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100 Kick-Ass K Names For Boys

Updated
These boy names that start with K will surely be your kryptonite!

Know you’re having a baby boy? Then let’s cut to the chase. Every parent experiences some indecision when naming a child, but at least you’ve chosen the perfect letter to start — K!

We’ve collected a list of catchy K names for boys so you can finally put the matter to rest. Our catalog includes meanings, namesakes, pronunciations, and much more to make picking easier. From classics like Kurt to curiosities like Kolapo, you’re bound to find one that holds the keys to your heart.

Keep reading to find inspiration and insight into the best boy names that start with K.


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100 Cool Male Names That Start with K

Peer into our kaleidoscope of 100 killer K names for boys.

Kaan

Kaan finds its roots in the Turkish Ottoman title of Kağan, which means “King of Kings.” Its influence spans from Germany and the Netherlands to Northern Cyprus and the U.S. Your options for boy names that start with K should always include a royal title or two. So move over, Dad, there’s a new Kaan on the throne!

  • Origin: Turkic
  • Meaning: King, ruler
  • Pronunciation: KAH-n
  • Variations: Khan
  • Namesakes: Kaan Tangöze, a Turkish guitarist and lead vocalist for the rock band Duman. Kaan İnce, a Turkish writer and poet. Kaan Önder, a title-holding Turkish racecar driver.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Kaan ranked 92nd in Bosnia and Herzegovina and 53rd in Turkey.
Regal, Powerful, Majestic

Kabir

The Quran mentions Kabir about 40 times via the root K-B-R. This Islamic pick has ranked on popularity charts for England and Wales since 1996 and was 592nd in 2021. Pair Kabir with Khan (or Kaan) like the film director Kabir Khan, and you’ll get a badass name meaning “great king.” But overall, Kabir is pretty cool on its own.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Great, powerful
  • Pronunciation: kuh-BEE-r
  • Variations: Kabeer
  • Namesakes: Kabir Khan, an Indian screenwriter, director, and cinematographer for Hindi films. Kabir Ali, an English cricketer.
  • Popularity: Kabir first hit the U.S. charts in 2018, ranking 999th, and peaked at 834th in 2021.
Quranic, Strong, Majestic

Kade

Kade has a funny meaning but sounds too cool to crack a smile. Besides, all babies fit that description fairly well. Apart from its Anglo-Saxon origins, Kade might be a diminutive of the Scottish-Gaelic Kaden, a form of Caden, meaning “battler” or “battle.” Another possible meaning stems from the Old German name Kaden, meaning “swamp” or “wetland.”

  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: Round, lumpy
  • Pronunciation: KAYD
  • Variations: Cade
  • Namesakes: Kade Harvey, an Australian cricketer. Kade Simon, stage name Lord Brynner, an award-winning Trinidadian calypsonian.
  • Popularity: Kade was most popular in the U.S. in 2018 at 355th; it ranked 380th in 2021.
Cool, Strong, Playful

Kadeem

Kadeem has two Quranic origins. It’s a form of Qadeem, meaning “ancient,” and is a variant of Kadim, from Kazim, meaning “he who controls his anger.” Both versions portray a sense of maturity that Mom and Dad can be proud of. Give Kadeem a spot on the family tree if you’re hoping for a baby who doesn’t fuss.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: He who controls his anger, ancient, time-honored
  • Pronunciation: kuh-DEEM
  • Variations: Qadeem, Kadim
  • Namesakes: Kadeem Hardison, an American actor. Kadeem Corbin, a Trinidadian football player. Kadeem Allen, an American professional basketball player.
  • Popularity: Kadeem is most popular in Trinidad and Tobago and the U.S., where it last placed 983rd in 1995.
Strong, Wholesome, Modern

Kaden

With various origins and meanings, Kaden seems a little complicated. The most accepted etymology comes from the Anglo-Saxon Cade, meaning “round.” It may also derive from the Irish Cathán or Callan, meaning “battle,” or from the surnames Mac Cadáin or McCadden, meaning “son of Cadán.” Kaden is a stylish option similar to Hayden and Jaden.

  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon, English, Gaelic, Arabic
  • Meaning: Round, fighter, battle, companion
  • Pronunciation: KAY-dun, KAY-den
  • Variations: Kayden, Caden, Caeden, Kaeden
  • Namesakes: Kaden Honeycutt, an American professional stock car driver. Kaden Groves, an Australian professional cyclist. Kaden Hopkins, a Bermudan racing cyclist.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Kaden placed 738th in England and Wales and 260th in the U.S.
Fierce, Cool, Modern

Kael

Kael is a respelling of the Anglicized Cáel from the Irish word “caol,” meaning “slender” or “narrow.” Cáel, a folklore character from Irish mythology, was part of the Fianna, a group of legendary warriors. These days, the variant Kael is borne by about 2,253 people worldwide. Maybe your young Kael will be a real fighter when times get tough.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Slender
  • Pronunciation: KAY-el
  • Variations: Cáel, Cael
  • Namesakes: Kael Mouillierat, a Canadian professional ice hockey player.
  • Popularity: Kael first appeared on U.S. charts in 2006, where it placed 852nd, but fell off after ranking 996th in 2012.
Cool, Unique, Modern

Kaemon

Kaemon comes from Uemon, an archaic court rank name used by samurai. It was prefixed with the kanji “ka,” rendered as either “additional” or “praise/esteem.” Kaemon is uncommon today, even in its homeland, but it still has its fans. Endow your baby with this old-school samurai name and watch him grow into a man of honor.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Additional protection gate, esteemed protection gate
  • Pronunciation: KA-eh-mon
  • Variations: Uemon
  • Popularity: Kaemon has over 400 worldwide bearers and is most prevalent in Japan.
Strong, Unique, Cool

Kai

Kai has independent roots in many languages and cultures and is widely beloved. From Frisian and German, it’s suggested to be a nickname for Nicolaas, Cornelis, Gerhard, or Gaius. Kai may also have Welsh, Hebrew, and Navajo origins. Make your baby a true global citizen with fun and friendly Kai.

  • Origin: Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese
  • Meaning: Sea, triumph, shell
  • Pronunciation: KYE
  • Variations: Cai
  • Namesakes: Kai Cenat III, an American Twitch streamer and YouTuber. Kai Lennox, an American actor. Kai Althoff, a German artist and musician.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Kai was 29th in Australia, 51st in Ireland, and 71st in the U.S.
Refreshing, Modern, Cool

Kain

Kain is a Greek form of the Hebrew Cain, meaning “something produced.” This refers to Eve’s words in the Bible, where she stated about her first son: “I have produced a man with the aid of Jehovah.” Kain isn’t as popular in the U.S. as its cousin, but it still has about 2,021 worldwide bearers.

  • Origin: Greek, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Something produced
  • Pronunciation: KAYN
  • Variations: Cain
  • Namesakes: Kain Bond, an English professional football player. Kain O’Keeffe, an Australian actor.
  • Popularity: Kain last ranked in England and Wales at 811th in 2010.
Cool, Biblical

Kairo

Kairo is teeming with power. It’s an alternative spelling of Cairo, the Anglicized name of Egypt’s capital, which stems from the Arabic al-Qāhirah. The modernized spelling won’t hide the origins of Kairo, as everyone will think of the city and its ancient history. To be clear, that’s a good thing!

  • Origin: English, Arabic
  • Meaning: The victorious, the conqueror
  • Pronunciation: KYE-roh
  • Variations: Cairo
  • Popularity: Kairo had its best year on the U.S. charts in 2021, when it placed 262nd.
Modern, Majestic, Powerful
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Kaiser

Kaiser is the German version of Caesar, the Roman cognomen and ruling title that may have stemmed from the Latin “caesaries,” meaning “hairy.” While Kaiser has moved far from Caesar’s unshaven roots, it still denotes a person of power and authority. Kaiser is well-suited for a baby that demands your admiration and attention.

  • Origin: Latin, German
  • Meaning: Leader, emperor
  • Pronunciation: KEYE-zr, KEYE-zuh
  • Variations: Keiser, Keizer, Kiser, Kayser, Kyser, Kyzer
  • Namesakes: Kaiser Johnson, an American actor and voiceover talent.
  • Popularity: Kaiser ranked 793rd in the U.S. in 2021, while England and Wales ranked 829th in 2020.
Regal, Powerful, Majestic

Kale

Kale brings endless variety. It’s a version of the German surname Kohl or Kehl, meaning “cabbage.” In Greek, it means “beauty” and was one of the Charities. In Marathi, Kale, meaning “black,” stems from the Hindu Sanskrit nickname “kāla.” Finally, Kale is a Hawaiian diminutive of Charles. A famous bearer is Charles “Kale” Ane, a Hawaiian professional American football player.

