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100 Cool M Names for Boys

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Move mountains with these names for boys that start with M!

Moms and dads welcoming home a little mischief-maker are in for non-stop excitement – and mess! If you like the letter M, you’re in the right place. Our modern list of boy names that start with M has Midas touch.

From Miguel to Memphis, we’ve provided a wide variety of M names for boys that will make your dreams come true. But competition is fierce, so let’s get a move on. Happy name-picking, and may the odds be ever in your favor!


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100 Cool Male Names That Start with M

Here are 100 magnetic M names for boys to move and motivate you.

Mabon

Mabon is a punchy and unique choice. It’s more commonly a surname, and in a handful of countries, it’s gender-neutral. Mabon ap Modron, is a Welsh mythological figure and the son of Modron. He and his mother were likely divine entities. Using Mabon could add some magic to an already magical occasion.

  • Origin: Welsh, Celtic
  • Meaning: Divine son, great son
  • Pronunciation: MA-bon, MAY-bun
  • Variations: Maben
  • Namesakes: Willie Mabon, an American R&B singer and pianist.
  • Popularity: Mabon does not make the top 1,000 names in the U.S. and is rare worldwide.
Powerful, Mythological, Regal

Mac

Mac is short, with no-frills, and straightforward. What better way to tell your family you’re having a boy than to tell them the baby’s name means “son.” We think they’ll catch on. And don’t worry that Mac is usually a prefix to other longer Gaelic names. It works perfectly fine on its own.

  • Origin: Scottish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Son
  • Pronunciation: MAK
  • Variations: Mack
  • Namesakes: Mac Danzig, an American mixed martial artist. Mac Powell, an American Christian rock singer-songwriter and producer.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Mac ranked 673rd in the U.S., while its variant, Mack, ranked 470th.
Casual, Cute

Maccabee

Most people will associate Maccabee with the Jewish rebel warrior group, the Maccabees. They founded the Hasmonean dynasty and reasserted Judaism in Judea. Despite its intimidating meaning and history, “The Maccabees” just sounds like a band. Nicknames like Mac and Bee soften Maccabee even further. Why not choose Maccabee for your own little warrior in the making?

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Hammer, extinguisher
  • Pronunciation: MAK-uh-bee
  • Variations: Machabee
  • Namesakes: Judah Maccabee, a 3rd-century Jewish priest.
  • Popularity: Maccabee is most prevalent in the U.S. but is rare worldwide.
Badass, Powerful, Rare

Mace

Mace is four letters of raw power. In Irish, Mace is posited as a nickname for Mason, as well as the Old French diminutive of Matthew. Either way, Mace is versatile enough to make it in the modern world.

  • Origin: English, Latin
  • Meaning: Heavy club, aromatic spice
  • Pronunciation: MAY-ss
  • Namesakes: Mace Brown, an American professional baseball player, and coach.
  • Popularity: In 1902, Mace was 776th in the U.S.
Powerful, Cool, Casual

Maclaren

As Maclaren is primarily a surname, its popularity as a first is still growing. MacLaren is the Gaelic form of the English Lawrence, derived from the Latin word “laurentius,” meaning “city of laurels.” Being related to Lawrence might not sound exciting, but the laurel adds a touch of victorious symbolism. Place a wreath of success on your baby with Maclaren.

  • Origin: Scottish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Son of Laren
  • Pronunciation: muu-KLA-rin
  • Variations: MacLaren, McLaren, Mclaren
  • Namesakes: McLaren Smith, a Bermudan cricketer.
  • Popularity: Maclaren is most prevalent in Papua New Guinea and the U.S. but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names.
Traditional, Unusual, Formal

Madden

Madden is a diminutive of the Gaelic word “madadh,” meaning “hound.” This was seen as admirable since Celtic cultures esteemed dogs for their physical abilities and loyalty. In the U.S., Madden placed 824th in 2021. The trend of using Irish and Scottish surnames for first names is probably one of the coolest things ever. After all, they’re badass.

