Finding a great name for your baby can be a lot harder than you may realize. Settling on one name out of the thousands and thousands of options can even start to feel impossible. Expectant parents try many different methods when brainstorming baby names. They might pour through their bookshelves for literary inspiration, turn to their family trees, look to their favorite TV shows, or choose their baby names purely based on how they sound. Of course, there’s no right way to choose a baby name. If you’re struggling to find the perfect name, sometimes the best method is simply to start looking at baby name lists.
If you’re trying to come up with the perfect boy’s name, there’s no need to get overwhelmed — why not start at the very beginning of the alphabet to get the ball rolling? Here are our favorite boy names that begin with the letter “A.”
Alexander is a common boy’s name that has been around for centuries. According to Nameberry, Alexander is a Greek name that means “defending men.” Throughout history, there have been numerous famous Alexanders. One well-known historical Alexander is Alexander the Great of Macedonia, a conqueror who took over most of Asia around 300 BCE (via Britannica). Another royal Alexander is King Alexander of Yugoslavia who ruled in the early 1900s.
There are plenty of other famous Alexanders, too. Alexander Skarsgard is the Swedish actor known for “Big Little Lies” and “True Blood,” Alexander Ludwig has appeared in “Vikings” and “The Hunger Games,” Alexander Hamilton was a founding father of the United States and the central character in the popular musical “Hamilton,” Aleksandr Pushkin was a well-known Russian author, and the list goes on. Alexander is still extremely popular in the United States. According to BabyCenter, the name is the 27th most popular name as of 2021.
We love the dignified, classic name Alexander. While it is formal and sophisticated, you can also use one of the many nicknames like Alex, Al, or even Zander.
Aaron is a slightly more modern-sounding boy’s name, but it actually dates back to either the Old Testament or Ancient Egypt. According to Nameberry, its origins are unclear. Aaron, spelled Aharon, was the brother of Moses in the Bible.
There have been plenty of well-known Aarons throughout history. Aaron Burr was the third U.S. vice president and the antagonist in the musical “Hamilton.” Elvis Presley’s given name was actually Aaron. Aaron Sorkin is the famous writer behind “The West Wing,” “The Social Network,” and “A Few Good Men.” There are also numerous famous actors named Aaron, including Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Aaron Tveit, Aaron Paul, and Aaron Eckhart. If you choose Aaron as your baby boy’s name, he’ll certainly be in good company.
Aaron has been a popular name for years. As of 2021, it’s the 78th most popular name in the U.S. — and back in the ’70s and ’80s, it was even more popular, according to BabyCenter.
We love the soft, musical nature of the name Aaron, and even though there aren’t many nicknames for it, we think you and your little boy will love the name anyway.
Aidan is a sweet, fairly unusual name that gives a nod to Irish culture. The name Aidan is originally from Ireland, and, according to Nameberry, it means “little and fiery.” Apparently, the name shot up in popularity in the 1990s and early 2000s, but since then, it has become less popular. According to BabyCenter, it’s the 266th most popular name in the United States as of 2021.
There are quite a few well-known Aidans out there. You may know Aidan Turner, the Irish actor known for “The Hobbit” films and “Poldark.” You’ve probably also come across Aidan Gillen, who played Littlefinger in “Game of Thrones.” Aidan Gallagher is another famous actor — you may know him from “The Umbrella Academy” or “Modern Family.” Of course, there are also a few famous fictional Aidans, the most significant being Aidan from “Sex and the City.” Aidan was Carrie’s boyfriend, and many fans of the show preferred him over Mr. Big.
Looking for a striking, bold name? Look no further than Ajax. Ajax is a name that comes from Greek mythology. As Nameberry noted, Ajax was a Greek hero who appeared in Homer’s “Illiad.” Ajax is an extremely rare boy’s name in the U.S. According to BabyCenter, it is the 14,242nd most popular name as of 2020.
Considering how rare this name is, there are few famous people with the name Ajax these days. However, there are a few references you may wish to keep in mind. For one thing, Ajax is the name of a well-known Dutch soccer team. It’s also the name of a brand of well-known cleaning products, which may turn some people off of the name. In Canada, there is also a town called Ajax. If you don’t mind your child being associated with any of these references, we think Ajax is a super cool forgotten Greek name. Plus, you can always shorten it to Jax or AJ for something a little more modern.