  • Origin: German, Hawaiian, Greek
  • Meaning: Cabbage, free man, beauty
  • Pronunciation: KAYL
  • Variations: Cale, Kayle
  • Namesakes: Kale Cezario, a Ghanaian politician. Kale Kye-Taung Nyo, a king of Ava and governor of Kalay.
  • Popularity: Kale peaked on U.S. charts in 2008 at 504th and last ranked in 2014 at 971st.
Playful, Refreshing, Cute

Kaleb

Kaleb is an alternative spelling of Caleb from the Hebrew “kelev.” Caleb was likely a nickname or alias used by one of the spies sent to Canaan by Moses in the Bible. Later, it was introduced to America by the Puritans. At some point, someone replaced the “C” with a “K,” and now we have the much cooler Kaleb.

  • Origin: English, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Dog
  • Pronunciation: KAY-leb
  • Variations: Caleb, Chaleb
  • Namesakes: Kaleb Ramsey, a professional American football (gridiron) player. Kaleb Stewart, an American musician, singer-songwriter, and skateboarder. Kaleb Nation, an American writer and YouTuber.
  • Popularity: Kaleb ranked 245th in the U.S. in 2021.
Biblical, Modern

Kal-El

Kal-El was invented by Jewish-American comic authors Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. It’s the Kryptonian birth name of Superman and has been rendered as the “voice/vessel of God.” Some have suggested that it means “son,” but in the fictional Kryptonian language, Kal-El means “star child.” Regardless of the etymology that tickles your fancy, Kal-El will be a surefire conversion starter.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Voice of God
  • Variations: Kal-el, Kalel
  • Namesakes: Kal-El Coppola Cage, the son of American actor Nicolas Cage.
  • Popularity: Kal-El ranked 974th on the U.S. charts in 2021.
Modern, Unique, Strong

Kallik

Kallik is an Inuit option that doesn’t see much use. It does have some literary prestige, though. In the Seekers novel series, one of the main characters is a young polar bear called Kallik. For a quick-witted child, Kallik is one of the sharper-sounding picks among K names for boys.

  • Origin: Inuit
  • Meaning: Lightning
  • Pronunciation: KA-leek, KA-lick
  • Variations: Kalik
  • Popularity: Kallik is borne by about 229 people worldwide.
Cute, Unique, Fierce

Kallinikos

Kallinikos comprises the Greek elements “kalós” meaning “beautiful,” “virtuous,” or “noble,” and “nī́kē” meaning “victory” or “success.” It’s a bit of a mouthful, but Kallinikos perfectly represents the feeling of triumph you get after having a baby. Although it’s an apt pick for your pride and joy, more conservative parents might prefer it as a middle name.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Beautiful victory
  • Pronunciation: kal-EE-nee-kohs
  • Variations: Callinicus
  • Namesakes: Kallinikos, a Jewish-Byzantine architect and chemist.
  • Popularity: Kallinikos is most popular in Greece and Cyprus but falls short of the top 1,000 names in both.
Unique, Regal, Majestic

Kallum

Kallum is an English respelling of the Scottish-Gaelic Callum or Calum. The original name was meant to commemorate a saint called Columba, whose name means “dove.” With the image of a soft white dove in mind, Kallum certainly makes a peaceful pick.

  • Origin: English, Scottish, Latin
  • Meaning: Dove
  • Pronunciation: KA-lum, KAY-lum
  • Variations: Kalum, Callum, Calum
  • Namesakes: Kallum Higginbotham, an English professional football player. Kallum Mantack, an English professional football player.
  • Popularity: Kallum is most prevalent in England and has about 226 global bearers.
Wholesome, Sweet, Modern

Kamden

Kamden is a modern take on Camden, from an Old English habitational surname. It may have come from the Old English words “campas,” meaning “enclosure,” and “denu” meaning “valley.” Another suggestion is that it means “winding valley.” Nicknames like Kam and Kammy might sound a touch girlish, but they are absolutely adorable, so don’t pass them up!

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Enclosed valley
  • Pronunciation: KAM-den
  • Variations: Camden
  • Namesakes: Kamden Beauchamp, an American actor known for his role in Looper.
  • Popularity: Kamden is most popular in the U.S. and has been in the top 1,000 since 2004, ranking 475th in 2021.
Cute, Refreshing, Modern

Kane

Kane is one of those globetrotter types with a varied background. It’s usually ‌masculine, but in Japanese, where it’s pronounced “KA-neh,” it’s exclusively feminine and is also the word for money. As for the Hawaiian Kāne, this is a cognate of Tāne, meaning “man.” Kane is also an Anglicized version of the surname Ó Catháin, from the Old Irish “cath,” meaning “battle.”

  • Origin: Irish, Japanese, Hawaiian
  • Meaning: Little battler, gold/money, man
  • Pronunciation: KAYN, KA-neh
  • Variations: Kāne
  • Namesakes: Kane Alexander, an Australian singer and TV actor. Kane Brown, an American singer.
  • Popularity: Kane was most popular in the U.S. in 2018 at 319th and placed 329th in 2021.
Cute, Modern, Unique

Kanye

Kanye means “next in line” in Yoruban, but it has several other etymologies. In Igbo (a Nigerian language), it means “let’s give (tribute or praise).” In Zulu and Xhosa, it means “to shine,” while in Hawaiian it means “free.” Kanye certainly has a light and airy feel, which could be perfect for your little, chubby chieftain.

  • Origin: African
  • Meaning: Next in line (to the chieftaincy)
  • Pronunciation: KAN-yay
  • Namesakes: Kanye West, an American rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, and fashion designer.
  • Popularity: In the U.S., Kanye placed 486th in 2004 and 893rd in 2005 but hasn’t appeared since.
Regal, Playful, Unique
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Kapel

Kapel means something different depending on the culture. It’s commonly a Yiddish nickname for Yaakov, the Hebrew form of Jacob. However, Kapel is also a Polish variant of the occupational surname for a musician, Kapela. It may be a Slovenian spelling of “kapelji,” meaning “bullhead” — a type of catfish. Endurance seems to be the name of the game with Kapel.

  • Origin: Polish, Yiddish
  • Meaning: Musician, supplanter
  • Pronunciation: KA-puul, KA-pel
  • Popularity: Kapel is most prevalent in Uganda, with about 1,157 bearers worldwide.
Unique, Strong

Kareem

Kareem occurs in the Quran about 27 times and is one of the more wholesome and spiritual boy names with K. Perhaps, this was once a relatively unknown option outside of the Islamic community, but that’s no longer the case. Kareem has achieved mainstream popularity and even ranked 704th in England and Wales for 2021.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Generous, honorable, kind-hearted, noble
  • Pronunciation: kuh-REEM
  • Variations: Karim, Kerim
  • Namesakes: Karim Aziz, an Egyptian actor. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, an American professional basketball player. Kareem Dennis, stage name Lowkey, is a British rapper and activist.
  • Popularity: Kareem ranked 694th on U.S. charts in 2021.
Wholesome, Quranic, Sweet

Karl

Karl is a Germanic form of Charles, meaning “free man.” Ultimately, it comes from the proto-Germanic “karlaz,” meaning “man.” Karl has fallen off the charts almost everywhere except Denmark, where it placed 2nd in 2021. English-speakers might be used to seeing Carl, but that has a more outdated look. Keep it classy but shake things up with Karl instead.

  • Origin: Scandinavian, German
  • Meaning: Free man
  • Variations: Carl
  • Namesakes: Karl der Große, or Charles the Great in English, a Frankish King and the first Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Karl Albrecht, a German entrepreneur. Karl Becker, a German painter.
  • Popularity: Karl was 2nd in Denmark for 2021 but hasn’t shown up on U.S. charts since 2009.
Classic, Wholesome, Vintage

Karlsson

Karlsson is a Scandinavian patronymic (derived from the father’s first name) that means “son of Karl.” So maybe Dad’s name isn’t Karl or anything remotely close. That’s okay! Karlsson is simply a moniker with a classic feel, and with only about 50 bearers worldwide, it’s pretty rare, too.

  • Origin: Scandinavian, Swedish
  • Meaning: Son of Karl
  • Pronunciation: KARL-sun
  • Variations: Carlsson, Karlson, Karlsen, Carlson, Carlsen
  • Popularity: Karlsson appears most often in Sweden as both a first and last name.
Classic, Strong, Unique

Karmel

Karmel isn’t the same as the sugary syrup you drizzle on dessert. This is the original Hebrew form of Carmel and represents “new grain,” often regarding a fruitful field, vineyard, or orchard. Both a mountain and a now disestablished city carry the revitalizing epithet. Prepare for loads of relaxing time outdoors with your (potentially!) nature-loving baby Karmel.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Orchard
  • Pronunciation: KAR-ml, KAR-mel
  • Variations: Carmel
  • Popularity: Karmel is most popular in Israel and has about 4,698 carriers worldwide.
Biblical, Refreshing, Sweet

Karter

Karter is a modern variant of Carter, an Irish and English occupational surname from the Gaelic word “cairt,” meaning “cart.” Another suggested origin is from the Old French “caret,” meaning “carrier,” but it might also have Germanic roots. Karter could be a perfect descriptor for their favorite shopping activity if you’ve been to the supermarket with your kid.