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Little dog
  • Pronunciation: MA-dn, MA-din
  • Variations: Maddin
  • Popularity: Madden first appeared on U.S. charts in 2007 and peaked in 2011 at 544th place.
Playful, Sweet, Traditional

Maddox

Maddox is increasingly in the spotlight thanks to the adopted son of the Jolie-Pitt pair, and not only in the U.S. In England and Wales, Maddox hit 344th in 2021. Your baby may have no relation to Madoc, but they’re definitely fortunate to be your sweet baby boy. Maddox may also mean “generous” based on other Celtic roots.

  • Origin: Welsh, English
  • Meaning: Son of Madoc, fortunate
  • Pronunciation: MA-dux
  • Namesakes: Maddox Jolie-Pitt, the Cambodian-American son of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
  • Popularity: Maddox first hit the U.S. top 1,000 in 2003, steadily rising to 174th in 2021.
Cool, Traditional, Modern

Mael

Mael is one princely pick that might come across differently than intended. Some hear it as “mail,” but there’s a subtle distinction between the first and last syllable. In New Caledonia, it ranked 744th in 2014 and has also appeared in Japanese culture through The Seven Deadly Sins anime. Here, Mael is one of four archangels of the Goddess Clan.

  • Origin: Celtic, Breton
  • Meaning: Prince, chief
  • Pronunciation: MAY-el, MAA-el
  • Variations: Maël, Máel
  • Namesakes: Mael Kaudre, a player for the New Caledonia football team.
  • Popularity: Mael is most prevalent in France, falling just shy of the top 1,000 names.
Regal, Unusual, Exotic

Magnus

Magnus is a weighty Latin option most popular in Sweden, ranking in the top 100 names. Fictional namesake and warlock, Magnus Bane, gives it a magical touch. It works even better as a middle name, but who would pass up the chance to be this cool?

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Great, mighty
  • Pronunciation: MAG-nus
  • Namesakes: Saint Magnus of Cuneo, an Italian Catholic martyr. Magnus the Strong, or Magnus I, an 11th-century Danish duke.
  • Popularity: Magnus first made the U.S. top 1,000 in 2013 and reached 728th in 2021.
Refined, Powerful, Badass

Maguire

Maguire and its variations are almost exclusively used as last names but have fallen into that modern first name trend. For anyone that grew up in the late ’90s, and early 2000s, Lizzie McGuire was the most popular bearer. These days, Tobey Maguire, one of the first actors to play Spiderman, takes that prize.

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Son of the dun-colored one
  • Pronunciation: muh-GWEYE-er
  • Variations: Macguire, Mcguire, McGuire
  • Namesakes: Tobias “Tobey” Maguire, an American actor known for his Spiderman roles.
  • Popularity: Globally, Maguire is rare as a first name.
Unusual, Playful, Traditional
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Mahir

Mahir might be foreign to English ears, but it’s a popular pick in Islamic territories. Our list of guy names that start with M would be incomplete without a few exotic picks. Go with Mahir if you want your son to stand out among western crowds or just like its meaning.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Skillful, expert
  • Pronunciation: MA-hur, MA-her
  • Variations: Maahir, Maher
  • Namesakes: Mahir Agva, a German professional basketball player of Turkish descent. Mahir Sağlık, a Turkish professional football player.
  • Popularity: Mahir is most popular in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Sudan, ranking 549th, 93th, and 546th in 2014, respectively.
Exotic, Modern

Maine

Maine has several etymological origins. It may be an Old French nautical reference to the mainland. Other theories claim that Maine has Finnish roots and means “reputation” or “prestige.” Most in the U.S. will think of the state of Maine with its picturesque, rocky coastlines and abundance of moose. Overall, Maine is a sturdy choice.

