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Mat74UK's avatar

I'm stuck! Please tell me your favourite non-religious boys names?

Asked by Mat74UK (4649points) September 26th, 2010

We don’t know what we are having so are trying to cover both bases.
Girls names we have covered but we’re stuck for boys names.
The wife says when we first see him/her we may know what name he/she should have straight away.
The non-religious bit comes in because we are both not very religious at all.

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50 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

So I guess Mohammed is out, as well as Jesus. (However, if you name him Jesus he has a good chance of being a great shortstop.)

Does your wife think that the baby will come with a tattoo of his name, or something? That’s not common, I think.

I don’t think that there’s a Saint Cassidy yet, so that might be one option. Not even a Saint Chad. Is there a Saint Douglas or Ralph? Those are options.

MacBean's avatar

@CyanoticWasp: ”Does your wife think that the baby will come with a tattoo of his name, or something?

Probably not, but… my parents planned on calling me Crystal. But then I was born. I was nine and a half pounds and looked like this. Not a Crystal. Thank freaking God. Having any girlname has been bad enough, but that would’ve been even worse than what I was stuck with.

Nullo's avatar

Most “religious” names have become very commonplace. “Elizabeth,” for instance, or “Peter”.

BarnacleBill's avatar

If your father’s name is Michael, and you name your son Michael, then you are naming your son for your father, not because you chose a biblical name.

As a genealogist, it was a common practice to give sons the mother’s maiden name as a last name, or a grandparent’s last name as a first name, especially among the Scots-Anglo-Welsh. Hence you see men with last names for first names, like Carter, Anderson, Miller, Stewart, Keefe, Benton, etc. Try out family surnames and see if anything sticks with your last name.

Mat74UK's avatar

@BarnacleBill – are you sure you don’t know me? Lol
My fathers name is Michael and I am named Mathew after my grandmothers surname Mathews!
I suppose I’m a typical Anglophile.

diavolobella's avatar

I’m very fond of the names Nicholas (although I suppose that could be considered religious, i.e. Saint Nicholas) and Eric.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@Mat74UK, lol. Then you’re lucky. Dig out the family tree and you’ve got it covered. Will your wife’s maiden name work with your last name? If so, that for a first name, Michael for a middle name, and you’ve made both sets of grandparents happy.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I like Neal but don’t know if that has a religious origin.

answerjill's avatar

I like @RareDenver ‘s idea. From there, you could just pick a geographic location (city, mountain, etc.) and take it’s name. Or, you could name your child after flora, fauna, or other natural elements: Oak, Cedar, Cloud, Rain….

muppetish's avatar

Whenever I need names for characters in stories, I look to other cultures. I don’t know whether you have any reservations about that, but I think they sound absolutely beautiful (and it’s easier to find names that are non-religious, or at least not Biblical.)

Celtic / Gaelic: Conner, Donnelly, Keegan, Kieran, Naveen
Japanese: Haru, Yasuo
Icelandic: Ari (name of a boy in a novel I’m writing – I love this one), Bjorn, Karl

ipso's avatar


RareDenver's avatar

@CyanoticWasp there is a Saint Chad Chad is also my Dad’s name

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Liam (short for William) and Harris (short for Harrison)
I used to know three brothers named Chester, Leo and Lincoln. I thought their names were pretty cool, but then, they were cool guys.

Trillian's avatar

What is your idea of a “religious” name?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Cole and Roy are 2 male names that don’t have any religious conotations that I know of.

JLeslie's avatar

I am not religious at all, but it would not stop me from using a biblical name. Some of the biblical names are nice traditional names, which do not stir up biblical meaning for most people. Of course names like Jesus, and Moses would be exceptions. Anyway, here is my list of “American” boy names I like, I have a list of Latin/Spanish names, I won’t bother listing them unless you are interested:


Jude's avatar


Jeruba's avatar

There are great lists of popular names here, if you want popular. You can choose different time periods. Of course, some of these do have Biblical origins. But not all Biblical names imply religiosity.

What defines “religious”? Yes, okay, Francis Xavier and Mary-Margaret Theresa sound pretty religious, as do Mohammed and Abraham. There are plenty of names that reflect religious traditions other than Judaeo-Christian and Islamic. Are you also avoiding references to old Celtic, Norse, and Slavic traditions of worship? How about ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman? Native American? Pagan? I’d be inclined to guess that many personal names that we think are secular in origin can actually be linked to some religious belief or another.

If you just want a meaningless sound, you can probably make one up. Or use a place name, as others have suggested. As long as it’s not named after somebody.

Kardamom's avatar

Try to avoid being too trendy (i.e. Ashton, Austin)

Last names are the “in” thing right now, but pick one that isn’t too common. Tyler is way too common and I’ve heard one too many yuppie mommies trying to get their “Tyler’s” to comply in the grocery store. “Tyler, Mommy’s counting to 3!, Tyler! Honey, stop that! Tyler! 1, 2, Tyler!”

