But every letter offers rich variety, and S is no exception.
Surname names abound. So do word names, from gentle Shepherd to bold Steel.
Traditional Steven and Stephen remain steadily popular, but international forms – like Stefan – are out of favor today. (The Spanish Esteban sits just inside the current US Top 500, but, of course, that’s not an S name.)
In terms of rank, S names for boys come in about 11 out of 26. You’re far more likely to meet a boy with a J or an A name, but boy names starting with S are plentiful, too.
MOST POPULAR BOY NAMES STARTING WITH S
A gentlemanly choice, Sebastian feels traditional. But it’s more popular today than ever before.
Nearly every Samuel is a Sam, an all-boy name as down-to-earth as Jack, as accessible as Joe.
The Spanish form of Saint James, Santiago is a favorite throughout the Spanish-speaking world – including the US.
Tom Sawyer makes this surname name an easy, Americana favorite.
From Silvanus, this New Testament name refers to the forest.
Classic Steven once reached as high as #10. And it ranked in the US Top 100 from the 1940s well into the early years of the 2000s. So maybe it’s natural that this name has slowed down in recent years.
Simon sounds intelligent and capable, a thoughtful name with a traditional vibe.
The friendly Irish form of John, Sean became an 1970s and 80s favorite. But today, names like Finn feel slightly more stylish.
Another spelling for Steven, equally traditional – but serving to obscure the name’s true popularity.
A preppy, polished surname name for a son. It’s also spelled Spenser, as in 1980s television favorite Spenser: For Hire. Netflix recently rebooted the show with Mark Wahlberg in the title role.
WORD NAMES FOR BOYS BEGINNING WITH S
Sage offers so many meanings: it’s a virtue name suggesting wisdom, a colorful one in a shade of green, and a nature name, too.
Once an extreme Hollywood baby name, Saint has gained in use. Depending on your point-of-view, Saint can be a bold virtue name.
An adventurous, outdoorsy pick. To Kill a Mockingbird gave it to a girl, but Scout seems like an equal opportunity word name.
A name that signals good fortune as well as the seventh day in the Book of Genesis, Seven feels like much more than just a number.
A gentle surname name with strong spiritual overtones.
An easy nature name, Sky suggests optimism, as well as unlimited potential.
A type of rock, Slate can refer to tiles made from the material, or perhaps its gray color.
Originally a name for a knight’s young apprentice, Squire meant gentleman by the nineteenth century. Today it’s less dramatic than Duke or Earl, but in the same general category.
Sterling once referred to currency; today it is just as likely to mean “of high quality.”
A type of iron, Steel is something of a virtue name, projecting strength and constancy.
Another name that suggests enduring qualities, nature name Stone is familiar thanks to journalist Stone Phillips.
A literary name that never quite caught on, Story is every bit as wearable as word names like River or Lyric.
S SURNAME NAMES FOR BOYS
This surname comes from the Spanish phrase todos los santos – all of the saints.
The Fast & Furious franchise made this surname feel like a potential first, especially after 2019’s Hobbs & Shaw installment put the name in the title.
An upbeat Irish surname, Shea means fortunate. Or, if you’re a baseball fan, it refers to the stadium that was the long-time of the New York Mets.
Originally short for Francisco, Sisco sounds upbeat and approachable. It’s also spelled Cisco – as in O. Henry’s fictional hero of the Old West, the Cisco Kid.
A Slater was probably a roofer, or someone who worked with slate tiles. It sounds impossibly cool.
The most common surname has yet to catch on as a first for our children.
In the nineteenth century, John B. Stetson created the must-have hat for the West. It makes this surname name sound rugged and at home on the range.
A charming Irish surname name.
Once a surname name for one who summoned others to official business, Sumner now sounds like a boy’s name in the key of Hunter and Spencer.
Rising fast for girls, but equally appealing for our sons, Sutton originally referred to any settlement in the south.
UNUSUAL BOY NAMES STARTING WITH S
Borrowed from the name of a Germanic tribe, sharp Saxon originally referred to a type of knife.
A surname name meaning happy, television crime drama Bones gave us FBI Agent Seeley Booth.
A Western African name equivalent to the title Sheikh.
From the ancient Sergius, this name is known in many European languages, but neglected in English.
An Old Testament name that fits with Julian and Adrian.
Beyonce and Jay-Z gave this name to their baby boy. It’s climbed in use since the famous couple put it on our radar.
It sounds like six – and it might refer to the number. But it can also mean polished.
A Danish name made famous by philosopher Soren Kierkegaard.
It looks like the masculine form of Stella – from the Latin word for star – though Stellan almost certainly has separate origins.
An English place name turned surname, civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael put it on the map. (Though Carmichael later adopted the name Kwame Ture.)