  • Origin: English, Irish
  • Meaning: Transporter of goods by cart
  • Pronunciation: KAH-tuh, KAR-ter
  • Variations: Carter
  • Namesakes: Kodor Zaher, stage name Karter Zaher, a Lebanese-Canadian singer-songwriter and rapper. Karter Simmons, an American actor.
  • Popularity: Karter ranked 200th for boys in the U.S. in 2021.
Modern, Classic, Cute

Kash

Kash, from Cash, derives from Norman French “casse,” meaning “case,” and was an English occupational surname for a box-maker. In the U.S., Kash is a respelling of the word “cash,” meaning “money.” Beyond its English and French roots, it’s a diminutive of Sanskrit, Akash. With a higher population density, it’s no surprise that Kash is most prevalent in India.

  • Origin: Indian, English
  • Meaning: Sky, universe, box-maker, money
  • Variations: Cash
  • Namesakes: Kash Kade Biermann, son of TV personality Kim Zolciak-Biermann, and American football player, Kroy Biermann.
  • Popularity: Kash first ranked on U.S. charts at 775th in 2008, and in 2021 ranked 240th.
Unique, Cool, Playful

Kasim

Kasim is Islamic and means “one who distributes.” It’s a variant of Qasim, found in the Quran via the root, Q-S-M. A son of the Islamic prophet Muhammad bore this moniker, solidifying its honorableness and fame. Kasim doesn’t rank on U.S. charts yet, but with its uplifting vibe, it may only be a matter of time.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Generous giver, handsome, beautiful and radiant
  • Pronunciation: KA-sim
  • Variations: Kasem, Qasim, Qāsim, Qasem
  • Namesakes: Kasim Sulton, an American guitarist, keyboardist, and band vocalist. Kasim Abid, an Iraqi filmmaker and cinematographer. Kasim Yildiz, a professional football player.
  • Popularity: In 2009, Kasim ranked 972nd in England and Wales but remains most prevalent in India.
Quranic, Wholesome, Sweet

Kasper

Kasper is the Dutch, Danish, and Polish form of Casper. This version derives from Latin Gasper, which may originate from the Hebrew “gizbar.” But ultimately, it stems from the Persian “ganzabara,” meaning “treasurer.” Kasper is also popular in England and Wales at 326th in 2021 and ranked 292nd in the Netherlands in 2022. Kasper isn’t letting its C counterpart steal the spotlight.

  • Origin: Persian, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Treasurer, treasure bearer
  • Pronunciation: KASS-pur
  • Variations: Casper
  • Namesakes: Kasper Jørgensen, a Danish rower. Kasper Ødum, a Danish badminton player. Kasper Søndergaard Sarup, a Danish handball player.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Kasper ranked 26th in Norway and 30th in Finland.
Classic, Modern, Cool

Kastor

We can forgive Kastor for looking and sounding like a type of sugar since it really is unrelated. Kastor comes from the ancient Greek “kékasmai” or “katharós,” and “Kástōr” meaning “one who excels.” Allegedly, Kastor from “kastor” means “beaver,” but this may be less likely as beavers were foreign animals to the Greeks.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: One who excels, one who shines
  • Pronunciation: KA-stawr
  • Variations: Castor
  • Namesakes: Kastor Notter, a Swiss cyclist.
  • Popularity: There are about 1,085 people called Kastor globally.
Refreshing, Unique, Strong
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Katz

Katz is a Jewish surname from an acronym made of the initials of the old Hebrew title, kohen tzedek(q). The seriousness of its meaning contrasts with the laid-back and almost child-like German origin, which stems from Katze, meaning “cat.” The use of Katz as a given name has seen about 439 bearers pop up worldwide.

  • Origin: German, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Cat, priest of righteousness/justice
  • Pronunciation: KATSS
  • Namesakes: Alex Katz, an American visual artist.
  • Popularity: Katz is most popular in the U.S. but doesn’t crack the top 1,000 names.
Playful, Wholesome, Sweet

Kaz

As a diminutive of Cassius, Kaz gets its meaning from the Latin “cassus” meaning “hollow,” “empty,” and “vain.” However, it has been suggested that Cassius means “helmeted warrior.” As a Slavic option, Kaz, a diminutive of Kasimir, can be rendered one of two ways. Either from the proto-Slavic “kaziti,” meaning “to destroy,” or from “kazati,” meaning “to order,” paired with “miru,” meaning “peace.”

  • Origin: Latin, Slavic
  • Meaning: Empty, hollow, destroyer or enforcer (of peace)
  • Namesakes: Kaz James, an Australian singer-songwriter and DJ. Kaz Grala, an American professional stock car racer. Kaz Garas, a Lithuanian-American actor.
  • Popularity: Kaz does not appear on U.S. popularity charts but has over 12,000 bearers worldwide.
Powerful, Unique, Fierce

Kazuo

Kazuo uses the kanji elements “kazu,” meaning “one” or “harmony,” and “o” meaning “male” or “man.” It has been introduced to the west once before but hasn’t made the charts since the early ’20s. Kazuo might be for you if you’re having your first boy or hoping for peace and quiet at home.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: First son, first man, harmonious man
  • Pronunciation: KA-zoo-oh
  • Namesakes: Sir Kazuo Ishiguro, a Japan-born British Nobel Prize-winning novelist, screenwriter, and musician. Kazuo Azuma, a Japanese professional shogi player.
  • Popularity: Kazuo is most popular in Japan but ranked in the U.S. top 1,000 names from 1919 to 1922.
Refreshing, Unique, Strong

Kazuto

Anime lovers will recognize Kazuto as the main character of Sword Art Online, Kazuto Kirigaya. It consists of “kazu,” meaning “one” or “peace/harmony,” and “to,” meaning “human” or “person.” This Japanese option conjures serenity and calm, which all parents crave after bringing a baby home. Maybe little Kazuto will turn out to be the quiet type.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: The first one, peaceful person, harmonious
  • Pronunciation: KA-zoo-toh
  • Namesakes: Kazuto Nakazawa, a Japanese character designer, and anime and video game director. Kazuto Doi, is a Japanese competitive sailor.
  • Popularity: Kazuto is the most popular in Japan and has about 4,259 bearers globally.
Wholesome, Refreshing, Sweet

Keane

Keane comes from Ó Catháin, which stems from “cath” meaning “battle,” and is paired with a diminutive suffix. This results in the meaning: “little battler.” Although Keane is more often used as a surname, it makes for a bright and clear-sounding option as a first. We definitely think you’ll be keen on Keane.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Battler, fighter
  • Pronunciation: KEEN
  • Popularity: Keane was last seen on the charts for England and Wales in 2010 at 744th.
Fierce, Strong, Cool

Keanu

When most people hear Keanu, they instantly think of Reeves. Who wouldn’t want to style their kid after an allegedly immortal movie star? According to English and U.S. charts, Keanu is only increasing in popularity. The most accurate rendering of Keanu is “the coolness” from the Hawaiian article “ke,” meaning “the,” and “anu,” meaning “coolness.”

  • Origin: Hawaiian
  • Meaning: The coolness, cool breeze
  • Pronunciation: keh-ah-noo
  • Variations: Keānu
  • Namesakes: Keanu Reeves, a Canadian actor. Keanu Marsh-Brown, an English professional football player.
  • Popularity: Keanu first appeared on U.S. charts in 1994, where it ranked 756th and was 532nd in 2021.
Refreshing, Unique, Wholesome

Keaton

Keaton is an Old English surname derived from a place name that most likely means “river town.” Another possibility is that it stems from the Cornish “kee,” meaning “hedge” or “bank,” and Old English “tun,” meaning “town.” Keaton matches the look and feel of other stylish contemporary guy names that start with K, like Keanu and Keane.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Place of hawks, river town
  • Pronunciation: KEE-tun
  • Namesakes: Keaton Henson, an English musician, composer, visual artist, and poet. Keaton Jennings, a South African-born English cricketer.
  • Popularity: Keaton placed 735th in the U.S. in 2021 and 898th in England and Wales in 2020.
Cool, Classic

Kedron

Kedron is the Greek spelling of the Hebrew Qidron, which stems from the root “qadar” meaning “to be dark.” Another root suggests “to burn/radiate heat.” Some equate Kedron with “gloominess,” but in context, it’s closer to “dusky.” Kedron and Greek “kedros,” meaning “cedar,” have also been confused. Consequently, the Kidron Valley is sometimes incorrectly labeled the “valley of the cedars.”

