Are you looking for a unique baby boy name that has a cool and edgy sound to it? Good call. Research shows that parents who regret their choice of baby name say it's because their chosen name ended up being too popular. Avoid being a statistic with these great baby boy names that are unique, but not too "out there."
Once you have your name picked out, check out our Pregnancy Checklist to keep your other to-dos on track.
Looking for a name that's a little more unusual for your baby boy? Go modern with monikers that use the letters X or Z. Some to consider:Axel: Danish for "father of peace," the name has been rising steadily, ranking at No. 167 on the top baby names list for boys in 2013. And if you're a big Guns 'N' Roses fan, consider spelling it "Axl."Phoenix: Name your kid after a mythical bird that rose from ashes, inspiring hope or idealism? Sounds pretty modern to us. The name held the No. 382 spot last year, debuting on the list in 1995.Zane: Love the name John, but prefer something more unique? Zane is the Hebrew version of John (meaning Gift from God), and, in 2013, was the No. 215 most popular name for baby boys.
More modern X and Z names for boys:
Another take on modern are futuristic next-century names.
Jett: Landing at No. 324 on the top baby names list last year, your son won't be in much danger of being one of many Jetts raising hands in kindergarten. This name comes from the black semi-precious stone (or you can go with jet engine if you're a lover of air travel).Mekhi: As with Zane, if you like the name Michael (which means Who is like the Lord?), but want a twist, try Mekhi, the No. 513 most popular name for boys last year.Orion: The No. 399 most popular name for baby boys in 2013, Orion comes from classical mythology and astronomy—the hunter. But although the name is old, it sounds totally new.
More futuristic names:
Unlike some unisex baby names, there's no doubt that these baby names are for boys. If it's an uber masculine name you're after, you can't go wrong with a tough-guy moniker.Wilder: Defined as "to cause to lose one's way," it doesn't get much more bad boy than this. Although the name has not made the top 1,000 list in the last 100 years, it is on the rise.Harley: Traditionally an English surname, these days, when you think Harley, you think Harley-Davidson. This name revved to the No. 621 most popular spot last year.Rocco: Italian in origin and meaning rest, Rocco doesn't sound at all sleepy. Last year, it was the No. 423 most popular name for baby boys.More tough boy names:
Do you have visions of your son scoring the winning touchdown? To give your name added sports appeal, consider finding a name that starts with the same letter as your last name. Lovers of all things athletic may opt for a name they can already picture emblazoned on the back of a jersey.Ace: Playing card, winning a point, fighter pilot, skilled person ... there's a lot to like about "Ace." Others agree, as it ranked 498th on last year's baby name list.Spike: A sharp piece of metal, a smash hit in volleyball, shoes with projections you wear on the track or field—Spike is tough, sporty and unique (and not on the list for the most popular boys names, well, ever).Blade: The flat, cutting part of a sword or knife, or the metal part of an ice skate, wouldn't this be the perfect name for a future hockey player? It has not yet cracked the top 1,000 list.Duke: A male ruler or nobleman (and, as a verb, slang for hitting with fists or doing battle), this could be the best name for a quarterback ever. It was the No. 718 most popular baby boy name in 2013.More sporty baby names:
Unisex names that work for either gender are especially modern these days. We love them as both first and middle names, and expect this trend to continue to gain momentum.
Ashton: The English surname (from the town of Ash) is now the 152th most popular name for boys (with a surge credited to actor Ashton Kutcher).Ellis: Another surname, and variant of Elisha (which means God is salvation, according to babynamewizard.com), Ellis was the 529th most popular baby boy name in 2013. Sage: Whether you define Sage as a profoundly wise person or an herb used in medicine and cooking, it has a modern ring to it. It ranked No. 736 last year for baby boys names (and was No. 457 for baby girls).Grey: A neutral tone between black and white, Grey broke into the top 100 list in 2013, at No. 979. We like it as a twist on Greyson.Hunter: Meaning, you guessed it, a person who hunts, Hunter is a name on the rise, ranking 36th for baby boys and 930 for baby girls in 2013.Morgan: More popular as a girl's name (it was the 100th most popular moniker last year), we like the gender twist for the Welsh-originated name meaning sea circle. It held the No. 662 spot for boys in 2013.
More unisex baby boy names:
While celebrities frequently influence name popularity (Kourtney Kardashian named her oldest son Mason and the name is now the fourth most popular baby boy name), the fictional characters they play can have an impact as well. Here are names that are becoming more popular: Walter: Meaning ruler of the army, some may recall the title character Walter Mitty, but most equate the name with Breaking Bad's Walter White in 2015. It was the No. 342 baby boy's name in 2013.Dexter: Another character noted for his questionable morals (Dexter, from the Showtime hit) actually means on the right side and was the 380th most popular name for baby boys last year.Gus: With the popularity of A Fault in Our Stars, Gus is a baby name on the rise. It has not cracked the top 1,000 name list, but it's longer version, Augustus, was No. 688 in 2013.Garrett: A surname that evolved from Gerald (which means spear rule), President Garrett Walker is a character on the Netflix series House of Cards, and took the No. 227 spot of popular baby boy names last year.Fitzgerald: Another traditional surname (and presidential name on the TV show Scandal), the name has not cracked the top baby name list.Crosby: This Irish name meaning village with crosses, is the name of the Parenthood character played by Dax Shepard. It was the No. 649 most popular baby boy name last year.
Think strong with an edgy vibe. This kid is practically a celebrity already.Bowie: Scottish for blond, and identified with rocker David Bowie and Alamo hero Jim Bowie, this name also has never made the top 1,000 list, but definitely carries a bad boy cache.Jagger: Similar to Bowie, Jagger makes you think rocker, as in Mick of the Rolling Stones. It was the 698th most popular baby boy name in 2013.Maverick: The very definition of Maverick (which was the No. 273 most popular baby boy name in 2013) screams bad boy: a person pursuing rebellious, potentially disruptive policies or ideas. As an adjective, it means nonconformist. And, of course, served as Tom Cruise's call sign in "Top Gun."
Old-fashioned baby boy names ending in double ts are becoming more popular. (Yes, it really is a thing.)Wyatt: Traditionally an English surname, Wyatt was the No. 41 baby boy name in 2013.Everett: Cracking the top 200 at No. 189 in 2013, this name, a traditional surname derived from a name that meant wild boar, according to babynamewizard.com, is on its way to a comeback (it peaked at No. 89 in 1915). Rhett: The name Rhett (best known as the Gone With the Wind character), meaning advice and the No. 425 most popular baby name for boys last year, hasn't been too popular in recent years. It's a masculine name that deserves a new look.Beckett: Beckett joins Wyatt, Rhett and Everett as a once popular name, coming back in style. Another traditional surname (think Irish playwright Samuel Beckett), this one means dweller near the brook and was the No. 279 most popular name last year.