Boy names ending in ‘o’ are very much on trend for 2016. From the king of the jungle, Top 100 name Leo, to romance language staples like Marco and Diego, to modern possibilities like Cairo, there are boy names ending in o to suit every style of namer.
This isn’t a list of every single boy name ending in o from the US Top 1000. Many of these come from beyond the Top 1000. And I culled more than a dozen romance language ends-in-o names that I suspect are family honor names. Rigoberto screams “named after grandpa” to me. Others, like Rodrigo, are falling through the rankings fast, making me think that they’re suffering the same fate as names like Trent – once fashionable, now dated. They didn’t make the cut, either.
Instead, here are 100 of the best boy names ending in o, from mainstream favorites to up-and-comers to rarities that aren’t often heard, but could wear beautifully today.
Boy Names Ending in O: Familiar Favorites
Leo – The lion is the King of the Jungle, and Leo is top of the heap for boy names ending in o. It’s the only one currently in the US Top 100, ranking #97 as of 2014. Leo was once a grandpa name, but has led the pack of o-ending choices to feel fresh and fashionable today.
Mateo and Matteo – New Testament Matthew is a long-time favorite with an impressive history of use. But it’s #106 Mateo and #375 Matteo that boast extra energy and verve.
Leonardo – Hollywood A-Lister Leonardo DiCaprio put his long, romantic first name on the list of boy names ending in o that feel fashionable today. Long before DiCaprio ever boarded The Titanic or donned Howard Hughes’ aviator jacket, the name belonged to the legendary Leonardo da Vinci. The original Renaissance Man also lent his name to a Ninja Turtle. It shortens nicely to Leo, too. The name ranked #114 in 2014.
Santiago – Santiago is huge in the Spanish speaking world, so no surprise that it’s also popular in the US, where it currently ranks #115. Santiago comes from Saint James, via Yago, an older Spanish form of the given name.
Diego – Speaking of James, Diego is another form of the name. The Latin Iacobus became Yago in Spanish, and Diego is probably a shortened form of Santiago. It’s familiar in English-speaking circles thanks to California’s San Diego, artist Diego Rivera and animated children’s cartoon Go, Diego, Go. That makes it one of the more promising crossover possibilities. #390 Thiago is another member of the Santiago-Diego family.
Antonio – Romantic Antonio has just left the US Top 100. Back in 1972, Antonio reached #93. It’s been steadily popular since then, falling to #139 as of 2014. Actor Antonio Banderas comes to mind, but so do a handful of athletes, like Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers.
Alejandro – Alex names have had a good run in the last few decades, so no surprise that Alejandro ranked #157 as of 2014. I can’t decide if the Lady Gaga song is a plus or a minus for the name. I do think Alejandro is less of an English-Spanish crossover option than, say, Diego, but it is undeniably a Spanish-language name that works in English.
Lorenzo – Who would have guessed that the alumni of Jersey Shore would turn out to be great baby namers? Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi named her firstborn Lorenzo Dominic, a name that nods to her and husband Jionni LaValle’s Italian roots.
Beau and Bo – Beau is the French word for handsome, and sometimes used as a synonym for boyfriend or suitor. Bo can have Swedish roots – or Chinese! Both can be short for many a longer name, from the oh-so-Southern Beauregard to the modern Bowen. At #228, Beau is far more popular than #648 Bo, but both feel familiar today.
Emiliano and Emilio – Emily and Emma are chart-toppers for girls, but when it comes to boys, only the o ending Emil- names have caught on. As of 2014, Emiliano ranked #254 and Emilio, #280.
Fernando – Like Alejandro, I have a hard time imagining this name on a child without obvious Latino heritage. And yet, English speakers have neglected the classic Ferdinand, composed of Germanic elements meaning “journey” and “brave.” If our affection for boy names ending in o can bring Fernando, and possibly Ferdinand, into wider use, I say why not? Fernando ranked #263 in 2014.
Sergio – Speaking of names that we neglect in English, why don’t have more boys called Serge? Sergius is the Latin, Sergei the Russian, and Sergio the Spanish and Italian. It makes me think of Sergio Valente, a brand of fashion denim from the 1980s. There never was a Mr. Valente, but I think it proves that there’s a certain style to Sergio. Sergio charted at #307 in 2014.
Marco – Mark is your dad, or maybe your dentist. But the Italian Marco is a cool name for a child born today. It brings to mind explorer Marco Polo, currently brought to life once more on the Netflix original series. On a kid-friendly note, Marco is a name used by Dr. Seuss. The name ranked #308 in 2014.
