Biblical name Boaz might seem like an unlikely pick – but not to long ago, we might’ve had the same reaction to Isaiah or Malachi.

Thanks to Rocking Fetal for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.


Back in the Old Testament, Boaz was Ruth’s husband, an ancient magnate. 

In some tellings, theirs is a December-June romance. Others paint Boaz as rich, young and handsome to boot. Regardless of Boaz’ attributes, he and Ruth had a son, and their son had a son, who had a son of his own – the future King David.

His name also appears in the New Testament, mentioned as an ancestor of Jesus.


There’s also a pair of pillars, described as copper, brass, or bronze, in the first temple in Jerusalem. They’re called Boaz and Jachin, typically translated as strong and founding.

Other sources suggest Boaz comes from a Hebrew word meaning swift.

They’re both positive meanings, and straightforward ones, too.


The baby name Boaz has a distinctive, edgy sound. Even at a time when Noah, Asher, and Ezra are all mainstream, Boaz stands out.

It’s pronounced with two-syllables: BO az

That gives it the same beginning syllable as Bodhi, Boden, Bowen, and, of course, Top 100 Beau.

We love Z, too. Just ask Top 100 Ezra, Ezekiel, and Enzo, as well as names with an S that sounds like Z, like Isaiah.

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While the baby name Boaz has always been known, it’s seldom heard over the centuries.

It’s scarcely in use in the US well into the 1960s and 70s.

Instead, it’s sometimes heard as a surname and a place name. At least four US cities are called Boaz.

One of them, in Wisconsin, has a second claim to fame. It’s the site of an early mastodon fossil find.

Way back in 1897, four brothers were walking near a creek following a storm, and stumbled on the bones. It wasn’t the only mastodon find in the area, and the story is fascinating. But the Boaz mastodon remains on display at the University of Wisconsin, and locally famous.

The baby name Boaz has also had a good run in the Netherlands, where it has ranked in their Top 100 since 2010. It fits right in with names like Siem (Simon), Moos (Moses), and Joah.

It’s also seen steady use in Israel, and a number of athletes and other notables have worn the name.

Not surprisingly, the baby name Boaz has risen steadily in use in the US, from 30 births in the year 2000 to a new high of 234 births in 2023.

That’s enough to put it in the US rankings at #958.


Since the baby name Boaz has debuted in the US rankings – at last! – it might be a good moment to consider this name for a son. It’s a substitute for popular Ezra; a formal name for Bo; and a meaningful choice worn by an admirable figure.

There are lots of reasons to put Boaz on your list of possibilities.

What do you think of the baby name Boaz?

 First published on June 18, 2009, this post was revised on May 17, 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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What do you think?


  1. I’m really loving this name, and would love to see your whole write-up on it, but it’s not here. Please update!! 🙂

  2. I have a Boaz! He’s 6, almost 7, currently. It was my top choice for a boy from the start, but since we named our first daughter Rosemary, the next, our first boy, was Judah, because Boaz was a bit much immediately next to “Rose.” I have always loved it, so I was surprised to meet with violent opposition from my own mother when my husband and I picked this name for our son. Her objection was that it was just waaaay too unusual with our equally-odd last name, but as my husband and I both grew up with top-10 names, call it an over-reaction to each of us having three people with our own names in each class growing up! (Mom did give in after hubby put his foot down, but it was an unpleasant week after his birth, debating and second-guessing ourselves . . . )

  3. I really dig Boaz, with the 2 syllable pronunciation. He feels very artsy to me, probably emphasised by Boaz Davidson (at least I’m fairly sure that’s his whole name) He’s a Hollywood producer. I see his name often in the credits of the moviesI watch. I think it’s a fabulous name if you’ve got a simple surname!