long boy namesLet’s talk long boy names.

Many of the most popular baby boy names are just a single syllable. Think Jack and Luke and Kai. Brief, complete names are having a moment.

But we’re also choosing boy names with more syllables. Oliver and Sebastian, Alexander and Theodore all rank in the current US Top 20, based on Social Security Administration data for calendar year 2022.

We shorten some of them. But American parents often prefer – and insist upon – the name being used in full.

If you’re looking for something on the longer side, this list is for you.

What counts for this list of long boy names? It’s not always straightforward – is Xavier two, three, or four syllables? – but any name that can be pronounced with three or more syllables fits.

These are the long boy names from the current US Top 100.


Hadrian was a second-century Roman emperor. The name dropped the initial H in medieveal English, and it’s been Adrian ever since.


A former Top Ten favorite, classic Alexander remains in heavy use. The Latin form of the Greek Alexandros, it carries an appealing meaning: defender of men.


The usual English form of ancient Antonius, Anthony was long shortented to Tony. Use it in full today, though, and this becomes one of those long boy names that feels familiar, but surprising, too.


Plenty of Ben names have been popular in the twenty-first century, including surnames like Bennett and Bentley. But it’s Benjamin that tops the list. And while it’s often shortened to friendly, accessible Ben, there’s no question that Benjamin belongs with the long boy names.


Scottish surname Cameron is a more recent addition to the boys’ name list, but it feels well-established and even traditional today. While it appears on lists of gender-neutral names, too, Cameron has remained steadily more popular for boys than girls, despite high-profile women like Cameron Diaz sharing the name.


A long-time favorite, Christopher has gone from expressly religious to a mainstream staple. It means “Christ-bearer,” a name borrowed from a saint and popular from the Middle Ages onward. A Top Five name from the 1970s into the early 2000s, Christopher remains in steady use, even if it’s not quite as common as it once was.


An Old Testament prophet name with a cool, edgy sound.


While Everett is often pronounced with just two syllables: EV-RETT, it does have three, putting it on this list.


Another Biblical boy name with plenty of history and that cool middle Z, Ezekiel is at its most popular – ever!


Like Ezekiel, Gabriel is a relative newcomer to the US Top 100. Besides appealing nickname Gabe, Gabriel benefits from a great meaning: God is my strength.


Another Old Testament name with a powerful religious meaning: “God is salvation.”


Take classic James, and make it a surname in the key of Jackson or Grayson. Jameson appeals for all the same reasons. Of course, there’s also Jameson Irish Whiskey – whether that’s a plus or a minu is really up to the parents.


Another Hebrew origin name from the Old Testament, Jeremiah typically became Jeremy in English. Protestant parents embraced the longer form during the Reformation, when so many Biblical baby names were revived.


Strictly speaking, Jonathan is not a form of John. It has separate roots and means “God has given.” Still, it’s easy to see it as a cousin, and the less popular spelling Johnathan strengthens that connection.


A long-time chart-topper, Joshua is almost always shortened to Josh – but in full, it certainly fits on this list. It opened the door for future #1 hit Noah, but also lots of a-ending favorites on this list, including Elijah, Isaiah, and Josiah. The meaning – “Yahweh is salvation” – likely helps this name’s continuing appeal.


An Old Testament king, Josiah is yet another name revived during the Protestant Reformation.


A Roman family name, Julian was also the name of a popular fourth century saint. That’s one reason Julian – and related names – are heard in nearly every European language all these centuries later.


Leo is even more popular, but the four-syllable Leonardo isn’t far behind. Mix in the legendary Leonardo da Vinci and Hollywood A-lister Leonardo DiCaprio, and this name really shines.


The Spanish form of Matthew, Mateo is now more popular. Several European languages use Matteo, which also ranks in the US Top 200.


A word name with plenty of swagger, Maverick has been slowly gaining in use thanks to pop culture. It started out as a name on television Westerns, then took flight with Top Gun. 


1990s favorite Nicholas is a long boy name that remains a classic, even as it falls in use.


For decades, Oliver leaned a little quirky, even if we acknowledged the name’s traditional status. But in the twenty-first century, Oliver rocketed into the US Top Ten, a comeback name following sister Olivia right up the charts.