Milo – Back in the 1980s, Milo was edgy and obscure. Want proof? Punk band the Descendants were fronted by Milo Aukerman, and their album Milo Goes to College is a classic of the genre. The name was absent from the US Top 1000 in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. But today? Milo re-entered the US Top 1000 in 2001 and has leapt to #311 as of 2014. It’s still cool, but it’s no longer staggeringly original.
Boy Names Ending in O: Uncommon Options
Romeo – Yes, parents are naming their children Romeo – and it’s not just the Beckhams. Romeo, he of the longing and the doomed romance, ranked #341 in 2014. That’s pretty darn mainstream.
Maximiliano – Max is a mini name, brief and complete. Plenty of parents prefer something more elaborate, and at six syllables, Maximiliano delivers! The name ranked #344 in 2014.
Pedro – Is Pedro the next Milo? Okay, no. Pedro is the Spanish form of Peter, and the Empire of Brazil was ruled by Pedro I and Pedro II in the nineteenth century. It’s a storied name. But Pedro reminds me of Milo in this respect: it’s tied a quirky, indie pop culture staple. In this case, it’s 2004 indie flick Napoleon Dynamite. Napoleon’s friend Pedro runs for class president – and wins! Pedro ranked #354 in 2014. Another name I would put in this category is #396, Pablo.
Enzo – Snooki’s son Lorenzo is also known by this nickname, though Lorenzo and Enzo have separate roots. At #369 in 2014, Enzo has gone from obscurity to rising favorite in just a decade.
Armando – At #400, Armando isn’t exactly a household name. But it is the birth name of Miami-born megastar Pitbull.
Hugo – Many of the names on this list feel Latino or maybe Italian. But Hugo feels like a buttoned-down British name, at home with titles and crumbling country homes and horses, too. But it’s actually a pan-European name, big in Sweden, France, and Spain, as well as the UK. Hugo ranked #438 in 2014.
Rocco – Saintly Rocco got a boost when Madonna and Guy Ritchie gave the name to their son. The Italian heritage choice actually comes from a French saint, originally known as Roch. Rocco is rich in style, and has a kind of tough-guy sound, too. Rocco ranked #449 in 2014.
Nico and Niko – Gender-neutral Nico charted at #456 for boys in 2014, with Niko at #617. It’s one of the many Nick names that have enjoyed use over the ages, including the formerly very popular Nicholas.
Theo – At #126, the formal Theodore is far more popular than #509 Theo. But plenty of those Theodores will answer to Theo, so this name could be much more common than just-Theo’s rank implies. That said, if you love Theo, but Theodore leaves you cold, there are plenty of good reasons to skip the formal name.
Arturo – Arthur is making a comeback, so how about the Italian and Spanish form of the name? It makes me think of the legendary Italian conductor, Arturo Toscanini. The name ranked #518 in 2014.
Alonzo – Any Doctor Who fans out there? The Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant, was a big fan of the phrase “Allons-y” – French for “Let’s go!” In an episode, he meets an Alonzo – or possibly an Alonso, and cheerfully tells him “Allons-y, Alonzo!” The ‘z’ spelling ranked #525 in 2014, while Alonso came in at #708. They’re both forms of Alfonso – and far more wearable with the ‘f’ removed.
Arlo – Arlo is an up-and-comer, with a hint of indie spirit thanks to folk singer Arlo Guthrie. The name ranked #539 in 2014. I also have it on my list of unexpected nicknames for Charles.
Orlando – Orlando is part-Romeo romantic hero, part-leading man thanks to Orlando Bloom, and maybe part-place name, too. (I mean, who doesn’t love Disney World?) The name ranked #558 in 2014.
Joe – I almost skipped Joe, because Joseph doesn’t make the list of boy names ending in o. Except Beau and Bo are on the list, so why not #565, just Joe? Joe – I almost skipped Joe, because Joseph doesn’t make the list of boy names ending in o. Except Beau and Bo are on the list, so why not #565, just Joe?
Luciano – An elaborate romance language option that’s far less popular than Leonardo, coming in at #568 in 2014. We love Luke, Lucas, and Luca, so Luciano feels like a natural choice.
Otto – There’s an entire family of Otto names, including #627, the palindrome name Otto himself! The names have slowly gone from being impossibly dated to quirky-cool and now are slowly inching towards the mainstream. Otto ranked #627 in 2014.
Aldo – Brad Pitt made Aldo a tough guy name in the 2009 Quentin Tarantino movie Inglorious Basterds. (Super R-rated, but here’s the clip if you’ve never seen it.) The name ranked #645 in 2014. But here’s a surprise – it’s actually on the decline. If you love Leo and Arlo, but want to avoid naming your son The Next Big Thing, I think there’s a good chance that Aldo might remain rare.