  • Origin: Hebrew, Greek
  • Meaning: Dusky, dark
  • Pronunciation: KEH-drun, KEH-dron
  • Variations: Kidron, Cedron, Qidron
  • Namesakes: Kedron of Alexandria, the fourth Patriarch of Alexandria.
  • Popularity: There are about 306 bearers of Kedron worldwide, and it commonly appears in the U.S.
Cool, Unique, Biblical

Keegan

Keegan is an Anglicized form of the Irish-Gaelic surname Mac Aodhagáin, meaning “son of Aodhagán.” This was a nickname for Aodh, which meant “fire” or “fiery.” Feisty babies are often the norm, but if your little one has exceptional energy, maybe it’s time to consider Keegan. It’s already popular throughout the English-speaking world, so give it a go!

  • Origin: Irish, English
  • Meaning: Fire, fiery
  • Pronunciation: KEE-gun
  • Variations: Keagan
  • Namesakes: Keegan Gerhard, an American pastry chef and former TV show host. Keegan Joyce, an Australian singer and actor. Keegan Akin, an American professional baseball player.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Keegan ranked 566th in England and Wales and 494th in the U.S.
Modern, Fierce

Keenan

Keenan is the Anglicized form of Cianán, a diminutive of Cian meaning “ancient.” But Keenan could also mean “possession” in Hebrew. Your baby isn’t old yet, but new parents can be the most possessive and protective type. Keenan is super sweet among names for boys that start with K, especially for those who want to hold their new addition close.

  • Origin: Irish, English
  • Meaning: Ancient
  • Pronunciation: KEE-nun
  • Namesakes: Keenan Cornelius, a Hawaiian jiu-jitsu practitioner. Keenen Wayans, an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker.
  • Popularity: Keenan last ranked 994th in the U.S. in 2020.
Strong, Cool
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Kei

Kei is historically masculine but has started to become gender-neutral. Besides being a standalone option for boys, it’s also used as a nickname for girls called Keiko. Kei’s sweet meanings are attractive, whether you’re spiritual, a traditionalist, or just want to express how precious your baby is. But search for the right fit because other kanji combinations and readings exist.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Respect, blessing, gemstone, joy
  • Pronunciation: KAY
  • Namesakes: Kei Hosoya, a Japanese professional baseball player. Kei Akagi, a Japanese-American jazz pianist. Kei Pilz, a Japanese Michelin star-winning chef and restaurateur.
  • Popularity: Kei is most prevalent in Japan.
Refreshing, Wholesome, Cute

Kelly

Kelly is an Anglicized version of the Irish Ceallach and the surname Ó Ceallaigh. It used to be exclusively masculine, but since the ’60s has also been used for girls. These days, Kelly has disappeared from U.S. charts for boys but remains a mainstay for girls. Despite this, interested parents of young men should still consider the cheerful Kelly.

  • Origin: Irish, English
  • Meaning: Bright-headed, warrior
  • Pronunciation: KEH-lee
  • Variations: Kelley, Kelli, Ceallach, Ceallagh
  • Namesakes: Kelly Bennett, a Zimbabwean cricketer. Kelly Asbury, an American animated film director, writer, and voice actor. Kelly Makin, a Canadian film and TV director.
  • Popularity: Kelly last ranked for boys in the U.S. at 884th in 2002.
Fierce, Cute, Vintage

Kelvin

Kelvin might come from “celeμï,” a cognate of the Welsh “celefyn,” meaning “stem” or “stalk.” However, it might also mean “friend of ships.” Unfortunately, in England and Wales, Kelvin’s popularity died off after 2017. But you won’t forget this pick since the kelvin, named after engineer and physicist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, is a unit of measurement for temperature.

  • Origin: Scottish, English
  • Meaning: Narrow river
  • Pronunciation: KEL-vin
  • Namesakes: Kelvin Mercer, an American rapper and record producer. Kelvin Droegemeier, an American meteorologist and government advisor. Kelvin Harrison Jr., an award-winning American actor.
  • Popularity: Kelvin last appeared on U.S. charts in 2021, where it placed 908th.
Classic, Cute

Ken

In English, Ken is usually a shortened form of the Scottish Kenneth, which means “handsome” or “born of fire.” However, Ken is a standalone name in Japan and is quite popular there. With such sturdy meanings, it’s clear what makes this option so enticing. Ken doll might have marred its reputation in the west, but hopefully, we can move past that.

  • Origin: Japanese, English
  • Meaning: Strong, healthy, handsome, born of fire
  • Namesakes: Ken Akamatsu, a Japanese politician and manga artist known for the manga LoveHina. Ken Okuyama, a Japanese industrial designer and business owner. Ken Uehara, a Japanese film actor.
  • Popularity: Ken last ranked 992nd in the U.S. in 1995.
Vintage, Strong, Classic

Kendall

Kendall comes from a town in England. It’s a pairing of the River Kent with the Old English “dæl” meaning “valley” or “dale.” Although the namesake that usually comes to mind is Kendall Jenner, this is not a girl’s-only club. Such a bright, sunny pick is hard to pass up for parents of both boys and girls.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Valley on the river Kent
  • Pronunciation: KEN-dl
  • Variations: Kendal
  • Namesakes: Kendall Schmidt, an American singer-songwriter and actor. Kendall Grove, an American mixed martial artist. Kendall Holt, an American professional boxer.
  • Popularity: Kendall last ranked in 2018 for boys on U.S. charts at 875th, but is still going strong for girls.
Refreshing, Unique

Kendrick

Kendrick could stem from the Old English given Cyneric, meaning “royal power,” or Cenric, meaning “bold power.” It’s also posited to derive from the Welsh Cynwrig, meaning “chief hero,” or the Gaelic Mac Eanraig meaning “son of Henry.” Whether Dad’s a Henry himself or you expect your boy to stake his claim to the household chieftaincy, classic Kendrick is perfect.

  • Origin: Welsh, Anglo-Saxon, Scottish
  • Meaning: Chief hero, clan leader, son of Henry
  • Pronunciation: KEN-drik
  • Variations: Kenrick
  • Namesakes: Kendrick Lamar, an American rapper. Kendrick Frazier, an American science writer.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Kendrick ranked 888th in England and Wales and 429th in the U.S.
Powerful, Classic, Regal

Kenji

Kenji uses the kanji for “ken,” rendered as “healthy” or “strong,” paired with “ji” meaning “two” or “second.” The “ken” can also be read as “study,” “sharpen,” or “intelligence.” Kenji rolls off the tongue easily, so perhaps that’s why it’s the 459th most common name in the world. Kenji is great for any son, regardless of who came second.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Healthy second (son), wise second (son)
  • Pronunciation: KEN-gee
  • Variations: Kenzi
  • Namesakes: Kenji Ito, a Japanese video game composer and musician. Kenji Doihara, a Japanese army general. Kenji Miyamoto, a Japanese figure skating coach, choreographer, and competitive ice dancer.
  • Popularity: Kenji disappeared from U.S. charts after 1979 and reappeared in 2020, ranking 909th. In 2021 it placed 849th.
Strong, Cool, Wholesome

Kenneth

Kenneth sounds a tad formal and is somewhat vintage in other countries, but it’s doing well on U.S. charts. It is an Anglicized form of the Scottish-Gaelic Coinneach, meaning “handsome” or “fair,” and Old Irish Cináed. Kenneth is such a classic that it’s become the 282nd most popular name in the world. That’s certainly nothing to sneeze at!

  • Origin: Scottish, English
  • Meaning: Handsome, born of fire
  • Pronunciation: KEH-neth
  • Variations: Kennith
  • Namesakes: Kenneth Grahame, a British novelist known for The Wind in the Willows. Kenneth Rogers, an American singer, songwriter, and actor. Kenneth K. Kelley, an American chemist.
  • Popularity: Kenneth has maintained a spot in the top 100 names in the U.S. until 2001 and ranked 258th in 2021.
Classic, Fierce, Strong

Kenshin

Kenshin is popular for the fictional namesake, Rurouni Kenshin, of the Japanese manga and anime series. Your Kenshin might have a hard time living up to his name. But let’s be real — who wouldn’t be overly proud of an epithet borne by a legendary Meiji-era assassin? Nicknames like Ken and Shin come with their own impressive meanings as well.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Healthy and humble, modest truth
  • Pronunciation: KEN-sheen
  • Namesakes: Kenshin Kawakami, a Japanese professional baseball pitcher. Kenshin Sumitaku, a Japanese poet. Uesugi Kenshin, a Japanese feudal lord.
  • Popularity: Kenshin is found most frequently in Japan, with about 3,576 global bearers.
Cool, Unique, Wholesome

Kent

Kent stems from the name of an English county. From the Celtic “cant,” meaning “bordering of a circle,” it is taken to mean “edge,” referring to a “coast.” It isn’t what most people expect from a no-nonsense choice like Kent, but expectations can be wrong. Let Kent conjure a relaxing coastal scene as you gaze at your little one.

