Let’s talk long boy names.
Sure, plenty of parents prefer short names. We’re calling our sons Jax and Luke and Kai.
But we’re also naming our sons with more syllables. Jonathan and Jeremiah, Adrian and Alexander are all Top 100 picks. Some of those names tend to shorten – Alexander nearly always becomes Alex – but a great many tend to be used in full. They’re the masculine equivalents of Isabella-not-Bella and Penelope-not-Penny.
If you’re interested in something on the longer side, this list is for you. I’ve combed through all of the three-syllable and greater names for boys in the current US Top 500 to create the list. Not every Top 500 name made the cut. I focused on choices that combined broad appeal and a feeling that they wouldn’t automatically be shortened. And – because I couldn’t resist! – I’ve added a few possibilities that remain quite rare in the US.
Would you use long boy names? Tell us your favorites in the comments!
Long Boy Names: A
Top Ten darling Alexander almost always shortens to Alex, but ancient names Adrian and Atticus are rarely reduced.
You might also like Augustus, a Top 500 favorite. More elaborate – and less popular – than August, Augustus feels more like an ancient choice and less like a modern word name. Other names in this family include Augustine and Augusten.
There’s also Anthony. Once automatically shortened to Tony, many Anthonys today prefer to use their name in full.
Long Boy Names: B
Benjamin is the only entry for B in the Top 500, but it makes a great choice. The only trouble? It’s almost always shortened to Ben.
Rarer possibilities include Bartholomew and Balthazar.
Long Boy Names: C
Once upon a time, Christopher became Chris without exception. Lately that’s changing. Another option if you love long boy names and the letter C? Surname Cameron stands as a modern favorite.
Long Boy Names: D
I’ve always liked Dominic, but Donovan definitely claims the title of coolest of the options for boys starting with D. Another intriguing option? Darius seems like a logical choice in our age of Julius and Atticus.
Long Boy Names: E
Okay, an awful lot of great names begin with the letter E. There’s Elijah and Elliott, with one t or two. At four syllables, Emmanuel comes in longer than the others, and Emiliano tops the list at a whopping five syllables.
Let me sneak in one rarity to the list, too – if Evan and Alexander are in such steady use for boys, why don’t we hear more of Evander?
Long Boy Names: F
There’s something dashing about Fernando. Upbeat Irish surname Finnegan makes another option.
And if you prefer your boy names classic, it’s tough to beat Frederick – which actually fell out of the US Top 500 last year, even though Freddie is rising in the UK.
Long Boy Names: G
Gabriel shortens to Gabe quite often, but at three syllables belongs with long names for boys. For names less likely to be shortened, opt for Giovanni or Gideon.
Long Boy Names: H
I love Harrison, a surname name that comes with plenty of nickname potential – but probably won’t be nicknamed unless you suggest the idea.
Long Boy Names: I
Isaiah and Israel both come in at three syllables and feel pretty mainstream. For something slightly less expected, consider Ignatius.
Long Boy Names: J
J ranks #1 among most popular letters for boy names, so no surprise that J possibilities are plentiful! Jeremiah measures among the longest, but Jameson, Jonathan, and Julian are favorites, too.
I suspect most parents who opt for Jayceon pronounce it more like Gideon than Jason, so that makes this list, too.
Long Boy Names: K
You might spell Kameron with a K, but I far prefer Killian.
Long Boy Names: L
Leonardo comes in at four syllables, undeniably among the long boy names. But Lorenzo feels every bit as Italian, boasts great nickname-potential without feeling too likely to be shortened, and boasts three syllables.
Long Boy Names: M
Might Maximiliano be the longest of the long names for boys? At six syllables, I think that’s the case! There’s also 5-syllable Maximilian and plenty of three syllable choices, too. I’ve long loved Matteo.
Long Boy Names: N
Nathaniel and Nicholas combine popularity with longer syllable counts. More recently, Nehemiah has joined the list of elaborate names for boys. A bonus with Nehemiah? While Nathaniel and Nicholas tend to be shortened, Nehemiah is more often used in full. Though I know of one little Nehemiah called Nemo at home!
Long Boy Names: O
Oliver ranks #1 on the list of fastest rising names for boys. Another syllable-rich option might be Orion.
Long Boy Names: P
Despite the popularity of Penelope, no boy names three syllables or more rank in the current US Top 500. Great options on the rarer side include Peregrine, Phinneas, and, for the truly daring, Percival.
Long Boy Names: Q
Q proves another challenging letter. When pressed, one idea came to mind: Quintilian. An ancient Roman name related to the number five, Quintilian feels rare, but not unwearable.
Long Boy Names: R
Remington ranks as an up-and-coming name, a brother for Maverick. On a more traditional note, Rafael and Raphael feel like traditional choices often overlooked in English.
Long Boy Names: S
Sebastian leads the way for the letter S. Other options include the saintly Santiago and Biblical Solomon. If you prefer modern surname names, Sullivan also fits right in.
Long Boy Names: T
Traditional Theodore has returned to the top. Ancient Tobias feels at home in the twenty-first century, too.
For something literary and long-overlooked, my vote goes to surname Tennyson.
Long Boy Names: U
The next few letters prove challenging. One candidate stands out for U: Ulysses, a name ancient, adventurous and even presidential. The Greek equivalent, Odysseus, is even longer by a syllable but takes us back to the letter O.
Long Boy Names: V
Vincent and Victor fall short by a syllable, but more daring options abound. You might consider Valentin or Valentine, or possibly Valerian.
Long Boy Names: W
W surname names can fill up this letter, though few are long enough. Winchester comes to mind, as well as Washington.
Long Boy Names: X
X marks the first letter where I’m drawing a blank! True, a Greek philosopher named Xenocrates, but that seems like a tough name for a child to wear.
Long Boy Names: Y
Some Hebrew and Russian names fit into this category, but few seem likely to wear well in the US unless they’re heritage picks.
Long Boy Names: Z
After a few tough letters, Z delivers! Pick from Zachariah or Zechariah, as well as just plain Zachary. The obscure but stylish-sounding Zacchaeus offers another option, along with an appealing story from the New Testament.
What are your favorite three-syllable or longer names for boys?