Maybe his sibling’s name starts with an “N” and you love the alliteration. Maybe he’ll be a water sign and you love that back in ancient Egypt, the “N” was a wavy sign representing water. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of terrific options if you’re interested in looking for a boy’s name that starts with “N.” It’s an especially great letter to consider if you’re looking for a baby name that isn’t
one of the most popular names from recent years. Except for Noah, which has reigned at the top of the boy’s name charts for nearly a decade, there aren’t any other “N” names in the top 50 most popular boy’s names from recent years.
If you’re looking to honor a specific cultural heritage, there is almost certainly a great boy’s name that starts with “N” to match. Boy names like Neal (also spelled Neil) or Nolan names are traditional Irish names. Nathan and Nathaniel are Hebrew. And, almost every country around the globe has their own way of spelling and pronouncing the ever-popular name Nicholas. There are also some wonderful “N” boy names that come from the Arabic language on this list. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s probably an “N” name on this baby names list that’s just perfect for your baby boy.
1 Neal Helena Lopes / 500px/500px/Getty Images
This classic Irish name has fallen in popularity in recent years, and hasn’t appeared in the top thousand most popular names since 2002. But it has a strong, clear feel to it, and is an especially good choice for a family who wants to honor their Irish heritage. The name means “champion.”
You can probably guess the meaning of this name: It means noble or aristocratic. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for an unusual name that everyone who encounters it will still recognize and know how to pronounce.
This cute Italian variation of Nicholas has been steadily gaining popularity since it first appeared on the charts in the late 1980’s. If you love the name but aren’t such a fan of the nickname Nick, you could go with this shortened version.
Nor — also spelled Nour or Noor — is a fantastic “N” boy name that has both Arabic and Nordic roots. In Norse mythology, Nor was the founder of Norway, and in Arabic, the name means “light.”
Nicholas has always been a popular name, but it had a big boom of popularity in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Since then, its popularity has waned, and these days it’s barely in the top hundred. But this strong and popular name will never really go out of style. It has Greek origins and means “victory of the people.”
Nash might be best known as the surname of poet Ogden Nash, but it popped into the top thousand most popular first names for boys back in 1997. This once-rare name has been climbing the charts since then. It has English origins and means “from the ash tree.”
7 Niles Westend61/Westend61/Getty Images
Adults will recognize this name from
Fraiser, but a little Niles’s peers probably won’t know anything about the show. It would be an extra-cute choice if your little boy has a dad named Neal, since the meaning is “son of Neal.” 8 Nolan
This name has the same roots as Neal or Niles: The Irish name Ó Nualláin, meaning “noble or famous.” It’s a classic choice, whether or not you have Irish roots.
In 2021, Nathan was the second most popular boy’s name that starts with “N,” but it still isn’t all that popular, coming in at number 57 last year. It comes from the Hebrew language and has the lovely meaning “gift from God.” Plus, Nate is a super cute nickname.
In the Bible, the suffix -iel translates roughly to “of God.” Since Nathan means “Gift from God,” its longer cousin-name Nathaniel just emphasizes its meaning. If you’re looking for a more unusual spelling, the name can also be spelled “Nathaneal.”
11 Noah Roberto Westbrook/Tetra images/Getty Images
If you know the story of Noah’s ark, you might be surprised by this name’s meaning: in Hebrew, it means “rest or respose.” Herding all the world’s animals onto a small ship doesn’t exactly sound restful, but maybe you’ll get a good sleeper if you go with this classic name.
While it’s debatable how “helpful” kids really are with household chores, you might get a kid who really pulls their weight around the house if you choose this name. In Arabic, it means “helper.”
A common variant of Nicholas in Russia, this name has grown in popularity in the United States in recent years, coming in as the 480th most popular name in 2021.
If you can think back to your high school days of reading
The Iliad or The Odyssey, you might recognize this name as belonging to a wise old king. Even if that doesn’t ring a bell, you might still love this Greek name’s meaning: “One who returns from travels.” 15 Noam
If you love the sound of the name Noah but don’t want to give your son a name that has topped the popularity charts over the past decade, this slight variant might be just right. It means “pleasantness” in Hebrew.
Nevin is of Irish origin, meaning “little bone” or “little saint.” It is derived from the Irish surname Mac Cnáimhín from cnámh, which means “bone.”