A powerhouse of a popular name throughout the Spanish-speaking world, Santiago is also gaining in the US. It means Saint James, and it associated with many places around the world, including the Camino de Santiago, a popular pilgrimmage route in Europe, winding through Spain, France, and Portugal from the tenth century through today.


A Latin name originally meaning “from Sebaste,” a place in Asia Minor, this ancient name has history to spare. It feels sophisticated, gentlemanly, and yet nicely accessible, too.


An unstoppable classic of a name, Theodore’s appeal has much to do with upbeat nickname Theo. The meaning – gift of God – is another bonus.


Is it two syllables? Three? Even four, if its drawn out: ex zay vee yer? Spanish form Javier is clearly three, but Xavier depends. Also spelled Zavier and sometimes even Xzavier, it’s a compelling classic that feels right at home with other popular baby names like Alexander and Oliver.



A handsome young shepherd from Greek myth, Adonis might’ve once felt like too much name. But now that Michael B. Jordan has played Adonis Creed in a trilogoy of Rocky-related boxing movies, it feels more like an alternative to Atticus.


The Scottish and Irish form of Alexander, just different enough to feel like a separate name.


A Gothic name borrowed from the history books and boosted by a character in The Vampire Diaries universe.


An Arabic name meaning prince. It recently debuted in the Top 1000 baby girl names in the US, too.


As in the Star Wars character.


Angela has long been a popular pick for girls in the US, but this romance language masculine form has an equally long history of use.


Another name borrowed from Greek myth.


To Kill a Mockingbird made this a literary hero name. Fictional characters from Downton Abbey to Lovecraft Country have continued to keep it on parents’ lists.


August is the most popular form of the name, but longer versions are in use, too. The name’s Latin origin means exalted, and the longer version of August sound like exactly that.


Shakespeare used it for a few minor characters. Legend tells that it’s the name of one of the Three Kings who brought gifts to the infant Jesus. There’s a prince of Luxembourg by the name, born in 2024, possibly because he was born on January 7th – just a day after Three Kings’ Day on January 6th.


New Testament name Bartholomew feels at home in a Dr. Seuss story, but could easily work for a child, too, especially with plenty of nickname potential.


Actor Benedict Cumberbatch made his name playing a character with an equally intriguing name: Sherlock Holmes. The Oscar-nominated actor and Avengers star helped parents see the name with fresh eyes. Another bonus is Benedict’s meaning: blessed.


The Spanish form of Benedict, made famous by another Hollywood household name: actor/director Benicio del Toro.


Callum and Calvin are two possible formal names for cool nickname Cal. Callahan is one more, with an extra syllable, too!


Romantic Caspian blends place name vibes with literary ties.


Television series Supernatural gave this angel name some extra visibility. It may be a cousin to Cassiel. Both wear nicely in our age of Gabriel.


A saint’s name of Greek origin, Damian was rare in the US until the 1950s, but has since become a staple.


Another Latin name of Greek origin, Darius means “possessing goodness.” Romance language version Dario is another appealing option.


At four syllables, ancient Demetrius has been worn by kings, saints, and more American boys than you might imagine. It has ranked in the US Top 1000 since the 1950s.


This name was once given to boys born on Sunday; in fact, it’s related to the word for Sunday in several languages. (Think the Spanish domingo or Italin domenica.) It means “of the Lord.” But despite those religious origins, it’s since become a staple for boys, regardless of faith.


A surname name with that stylish middle V.


A minor Biblical character, Eliam feels like an Eli-Liam mashup.


Both cousins to Top Ten Elijah.


Elisha is another Old Testament prophet name. Eliseo is the romance language version, which might wear better since Elisha is so close to 1980s chart-topper Alicia.


Emily, Amelia, and Emilia all ranked in the Top 100 for girls. Emil is a masculine equivalent, but so is Emilio. Emiliano is an even better example of long baby names, plus it’s currently more popular than the shorter Emilio.


Another name for Jesus, Emmanuel is more popular outside of English. It’s also spelled Emanuel and Immanuel. But the Spanish short form Manuel might be the most popular of them all.