  • Origin: Celtic, English
  • Meaning: Coastal land
  • Namesakes: Kent Henry, an American guitarist and songwriter. Kent Nagano, an American orchestral conductor and opera administrator. Kent McWhirter, stage name Kent McCord, an American actor.
  • Popularity: Kent last ranked in the U.S. at 883rd in 2003.
Refreshing, Vintage, Classic
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Kenzo

The fame of Japanese fashion designer Kenzō Takada made Kenzo skyrocket in France, where his fashion company is based. This option overflows with wishes for wholesome qualities like humility, intelligence, and good health. From painters, novelists, and fashion designers, it even seems to have a strong pull toward creative fields. We believe Kenzo could fulfill all your hopes and dreams.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Humble third (son), healthy and strong third, wise third
  • Pronunciation: KEN-zoh
  • Variations: Kenzō
  • Namesakes: Emperor Kenzō, the 23rd Japanese Emperor. Kenzo Okada, a Japanese-American painter. Kenzo Kitakata, a Japanese novelist.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Kenzo peaked on the U.S. charts at 530th and ranked 146th in France and 425th in England and Wales.
Strong, Wholesome, Cool

Kepler

Kepler is transferred from an occupational surname for a hatter or cap maker and comes from Middle High German “kappe.” The more literal meaning, “hooded cloak,” gives it a mysterious air, like an unknown figure heading for an inner sanctum. Yet, Kepler doesn’t make popularity charts as it’s still more common as a surname.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Hooded cloak
  • Pronunciation: KEH-pluh, KEH-plur
  • Variations: Keppler
  • Namesakes: Kepler Orellana, a Venezuelan professional tennis player. Kepler Wessels, a South African-Australian cricket and cricket commentator.
  • Popularity: About 1,173 people are called Kepler worldwide.
Cool, Unique, Strong

Keshawn

Keshawn is an African American invention that combines “ke” with Shawn, an English variant of the Celtic name Sean. Sean comes from the Hebrew John, making this quite a spiritual pick. Not surprisingly, Keshawn is most prevalent in the U.S. However, it might need a reboot as its popularity has dwindled considerably.

  • Origin: English, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Jehovah has been gracious
  • Pronunciation: kee-SHAWN
  • Variations: Keshaun, Keyshawn
  • Namesakes: Keshawn Martin, a professional American football (gridiron) player.
  • Popularity: Keshawn ranked 883rd in 2009 before falling off U.S. charts.
Modern, Wholesome

Keston

Keston was originally a surname, likely from the Old Scandinavian given name, Ketill, and Old English “stān,” meaning “stone.” Some have suggested it is an alternate spelling of Christian solely based on their similar appearances. As Keston is most popular in Trinidad and Tobago, a common nickname that has taken on celebrity status is Kes.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Ketill’s stone, a Christian
  • Pronunciation: KESS-tun
  • Namesakes: Keston Williams, a Trinidadian international football player.
  • Popularity: Keston has about 4,198 global bearers and is most prevalent in Trinidad and Tobago, ranking in the top 1,000 names.
Wholesome, Classic, Strong

Kevin

Kevin is the Anglicized version of the Irish Caoimhín from Cóemgein composed of “cóem” meaning “dear/beloved” or “handsome,” and “gein” meaning “birth.” Kevin has become a meme, not just in the west but also in Germany, where it has garnered a negative perception. That’s unfortunate, given the honorable meaning. Still, Kevin endures as the 199th most popular name in the world.

  • Origin: English, Irish
  • Meaning: Noble birth, beloved birth, handsome birth
  • Pronunciation: KEH-vin
  • Namesakes: Kevin Hart, an American stand-up comedian and actor. Kevin Bacon, an American actor, and musician. Kevin James, an American comedian, and actor.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Kevin was 177th in Poland, 57th in Hungary, and 182nd in the U.S.
Modern, Classic, Sweet

Khabib

Khabib is an Avar form of Habib, used in Uzbekistan, Russia, and Indonesia. Anglophones, beware — the “K” in Khabib is silent, so no more throaty efforts at “ka-BEEB” and “kuh-BEEB.” The mixed martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov is possibly the only famous namesake with this darling epithet. There’s room for your sweetheart to shine with this option that expresses your love.

  • Origin: Avar
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Pronunciation: HA-beeb
  • Variations: Habib
  • Namesakes: Khabib Nurmagomedov, a Russian professional mixed martial artist of Avar descent.
  • Popularity: About 29,261 people are called Khabib worldwide, and it’s most popular in Uzbekistan.
Unique, Sweet, Wholesome

Khalid

Khalid comes from the Arabic “khalada,” meaning “to last forever.” It shouldn’t be confused with the Quranic Khaleed, which has a similar meaning and appearance. The American singer, Khalid, has brought this moniker onto center stage. So now that you’ve been made aware of it, there’s no excuse for omitting Khalid from your baby’s birth certificate.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Eternal, immortal
  • Pronunciation: KA-lid, ka-LEED
  • Variations: Khaled
  • Namesakes: Khalid Robinson, known as Khalid, an American singer-songwriter. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the fourth king and prime minister of Saudi Arabia. Khalid Abdalla, an Egyptian-Scottish actor and activist.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Khalid placed 888th in the U.S.
Powerful, Majestic, Unique

Khalil

Khalil is indirectly mentioned in the Quran through the root KH-L-L. Consequently, it makes for a popular Islamic option. A heartwarming meaning and a wholesome background mean that Khalil also sees much love from the wider community. A baby is a brand-new companion, so why not fill your household with Khalil’s cozy vibe?

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Friend, close companion
  • Pronunciation: ka-LEEL, kuh-LEEL
  • Variations: Khaleel
  • Namesakes: Khalil Duhoki, a Kurdish author. Khalil Fong, a Hong Kong-based Hawaiian singer-songwriter and record producer. Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanese-American writer, poet, and visual artist.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Khalil was 294th on U.S. charts and 410th in England and Wales.
Sweet, Wholesome, Quranic

Kiefer

Kiefer sees transferred use from a German occupational surname. It derives from either the Middle High German “kuofe,” meaning “vat” or “barrel,” or “kien” and “forhe,” meaning “pine tree.” The idea of tall pines and wooden barrels gives Kiefer a homey, down-to-earth feel. Think – sitting in a log cabin before a crackling fireplace while rocking your tiny baby to sleep.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Pine tree, barrel maker
  • Pronunciation: KEE-fuh
  • Namesakes: Kiefer Sutherland, a British-Canadian actor and musician. Kiefer Shackelford, an American Grammy Award-winning pianist. Kiefer Ravena, a Filipino professional basketball player.
  • Popularity: In the U.S., Kiefer ranked 855th in 1990 and 709th in 1991.
Strong, Vintage, Unique

Kieran

Kieran is an Anglicized form of Ciarán, an Irish diminutive of Ciar meaning “black.” This was a descriptive name for a child with darker features. Just look at the American actor Kieran Culkin, with his dark hair and moody brown eyes. You, too, can celebrate your baby’s handsomeness with this beloved Irish pick.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Little dark one, black-haired
  • Pronunciation: KEE-run
  • Variations: Ciaran
  • Namesakes: Kieran Culkin, an American actor and brother of Macaulay Culkin.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Kieran ranked 488th in the U.S.
Sweet, Cool, Modern
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Kilian

Kilian, or Killian, is a Germanic respelling of the Irish Cillian. This comes from the Old Irish “cell,” meaning “church,” combined with a diminutive suffix. Kilian could also derive from the Celtic Ceallach, meaning “bright-headed.” The single “L” version doesn’t make U.S. charts, but at 347th in 2021, the variant Killian is killing it.

  • Origin: German, Irish, Celtic
  • Meaning: Little church, bright-headed
  • Pronunciation: KEE-lee-ahn, KIH-lee-un
  • Variations: Killian, Cillian, Cillín
  • Namesakes: Kílian Jornet, a Spanish athlete. Kilian Elkinson, a Bermudian football player. Saint Kilian, also Cillian or Killian, an Irish missionary bishop and Apostle of Franconia.
  • Popularity: Kilian ranked 60th in Austria in 2021, and 100th in Switzerland in 2020.
Wholesome, Sweet, Cute

Kim

Kim is a nickname for names starting or ending in “kim” and comes with many etymologies and backgrounds. In Scandinavian countries, it is usually a short form of Joakim or Joachim from the Hebrew Jehoiakim. But besides Slovenia, Kim has died off in most places for both boys and girls. Meanwhile, in Korea, it’s commonly used as a surname.

  • Origin: Scandinavian, English, Korean
  • Meaning: Raised up by Jehovah, metal, gold
  • Variations: Gim
  • Namesakes: Kim Kataguiri, a Brazilian politician and activist. Kim Coates, a Canadian–American actor. Kim Bodnia, a Danish actor, writer, and director.
  • Popularity: Kim last ranked in 1985 for boys at 955th in the U.S.
Cute, Wholesome, Playful

King

King is from Old English “cyning,” meaning “tribal leader.” These days, it’s not only a title of position and rank but is often a first name and surname. King ranked 871st in England and Wales in 2021 and floats near the top 100 in the U.S. Dad will soon have some competition for the crown!