Carmelo – Never let it be said that athletes don’t influence our baby name decision. Boy names ending in o wouldn’t be complete without Carmelo, as in NBA star Carmelo Anthony. The name was seldom heard in English until Anthony joined the Denver Nuggets in 2003. Since then, it’s climbed to #653 in the US.
Bruno – Bruno was once the name for a Sicilian gangster type, thuggish and slow. But now it’s all Bruno Mars, and quite stylish. The name ranked #670 in 2014.
Guillermo – Confession: I have a hard time saying Guillermo. I have to pause and think. And I do say Guillermo from time to time, mostly because of Guadalajara-born film director Guillermo del Toro. It’s simply the Spanish form of William, and while it’s in steady use through the Spanish-speaking world, it’s relatively rare in the US, coming up at just #678.
Marcelo – English-speakers have never really embraced any of the possible forms of the Roman name Marcellus, even though it was worn by two popes and a minor figure in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Marcel is the French, Dutch, and Polish. Marcello is the Italian, and with a single ‘l’, Marcelo is heard in Spanish and Portuguese. It could be an interesting possibility, currently ranked #741.
Valentino – If we can name our boys Romeo and Orlando, is Valentino really off limits? It brings to mind 1920s screen legend, Rudolph Valentino – born Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguolla. How’s that for a name? If Valentine feels a bit too frilly and February 14th, Valentino might seem like the better choice. The name ranked #765 as of 2014.
Apollo – This mythological moniker was on the rise before Gwen Stefani gave the name to her third son in early 2014. It ranked #801 then. With a little bit of star power behind it, will Apollo be huge?
Giancarlo – Here’s a phenomenon that’s easy to miss. Many names that feel Italian have actually been embraced by Latino parents. And why not? Italian and Spanish are similar. Our Venezuelan neighbors have a Giovani, and plenty of other names on this list make me think that names with Italian style have plenty of cross-cultural appeal. (And why not? After all, I considered Dante for a son, even though he’d only be 1/4 Italian.) I’m not sure if that’s the case with Giancarlo, #823 in 2014, but it strikes me as an appealing possibility for parents who love romance language names. Other smoosh boy names ending in o that I’ve spotted included Gianfranco and Joseantonio, though they’re both at the very bottom of the 2014 data.
Alvaro – Alvar is an Old Norse name. Alvaro is used in Spanish and Italian – in fact, in 1862, a Verdi opera debuted in St. Petersburg. It was based on a Spanish drama from earlier in the 1800s, and features a tenor named Alvaro. Maybe that’s why it strikes me as such an international name. Alvaro ranked #922 in 2014.
Jericho – From the opera house to the atlas! Jericho is a city on the West Bank. It may be the oldest continuously occupied city in the world. Jericho’s first syllable brings to mind Jeremy and Jerome and Jeremiah. With boy names ending in o all the rage, combined with our affection for place names, it’s no wonder that Jericho has recently entered the US Top 1000 and stands at #946.
Eliseo – We’ve gone mad for El- names, from Ella to Elijah. Eliseo takes the El- in another direction. It’s the Spanish form of the Old Testament Elisha. And while Elisha is easily confused with former favorite Alicia, Eliseo feels fresh and new. The name ranked #952 in 2014.
Camilo – Camila is in the girl’s Top 100, and now the masculine equivalent is gaining, too. The name climbed to #962 in 2014.
Deangelo – I didn’t list Angelo earlier, even though it has a long history of use in the US and currently ranks #315. Instead, I’m intrigued by Deangelo, currently ranked #968, as well as Dangelo, which is just outside the rankings – and I assume, is typically spelled with a hyphen as D’Angelo. I can’t quite decide – is this a handsome surname name possibility, or a little too nouveau? And is it better with or without the hyphen?
Dario – Daria was the animated star of a 1990s MTV series. Dario is an Italian name, ultimately derived from a Persian name. Daria and Dario are both falling out of favor, but Dario still ranked #971 in 2014.
Osvaldo – Blame it on the letter v. While Oswald is all early Disney animated rabbit to me, Osvaldo has some appeal. At #989 in 2014 it’s far from common, but not completely unknown.
Boy Names Ending in O: Rarities
Shiloh – Shiloh is best known as the name of one of the Jolie-Pitt kids, but the famous family wasn’t the first to use it. Instead, Shiloh is a Biblical place name and the location of a battle in the American Civil War – both references that encouraged the name’s sparing use. Neil Diamond’s late 1960s name “Shilo” probably boosted the name from obscurity to wider use. It’s more popular for girls as of 2014, but it’s rising for boys, too.
Tadeo – Thaddeus is clunky cool, but the Spanish Tadeo is more spirited.