Strictly speaking, Everett is the surname version of Everard – but this given name is nearly extinct. Of Germanic and Old English origin, Everard means “brave boar.” It’s rare, but rather dashing.


This name looks like an Evan-Alexander mash-up. But it’s actually a separate name of Greek origin meaning “good man.”


Storied Ferdinand is made more accessible by the beloved children’s book about a peaceful bull. (He was happiest sitting in a field, smelling the flowers, rather than battling it out with a matador.) Fernando, the Spanish language version, comes with a built-in theme song: ABBA’s Fernando. 


Upbeat Irish surname Finnegan shortens to attractive nickname Finn, making this a both-and kind of name.


Germanic Frederick means “peaceful ruler.” A classic boy name, it’s currently out of favor. But Freddie is trending in the UK, so maybe it has a shot at a comeback in the US, too. Frederic, hold the final K, is closer to the French spelling. It’s Federico in Italian and Spanish.


Strictly speaking, Gianni sounds exactly like Johnny in Italian. After all, it’s the Italian equivalent of John. But Americans tend to add an extra syllable: gee ahn nee. Still, this is less popular than Giovanni, the longer form of the name. (Though on the long girl names list, it’s Gianna over Giovanna.)


Another Old Testament hero name, likely boosted in recent years by our love of Julian and Adrian.


John started out as the Greek Ioannes, then became Iohannes in Latin. Wildly popular across cultures, languages, and time, it’s evolved into dozens and dozens of forms. Giovanni is traditionally Italian, but popular across the Western world. Nickname Gio is a bonus.


Greg is stuck in 1970s with the rest of the Brady Bunch. But Gregory, in full, feels very much like a twenty-first century name for a son.


It’s a rock and roll surname with a preppy, polished sensibility, midway between Hendrix and Henry.


With nicknames Zeke and Kai built in, it’s easy to imagine Hezekiah appealing to parents looking for an uncommon long boy name borrowed from the Old Testament.


Ignatius is associated with the Latin ignis – fire. Spanish language version Ignacio is even more popular in the US.


A place name promoted to the first spot thanks to fictional adventurer Indiana Jones. We later learn than Indy borrowed his famous nickname from the dog.


A Southern nickname-name, possibly associated with Jacob once upon a time, Jeb felt like it had to be short for something. And so Jebediah – also spelled Jebidiah – developed. Simpsons fans know that the fictional founder of the characters’ hometown is Jebediah Springfield.


An Old Testament name with homepsun short form Jed built it, Jedidiah boasts Old Testament roots and a great meaning: beloved of God.


Jeremiah comes in at four syllables, and is currently ranked in the US Top 100. But Jeremy boasts a full three syllables, too, and was long the go-to form in English.


An Old Testament place name with a cool, current style.


The Spanish Joaquin is almost always pronounced with two syllables, but might sometimes be given a third. Joachim, on the other hand, is nearly always pronounced with three syllables in English and other languages. This name is traditionally associated with Mary’s parents in the New Testament.


The medieval English form of Julian was Jolyon, immortalized in John Galsworthy’s Forsyte Saga. The books have been widely read since they were first released in the early 1900s, and have been adapted for screens big and small from the silent film era into the early 21st century.


While Julian is among the most popular of long boy names, Julius remains nicely uncommon.


Also spelled Cillian, this Irish import has found favor in the English-speaking world. Spelling Kylian sidesteps the problematic first syllable. It’s originally French, made famous thanks to footballer Kylian Mbappé.


A lion of a name. Leonel is Spanish and Portuguese; Lionel is Engilsh and French.


Leonardo ranks in the US Top 100. Leonel and Lionel are options, too. But longer Leo- names abound. Some of them are ancient, like Leonidas. Others, like Leovanni are more recent coinages. (Leovanni appears to be a Leo-Giovanni mashup that just plain works.)


Ancient Laurentius meant “from Laurentium.” The Roman name became two-syllable Laurence and Lawrence, but also three-syllable Lorenzo. It’s particularly associated with Lorenzo de Medici, Renaissance ruler of Florence and patron of the arts. Machiavelli even dedicated The Prince to him. (The family answered to some fabulous names.)


