Looking for winter boy names? This list is for you!
Maybe you’re expecting a son in the wintry months, or maybe this is your favorite season. Either way, these names evoke the best of this time of year. Some are nature names with a clear link. Others feel more subtle, the kind of name that honors winter in a quiet way.
There’s a name for everyone on this list: current favorites, evergreen classics, and lots of new and never-heard possibilities, too. Many of them work at any time of the year. And while some feel best reserved for the middle spot, plenty of them are great first name options, too.
On to the winter boy names!
Winter Boy Names: Alban, Aubin
Harry Potter fans might know that Albus (as in Dumblebore) means white, from the Latin word. There’s a fourth-century British Saint Alban, and a historic town that bears his name just outside of London. Aubin is the name’s French cousin, with a sixth-century saint, with multiple places named in his honor. Saint Aubin was also known as a reformer and tireless campaigner for those in need. Either version of the name fits in neatly with so many two-syllable, ends-in-n names for boys, but neither ranks in the current US Top 1000 – though both may still be heard in France. The color ties it to the season.
Winter Boy Names: Aquilo
In Greek myth, Boreas served as the cold north wind, bringing winter. His daughter, Chione, was known as the goddess of snow. Boreas almost made this list, but then I found Aquilo, his Roman equivalent. Wit that bright -o ending, and intriguing q sound, Aquilo seems like the more appealing of the two. It might also be related to the Latin aquila, meaning eagle, and shared by a constellation. It’s pretty much unknown as a given name, but with o-ending boy names so popular, Aquilo could fit right in.
Winter Boy Names: Cypress
Tree names are having a moment, with choices like Rowan and Willow on many parents’ lists. So how about Cypress? It’s an evergreen, which automatically ties it to the winter season. The Leyland Cypress is popular as a Christmas tree, too. That said, the Leyland is a hybrid, and the trees aren’t limited to cold weather climates; in fact, the Mediterranean cypress grows in the Middle East. That makes Cypress just seasonal enough to make this list.
Winter Boy Names: December
We tend to reserve calendar names for girls – think of May and June, Summer and Autumn. But December feels tailored-made for a boy, complete with cool built-it nickname Dex. It related to the Latin word for ten, even though it’s the twelfth month. In the northern hemisphere, winter begins on December 20th, and Christmas arrives on December 25th all the world over. That makes this name clearly seasonal and quite striking. Strictly speaking, it’s more common for girls – of the 38 Decembers born in 2016, just six were boys. But at that level, this one remains perfectly wearable for a daughter or a son.
Winter Boy Names: Denver
Aspen made the girls’ list, so maybe it’s only natural that Denver appears on the boys’ side. But there’s more here: first, all of Colorado is generally known for natural beauty, and particularly for all things outdoorsy and wintry. Singer-songwriter John Denver puts this one in the same class as other musician surnames like Hendrix, Bowie, and Lennon. Unlike some names on this list, Denver has plenty of history, as a surname and a given name, and currently ranks in the US Top 1000.
Winter Boy Names: Douglas
Unlike December or Frost, Douglas doesn’t immediately bring winter to mind. And yet, the Douglas fir stands as one of the most common varieties of Christmas tree in the US for more than a century. The evergreen makes this a logical link to the season. Originally a Scottish name meaning “dark river,” Douglas peaked in the 1950s, which makes it slightly dated today. But swashbuckling Hollywood legend Douglas Fairbanks keeps it dashing, and it could strike the right stands-out/fits-in vibe for a son born today. It’s also a strong, traditional middle to anchor a less expected first name pick.
Winter Boy Names: Eben
Ebenezer seems like a non-starter, even though the star of A Christmas Carol star is so clearly tied to the season. But just Eben has possibilities. It’s rare, but in our age of Evan, Ethan, and all those Ben names, it doesn’t sound outlandish. Scrooge should tip you off to the pronunciation: it sounds like Evan with a ‘b’. Maybe this ties Eben to the holidays more than the entire winter season, but I think the story’s message of a fresh start and generosity resonates into the new year.
Winter Boy Names: Fraser
Okay, this is kind of-sort of a tree names post, because so many of the best winter boy names come straight from the forest. Fraser is undeniably appealing, a bright sound that feels Scottish and nicely familiar, too. Fraser firs often serve as Christmas trees, which ties the evergreen to the season. But the surname can be spelled Frasier and Frazier, too. Thanks to long-running television series Frasier, a spin-off of the equally long-running Cheers, Frasier Crane might make the -sier spelling most familiar. Indeed, six boys were named Frasier in 2016, versus just five Frasers. But it’s Frazier with a ‘z’ that carries the day, with 16 newborn boys given the name in 2016.
Winter Boy Names: Frost
Jack is much too much an everyman name to make the winter boy names list. But how about Frost? A younger, more mischievous take on Old Man Winter, Jack Frost has been with us since the 1800s, bringing snow and ice to the world in poems, song, stories, and more. Sometimes he’s a sinister character; at other times, he’s playful, or even heroic. Frosty is a snowman, but Frost feels like a single-syllable name that could be great in the middle spot for a winter-born boy.
Winter Boy Names: Gabriel
Another name tied to Christmas as much as winter, I added Gabriel to winter boy names because it’s just so tough to resist. A Top 100 favorite since the 1990s, Gabriel is grand and romantic, but nickname Gabe is friendly and down-to-earth. The angel makes appearances in the Old Testament and the Quran, but perhaps his most famous role is announcing the birth of Jesus in the New Testament. If you’re expecting early in the new year, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the name sung in a carol sometime close to your due date.
