It’s the sixth most popular initial for our sons’ names. Naturally that means plenty of options, from the classic Edward to cool Enzo.
E names are topping the charts. Parents are looking to the Old Testament for inspiration, and finding a wealth of options.
A number of surname-style names make this list, too, from current favorite Everett to possible up-and-comer Everson.
A few long-time favorites are still hanging on here, too. Evan, a cousin to John, peaked a decade ago but remains steadily popular. And the Norse import Eric reached a high in the 1970s, but now feels more like a modern traditional than a trending one.
Read on for more of the best boy names starting with E.
MOST POPULAR BOY NAMES STARTING WITH E
An Old Testament name, the prophet Elijah was known for working miracles. While the name has a long history of use, it’s never been as popular as it is today.
Another Biblical boy, we tend to think of Ethan as more modern. Maybe it’s because of American Revolutionary Ethan Allen, or maybe it’s thanks to so many contemporary characters, like the long-running Mission: Impossible franchise’s Ethan Hunt.
Ezra has a razory, unexpected sound. It also has a great meaning: help.
Another form of Elijah, Elias has enjoyed a long history of use.
A mini name with a big meaning: ascension.
Another Old Testament name, Ezekiel benefits from the ‘z’ as well as
Easton is the first name on this list that doesn’t claim Old Testament roots! It’s modern and polished.
A surname name boosted by the letter v.
Long-time favorite Evan has transitioned from trending favorite to modern traditional.
A homespun boy name that fits with -tt ending favorites like Bennett and Beckett.
A traditional name associated with Jesus, Emmanuel has never been particularly popular in English. But it fits well with long boy names like Sebastian that parents love now.
A surname take on Elijah, and fast-gaining favorite.
Because Elliot is nearly as popular spelled with a single T, this name is more popular than you might guess.
An Italian name, Enzo is short for Lorenzo – but it stands nicely on its own now.
An elaborate take on the classic pan-European name Emil. It’s a brother for Leonardo.
Regal Edward continues to fall in use, but remains a classic.
A Scandi import meaning “ever mighty,” Eric has gone from trending 1970s favorite to solid staple name for a son.
Emilio rose in use along with the career of 80s star Emilio Estevez, and now buoyed by our love of o-ending boy names.
A surname name equally popular for our daughters.
The second-most popular spelling of Scandi Eric. Erik is also seen, as are versions that swap the E for an A. ER actor Eriq La Salle adds one more option.
Another surname name choice related to Elijah.
The Spanish take on Edward.
Edwin means “rich friend,” but the name’s second syllable implies victory.
Another cousin to powerfully popular Elijah, with a nod to boy names like Julian and Adrian.
A slightly different spelling of popular Ezekiel.
Another Ed- name, this one bringing to mind creative powerhouses: Edgar Allan Poe and Edgar Degas.
A slimmed-down spelling of Emmanuel.
Another Eric option.
The dashing Spanish form of Steven.
From the Biblical garden, a tailored name that’s increasingly unisex in use.
MORE FAMILIAR BOY NAMES BEGINNING WITH E
The Spanish form of Henry.
Swap Emmett’s second ‘e’ for an ‘i’ and you’ll have Emmitt, as in NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith.
An Ed- name that actually connects to Adam … or possibly Edith.
The Amharic form of Jeremiah, accessible and surprising at the same time.
A title from the Arab world, the rough equivalent of Prince.
If you like Charlie over Charles, then maybe it’s Eddie, rather than Edward, that appeals.
A surname name more popular for our daughters, but with plenty of potential for boys, too.
An Old Testament rarity with a flowing sound.
A romance language take on Old Testament Elisha, boosted by that bright O ending.
The Italian and Spanish form of Ernest, now more popular than the English version.
A Biblical boy name with a strong meaning: dedicated.
Another spelling of Emery.
Long before Alicia became a Top 100 favorite for girls, Old Testament Elisha was the name of a prophet.
A name long on the fringes, Eugene offers an appealing meaning: well born.
Along with Eitan, a Hebrew spelling of Ethan.
From the name of Earth’s highest mountain, a name that echoes current favorite Everett.
Another Old Testament discovery.
The founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, Ephraim’s name means – appropriately – fruitful.
RARE BOY NAMES STARTING WITH E
A surname name given a boost by husband-wife design team Charles and Ray Eames.
An Irish take on Edmund.
Borrowed from the title, though Earl doesn’t sound especially aristocratic by 2020s standards.
Eben means stone in Hebrew; you might know it as part of compound name Ebenezer. It sounds closer to Evan than Ethan.
Take Attila – as in the Hun – import it to German for a medieval poem, and you’ll arrive at Etzel. But we know Etzel as Edsel, a former car company.
An Irish surname with a bright, eager sound.
A quirky name with Germanic roots and a sharp meaning: sword’s edge.
A Norse name with an intriguing sound.
A unisex Welsh name meaning bright.
The smooth, Spanish form of Greek saint’s name Helladius.
Along with Elton, a surname inspired by a place name of debated meaning.
It’s a cousin to the Germanic Aldrich, but it sounds like a polished, surname take on rugged Ridge.
A Scottish place name-turned-surname with a stand-out sound.
One of many elaborate – and rare – Old Testament boy names beginning with El.
Another Old Testament name, made famous by Elihu Yale, philanthropist and founder of the university that bears his name.
A surname name that brings to mind fictional detective Ellery Queen.
As in Duke.
Another surname possibility, Ellison tends to lean feminine, but is truly unisex.
As in Saturday Night Live sketch turned cultural phenomenon, Elwood Blues.
A once-dashing surname name, now more commonly associated with the Looney Tunes’ Fudd.
The little red monster makes it tough to imagine on a child, but before Sesame Street, there was 80s classic St. Elmo’s Fire.
A take on Leroy, Elroy substitutes the Spanish ‘el’ for the French ‘le’ – the. Either way, the roy means king. Animated series The Jetsons took Elroy to space.
As in the King.
Emilio and Emiliano rank, but spare Emil remains rare.
A reader favorite, Welsh Emrys is associated with the story of Merlin.
Ender means rare in Turkish, but it also sounds like a cousin for so many Anders names. Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game makes the connection with Andrew direct.
A name from Greek myth, Endymion means “to dive in.”
A Greek name meaning beloved.
It sounds like an old-school virtue name, an association reinforced by Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. But Ernest is actually a Germanic name meaning serious.
Along with Erwin, a Germanic name we don’t hear often today.
As in dashing Hollywood legend Errol Flynn.
An Old Testament name, Esau is best remembered for conflict with his twin.
An English place name, boosted by the X ending.
The smooth French form of Stephen.
A saintly name with Greek roots.
It sounds like an Evan-Alexander mash-up, but Evander has roots in the ancient world. It means “good man.”
A cool romance language name, Evaristo means well-pleasing.
The original form of the name that became Everett.
Surname Everson probably comes from the Old English word eofor – boar. But Everson owes its popularity to the enduring Ever.
Another Everson option.
An intriguing Turkish name, Evren belongs with Ev- names like Everson and Everett.
Another form of John, and cousin to Evan, made familiar by actor Ewan MacGregor.
A surname made famous by the fictional family at the heart of Dallas.
A soaring Greek name, Ezio means eagle.
What are your favorite boy names beginning with E?
Originally published on November 2, 2020, this post was revised substantially and updated on March 7, 2022.