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Ruler, monarch
  • Namesakes: John King Fisher, an American gunslinger. King C. Gillette, an American businessman and inventor of a bestselling safety razor.
  • Popularity: King took off on U.S. charts in the mid-2000s and ranked 185th in 2021.
Powerful, Regal, Modern

Kingsley

Kingsley is taken from Cyningesleah, an English surname meaning “king’s wood.” This comes from the Old English “cyning,” meaning “king,” and “leah,” which means “woodland,” “meadow,” or “clearing.” Both versions are pretty badass, but only one won’t come with a slew of mispronunciations and misspellings.

  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: From the king’s wood or meadow
  • Pronunciation: KINGS-lee
  • Variations: Cyningesleah
  • Namesakes: Kingsley Davis, an American sociologist and demographer. Sir Kingsley Amis, an English novelist and poet. Kingsley Ofosu, a Ghanaian stowaway who survived a massacre.
  • Popularity: Kingsley started ranking on U.S. charts in 2010 and was 705th in 2021.
Refreshing, Regal, Modern

Kingston

Kingston was both a place name and surname composed of Old English elements — “cyning,” meaning “king,” and “tun,” meaning “town.” Even Jamaica’s capital city is called Kingston, making this a travel name, too. The atmosphere of coolness doesn’t stop there, though. Kingston also has celebrity status, with Gwen Stefani’s son, Kingston Rossdale, bearing the moniker.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: King’s town
  • Pronunciation: KING-stun
  • Namesakes: Kingston Rossdale, son of celebrities Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale.
  • Popularity: Kingston was 112th in the U.S. for 2021, and 92nd in New Zealand in 2020.
Cool, Modern, Strong

Kinryu

Male names that start with K wouldn’t be complete without a dragon reference, which is why we included Kinryu. This sparkly and majestic moniker hails from Japan and is quite rare. You could say your baby is as precious as gold and as legendary as a dragon. No really — with an epithet like Kinryu, you really could!

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Golden dragon
  • Pronunciation: KIN-ryoo
  • Variations: Kinryuu
  • Namesakes: Kinryu Arimoto, born Yoshitaka Arimoto, a Japanese actor and voice actor.
  • Popularity: Kinryu is most popular in Japan, with about 69 bearers globally.
Regal, Majestic, Fierce

Kipp

Kipp may stem from the English “kipper,” meaning “male salmon,” but it’s more likely a topographic name with German roots. In this case, it likely means “edge,” referring to someone living on a hill. Another possible etymology is the Middle Low German “kip,” meaning “bundle (of hides),” referring to someone whose occupation was fur trading. Regardless, Kipp is just plain cute.

  • Origin: German, English
  • Meaning: Pointed hill/swell
  • Variations: Kip
  • Namesakes: Kipp Marcus, an American actor, screenwriter, and producer.
  • Popularity: Kipp placed 859th in 1968 but hasn’t appeared on U.S. charts since.
Cute, Vintage, Refreshing

Kirby

Type Kirby into the internet search bar, and you’ll be met with a pink ball-shaped creature on a mission to save his home, Planet Popstar. Before Kirby became famous as the round video game character from Nintendo, it was a simple habitational name. Kirby, or Kirkby, stems from the Old Norse “kirkja,” meaning “church,” and “bȳ,” meaning “farmstead” or “village.”

  • Origin: Norse, English
  • Meaning: Farmstead village by a church, church settlement
  • Pronunciation: KUR-bee
  • Variations: Kirkby
  • Namesakes: Kirby Mack, an American professional wrestler. Kirby Larson, an American writer.
  • Popularity: Kirby last ranked in 1996 at 972nd in the U.S.
Cute, Playful, Wholesome

Kirill

Kirill is the Russian form of Cyril, which comes from the Greek Kyrillos. Kyrillos comes from the Greek word “kyrios,” meaning “lord.” It makes sense why this stately epithet does well in Russia and many of the surrounding nations, like Belarus. Who doesn’t want a little lord running about demanding more cookies? Forget Cyril. Pick the more exotic Kirill.

  • Origin: Russian, Greek
  • Meaning: Lord
  • Pronunciation: KEE-reel, KEE-rill
  • Variations: Kirillos, Cyril, Cyrill, Kyrill, Kiril
  • Namesakes: Kirill Kondrashin, a Soviet and Russian orchestral conductor. Kirill Bichutsky, a Russian-American photographer and entrepreneur.
  • Popularity: Kirill occurs most frequently in Russia, ranking 12th in 2019.
Regal, Unique, Cool

Kirk

Kirk is an English and Scottish surname meaning “church,” stemming from the Old Norse “kirkja.” It probably referred to someone who lived nearby a church. Kirk is slightly dated but catchy enough that it could still find a fanbase. If you like the wholesome meaning, but want something more contemporary, make Kirk the middle name.

  • Origin: Norse, Scottish, English
  • Meaning: Church
  • Pronunciation: KURK
  • Namesakes: Kirk Cameron, an American actor. Kirk Hammett, an American musician, band lead guitarist, and songwriter.
  • Popularity: Kirk last ranked in the U.S. at 979th in 2002.
Classic, Wholesome
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Kit

Kit is usually a diminutive of the Anglicized Greek names Christopher and Katherine. Sometimes, though, it can be so much more. Kit is massively popular in England and Wales, ranking 61st in 2021. Using it as a standalone moniker might seem unreasonable, but many nicknames have been there and done that. If you’re feeling brave, try the adorable Kit.

  • Origin: Greek, English
  • Meaning: Bearing Christ, pure
  • Variations: Kitt
  • Namesakes: Christopher Harington, known as Kit Harington, an English actor. Kit Armstrong, an American pianist and composer of British-Taiwanese descent.
  • Popularity: Kit ranked for the last time in 1958 at 921st in the U.S.
Cute, Sweet, Wholesome

Kite

In Greenland, Kite or Kîte is a diminutive of Kîtiorne, which is their version of the Hebrew Gideon. In English, Kite is a surname from Middle English, “kete,” and references the bird of prey known as the kite. Ultimately, these derive from Old English “cyta.” A fictional namesake is the hunter called Kite from the Hunter x Hunter anime and manga.

  • Origin: English, Greenlandic
  • Meaning: Bird of prey, feller, hewer
  • Pronunciation: KYE-t
  • Variations: Kîte
  • Namesakes: Jonathan Kite, an American actor, comedian, and impressionist.
  • Popularity: About 916 people are called Kite worldwide.
Unique, Fierce, Playful

Klaus

Klaus is a diminutive of Nikolaus, from the Greek Nikolaos, and uses the elements “nike,” meaning “victory,” and “laos,” meaning “people.” Your son’s birth is a win for you, your baby, and everyone who supported you along the way. If you feel like a winner, go with Klaus — the sexier version of Claus. Sorry, Santa!

  • Origin: German, Greek
  • Meaning: Victory of the people
  • Pronunciation: KLAH-oos
  • Variations: Claus
  • Namesakes: Klaus Kinski, a German actor. Klaus von Klitzing, a German Nobel Prize-winning physicist. Klaus Voormann, a German artist, musician, and record producer.
  • Popularity: Klaus is most prevalent in Germany, where it placed 20th in 1969.
Cool, Majestic, Classic

Klay

Klay is another spelling of Clay, an English surname that refers to someone who lived near or worked with clay. It’s also a diminutive of Clayton, meaning “clay town” or “clay settlement.” While Clay was once the hip, newfangled name on the block, Klay has snatched up that spot. Everyone knows a K makes it cooler.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Clay, clay worker, clay settlement
  • Variations: Clay
  • Namesakes: Klay Thompson, an American professional basketball player. Klay Hall, an American animation director and artist.
  • Popularity: Klay doesn’t appear on U.S. charts, but in 2021, it placed 907th in England and Wales.
Strong, Modern, Cool

Klein

Klein is from the German word “klein” or Yiddish “kleyn” meaning “little.” At some point, it became a surname and, in modern times, has begun to see use as a first. Klein, like Stein, has an exotic German finish that makes it quite attractive. For a tiny baby, Klein also has the perfect meaning.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Small, little
  • Pronunciation: KLEYE-n
  • Variations: Kline, Cline
  • Popularity: Klein is borne by about 2,081 people worldwide and finds most of its popularity in the U.S.
Cute, Cool, Sweet

Kliment

Kliment is a Slavic form of Klement or Clement from the Latin Clemens, mostly used in Russia, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. Compared to its cousins, Kliment is prettier and more melodious. Even so, it’s quite rare, with only about 1,387 bearers worldwide. Stake your claim on Kliment before everyone, and their grandmother picks it up.