  • Origin: Irish, French
  • Meaning: Mainland, residence, dwelling
  • Pronunciation: MAYN
  • Variations: Main
  • Namesakes: Maine mac Cerbaill, an Uisneach king.
  • Popularity: Maine is most popular in Papua New Guinea, ranking 628th in 2014.
Cool, Casual

Malachi

A popular biblical name, Malachi, is going strong. In the Bible, Malachi was a zealous prophet and writer of scripture. The moniker has become so widely used in modern times as to be somewhat removed from its religious roots. This makes it a perfect Bible pick and a casual choice for anybody.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: My (God’s) messenger, messenger of God
  • Pronunciation: MA-luh-keye
  • Variations: Malachai
  • Namesakes: Malachi Olin Jones, a Bermudan cricketer. Malachi, a Jewish prophet.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Malachi placed 167th in the U.S.
Biblical, Religious, Modern

Malcolm

Malcolm has been a highly popular boy’s name in the U.S. throughout the ages, with very slight dips in popularity. It comes from Gaelic roots “máel” which means “devotee of,” and “Coluim,” which is the Scottish version of Columba. Malcolm certainly has gentler roots, but it has an atmosphere of awesomeness — case in point, Malcolm X.

  • Origin: Scottish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Devotee of Saint Columba
  • Pronunciation: MAL-kum, MAL-km
  • Variations: Malcom
  • Namesakes: Malcolm Little, known as Malcolm X, an American human rights activist and Muslim minister. Malcolm James McCormick, stage name Mac Miller, an American rapper, and producer.
  • Popularity: Malcolm ranked 282nd in the U.S. for 2021.
Religious, Cool, Powerful

Malik

Set the throne for your little king with Malik, an Arabic pick with too-cool-for-school vibes. It’s also a surname. One example is Zain Javadd Malik, better known as Zayn Malik, an English singer of Pakistani and Irish descent. The association with the “Bradford Bad Boy” heartthrob only makes Malik better.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: King, master
  • Pronunciation: MA-lihk, muh-LEEK
  • Variations: Maalik, Maleek, Malek, Malyk
  • Namesakes: Sir Malik Ghulam Muhammad, a Pakistani politician and former governor-general of Pakistan.
  • Popularity: In 1996, Malik peaked at 97th in the U.S. and ranked 393rd in 2021.
Exotic, Regal, Cool

Malleus

Stemming from the malleus, a hammer-shaped bone structure in the middle ear, Malleus is not usually a personal epithet. It is more often a surname carried by about 198 people globally. Malleus feels like a Roman painter or philosopher of antiquity and is probably the rarest M name for boys on our list.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Mallet, hammer
  • Pronunciation: MA-lee-us
  • Popularity: Malleus is borne by about two people worldwide, making it extremely rare.
Powerful, Rare, Unusual

Maloney

Maloney is an Irish surname turned first name used by boys and girls alike. Some sources posit that Maloney is Romani for “lightning,” but these claims are unconfirmed. Maloney or one of its variants is perfect if you want a more gender-neutral option.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Descendent of the servant of the church
  • Pronunciation: muh-LOH-nee
  • Variations: Malony, Molony, Moloney
  • Popularity: Maloney is most popular in the U.S. but doesn’t make the top 1,000.
Formal, Religious

Manas

Manas is of Hindu origin and is popular in India, placing in the top 1,000 names. The feminine version is Manasa, meaning “mind,” “intellect,” and so on. Manas is also an Armenian surname, while Mañas is a Spanish surname. Although popular in Indian nations, this unique option might have difficulty breaking into western circles.

  • Origin: Indian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Mind, intellect, skillful, trickery
  • Pronunciation: MAN-us
  • Variations: Mañas
  • Namesakes: Manas Das, an Indian footballer. Manas Mukherjee, an Indian composer. Manas K. Mandal, an Indian cognitive neuropsychologist.
  • Popularity: In 2014, Manas ranked 513th in Kazakhstan and 263rd in Kyrgyzstan.
Unusual, Playful, Exotic

Manasseh

Manasseh is highly popular in many African nations and English-speaking Caribbean islands. It’s also occasionally a surname. In the Bible, Joseph names his firstborn Manasseh, saying, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all the house of my father.” Your baby Manasseh may help you forget any of your struggles too.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: One causing to forget
  • Pronunciation: muu-NA-suh
  • Variations: Menashsheh, Manasses, Menashe
  • Namesakes: Manasseh, the first son of Joseph and a tribal patriarch. Sir Manasseh Masseh Lopes, a Jamaican-born Portugues-British member of parliament.
  • Popularity: In 2014, Manasseh placed 600th in Rwanda and 899th in Ghana.
Unusual, Exotic, Biblical