Lucas ranks in the US Top Ten, opening the door to more Luke and Luc names. Lucian might be pronouned with three syllables, but Luciano is always at least three and sometimes four. The Italian Luciano comes from Lucius. Strictly speaking, it’s not really another form of Luke. But they’re so close that their popularity is clearly linked.


Of Hebrew origin, Malachi comes from the Old Testament, while Malachy is an Irish saint’s name. But the spelling of the former clearly influenced the latter. Now the popularity of Kai is causing some parents to rethink the spelling again.


Based on a Greek form of Matthew used in the New Testament, Matthias has long been a less-common, but still traditional, choice.


From the single-syllable Max to the elaborate Maximiliano, lots of names come from the Latin maximus – greatest.


Double names feel like they’re cheating. And yet, Michelangelo has been made famous by an artist and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, so it feels like it belongs here in all of its five-syllable glory.


Polished surname  name Montgomery shortens to friendly nickname Monty, but could easily be used in full.


Also spelled Nathanael, this name is traditional and literary, too. Plus it has a great meaning: gift of God.


With so many long, Biblical choice on this list, Nehemiah fits right in. It means “God comforts.”


International forms of Nicholas have just as many syllables as the original, plus might feel like fresh approaches.


A Swahili name, possibly from an Arabic root meaning “flourishing.”


A night sky name, the constellation Orion represents a hunter from Greek myth.


The Spanish and Italian form of Oswald might feel a little more updated. Both come with sparky nickname option Ozzy.


One of many names made famous by tales of King Arthur and his knights, Percival is both romantic and rare.


Peregrine means traveller, but we associate it with a type of falcon.


Phinehas is an Old Testament name; Phineas and Ferb became a Disney Channel hit. The latter’s popularity might explain why Phineas is the more familiar spelling today, but it’s worth noting that neither spelling – or any PH- version of the name – appears in the current US Top 1000.


Q offers relatively few names, but Quintilian, related to the number five, is a rarity that could wear well.


A classic choice with a sophisticated, European vibe in either spelling,


Edgy surname name Remington has become a twenty-first century favorite among gender-netural baby names, along with short form Remy.


Tragic, romantic, and growing in popularity in the US and elsewhere, too.


A Spanish name meaning savior, Salvador also brings to mind artist Dalí.


A place name and rock star surname name, Santana is a contraction of Santa Ana – Saint Anne.


A name of Hebrew origin, Solomon is related to shalom, meaning peace.


An upbeat Irish surname name possibility.


Popular name Silas comes from Silvanus, a Latin name meaning “of the woods.” Sylvester is a cousin, though a far rarer choice. Fun fact: Saint Sylvester’s feast day is December 31st, leading some European countries to refer to New Year’s Eve by this name.


An overlooked literary surname, Tennyson might also appeal because it contains the number ten.


Like Gregory and Greg, Timothy might work better when used in full.


Leading man Tobey Maguire was born Tobias in 1975. Tobias fits in with so many longer, ancient names for boys, like Atticus.


Adventurous, ancient, literary, and even presidential, Ulysses qualifies for this list. Odysseus is another choice, particularly if parents want to emphasize the name’s connection to Homer’s enduring work.


Valentine is a saint, among the most famous thanks to February 14th. Valentino feels more like a given name, one associated with Hollywood legend Rudolph Valentino and the Italian designer.


An ancient name made slighlty more familiar by a character in a French science fiction series.


A surname name and place name, Wellington shortens to trending Wells.


Lots of W surname names feel stylish today, though many – think Walker, Wilder, and Wells – come in at less than three syllables. Whitaker, meaning “white field,” is one that works.


In the New Testament name, Zacchaeus is a tax collector who gives generously to charity.


These names come from the same Hebrew roots, meaning “God remembers.”


Another rare Z name with history to spare.


It sounds invented, but Zebedee comes from a New Testament name used for the father of apostles James and John.

What are your favorite three-syllable or longer names for boys? What would you add to this list?

First published on November 16, 2016, this post was revised substantially and re-posted on October 28, 2019 and again on January 16, 2024.


About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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