Carlo – Arlo is huge, and we love Charlie. Carlo could be cool, but it’s astoundingly rare.
Cairo – When trends collide! Between the ‘o’ ending and the place name status, Cairo has been climbing quickly. It’s just outside of the US Top 1000, given to 171 boys in 2014.
Benicio – Parents are big on Ben names in 2014. The current Top 1000 includes enduring Benjamin, surnames Bentley, Bennett, Benson, Benton, and just Ben. So why not Benicio, as in Academy Award-winning actor Benicio del Torro.
Danilo – It’s a rare form of Daniel that’s catching on quick.
Jethro – An Old Testament name from a Hebrew word meaning abundance, Jethro will probably make most of us think of rock band Jethro Tull. Or possibly the Beverly Hillbillies character, Jethro Bodine. If I met a baby Jethro in 2014, I’d think it was a bold, hipsterish pick. And I just might meet a baby Jethro soon – the name was given to 101 boys in 2014, a new high.
Neo – Neo means new, and it is a very new name, indeed. It was seldom heard in English until recently. Keanu Reeves first played a character by the name in 1999’s The Matrix. There’s a clear spike in the name’s use after the wildly successful movie series began.
Ezio – Zoe Saldana has twins sons named Cy Aridio and Bowie Ezio. Ezio is an Italian name – Zoe’s husband is Italian artist Marco Perego. It’s got a great meaning, too – it ultimately comes from a Roman name meaning eagle. If you’re fretting that Ezra and Enzo are too popular, Ezio might be the perfect choice.
Kenzo – Speaking of the Italian Enzo, add a K and it becomes the Japanese Kenzo. Fashion designer Kenzo Takada gave the name to his international luxury brand, making the name part-Armani/Chanel, and part-culture spanning possibility.
Pharaoh – Royal names have been a huge trend, from Kingston to Reign. Why not Pharaoh?
Teo, Teodoro – Like Theo and Theodore, but also drawn to Mateo and Marco? Teo and Teodoro might work.
Lazaro – New Testament name Lazarus has a long history of sparing use. The Spanish form, Lazaro, is another option.
Michelangelo – Is this smoosh of two Italian names, worn by the towering artist and inventor Michelangelo, too much to live up to? It does come with a built-in Halloween costume: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle in the orange mask.
Braulio – Back in the seventh century, Braulio of Zaragoza was a bishop and advisor to kings. He’s now considered a saint, also known by the Latin from of his name, Braulius. It’s an intriguing rarity.
Maceo – Some celebrity baby names catch on quickly. Others … don’t. And sometimes the ones that don’t leave me baffled. Here’s one that I file under baffled: Maceo. Halle Berry chose the name for her son in 2013, and I thought it would rise rapidly. Besides Halle’s endorsement, Maceo has a long and impressive history. In 2014, 73 boys were given the name – meaning that this one remains rare.
Roscoe – File Roscoe with Jethro and Rufus – a formerly hick name that’s gone hipster. Roscoe has surname roots, but this rarity doesn’t feel like a last name in the first spot today.
Nicolo, Niccolo – One of my favorite boy names ending in o! It shortens to the far more popular Nico, but while Nico is modern, Nicolo has deep roots. It’s big in Italy, and it’s also the given name of notables like Machiavelli and Paganini.
Laszlo – From Italy to Hungary, where Laszlo is the Hungarian form of Vladislav, via the Latinized form, Ladislas. Rocker Pete Wentz named his younger son Saint Lazslo. Neither spelling is even a little bit common in the US.
Galileo – Stargazers, we have your baby name! Galileo refers to Galilee, as in the Biblical place name, but it’s most famous as the first name of the astronomer and world-changing scientist Galileo Galilei. Worried it’s too much to wear? It could shorten to Leo.
Piero, Pietro – Both Italian forms of the classic Peter, Pietro is also the given name of comic book hero Quicksilver, a member of the Avengers who appeared in the 2015 blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Winslow – A surname name that brings to mind American landscape painter Winslow Homer, as well as Winslow, Arizona – immortalized in the Eagles’ 1972 song “Take It Easy.”
Cato – The name of an ancient Roman statesman, introduced to a new generation via The Hunger Games.
Aero, Eero – Aero refers to flight, as in aeronautics and aerospace. Eero is the Finnish form of Eric, but both names are pronounced exactly the same.
DeNiro – Hollywood surnames have inspired children’s names, from Gable to Harlow to Monroe to Penn. Why not DeNiro?
Cielo – The Spanish word for sky as well as heaven, Cielo is part-nature name, part-spiritual name, and very on trend.
What are your favorite boy names ending in o? Are there any on this list that you would consider?