Manhattan

Place names like Manhattan are popping. Manhattan originally debuted for girls but has been used for boys over the years. It comes from the Munsee Lenape word “manaháhtaan,” meaning “the place where we get bows” or “the place for gathering (wood for) bows.” A good boy’s nickname for Manhattan would be Manny.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: The place for gathering bows
  • Pronunciation: man-HA-tn
  • Popularity: Manhattan is the most popular in the U.S. but doesn’t crack the top 1,000 names.
Modern, Cool
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Manny

Manny is a diminutive of the English Emmanuel and the Spanish Manuel. Both are derivatives of the Hebrew Immanuel. Manny is also very popular in England, Australia, and the U.S., and it’s clear why. Short and easy to say, Manny has the word “man” front and center. You can’t get more macho among male names that start with M!

  • Origin: Hebrew, Old English, Spanish
  • Meaning: God is with us
  • Variations: Mannie
  • Namesakes: Manny Aragon, former New Mexico state senator. Manny Elias, an Indian-born British drummer and record producer.
  • Popularity: Manny ranked 791st in the Philippines and 56th in Micronesia in 2014.
Casual, Religious, Sweet

Mansoor

English-speakers frequently butcher Mansoor as “MAN-sawr” or something similar. For all its triumphant meaning, it doesn’t get nearly enough love and attention in the west. Though more frequently a surname, Mansoor and its multiple versions have also been popular in many Arabic nations as a first. Give Mansoor a go for a shot at victory.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: He who is helped by God and is victorious
  • Pronunciation: mun-SOOR
  • Variations: Mansur, Mensur, Mansour, Mounsor, Monsur
  • Namesakes: Mansoor Ijaz, a Pakistani-American financier, and businessman. Mansoor Ahmed Batt, a Pakistani hockey player.
  • Popularity: Mansoor placed 90th in Bahrain in 2014.
Exotic, Religious

Manuel

Manuel is both familiar and foreign at once. It takes the shortened English form of the Hebrew name Immanuel and gives it exotic Spanish flair. So if Emmanuel just seems a little too long or a tad too formal, try Manuel instead.

  • Origin: Hebrew, Spanish
  • Meaning: God is with us
  • Pronunciation: man-WELL
  • Namesakes: Manuel Luis Quezon, a Filipino lawyer, and politician who served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. Manuel Poppinger, an Austrian ski jumper.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Manuel ranked 320th in the U.S.
Religious, Exotic, Refined

Marcel

A fancy French name like Marcel could grow well with your baby into adulthood. From Latin, Marcellus, meaning “belonging to Mars,” Marcel has experienced huge fluctuations in France, landing in the 131st spot in 2021. It also ranked 685th in the U.S. for the same year and is popular in the Netherlands, England, and Wales.

  • Origin: Latin, French
  • Meaning: Little warrior, young warrior
  • Pronunciation: maar-SELL, mah-SELL
  • Variations: Marcela
  • Namesakes: Marcel Duchamp, a French artist and writer. Marcel Desailly, a former French football player.
  • Popularity: Marcel placed 17th in Poland and 52nd in Slovenia for 2021.
Powerful, Refined, Sweet

Marcelino

Marcelino is a surname that originated in Spain but has become a beloved boy’s name. It is most prevalent in Mexico and many Spanish-speaking countries but has fallen off the charts in its homeland. Still, Marcelino is a lovely addition to any parent’s list of romantic boy names that start with M. The length makes it work as a middle name too!

  • Origin: Latin, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Young warrior
  • Pronunciation: maar-seh-LEE-noh, mah-seh-LEE-no
  • Namesakes: José Marcelino Bolivar, a former Venezuelan professional boxer. Marcelino dos Santos, a Mozambican revolutionary, poet, and politician.
  • Popularity: Marcelino last ranked in 1983 at 984th in the U.S.
Exotic, Powerful, Unusual

Marcello

Marcello just begs to be said with an Italian accent. After all, it’s most prevalent in Italy, ranking 147th in 2020. Marcello has become a vintage option in the U.S., but we’re sure this little warrior will keep fighting for the top spot.