Anthony is a classic, popular boy’s name that originally comes from Latin. According to Nameberry, the name means “priceless one.” Historical figures with the name Anthony include Marc Antony, who famously betrayed Caesar and fell in love with Cleopatra. Apparently, British people tend to pronounce the name “Antony,” while Americans usually pronounce it “Anthony.” Common nicknames include Ant, Anton, or Tony. According to BabyCenter, the name Anthony is the 46th most popular name in the States as of 2021.
If you’re looking for a good namesake for your baby, the name Anthony will give you plenty to choose from. Anthony Hopkins, for example, is a renowned Oscar-winning actor, known for “Westworld,” “Hannibal,” and “The Silence of the Lambs.” Anthony Trollope was a hugely popular British author of books like “Barchester Towers” and “The Way We Live Now.” There is also the British author Anthony Burgess, who wrote “A Clockwork Orange.” Baz Luhrmann, the famous director, also has the given name Mark Anthony.
We love this dignified, sophisticated boy’s name!
The name Arthur is a sweet option for a little boy if you’re looking for a name that begins with an “A.” According to Nameberry, Arthur is originally a Celtic name that translates to mean “bear.” It also offers cute nicknames like Art or Arty. Arthur has a long history as a name, dating back to the legends of Camelot, when King Arthur ruled over the Knights of the Round Table. There are also numerous fictional Arthurs, such as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket,” Arthur of the animated kids’ TV show “Arthur,” and Santa’s son Arthur in “Arthur Christmas.” Your son will love reading about and watching other young Arthurs as he grows up.
Plus, there will be plenty of famous Arthurs for him to look up to. Arthur Ashe, for instance, was a famous American tennis player who fought against racial segregation in the sport. Arthur Conan Doyle was the famous author of the “Sherlock Holmes” series. Arthur Miller is a celebrated playwright who wrote classics like “Death of a Salesman.”
According to BabyCenter, Arthur is the 164th most popular name in America as of 2021 — which means there won’t be too many other Arthurs, yet your son won’t feel out of place.
If you like the nicknames Art and Arty but you want a name that’s a little more interesting than Arthur, why not try the more exotic option of Artemis? Artemis is a beautiful boy’s name that comes from Greek mythology. According to Nameberry, while Artemis is typically used as a boy’s name, it was originally the name of the Greek goddess of the moon.
You may know the name Artemis from some of its more modern iterations. For instance, the children’s fantasy series “Artemis Fowl” follows the adventures of a boy and young criminal genius named Artemis who kidnaps a fairy. Then there’s the female author Artemis Cooper, who is known for nonfiction books like “Cairo in the War 1939-1945.”
According to BabyCenter, Artemis is currently the 615th most popular name in the States, so if you choose this name for your child, he’ll definitely feel happy to have such an unusual name.
Austin is a popular boy’s name in America. According to Nameberry, it’s an English name and form of Augustine that means “great” and “magnificent.” The name has a real American feel, as it’s also the name of the famous Texan city. In the Henry James novel “Washington Square,” one of the main characters is named Austin Sloper. Another famous fictional Austin is, of course, Austin Powers, portrayed by the hilarious Mike Myers.
Famous Austins include Austin Pendleton, the actor known for “My Cousin Vinny,” Austin Aries, the pro wrestler, Austin Mahone, the pop singer, and Austin Krajicek, the American tennis player.
Austin has a range of cute nicknames, such as Oz, Aussy, or even Tintin. According to BabyCenter, Austin is the 91st most popular boy’s name in the United States. Austin is also a common Irish last name and even has its own coat of arms. What little boy wouldn’t want that?
Andrew is originally a Greek name that translates to mean “strong and manly.” According to Nameberry, Andrew is one of the go-to classic names for boys. While Andrew can seem austere and overly formal, cute nicknames include the more friendly Andy or the more sophisticated Drew.
There are also plenty of well-known Andrews for your little boy to look up to. Andrew Jackson, for example, was the seventh president of the United States. Andrew Johnson was another American president who served in the 1800s. There’s also Andrew Lloyd Webber, the famous composer behind Broadway hits like “Phantom of the Opera” and “Cats.” Andy Murray, the one-time world No. 1 tennis player is also an Andrew. Of course, there is also Prince Andrew, the Queen’s brother, who was recently accused of sexual abuse (via Sky), which may tarnish the name for some expectant parents.
Andrew is still a very popular boy’s name. According to BabyCenter, the name is the 75th most popular boy’s name in America.
