Simon: Baby Name of the DayBiblical and brainy, Simon counts as a sweet spot boy name – familiar, but not too common, and on-trend, but never trendy.

Thanks to Kim for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.

Simon: Biblical Boy

This name goes all the way back to the Old Testament. But we usually call him Simeon, with an extra syllable. He’s the second son of Jacob and Leah.

As for the New Testament figure? Well, we typically refer to him as Peter.

Before he answered to Peter, he was a fisherman named Simon, who would become one of the twelve apostles and the first bishop of Rome, the rock on which Jesus built a church.

Several possible meanings for the name exist. “He has listened” and “God has heard” are most likely.

It could also mean flat-nosed. In fact, it may be two very similar, but distinct, names merged into one.

It’s possible more mixing occurred, thanks to Simund – the Norman form of Sigmund, which has both German and Norse origins.

Simon: Traditional Favorite

There’s no shortage of men by the name in medieval England. In fact, it’s right up there with names like Walter, Roger, and Hugh – common then, relatively uncommon today.

While it’s hard to talk about popularity in the year 800 or 1282 or 1547, the history books give us plenty of men with the name and lots of places named Saint-Simon, too, especially in France.

That puts this name in the company of other perpetual favorites, like William and John. And, because of this, no shortage of surnames follow, most notably Simmons.

Simon: Small Screen Staple

Secret agent Simon Templar graduated from detective novels to British and American television. Future James Bond actor Roger Moore became a household name on the series in the 1960s. Val Kilmer starred in a big screen reboot in 1997. There’s always talk of a future adaptation.

The 1980s gave us brothers-turned-private detectives AJ and Rick on CBS’ Simon & Simon. And champion namer Joss Whedon put smart, sensitive, and brave doctor Simon Tam aboard his space ship in Firefly and Serenity. The WB/CW family drama 7th Heaven included a son with the name, too.

More recently, there’s veteran American Idol judge Cowell, actors Helberg, Baker, and Pegg.

There’s a villain by the name in DC Comics, seen recently on The Flash, and a hero on Quantico.

Simon: Chipmunk and Children’s Book

Then there’s the singing chipmunk, brother to Alvin and Theodore. He’s the responsible, level-headed, and considerate middle child.

Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings originally aired on British television in the 1970s, but was seen in the US and Canada, too.

But it’s Simple Simon, who met a pie-man going to the fair, that claims the most history. The children’s nursery rhyme dates to at least the mid-eighteenth century.

Simon: Neglected Classic

As much a children’s storybook hero as Charlie, as enduring as William, as Biblical as John, it’s hard to say why we don’t hear more of this handsome name.

It’s a steady favorite across Europe, heard from Sweden to Hungary, and in parts of the Spanish-speaking world, too. Of course, Simón Bolivar, the political leader who helped so many former Spanish colonies achieve independence, almost certainly has something to do with that.

While it’s never left the US Top 1000, the name has never cracked the Top 100. But it’s also only briefly left the Top 500. That makes it a sweet spot name, the kind of choice that everyone recognizes, but too many people are choosing. If you’re crushed that Henry or Sam is too popular, consider this name – every bit as classic – instead.

What do you think of Simon? Would you consider the name for a son?

First published on September 3, 2008, this post was updated substantially and re-posted on December 19, 2018.

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 not as taken with Simon as everyone else, but I think that’s only because familiarity
    breeds contempt – not that I’m in any way contemptuous of Simon but I am very familiar with him! T give you an idea, for my age group in Britain (20’s), Simon is about as popular ad Mark, Stephen, Andrew, Paul and other such stalwarts. I would be mega excited to meet a baby Simon though – as there certainly arn’t any of them about!

  2. Lola, of course! I need to sit down with my calendar in the morning, but consider both on the calendar … sooner rather than later. 🙂

  3. This is going to sound weird but I was thinking.. you did my Mom yesterday (Frances) & my second oldest today, have you done Leo? I went searching and couldn’t find him anywhere. Just simple Leo, not Leopold, Leonard, Leon or any other, longer thing just sweet, simple Leo. Any chance he might be a NotD anytime between now & Easter? And just for good measure, Josephine? She’s been mentioned as a side note in a few but nothing on her alone. Maybe?

  4. Love Simon! Very nerdy-chic. My husband finds it too British, otherwise it would be high on our list.

  5. Awww, thank you! I personally wouldn’t ever match twin names, but if I had to, I would use Daphne and Laurel for the same reason you would use it. We’re having James Kenneth, so I’m looking forward to calling him Jamey once in a while. We’re so screwed if we ever have another boy, though. We can’t agree at all. I want to use Daphne really bad, too.

  6. Thanks! *blush* For what it’s worth, James is my favorite of the classics (William & Philip are the other two) and I would use Daphne myself in a heartbeat to honor me, if my other half didn’t go “Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you?” every time I brought it up. Laura & Daphne mean the same thing. A Daphne would easily honor me without repeating sounds! I think you did awesome with names! Gideon’s really lovely but James thrills me. (and I adore the possibility of a little Jamie, at least once in a while!) James & Daphne.. awesome. 😀

  7. Simon is just wonderful. It’s probably my #1 (as of right this minute) pick for our little one due in March, should he be a he. It’s just the perfect blend of comfy-shabby-chic with a hint of British thrown in. Thumbs way up here!

  8. I adore Simon. I actually had a dog named Simon for a while, before he nipped my toddler nephew. 🙁 I still love the name. I would have saved it for a child, but my husband found it too nerdy for people use.

    Lola, I love Simon and Leo! What a sweet sib set. You did excellent for 18, or for names, period. I still get comments that people are surprised by our name choices at 21 (We’ve picked James or Daphne. If it had been my way, James would be Gideon, though). A girl I went to school with had her first at 18 and named her Emmylynne. *shudder*

  9. Despite the fact that they are chipmunks, I LOVE all three names: Simon, Alvin, and Theodore. Unfortunately, naming three chldren those names would get me some strange looks. 🙂 And I know an adorable little Simon, older brother Lukas, whose parents are Scandinavian. This name of the day is a winner for me!

  10. You know, I wanted a Simeon, I got a Simon. 🙂 He just didn’t look that adventurous. And he is most definitely a Simon. Sweet, suave, good with the ladies and smart. I definitely love the name. Having a boy to attach it too makes me even fonder of it.

    I have a hard time being objective about Simon but I do know his drawback is twofold: the chipmunk (whom I find adorable, he’s my favorite!) and the Pieman, but I would think Shrek redeemed that to a large degree, he saved Gingy in the first film. *shrug* no accounting for taste, my mother used to say. His dad was appalled at their names, then. Fast foward 22 years and you’d think he named them. “What? Yeah. I did good. And I did good at 18 (I was a week shy of 19 when I had Simon & his brother, Leo).

    I’ve been happy with Simon for 22 years and look forward to many more. I don’t care what the genreal consensus is for him, I love him (name & kid) and whether anyone else loves his name or not, I don’t care a whit.. Simon’s absolutely aces in my book! Awesome!