Winter Boy Names: Garnet
Is Garnet a feminine alternative to Scarlett and Ruby? Or a masculine choice in the key of Garrett? I can never decide, so it appears on both the winter girl names and winter boy names lists. Interestingly, it exists as a surname, too – with no connection to the gemstone. Instead, it referred to someone who made hinges. Or maybe it was whispered down the alley from a Norman French name. Either way, Garnet’s got roots deeper than you might guess. What ties it to winter? Easy. Garnet is January’s birthstone. Fun fact: the word may come from the fruit pomegranate, which is associated with the Greek myth of Persephone and the story of the seasons.
Winter Boy Names: Hollis
If Holly feels like a perfect winter girl name, then Hollis belongs on the boys’ list. Originally a surname for someone who lived near a grove of holly trees, today it fits right in with s-ending boy names like Miles, Ellis, and Brooks. It’s a common place name, too. Hollis, Queens was the birthplace of Run DMC, which inspired their single, “Christmas in Hollis.” Sherlock fans, note that the surname Holmes can also refer to holly trees.
Winter Boy Names: Jasper
Tradition tells us that three Wise Men visited Bethlehem, and many accounts give them the names Balthazar, Melchior, and Caspar or Gaspard or Jasper. There’s a lot of variation in that last one, but Jasper is by far the most popular of any possible Three Kings name for boys born today. It helps that Jasper also brings to mind a gemstone, typically green, sometimes red, and sometimes speckled. Bloodstone – green with red spots – is a cousin to jasper, and birthstone for the winter-ending month of March. Of course, the Wise Men didn’t arrive until Epiphany – January 6th – another reason to consider this less a Christmas-specific, and more a general winter name.
Winter Boy Names: Kai
Kai strikes me as a summery name. After all, it comes from the Hawaiian word for sea – all surfboards and white sand beaches, a sun-kissed nature name. Except, Kai also evolved as nickname for several formal names in German and Scandinavian languages, and so it’s the name given to the boy at the heart of Danish writer Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen.” The story has inspired dozens of adaptations, including smash-hit flick Frozen – though the Disney version traded friends Kai and Gerda for sisters Elsa and Anna. Still, call this one a name for all seasons, a culture-spanning choice that brings to mind the best of summer and winter alike.
Winter Boy Names: North
Going North doesn’t necessarily bring cold and snow, but that’s the image it carries – which makes it an ideal winter name choice. Another reason to love North: the idea of “true north” refers to a navigational tool, but also means finding the right path, making this a subtle virtue name. Sure, it’s the name of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s eldest, but I think this one remains very wearable, especially in the middle spot.
Winter Boy Names: Pax
Pax comes from the Latin word for peace. While it’s not necessarily tied to the winter, it feels like a good choice for two reasons. First, all of those traditional carols wish for peace on Earth and goodwill towards men. But it also seems tied to hope for the new year. An auspicious choice, Pax fits with plenty of current trends – a virtue name, complete with the letter x. And while it’s gaining in use, Pax remains nicely under-the-radar. Just 73 boys – and 11 girls – were named Pax in 2016. (Though an additional 1,976 were called Paxton!)
Winter Boy Names: Shepherd
Like so many winter boy names, Shepherd is borrowed from the Nativity story. The name feels gentle and capable at once. To shepherd is to guide, which makes this a modern virtue choice; it might also appeal to parents looking for a subtle Christian name. While it works for a child born during any season, there’s something about shepherds keeping watch under starry skies that seems tied to this time of year. It signals anticipation, as well as leadership.
Winter Boy Names: Snowden
Okay, Snowden would top this list except for the most famous bearer. Edward Snowden is known for leaking confidential government secrets, and currently lives under asylum in Russia. That’s a problem, and yet, Snowden has history well beyond the headlines. The Old English place name refers to a snowy hill. Snowden Crags is a major prehistoric archeological site in North Yorkshire. It’s also spelled Snowdon, as in the tallest mountain in Wales. And if you’re following The Crown, you might recall that Anthony Armstrong-Jones marries Princess Margaret, and becomes the Earl of Snowdon. A handsome, wintry surname, but perhaps better in the middle spot, at least for now.
Winter Boy Names: Tannen
Here’s a handsome possibility that feels tied to the winter season – and yet seems perfectly subtle, too. Tannen comes from Tannenbaum, the German word for Christmas tree. But tannen also means pine in German. Since all things evergreen seem tied to winter, this feels like another strong possibility for a son born in the winter months.
Winter Boy Names: Whitaker, Whittaker
This might be my favorite of the winter boy names: preppy, unexpected Whitaker. Also spelled with two Ts, Whitaker means “white field.” That’s an appropriate image for a wintry name. You may also see Whitacre, especially on the map, but figures like actor Forest Whitaker make the other -aker spellings feel like the default.
Winter Boy Names: Winter
Most babies named Winter are girls; in 2016, there were 615 girls versus just 45 boys. And yet there’s no reason this name wouldn’t be handsome on a son. Making it masculine: The Winter Soldier, a 2014 Captain America movie about Steve Roger’s bestie, Bucky Barnes. He appears in other movies, too, often as the bad guy … against his will. Also, it fits with so many great -r ending names for boys, and fits right in with W surname names, like Weston, too.
Winter Boy Names: Yule
Yule might instantly make you think Brynner, the actor best remembered for his role in The King and I. But he’s Yul, hold the e, from a Russian form of Julius. Today Yule tends to refer to the Christmas season, but it comes from an Old Norse word, and originally referred to a series of feasts in midwinter, celebrated by the Anglo-Saxons. Some people born around this time took Yule as their surname, but today it might make a distinctive choice for a child’s name.
Okay, those are my picks for winter boy names. Any favorites? What have I missed?