  • Origin: Slavic, Latin
  • Meaning: Merciful, gentle
  • Pronunciation: KLEE-ment
  • Variations: Clement, Klement
  • Namesakes: Kliment Kolesnikov, a Russian swimmer. Kliment Taseski, an Australian football player. Kliment Red’ko, a Ukrainian-Russian scientist, avant-garde artist, and graphic artist.
  • Popularity: Kliment mainly shows up in Bulgaria, with about 1,387 global carriers.
Wholesome, Sweet, Unique

Knox

Knox isn’t complicated. It’s a Scottish surname from places called Knock, but it isn’t the kind of knock you’re thinking of. This version had a Gaelic root — “cnoc” meaning “round hill.” That’s much cuter! So not only does Knox sound cool and have a strength behind it, but it’s also a unique nature name.

  • Origin: English, Scottish
  • Meaning: Round hill
  • Pronunciation: NOKSS
  • Variations: Knoxx, Nox
  • Namesakes: Knox Martin, an American visual artist. Knox Chandler, an American musician and instrumentalist.
  • Popularity: Knox has increased in popularity in the U.S. since 2009 and was 221st in 2021.
Cool, Strong, Refreshing

Koa

Koa is primarily seen as Hawaiian but can also be traced to biblical origins. Koa was a province and people that were to partake in an attack against unfaithful Jerusalem and Judah. Nowadays, the Hawaiian Koa is what most people think of, whether for its laid-back feel or its courageous meaning.

  • Origin: Hawaiian
  • Meaning: Valiant one, warrior
  • Pronunciation: KOH-ah, KOH-uh
  • Namesakes: Koa Dumont, son of American guitarist Tom Dumont. Koa Egan, son of Irish singer Kian Egan.
  • Popularity: Koa first ranked on U.S. charts in 2017 at 937th and placed 546th in 2021.
Fierce, Cute, Unique

Kobe

In 2020, with the passing of basketball player Kobe Bryant, Kobe almost outperformed its best year on U.S. charts. The Japanese etymology of Kobe is difficult to track down. It may come from the Hyogo prefecture’s capital, Kobe, which stems from the word “Kanbe,” an archaic title for supporters of the city’s Ikuta Shrine.

  • Origin: Japanese, Swahili, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Ikuta Shrine supporter, tortoise, supplanter
  • Pronunciation: KOH-beh, KOH-bee
  • Variations: Koby
  • Namesakes: Kobe Bryant, an American professional basketball player. Kobe Goossens, a Belgian cyclist.
  • Popularity: Kobe shot up in popularity in the U.S. in 2020 at 239th and ranked 298th in 2021.
Wholesome, Strong, Cool

Koda

Koda is a short form of the Lakota Sioux, Dakota, meaning “ally/friend.” In the Brother Bear movie and sequel, Koda was a bear cub who became the main character’s adoptive brother and, you guessed it, best friend. Koda, or Kouda, is also a common Japanese surname that may mean “rice paddy of happiness.”

  • Origin: Native American, Japanese
  • Meaning: Friend, companion
  • Pronunciation: KOH-duh, KOH-da
  • Variations: Kota, Kouda
  • Namesakes: Koda Glover, an American professional baseball pitcher.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Koda placed 520th in the U.S. and 888th in England and Wales.
Sweet, Cute, Wholesome
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Kody

Kody is an Anglicized form of the Irish Gaelic Ó Cuidighthigh, meaning “descendant of the helpful one.” It’s also a form of the Irish Mac Óda, meaning “son of Odo.” Odo or Óda is a form of Old High German Otto which means “wealth” or “fortune.” All that aside, Kody sounds fairly modern and far removed from its ancient birthplace.

  • Origin: Irish, English
  • Meaning: Helpful one, wealth
  • Pronunciation: KOH-dee
  • Variations: Cody, Kodi
  • Namesakes: Kody Alec Clemens, an American professional baseball player. Kody Lostroh, an American professional rodeo cowboy. Kody Swanson, an American professional sprint car racer.
  • Popularity: Kody ranked 979th on the U.S. charts in 2021.
Sweet, Modern, Cute

Koen

Koen is a diminutive of Koenraad, a Dutch version of Conrad, meaning “brave counsel.” Since the original comes from Old German elements: “kuoni” meaning “brave” and “rat” meaning “counsel,” Koen just means “brave.” One namesake, Koen Wauters, exemplifies the courage to accept new challenges. He’s tackled an assortment of vocations, from singing and acting to TV presenting and racecar driving.

  • Origin: Dutch
  • Meaning: Brave
  • Pronunciation: KOH-n, KOH-wen
  • Variations: Koert, Coen
  • Namesakes: Koen De Graeve, a Belgian actor. Koen Andries, a Belgian scientist and university professor. Koen De Bouw, a Belgian actor.
  • Popularity: Koen was 261st in the Netherlands in 2022 and last ranked in the U.S. at 993rd in 2021.
Strong, Fierce, Powerful

Kolapo

Kolapo is of Yoruba origins and is an unusual addition to our collection of boy names that start with K. But just because something is new to the west doesn’t mean it’s entirely unheard of. Kolapo is surprisingly not as obscure as one might think, with about 5,636 global bearers on its résumé.

  • Origin: African
  • Meaning: Wealth in abundance, to gather the wealth together
  • Pronunciation: koh-LA-poh
  • Namesakes: Chief Kolapo Olawuyi Ishola, a Nigerian politician.
  • Popularity: Kolapo is most prevalent in Nigeria, with over 5,000 carriers worldwide.
Unique, Strong, Cute

Kolby

Originating as several place names, Kolby eventually found use as a surname and later as a first. It comes from combining the Old Norse nickname Koli meaning “coal” or “dark,” and “býr,” meaning “town.” Kolby might also mean “dark-haired” in Polish and “mace” or “cudgel” in German.

  • Origin: Norse, English
  • Meaning: Coal town
  • Pronunciation: KOHL-bee
  • Variations: Colby
  • Namesakes: Kolby Carlile, a professional American Flat Track racer. Kolby Allard, an American professional baseball player.
  • Popularity: Kolby ranked for the final time in the U.S. at 952nd in 2016.
Cool, Cute

Kolya

Kolya manages to sound both adorable and hip. It’s primarily a Russian diminutive of Nikolai and, like many Russian male nicknames, ends in “a.” This might be strange for some, as names ending in “a” tend to be feminine in the west. Not so with Kolya. New parents can freely bestow this beautiful victory cry on their baby boy.

  • Origin: Slavic, Greek
  • Meaning: Victory of the people
  • Pronunciation: KOHL-ya
  • Variations: Kolja, Colja
  • Popularity: Kolya is most popular in Armenia with about 2,897 bearers worldwide.
Unique, Cute, Strong

Konrad

Konrad is probably the original spelling of Conrad. Both versions ultimately stem from Old German elements: “kuoni,” meaning “brave,” and “rat,” meaning “counsel” or “advice.” You can try nicknames like the time-honored Kurt or the cool-sounding Kuno.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Brave counsel
  • Variations: Conrad
  • Namesakes: Konrad Adenauer, a German statesman and lawyer. Konrad Boehmer, a German-Dutch composer, educator, and author. Konrad Niedźwiedzki, a Polish competitive long-track speed skater.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Konrad placed 31st in Denmark and 90th in Poland.
Strong, Cool, Classic

Konstantin

Konstantin looks like a decorative, and dare we say, festive, version of the English Constantine. Both come from the Latin name Constantinus, which is based on Constans and means “steadfast.” It’s also a little-used surname found mainly in Russia and Germany. If you hope to teach your son the benefits of endurance and consistency, then there’s no better fit than Konstantin.

  • Origin: Latin, Eastern European
  • Meaning: Constant, steadfast
  • Pronunciation: KON-stan-tin, kon-stan-TEEN
  • Variations: Konstantine, Constantin, Constantine
  • Namesakes: Konstantin Korovin, a Russian painter. Konstantin Feoktistov, a Soviet cosmonaut and a space engineer. Konstantin Vsevolodovich, the prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Vladimir.
  • Popularity: Konstantin came 49th in Austria in 2021 and last ranked in Russia at 21st in 2019.
Wholesome, Regal, Strong

Korbin

Korbin is just Corbin but slightly more badass. It comes from a French surname derived from “corbeau,” the French word for “raven.” Anglo-Norman influences mean that it also has English roots with the word “corb,” meaning “crow.” This epithet denotes someone with dark hair.

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: Raven, dark-haired
  • Pronunciation: KOHR-bin
  • Variations: Corbin
  • Namesakes: Korbin Miles, an American actor. Korbin Sims, a Fijian international rugby league football player.
  • Popularity: Korbin was 859th on the U.S. charts in 2021.
Sweet, Cool, Fierce

Koresh

Koresh is a Hebrew form of Cyrus from the Greek Kyros. This was a derivative of the Old Persian Kuruš, which might have meant “young” or “humiliator (of the enemy).” It’s also been associated with the Greek “kyrios,” meaning “lord,” and other suggestions include meanings like “cultivator” or “farmer.” Perceptions and feelings about Koresh run high, and there’s no middle ground.

