Want your little guy to be an explorer? Pilot is the perfect name, with the same spunk and uniqueness as names like Scout and Sailor.
If you like classic names that won’t sound trendy in 20 years, Patrick will stand the test of time. From 1900 through 2018, it stayed in the top 200 most commonly used boy names in the United States. It means “noble,” and that will never go out of style.
Looking for an “F” sound but a “P” spelling? Phelix offers the best of both worlds, and is from the Latin word meaning “fortunate” or “happy.” What more could you want for your baby boy than those characteristics?
From the Latin meaning “traveler,” Peregrine is most commonly known in the United States as a type of falcon (
The Lord of the Rings fans will also recognize it as Pippin’s first name). With the nickname “Pip”, eclectic parents should definitely add this option to their list of potential boy names that start with “P.” 24 Payton
Peyton Manning is the most famous athlete by this name in the United States, but many other Paytons hold records and titles in the worlds of wrestling, baseball, and track. It’s a unisex name with lots of athletic ties, making it a perfect choice if your family loves sports.
Another timeless name, Phillip means “lover of horses.” Maybe you’re not big horse people, so it’s worth noting there are plenty of notable men by this name, including Philip Glass, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and countless monarchs throughout history.
This name hasn’t hit the top 1,000 since 1981, so why not bring it back with your baby? It’s a Portuguese name related to Paul — the second syllable and international appeal may draw in parents who hadn’t previously considered the English version.
For music fans, this name needs no introduction. Parton, a la Dolly, means “pear orchard.” It’s similar enough to Paxton or Preston to not sound totally out of touch, but it’s definitely a one-of-a-kind name.
While it’s typically a surname, Pelham is an Old English moniker could become a staple in modern times as a first name. Doesn’t it sound like the name of an author, boxer, or Nobel Prize winner?
The myth of the phoenix dates back to ancient Egypt, and focuses on a giant, powerful bird that would burst into flames at the end of its life, only for a new phoenix to rise from its ashes. That’s why today we see phoenixes as a symbol of renewal and overcoming challenges, something your little Phoenix will excel at.
Another case for using surnames as first names: Prewitt. This French name means “brave little one,” an especially powerful name for a baby boy who didn’t have an easy entrance to the world but is showing it who’s boss anyway.
Did any of these baby boy names that start with “P” feel like the one? Your little Peregrine, Payton, Pax, or Prince is bound to be the cutest baby to wear the name yet.