I like Campbell (Cam for short).
Here’s a random list: Kyle, Ryan, Reed, Dean, Mason, Gavin, Jordan, Morgan, Noel, August, Bailey, Brandon, Rowan, Byron, Hayden.

Jeruba's avatar

That list has its share of religion, @Kardamom. Consider Jordan. Consider Noel. Consider Rowan, a sacred tree in European mythology.

Ron_C's avatar

Call him Dick, not a nickname for Richard but just Dick.

robmandu's avatar

Well, this is actually very religious, but still worthy of consideration.

jaytkay's avatar


JLeslie's avatar

I thought of some more:

@jaytkay I knew a guy named Rex, I had forgotten all about that name.

YARNLADY's avatar

How about a futuristic name – Elroy : – )

janbb's avatar


jenandcolin's avatar

I just named my son Jackson (he was born 6 weeks ago).
We also thought about Colin (which is also my hubby’s name), Devin, Cody and Sawyer.
Congratulations to you and your wife!

rainbowspirit's avatar

I like Alexander, which I don’t think has any religious connections. Also Jack it a nice name and is one that grows up with and sounds good at any age.

JLeslie's avatar

@rainbowspirit I would guess some people associate Jack with Jacob. But then I guess Jack can also be short for Jackson.

jaytkay's avatar

Jack is also a common nickname for John.

Mat74UK's avatar

@BarnacleBill – the wifes maiden name was Smith so that’s out the window.

Unfortunately there are far too many Jacks around at the minute, sister-in-law has just called her newborn Lucas and already has a Connor.
I really like Charlie but it ryhmes with our surname so that is out according to the wife (but I still really like it)
The wifes short list as emailed to me this morning: (note these are not necessarily mine)

Jaden Kyle
Jared Kyle

“I like Kyle as a middle name, and now preferring Jaden without the Y”

janbb's avatar

One thing to think about non-Biblical or standard names is that they date the person to their time of popularity. I once had a storytime library group with 4 “Farrahs” in it!

Mat74UK's avatar

@janbb -I know what you mean, I work on a bench of 4 people three of us are named Matthew (although I do have only one T)
In my youth I was in a car with three other Matt’s talking to a Matt through the window!
Matt must have been really popular in the 70’s.

JLeslie's avatar

@jaytkay of course you are correct, I’m surprised I forgot John. John is biblical too.

JLeslie's avatar

@Mat74UK Do you like any of the suggestions?

robmandu's avatar

Do what I did… sit around the hospital room for two days after the c-section and go name-for-name thru a book with over 100,000 baby names. Write down a list of your favorites for each letter and then present those to your wife.

Now, to do it right, you cannot just hand the list over. You’ll need to read them to her one by one. With and without your last name. And you’ll likely need to throw in combinations with the various middle names you might have in consideration. Play around with nicknames… especially ending with an ”-ey” sound, because that’s what you’ll do. James-ey. Jack-ey. Washington-ey. Milton-ey… you get it.

Be ready to duck objects flung at your head because your wife won’t enjoy being stressed by naming when she’s already stressed post-partum. And it’s really fun when the hospital administration staff come in saying you better give them a name by such-and-such time later today.

Be sure to fully investigate possible negative nicknames. And as I can see you’ve been doing already, make sure you don’t pick a name already in use by friends of yours for their kid.

Also, if you’re planning on having more kids, you’ll need to be thinking about that, too. Are you going to start all your kids’ names with the same letter? Or the starting letter of the parent of the same sex? Will your kids’ names rhyme? Or follow some theme? If you’re going to name this kid after some ancestor, will you intend to do the same for the rest? Should the name be easy to recognize/spell? Or do you want to throw in some funky letters?

Whatever you do, please come back and tell us what you chose.

mollydrew's avatar

I thought of another, my grandson is…......Zane

Nullo's avatar

By all that is good, do not go with something that’s obviously a last name. I have a semi-cousin whose parents decided that she ought to be called Mackenzie, and another that got called Kennedy. I will never understand why.

Technically, ‘Peter’ is a Greek name meaning ‘small rock.’ Most other New Testament names are similar.

WestRiverrat's avatar

My dad was all for naming my brother Justin Other

Mat74UK's avatar

Whoo hoo!
We are now the proud parents to a 9lb boy named Charlie Joseph (Charlie because we like it and Joseph after my Grandad) born via c-section due to a few complications on 01/11/10.

robmandu's avatar

Hearty congrats! You’ve done well!

Kardamom's avatar

This is great news! I was hoping you would come back to tell us! Now go get some sleep : )

Mat74UK's avatar

Thank you very much folks! I fetch them home in the morning!

janbb's avatar

I love the name Charlie! Enjoy your wonderful new family!

XYZZYtja's avatar

Hi my name is Shane!

janbb's avatar

I have a friend named Shay and I just love that name.

JLeslie's avatar

Shay is great. Like In the Musical Evita., but spelled Che. I knew a girl names Shaye also.

Nullo's avatar

Charles the Great is a religious figure, you know.

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