Fresh Forms of Family Names for Naming Baby Boys — by Catherine Uler—author of The Complete Book of Christian Baby Names (a Kindle e-book)

Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for an updated version of a name from your parents’ generation, there are plenty of choices beyond the popular short forms—Liam, Jack, Drew—and the familiar diminutives—Charlie, Johnny, Danny. Several contemporary options, such as the wildly popular Jackson, come from last-name-first trend. Parents also find inspiration in the European languages, which lend us cool variations, like traditionally crisp Garrett and fresh-sounding Enzo. Read on for an eclectic mix of unexpected alternatives to traditional boys’ names.

Patronymics from the last-name first trend:


·         Anderson (Anders is the Scandinavian form of Andrew)

·         Davis, a shortened and contracted form of Davidson

·         Dawson, from Daw, a Medieval nickname for David

·         Edison, a smart-sounding name that inevitably recalls the great inventor

·         Harrison and the short form Harris

·         Jackson and alternate spellings Jaxon and Jaxson are all top-100 names

·         Jameson and Jamison

·         Jefferson, which sounds more refined than many of the other names in this category, possibly because of its connection to one of our founding fathers

·         Ryker, the Dutch equivalent of Richardson

·         Wilson and the short form Willis


Non-English forms of traditional names are cool and very of-the-moment. Our list starts with the ever-popular variations of John, then moves on to European versions of other familiar English names:


·         Evan (Welsh)

·         Ian (Scottish) and variant spelling Ean (Manx)

·         Sean (Irish) and its Anglicized form Shane

·         Giovanni (Italian) and the contracted form Gianni

·         Juan (Spanish) and Jean (French)

·         Johan (German)

·         Ivan (Slavic) and its short form Van

·         Keoni (Hawaiian) 


and moving on….


·         Antonio and Antoine – for Anthony

·         Andres and Andre – for Andrew

·         Garrett – for Gerald

·         Pierce and Pierre – for Peter

·         Ricardo – for Richard

·         Marco, Markus, and Marcello – for Mark

·         Vincenzo and its short form Enzo – for Vincent


The most unexpected options often have their origins in the Bible:


·         Jeremiah and Jeremy – for Jerry

·         Mathias and Mateo – for Matthew

·         Micah and Mitchell – for Michael

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