That sounds about right for such a lively, carefree name. It sits somewhere between Hudson and Huck, Patrick and Jack. With centuries of history, but at its most popular moment in the US now, Finn feels like a crowd-pleaser.
But maybe you’re after something longer for your son’s birth certificate. Or a formal name to distinguish him from any other Finns he might meet.
Luckily, longer Finn names for boys abound.
From familiar surnames to literary inventions to true rarities, there’s something on this list to suit every style.
Just Finn debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2000, but the name’s history goes back much farther. It’s sometimes a surname – as in Mark Twain’s enduring literary character, Huckleberry Finn. But it’s most often a given name, as in Irish folk hero Finn McCool. In that case, it comes from a word meaning fair. There’s also the Norse Finnur, meaning wanderer. Pop culture has given us Finns on Glee and Vampire Diaries. But the most famous Finn comes from a galaxy far, far away, where he took his name from his identification number in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Take Finn, add the element laoch – warrior or hero – and you’ll arrive at Finley. It’s used for girls as well as boys, a popular pick in our age of Riley.
It means son of Finn, and feels like a logical possibility, given the popularity of longer surname names like Cameron and Sullivan.
Griffin requires no nickname, but the Finn sound is there in case you’re so inclined.
IRISH & SCOTTISH FINNS
Saint Finbar lived in Cork in the sixth century. The extended Kennedy family has used the name; Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s son William Finbar goes by Finn.
FINGAL and FINGALL
Scottish writer James Macpherson used this name for a poem titled Fingal in 1762. Macpherson claimed he discovered and translated lost texts, but that’s not entirely clear.
FINIAN and FINNIAN
A saint’s name, it might be better known from the 1968 musical film Finian’s Rainbow.
Like Finian, Finnan comes from adding the familiar -an ending, making the meaning something like “little fair one.”
Yet another saintly name, but one with an intriguing story. Legend tells that Fintan survived the floods – the only Irishman to make it through. He managed this feat by turning himself into a salmon. A handful of early saints answered to Fintan, too.
FINDLAY and FINDLEY and FINLAY
These – and others – all trace back to the popular Finley. Though a few of these spellings might imply a slightly different pronunciation.
FINEGAN and FINNIGAN
Again, there’s more than one way to spell Finnegan.
VINTAGE FINN NAMES
The Old Testament gives us Phinehas, meaning unclear. We’ve been re-spelling it ever since. Julia Roberts’ son is Phinnaeus. Also spotted: Phineus, Fineas, Finneas, Finneus, and more. But the slimmed-down Phineas ranks as most popular in the US, though it fails to make the current Top 1000. One reason we tend to think of Phineas as the obvious spelling? Long-running Disney Channel series Phineas and Ferb featured a pair of likable stepbrothers known for concocting mind-blowing inventions. The latest installment in their adventures is a movie, due out in 2020.
Speaking of names that don’t crack the current Top 1000, there’s Rufus … and the elaborated Rufinus. Both come from a Roman name meaning red-headed. A handful of early saints answered to both versions of the name. While it’s seldom heard today, with picks like Atticus so popular, it’s not unthinkable.
Seraphina attracts quite a bit of attention, but the masculine Seraphin? Not so much. Also spelled Serafin and Serafim, it comes from an order of angels detailed in the Bible.
Looking for a name for your very last child? Finis is the French word for end, the source of our word finish. It is pronounced fin EE, something like we’d say Finny. It feels a little outlandish as a first, but it might be great in the middle spot.
Author Suzanne Collins invented Finnick for a Hunger Games hero. It sounds like a name for a son, and it continues to gain in use, even as the books and movies fade out of the pop culture spotlight. It’s also the name of a fennec fox in 2016’s Zootopia.
If you know your Law and Order, this name comes to mind. In Special Victims Unit, Ice-T plays Odafin Tutuola. Appropriately, Odafin means lawmaker in Yoruba. Tutola answers to Fin on the show, demonstrating the name’s international reach.
A handful of Norse names use Finn in combination, like Thorfinn. A tenth century Norse Earl of Orkney, he was known by the charming epithet Thorfinn Skull-splitter. It’s something of an extreme choice, but just one fictional character might change that.
Would you use any of these Finn names for a child?
First published on January 18, 2013, this post was revised substantially and re-published on August 5, 2020.