Using Description to Name a New Baby Boy: Modern Day Names Lack the Meanings Attached to Ancient Names

The Greek meaning of the name Ambrose is divine, or immortal, not a bad moniker to attach to a new baby boy for whom much is hoped. Expectations for a boy named Brian, or Alexander could entail great accomplishments, as those names have Celtic and Greek roots which translate to strong, and defender of men, respectively. Everyone has heard of Alexander the Great!

Just the first few letters of the traditional American alphabet reveal the beginnings of names connected to the virtues of strength and character, connections to nature, a happy life style, and holiness. Many of these have Biblical roots and meanings understood in Greek, Hebrew, Celtic, and Germanic languages.

Examples of Rooted Names for a Baby Boy

  • Aaron = meaning Enlightener, is rooted in Hebrew
  • Adolph = Noble Wolf (Danish, Dutch, German roots); spelling can vary with Adolf, or Adolphe (French roots), and Adolfo (Italian/Spanish roots), and Adolphus (Latin roots)
  • Andrew = Manly (Greek); Andres (Spanish); Andre (French); Andrea (Italian)
  • Arthur = Valor, Strength, Nobility (Celtic)
  • Avery = Courageous (Germanic)
  • Everard = Strong As A Boar (Germanic)
  • Ezekiel = God Gives Strength (Hebrew)
  • Fergus = Manly Strength (Celtic)

Interestingly, the name Benedict was not originally associated with acts of a traitor. It means blessed. In French, it is Benoit, and the Spanish version is Benito.

Many Male Names Have Likenesses to Nature

  • Arnold = Eagle Power
  • Ashley = Dweller Among Ash Trees
  • Athelstan = Noble Stone or Jewel
  • Bartholomew = Son Of Furrows
  • Bertram = Bright Raven
  • Caleb = Dog, for Loyal
  • Clive = Cliff Dweller
  • Craig = Crag Dweller
  • Cyrus = The Sun

Male Names of High Elevation

  • Abner = Father of Light
  • Abraham = Exalted Father of Multitudes
  • Aurelius = The Golden One
  • Basil = Kingly
  • Conrad = Bold Counsel
  • Dan = Judge
  • Donald = World Chief
  • Eldred = Mature Counsel
  • Eleazar = God Has Helper
  • Eli = The Highest One
  • Emery = Work Ruler
  • Ethelred = Noble Council
  • Eric = Honorable King

Some names for new baby boys would bestow meanings of a happy and rich existence. For instance:

  • Felix = Happy, Fortunate
  • Eustace = Good Harvest
  • Eugene = Well Born
  • Erasmus = Lovable
  • Ephraim = Doubly Fruitful
  • Eneas = Praiseworthy
  • Eliot = God's Gift
  • Edwin = Rich Friend
  • Darius = Wealthy
  • Cuthbert = Notably Brilliant
  • Alan = Handsome

Baby Boy Names to Avoid

Smallness, infirmities, or darkness are attached to a number of baby boy names. Ecstatic parents of a newborn might want to steer clear of them if they know before-hand of the connotations of these choices. They include:

  • Elvin = Of The Elves
  • Douglas = Dark
  • Claude = Lame
  • Cecil = Blind
  • Calvin = Bald
  • Aubrey = Elf Ruler
  • Amos = Burden

Baby Boy Names of Color

Many names relate to colors and hues of nature. Several of them are:

  • Adam = Red; Man Of Red Earth
  • Alban = White
  • Boyd = Yellow-haired
  • Duncan = Brown Warrior

Parents looking to attach military, or battle-worthy names to new baby boys might consider the following:

  • Alaric = All Ruler
  • Alexis = Defender
  • Alger = Noble Spear
  • Cedric = War Chief
  • Edgar = Rich Spear, for Warrior
  • Egbert = Bright Sword, for skilled swordsman

For parents seeking names with direct meanings involving the peaceful side of human nature, there are these:

  • Frederick = Peace Ruler
  • Franklin = Freeman
  • Ezra = Helper
  • Ethan = Firmness
  • Enoch = Dedicated
  • Edmund = Rich Protector
  • Curtis = Courteous
  • Clement = Merciful
  • Burgess = Citizen
  • Asa = Healer

What's in a name? Quite a lot, it would seem.

Resource: The 1966 edition of the Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary, copyrighted by The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., and entitled The Reader's Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary (with special supplements); Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 66-21606.

Rankings of popular baby names by gender, by state, and by year may be found on the Social Security Administration website. The rankings include individual entries for names with like pronunciations which can be spelled a number of different ways, such as Caitlin and Kaitlynn, etc.

The SSA originated the popular baby names site from an idea for name distribution submitted by Michael W. Shackleford in 1997.