17 Nelson Jessica Peterson/Tetra images/Getty Images
If you love the sound of Neal and Nolan but are looking for something a little more unusual, this name might be perfect. It means alternately “son of Nell” and “champion” and is of English origin.
If you like the name Neal but want something a little more unusual, you might like this alternate spelling, that can either be pronounced “Neel” or “Nile.” Like Neal, it has Irish origins and means both “champion” and “passionate.”
This name is more commonly a last name than a first, but making last names first names is definitely trendy in the last few years. The Irish surname derives from from the Gaelic "O Niallain," which means “descendant of Niall.”
Niam comes from Hindu and Arabic, and means “given by God.” While Liam is still extremely common, Niam doesn’t have anything close to its popularity.
Since your little boy is sure to make your life feel just a little more complete, this sweet meaning might fit perfectly: It means “complete or whole.” It comes from the Sanskrit language, and is most commonly heard in India or Nepal.
22 Norberto kate_sept2004/E+/Getty Images
This Spanish form of the name Norbert has a truly beautiful, unique meaning: “Bright North.” It briefly appeared in the top thousand most common boy’s names during the ‘70s and ‘80s, but hasn’t been on the charts since.
There are many alternate spellings for this Hebrew and Arabic name, including Na’im, Nayeem, Naeem, and Naiem. In Arabic, the name means “happiness and comfort.” In Hebrew, it means “pleasant.”
In the Biblical Christmas story, Mary and Joseph travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem when it is time for Jesus’s birth. Nazareth is still a thriving city today, and works beautifully as an offbeat and unique boy’s name.
A short and spunky sounding name meaning “nephew” in German, this is a great choice for a little boy with lots of aunts and uncles who are excited to meet him.
26 Naseem Phynart Studio/E+/Getty Images
Your little boy is sure to be a breath of fresh air, and this name’s meaning celebrates that fact. In Arabic, the name means “fresh air” and “breeze.”
Another name that works as both a last name and first name, this Arabic name means “dear,” “scarce” or “precious.” It can be pronounced both Nay-der and Na-deer.
This name started out as just a nickname for the longer name Fernando, but has transformed into a given name in its own right. It means “bold voyager” in Spanish.
Cousins with Neil, Niles, and Nolan, this Celtic name also means “champion.” It’s always been more common in England than in the United States, but we think it’s ready for a little time in the limelight.
30 Niels Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images
While this name may sound very similar to the Irish name Neal, it actually has Danish and Swedish origins. Its most famous bearer is the chemist, Niels Bohr, whose atom models may have tortured you in high school chemistry. It also means “champion.”
Norman was a more common name in our grandparent’s generation, but it’s an old standby name that will never seem out of place. It has English origins and means “man from the North.”
Like Norman, Norris is a name that evokes one of the cardinal directions: in Old French is meant “Northerner.” It’s been a forgotten name for almost 40 years, and hasn’t appeared on the top thousand most popular names since 1983.
This adorable name simply means "little.” We love a short and sweet name and Nino feels due for a moment.
If you like the name Nico but want something that doesn’t feel like a nickname, this lyrical Nicholas variant might do the trick. An Italian variant of the Greek name Nicholas, it shares the same meaning: “People’s champion.”
This name (which started as a nickname for Ignacio) isn’t just the name of one of your very favorite foods. Cute and punchy, Nacho means “fiery.”
Navi is just one of the cute nicknames if you go with this Basque name, which means “plain next to the mountains.” The name has deep roots as surname in Spain.
You might know it best as the name of a state, but it comes from the Spanish word for “covered in snow.” If you have a special connection to the state of Nevada, or just like the way this name sounds, it would be a great and unusual choice for a little boy.
If just saying this name makes you feel calm, there’s a reason: In Hindu, it means “lotus flower.” It’s a masculine name that still has a gorgeous sound.
Brooklyn 99 makes lots of jokes about how to pronounce this Danish name (it can be both nih-co-lahj and nih-co-lye.) Unsurprisingly it shares the same meaning as Nicholas and Nikolai: victory of the people. 40 Neville
This name is pretty popular in England, and well-known as the name of one of the members of the Gryffindor house in
Harry Potter, but hasn’t really gained popularity in the United States. It means “new village.”
Whatever “N” name you choose, it’s sure to fit your little boy perfectly. Happy naming!