  • Origin: Latin, Italian
  • Meaning: Young warrior, small hammer
  • Pronunciation: maar-SELL-oh, mah-SELL-oh, mar-CHELL-oh
  • Variations: Marcella, Marcelo
  • Namesakes: Marcello Abbado, an Italian pianist, conductor, and teacher. Marcello Musto, an Italian-Canadian political scientist and sociology professor.
  • Popularity: In 1901, Marcello peaked at 794th place but fell off U.S. charts after 1982.
Powerful, Refined, Cute

Marcellus

Marcellus derives from Marcus, which means “dedicated to the (god) Mars.” It’s a sophisticated pick from antiquity that seems to have stuck around. A fictional namesake is Marcellus, the guard from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Though its role in the play is small, Marcellus makes a strong impression.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Young warrior, dedicated to Mars
  • Pronunciation: maar-SELL-us, mah-SELL-us
  • Namesakes: Marcellus Emants, a Dutch novelist. Marcellus Flemming Berry, an American inventor.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Marcellus ranked 730th in the U.S.
Mythological, Powerful, Formal

Marco

Did someone say Marco? Polo! Alright, enough fun and games. Marco has a pretty serious meaning. This form of Marcus was popular in Venice during the Middle Ages and has found much use in Spanish and Portuguese territories over time. Try Marco if you wish for your son to have an adventurous spirit like his forebear, Marco Polo.

  • Origin: Latin, Italian
  • Meaning: Warlike
  • Pronunciation: MAAR-koh, MAH-koh
  • Variations: Marko
  • Namesakes: Marco Polo, a Venetian merchant, and explorer. Marco Antonio Solís Sosa, a Mexican musician, composer, and record producer.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Marco ranked 20th in Spain and 25th in Italy in 2020.
Casual, Modern, Badass

Marcus

Marcus shows up in Roman myth in the form of Marcus Curtius. He was a young Roman man who sacrificed himself to Hades by leaping into a chasm to appease the gods. After this noble sacrifice, the pit closed over him. Popular in many European territories and throughout the west, Marcus seems to be a derivative of the god Mars.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Warlike
  • Variations: Markus, Markos
  • Namesakes: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, a Roman emperor and philosopher. Marcus Garvey Sr., a Jamaican political activist, orator, and entrepreneur.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Marcus ranked 190th in France and 228th in the U.S.
Cool, Powerful, Regal

Marek

Marek is a West Slavic form of Mark. It’s popular in the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, and Slovakia. Over in the west, Mark is already established. Parents who like Mark’s stability but want to be slightly unconventional can try Marek.

  • Origin: Latin, Polish, Czech
  • Meaning: Warlike, dedicated to Mars
  • Pronunciation: MA-rehk
  • Namesakes: Marek Belka, a Polish politician who served as Poland’s prime minister and finance minister. Marek Kalbus, a German opera singer. Marek Jürgenson, an Estonian politician.
  • Popularity: Marek placed 20th in the Czech Republic in 2016 and 97th in Poland in 2021.
Unusual, Exotic
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Mario

Mario comes from the Roman Marius, stemming from either the god Mars or the Latin root word “mas” or “maris,” meaning “male.” It may also be linked to the Latin word “mare” meaning “sea.” Popular in Spain’s autonomous regions, Catalonia and Galicia, Mario ranked 59th and 19th in 2020, respectively. The most famous fictional bearer is Nintendo’s video game character, Mario.

  • Origin: Latin, Italian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Manly, of the sea
  • Pronunciation: MA-ree-oh, MAH-ree-oh
  • Variations: Mário
  • Namesakes: Mario Lemieux, a former Canadian ice hockey player.
  • Popularity: In 2020, Mario ranked 56th in Italy, and in 2021, it ranked 12th in Spain.
Cute, Playful

Mark

Mark’s popularity might be due to its prominent Bible roots. It crops up in too many countries to list, but in the U.S., it peaked at 6th place between 1959 and 1964. Mark may be right for you if you like to keep it simple.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Warlike, devoted to Mars
  • Variations: Marc
  • Namesakes: Mark Wahlberg, an American actor and former rapper. Mark Hamill, an American actor known for his role as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Mark was 7th in Armenia and 4th in Slovenia.
Cool, Modern, Biblical

Marley

Marley is more popular in the U.S. for girls but ranked in the top 1,000 for boys between 2008 to 2020. Its most famous bearers are Bob Marley and his descendants, though in his case, as a surname. Marley is already loads of fun but gets more unique with its variant, Marleigh, with the same pronunciation.

