The Origins and Meanings of Ten Popular Baby Boy Names

‘Traditional’ names are the most common baby boy names in recent years. Many of these names have biblical and Hebrew origins. If you are looking for a name for your baby boy, read on to find the meaning, origin and variations you can use to modernize ten of the most popular names. A list of famous people with each name is also included.

MiracleCredit: Miguel Cabello from

1. Jacob

Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: the supplanter, holder of the heel

With biblical ties, the name Jacob in the Old Testament refers to the son of Isacc and Rebecca. He became the father of the twelve founders of the tribes of Israel. The meanings ‘the supplanter’ and ‘holder of the heel’ relate to Jacob’s birth holding his twin brother’s heel.

Similar: Jaycob, Jacobus, Jakob

Famous People with the name Jacob:

  • Jacob ‘Jake’ Gyllenhaal, actor
  • Jacob Miller, musician
  • Jacob Vargas, actor
  • Jacob Teitelbaum, author

2. Mason

Origin: French

Meaning: stone worker

Originally a surname, the name Mason has since become popular as a first name for boys. It’s origin lies in in French meaning bricklayer or stone worker. It is also connected to the word ‘macian’ from Old English which means ‘to make’. 

Similar: Mayson

Famous People with the name Mason:

  • Mason Locke Weems, author
  • Mason Crosby, footballer
  • Mason Adams, actor
  • Mason Disick, son of Kourtney Kardashian & Scott Disick
Baby handprintCredit: David Pellon

3. William

Origin: German

Meaning: resolute guardian

Originally from the name Willahelm, this name became popular in England around the time of the reign of William the Conqueror.

Similar: Bill, Billie, Billy, Will, Willie, Willy

Famous People with the name William:

  • William the Conqueror, first Norman king of England
  • William Wallace, 13th century Scottish hero
  • William Tell, 14th century Swiss hero
  • William Shakespeare, playwright
  • William Blake, poet

4. Jayden

Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: green stone, thankful

Jayden is said to be derived from the Hebrew name ‘Jadon’. In the Old Testament, Jadon helped to rebuild Jerusalem.

Similar: Jaden, Jadyn, Jaiden, Jaydon, Jadon

Famous People with the name Jayden:

  • Jayden Federline, son of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
  • Jaden Smith, son of Will & Jada Smith
X-ray baby in stomachCredit: Merelize

5. Noah

Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: rest, comfort

In biblical terms, Noah built an ark after God warned him of the impending Great Flood.

Similar: Noa

Famous People with the name Noah:

  • Noah Wyle, actor
  • Noah Baumbach, film director
  • Noah Webster, lexicographer

6. Michael

Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: who is like God

Another popular name with biblical origins, Michael is one of the archangels recognised by Jews, Christians and Muslims. He is believed to have led the angels in the war against Satan.

Similar: Micael, Mickie, Mikey, Mick

Famous People with the name Michael:

  • Michael Jackson, singer
  • Michael Jordan, basketball player
  • Michael Douglas, actor
  • Michael J. Fox, actor
  • Michael Schumacher, F1 driver
  • Michael Buble, singer
  • Michael Moore, film producer
Baby Boy

7. Ethan

Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: strong, firm

In the Hebrew Bible, Ethan the Ezrahite, who is a wise man, is compared to Solomon. Ethan is said to be a cymbal player in the house of King David and also the author of Psalm 89.

Similar: Ethen

Famous People with the name Ethan:

  • Ethan Hawke, actor
  • Ethan Phillips, actor
  • Ethan Suplee, actor
  • Ethan Lawrence, footballer

8. Alexander

Origin: Greek

Meaning: helper and defender of mankind

Alexander is believed to be derived from the Greek name Alexandros. In the bible, Alexander aids Jesus with the carrying of the cross.

Similar: Alex, Al, Alecsander, Alexandar, Alexsander, Alix, Alixander

Famous People with the name Alexander:

  • Alexander Graham Bell, inventor
  • Alexander the Great, Macedonian King
  • Alexander McQueen, fashion designer
  • Alexander Rae Baldwin III (Alec Baldwin), actor
  • Alexander Popov, swimmerTeddyCredit: Homero Chapa from

9. Aiden

Origin: Irish

Meaning: fiery

In Irish history, Aodh was the Celtic God of the sun and fire. The name Aidan was first a nickname for Aodh. The spelling has since been varied to Aiden. St. Aidan is an Irish saint that spread the word of Christianity. He was known as a kind and generous man.

Similar: Aidan

Famous People with the name Aiden:

  • Aiden Murdoch, son of Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch
  • Aidan Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mary Kennedy
  • Aidan Gillen, actor
  • Aiden Turner, actor
  • Aidan Quinn, actor

10. Daniel

Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: God is my judge

In the Bible, Daniel was the advisor to King Nebuchadnezzar. He interpreted the royal dreams. He was also known as a prophet who, when thrown into a den of lions, survived because of his faith.

Similar: Dan, Danny, Danal, Daneal, Danyal, Danyel, Dannie

Famous People with the name Daniel:

  • Daniel Day-Lewis, actor
  • Daniel Radcliffe, actor
  • Daniel Craig, actor
  • Daniel ‘Dan’ Akroyd, comedian
  • Daniel ‘Danny’ Devito, producerA Gift InsideCredit: Carin Araujo from


Read on to look at a list of unusual baby boy names and their meanings!