  • Origin: Hebrew, Persian
  • Meaning: Young, lord
  • Pronunciation: KOHR-esh
  • Variations: Kyros, Kurush
  • Popularity: Koresh has about 590 bearers worldwide and is most popular in India.
Unique, Fierce, Regal

Kovit

Kovit is a Thai option that is still very uncommon and sometimes misunderstood. However, it denotes attributes that any parent would be proud of. If your son is highly skilled at stacking cups, that’s more than enough reason to go with Kovit. Author Rebecca Schaeffer called the deuteragonist of her Market of Monsters novel series Kovit.

  • Origin: Thai
  • Meaning: Skilled, expert, knowledgeable
  • Pronunciation: KOH-veet
  • Variations: Kowit
  • Popularity: Kovit is most prevalent in Thailand, with about 1,197 bearers globally.
Strong, Unique, Wholesome
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Kratos

Kratos hardly gets any use, which is a shame for such an awesome choice. In Greek myth, Pallas and Styx’s son Kratos (Latinized as Cratos) was the personification of strength and power. The original Kratos inspired the anti-hero protagonist of a video game series based on Greek and Norse myth. You’re welcome, God of War fans.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Rule, strength, might
  • Pronunciation: KRAY-tohs
  • Variations: Cratos
  • Popularity: Kratos is borne by about 116 people globally.
Majestic, Powerful, Strong

Kree

Kree is inspired by the Native American Cree tribe, primarily based in Canada. But more often than not, Kree refers to a race of aliens from the Marvel Universe. Wherever this epithet hails from, it certainly is unusual. As a result, Kree is extremely rare.

  • Origin: Native American, English
  • Meaning: Tribal name
  • Variations: Cree
  • Popularity: About 143 people are called Kree worldwide.
Unique, Modern, Playful

Kristoff

Thanks to Disney’s Frozen character Kristoff Bjorgman, the west became aware of this German variant, Christoph. Kristoff ultimately stems from the Greek Christophoros, meaning “bearing Christ.” It still hasn’t made waves on U.S. charts, but one day it just might.

  • Origin: Scandinavian, Greek
  • Meaning: Bearing Christ
  • Pronunciation: KRIS-tuf, KRIS-tof
  • Variations: Kristof
  • Namesakes: Kristoff St. John, an American actor. Kristoff Raczyński, a Russian-born Mexican actor, film producer, and TV host of Polish descent.
  • Popularity: Kristoff is the most popular in Belgium.
Modern, Cool, Wholesome

Kuro

Kuro is the word for “black” in Japanese, but the kanji “ku,” meaning “nine,” and “rō” for “son” can be used to make “ninth son.” Not many people have nine kids, but if you are, congrats! For parents with fewer, Kuro is still a viable option for a baby with dusky features.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Black, ninth son
  • Pronunciation: KOO-roh
  • Variations: Kurō
  • Namesakes: Kuro Tanino, a Japanese theater director and playwright.
  • Popularity: Kuro has about 3,374 bearers globally.
Fierce, Cool, Cute

Kurt

Kurt is a German nickname for Konrad. In Turkish, Kurt means “wolf” and is a surname and given name. The ease of spelling and pronunciation probably made it suitable for a western audience. Kurt Cobain, the American bandman and musician, is possibly the most famous bearer and might continue to be for years.

  • Origin: German, Turkish
  • Meaning: Brave counsel, wolf
  • Variations: Curt
  • Namesakes: Kurt Cobain, an American musician for the band Nirvana. Kurt Arvesen, a Norwegian professional road bicycle racer. Kurt van Heerden, known as Kurt Darren, a South African singer-songwriter.
  • Popularity: In the U.S., Kurt ranked for the last time in 2005, where it was 962nd.
Fierce, Classic, Strong

Kwang-seon

Kwang-seon is Korean in every respect and seems to be exceedingly rare. The only two known bearers are Kwang-Seon Lee and Kwang-seon Kwak — both football players. Coincidence? Probably. Maybe Kwang-seon’s warm and wholesome meaning will encourage others to try it, even if it’s tucked away as a middle name.

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Light and goodness
  • Pronunciation: KWAHng-SAWN
  • Variations: Kwang-sun, Gwang-seon
  • Namesakes: Kwang-Seon Lee, a South Korean football player. Kwang-seon Kwak, a South Korean football player.
  • Popularity: Kwang-seon is limited to Korea, with only two bearers recorded.
Refreshing, Wholesome, Unique

Kyle

Kyle is one everyone has heard of at least once. It derives from a Scottish surname based on place names rooted in the Gaelic “caol,” meaning “narrow,” “slender,” or “strait.” This references the geographic feature of a narrow channel connecting two large bodies of water. Kyle might be popular, but it isn’t overused. We think it still has a long shelf life.

  • Origin: Scottish, English
  • Meaning: Narrows, straight
  • Pronunciation: KEYEL
  • Namesakes: Kyle Chandler, an American actor. Kyle Busch, an American professional stock car racer. Kyle Okposo, an American professional ice hockey player.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Kyle placed 364th in the U.S.
Cute, Playful, Sweet

Kylo

Kylo has been around before the Star Wars villain Kylo Ren graced theater screens. But it seems that the movie character did cause Kylo to skyrocket. In 2021, Kylo ranked 293rd in England and Wales. Your baby deserves a badass epithet that will help him soar to greater heights, so put Kylo on your shortlist.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Sky
  • Pronunciation: KEYE-loh
  • Namesakes: Kylo Turner, an American singer for the Pilgrim Travelers. Kylo Evergreen Maris, the son of American entrepreneur and venture capitalist Bill Maris.
  • Popularity: Kylo popped up on U.S. charts in 2016, where it was 905th, and placed 526th in 2021.
Cool, Refreshing, Modern

Kyo

Kyo is versatile in many ways, with many meanings, and can be used by anyone. It’s a pick that gives a sense of camaraderie and care. It’s said that it takes a village to raise a child, so perhaps that’s the general sentiment of Kyo.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Apricot, village, cooperation, capital city
  • Pronunciation: KYOH
  • Variations: Kyō, Kyou
  • Namesakes: Kyo Maclear, a Canadian novelist and children’s author. Kyō Noguchi, a Japanese professional boxer.
  • Popularity: Kyo is most prevalent in Japan.
Sweet, Refreshing, Cool

Kyung-soo

Kyung-soo is not popular outside South Korea, and the South Korean star Kyung-soo Doh may be the most famous bearer. Under his spotlight, this floral pick could find a spot to grow on western soil. Fans considering Kyung-soo for their children won’t be disappointed with this cheerful moniker.

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Bright and flowering
  • Variations: Kyoung-soo
  • Namesakes: Kyung-soo Doh, stage name D.O., a South Korean singer and actor. Kyung-soo Park, a South Korean TV screenwriter. Kyung-soo Ko, a Korean handball player.
  • Popularity: About 33 people are called Kyung-soo worldwide.
Playful, Sweet, Cute
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K Names for Boys FAQs

What Are Some Unique K Names for Boys?

The Greek name Kallinikos has only about 196 worldwide bearers, while the Korean Kwang-seon has about two known bearers (1). These unusual and rare names mean “beautiful victory” and “light and goodness,” respectively. As for Kallinikos, it may seem complex but is simply pronounced “kal-EE-nee-kohs.”

Despite being relatively well-known, the Greek Kratos is also quite underused, with only 116 global bearers (2).

What Is the Most Common K Name for Boys?

The most common guy name that starts with K is Kai. It is the 173rd most common name in the world, with almost 3 million bearers (3).

Kai has various backgrounds and etymologies from Japanese, Chinese, Welsh, Hawaiian, Hebrew, and Navajo cultures. As a result, it makes many popularity charts, proving its wide use (4).

What Is the Cutest K Name for Boys?

Kit is undoubtedly one of the cutest names for boys that start with K. In specific forums, Kit was frequently described as cute, considering its association with Kit Kat chocolates — making it a sweet option, too (5)!

Kit has ties to baby animals like fox cubs and kittens, which are also called kits. But mostly, Kit is best known as a diminutive of Christopher and Katherine. With the meanings “bearing Christ” and “pure,” this nickname turned standalone name is simply angelic.

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Headshot of Leigha Mayers

About the Author

Leigha Mayers

Leigha-Ceres Mayers is a freelance editor and copywriter from Trinidad and Tobago. Previously a primary school assistant teacher, she went on to acquire a TESOL certification before transitioning to freelancing. Outside of researching baby names, Leigha works alongside her husband, producing and publishing romance sci-fi and fantasy books. As a mum of two, she uses what little spare time she has to create traditional and digital works of art. Her other hobbies include voracious reading, watching anime, and learning new languages.
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