Looking for names like Noah? The Biblical builder of the arc dominates the boys’ Top Ten in the US. Over 91,000 boys were given the name between 2011 and 2015. Call it on most playgrounds, and more than one small head will swivel.
Noah has reigned as the #1 name for three years straight; it’s been a Top Ten pick even longer, since 2009. That doesn’t mean you should avoid it. In fact, there are plenty of great reasons to use a Top Ten – or even the #1! – name.
Names like Noah should share several qualities. The name combines a modern sound with significant history. Noah feels stylish, short, and nickname-proof. We connect it to a white-bearded patriarch of yore, and yet it feels appropriately youthful, too.
Happily, names like Noah abound. Here are ten worthy of consideration.
Names like Noah: Levi
Noah built the arc, and Levi built … denim? Not quite.
Like Noah, Levi comes from the Old Testament. He founds the Levites, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. While both names claim religious significance, neither feels especially spiritual. Instead, they sound modern. For Noah, it’s the ‘a’ ending. For Levi, the letter ‘v’ lends style.
German-born entrepreneur Levi Strauss makes this name as American as blue jeans.
At #42 in the US, Levi’s popularity continues to climb. And yet, it remains far behind #1 Noah.
Names Like Noah: Jonah
For pure sound, Jonah makes a great Noah substitute. Looking for more reasons to consider Jonah instead? Both Biblical figures’ stories tie to the sea. Noah sailed for forty days and forty nights, while Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Most people instantly recognize the name Jonah, though at #143 in the US, it’s less common than Noah or Levi. Still, the name is recognized instantly, and would likely to be easy to spell and pronounce.
Names Like Noah: Milo
Nothing says that all names like Noah must come from the Bible. After all, Noah appeals to a broad group of parents, from many faith perspectives.
And so Milo makes a logical substitute for the chart-topping name. Like Noah, Milo feels short and complete. It comes with a long history, dating to the Middle Ages. And yet Milo fits with modern names, a 21st century choice.
At #288 in 2015, Milo belongs to a group of o-ending boy names set to take over the mainstream. Besides Milo, popular Leo appears in the current US Top 100, and others – like Arlo and Hugo and, yes, Milo – might not be far behind.
Names like Noah: Theo
Speaking of boy names ending in o, Theo makes the list of names like Noah, too. Theo splits the difference between Milo and Noah in many ways. While Noah comes from the Old Testament and feels specifically spiritual, Milo makes for a younger name, not necessarily tied to a religious worldview. Theo, short for Theodore, means gift of God. The name claims history galore, dating to the ancient world. But style-wise, it edges closer to vintage Milo than Biblical Noah.
Theo makes for a mainstream pick less popular than Noah. It ranked #408 in the US in 2015. And yet that might be misleading – after all, Theodore came in at #99. Chances are most of those Theodores answer to Teddy or Theo.
Still, just Theo might make a great substitute for Noah – traditional but modern, upbeat but rooted in history.
Names like Noah: Nash
Noah and Nash share three of their four letters, and yet I hesitated before adding Nash to this list. Unlike Noah (and Levi and Theo and Milo), Nash was little used as a given name until the 1990s. (Don Johnson’s second hit television show gets credit. Seriously!)
And yet, Nash doesn’t feel invented or artificial. It ticks all the boxes: stylish, short, nickname-proof. If Nash strikes you as a Noah substitute, you might also consider Jude or Beau, other single-syllable names with bold sounds.
Nash ranked #344 in 2015.
Names like Noah: Nico
Classic, saintly, and regal, Nicholas spent years near the top of the US charts, including a decade in the Top Ten from 1993 through 2002. But most of those Nicholases likely answered to Nick. Only lately has Nico emerged as the Nick name to watch.
Like Nash, Nico barely registered before the 1990s. But Nico borrows the rich history of Nicholas, along with the great meaning: victory of the people.
And like Noah, Nico can potentially be seen as unisex. That’s not a drawback today, but it’s one more reason Nico makes a plausible substitute.
Nico ranked #464 in 2015, though Nicholas, Nicolas, and Nicole all charted much higher.
Names like Noah: Asa
Another Old Testament name, Asa means healer in Hebrew. But it sounds like Ace, a modern favorite that mixes references to tennis, World War II heroes, and playing cards.
That makes Asa a traditional pick with a cool, modern sound. And while you might argue that Asa isn’t nickname-proof – hello, Ace? – I think it still belongs with names like Noah.
Young actor Asa Butterfield makes a convincing case that the name wears well. It was given to more than 500 boys in 2014 and again in 2015, and continues to gain in use. If you love the idea of Noah, but want something far less common, Asa might hit exactly the right mark.
Names like Noah: Zeke
Zeke comes in at #704 in the US, but like Theo and Nico, associated names are more popular. Ezekiel ranks #148. But in an age of Zane and Jax and Reed, Zeke stands alone. It’s also fresher than Zach, now that Zachary is growing up.
The Z lends this name some serious modern style. But Zeke also feels vintage, since it’s clearly related to the Biblical name. In recent years, television gave us a character called Zeek instead – the Braverman family patriarch, played by Craig T. Nelson, on Parenthood.
So far, it’s Zeke in the lead, with over 350 boys receiving the name in 2015, and the ‘eek’ spelling given to just 20.
Names like Noah: Otis
Noah’s strong O sound might be a big reason for the name’s appeal. Owen and Logan and Leo – and all those other ends-in-o names demonstrate just how stylish a sound it is.
And so maybe Otis could serve as a Noah substitute. There’s something vintage about the name, but it feels nicely modern, too. Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde named their firstborn Otis Alexander; in 2015, Otis re-entered the US Top 1000 for the first time in ages.
Otis comes in at #845 currently, so it’s far, far from the #1 name in the US.
Names like Noah: Koa
Confession: the first time I saw this name, I thought it was a trendy spin on Noah. You’re forgiven if that’s your initial reaction, too. The true story is far more intriguing. Koa is Hawaiian, just like current favorite Kai. It’s borrowed from the name of a tree, just like stylish Rowan. That’s a strong case for Koa.
As of 2015, it has never cracked the US Top 1000. But buzz is building about this mini-name, and an impressive 161 boys received the name in 2015. That could bring Koa closer to the mainstream.
If you thought you liked Noah because it was different? The name you’re looking for might actually be Koa.
What are your favorite names like Noah? What else belongs on this list?