Adam is a Hebrew boy’s name that dates back to the Bible — Adam was the first man, according to Christianity, who was created from God’s rib. While the name isn’t as popular as it once was, it’s still a common name in America. According to Nameberry, the name means “son of the red Earth.”
There are plenty of well-known Adams out there to take inspiration from. Famous men with the name Adam include Adam Sandler, the actor and comedian known for “50 First Dates” and “The Wedding Singer,” Adam Levine, known as lead singer of the band “Maroon 5” and a former host of “The Voice,” Adam Driver, the actor known for the most recent “Star Wars” movies, and Adam Smith, the famous philosopher and economist.
Adam remains a popular name to this day. As of 2021, it’s the 53rd most popular name in America, according to BabyCenter. While it may not have many potential nicknames, Adam is still one of our top picks for boys’ names beginning with “A.”
If you want a cool, modern sounding “A” name with a long history, look no further than Axel. Axel, according to Nameberry, is a Scandinavian name that means “father of peace.” The name originally came from the Biblical name Absalom, who was a son of David. While the name may sound pretty out there, it’s actually quite popular in America. According to BabyCenter, it’s the 102nd most popular boy’s name in the U.S. for 2021.
There are a few famous Axels in history. One of the most significant is Axl Rose, the lead singer of the band Guns N’ Roses. There aren’t too many other well-known Axels around today, which can be good if you want your son to be able to forge his own path with his name.
Axel offers more than one spelling option (Axel or Axl, for example). In terms of nicknames, however, Axel doesn’t offer many options, but you can always try Al or Axe. One this is certain — your little boy will have one of the most unusual names at school!
Arnold is an old-school Germanic boy’s name. In English, it means “ruler, strong as an eagle,” according to Nameberry. Apparently, the name was originally Arnaud during the Norman rule in England. While Arnold may sound pretty dated, we think it’s a cool retro option that will be memorable and striking. Nicknames include Arnie or Arn.
Some famous Arnolds include Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian actor famous for films like “The Terminator” and “Predator.” There’s also Arnold Palmer, the famous American golfer, and Arnold Bax, the British composer and author. You may also remember the famous young cartoon character from “Hey Arnold!” There is even a place called Arnold in Nottinghamshire, England, near the famous Sherwood Forest.
While Arnold may not be hugely popular these days — according to BabyCenter, it’s the 1,760th most popular boy’s name in America — it’s still a super cute name. Plus, it’s quickly becoming more and more common. In fact, from 2020 to 2021, it jumped up 1,500 spots in popularity! Now might just be the perfect time to choose this name for your newborn.
Alan is another classic boy’s name with a long, dignified history. According to Nameberry, it is an Irish name that translates to mean “handsome” or “cheerful.” Other spellings include Allen and Allan, and a common nickname is Al. The name experienced a few decades of popularity in the 20th century, so now it can sometimes feel like a name of someone from an older generation — however, we think it’s time this name had a revival.
Famous Alans for your little boy to look up to are Alan Bennett, the renowned playwright of “The History Boys,” “The Lady in the Van,” and “The Madness of George III,” Alan Cumming, the well-known Scottish actor from “Instinct,” “Spy Kids,” and “The Good Wife,” Alan Stokes, the British surfer and model, Alan Rickman, the late beloved actor who played Snape in “Harry Potter,” and Alan Carr, the comedian.
According to the stats at BabyCenter, Alan is slowly rising in popularity after a dip in the past few decades. In 2021, the name stands at No. 311 in popularity, up 15 spots from the previous year. Sounds like we’re in for an Alan renaissance over the next few years.
Asa is a fairly uncommon boy’s name. Pronounced ay-sah, the name has Hebrew and Japanese origins and means “healer” or “born in the morning,” according to Nameberry. We think this is one of the prettiest, most striking “A” names for a boy. Plus, just imagine how cool your son will be if he chooses to use the nickname Ace!
There aren’t many well-known Asas out there, but the young actor Asa Butterfield is helping to bring the name back into popularity. You may know him from “Sex Education,” “Hugo,” or “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.” Asa Gray is another famous Asa. He was an American botanist who helped to categorize the plants of North America in the 19th century. Asa Briggs was a well-known British historian who was instrumental in decoding radio signals during the Second World War. In addition, Asa Buchanan was the name of one of the main characters and patriarchs on the long-running ABC soap opera “One Life to Live.”
According to BabyCenter, the name Asa is still quite rare. As of 2021, it’s the 655th most popular name in the country. If you choose this name, you definitely won’t have to worry about lack of originality!
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