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: Marten wood, pleasant wood, marshy meadow
  • Pronunciation: MAAR-lee, MAH-lee
  • Variations: Marleigh
  • Namesakes: Marley Watkins, a Welsh professional football player.
  • Popularity: Marley was 129th place in England and Wales and 217th in France for 2021.
Cool, Casual, Cute

Marlon

Let your boy fly high with Marlon. This M name may also stem from Marcus, which would give it the meaning “warlike.” Though it sounds a bit old-fashioned, Marlon has held onto its position in the top 1,000 on U.S. and French charts. We suppose that much like a falcon, Marlon has impressive endurance.

  • Origin: Old French
  • Meaning: Little falcon, little hawk
  • Pronunciation: MAAR-lun, MAH-lon
  • Namesakes: Marlon Brando Jr., an influential American actor. Marlon Williams, an American DJ, rapper, and record producer.
  • Popularity: Marlon last ranked in the U.S. at 985 in 2020 and 257th in France in 2021.
Vintage, Cool

Marlowe

Marlowe may be rare, but in England and Wales, the variant, Marlow, was 682nd for 2021. While all forms of Marlowe are more prevalent as surnames, Marlo is more popular as a girl’s first name. This strangely sweet epithet also means “remnants of a lake.”

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: From the hill by the lake, driftwood
  • Pronunciation: MAAR-loh, MAH-loh
  • Variations: Marlow, Marlo
  • Namesakes: Marlowe Morris, an American jazz pianist and organist.
  • Popularity: Marlowe doesn’t rank in the top 1,000 names worldwide.
Sweet, Cute, Unusual

Marquis

Marquis has a stately air and an additionally refined meaning. If you’re choosing another version of this classy title, try Marques. It’s had more time in the spotlight because of the famous bearer Marques Brownlee, an American tech Youtuber. Both are great and will please your little Lord Marquis either way.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Nobleman, lord of the borderlands
  • Pronunciation: maar-KEE, MAA-kwiss
  • Variations: Marques, Marquise, Marquese
  • Namesakes: Marquis James, an award-winning American journalist, and author. Marquis Grissom, an American former professional baseball player.
  • Popularity: In the U.S., Marquis peaked in 1990 and last ranked in 2019 at 957th.
Exotic, Regal, Modern

Mars

At only four letters and one syllable, Mars is one of the simplest names for boys that start with M. But don’t mistake that simplicity for dullness. Mars is the Roman god of war and everyone’s favorite red planet. Whether a deity or a celestial body, the sky’s the limit for a baby called Mars.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: God of war, male
  • Pronunciation: MAARZ, MAAZ
  • Namesakes: Mars Williams, an American saxophonist. Mars Zakirovich Rafikov, a Soviet cosmonaut.
  • Popularity: Mars is most prevalent in Russia and Kyrgyzstan.
Powerful, Mythological, Cool

Marshall

Marshall is an occupational surname turned first. It stems from Old French Germanic elements, “marah” meaning “horse” and “scalc” meaning “servant.” That background gives legitimacy to Marshall’s Southern twang and stately presence. Not to mention, fans of the rapper, Eminem, might be all too delighted with the celebrity connection.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Horse-keeper, master of horses
  • Pronunciation: MAAR-shull, MAH-shull
  • Variations: Marshal
  • Namesakes: Marshall Mathers, stage name Eminem, an acclaimed American rapper and record producer. Marshall Ambrose Neilan, an American motion-picture actor, director, and producer.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Marshall ranked 471st in England and Wales and 379th in the U.S.
Formal, Modern

Martin

Martin is a highly popular name in many parts of the world, with Europe and the U.S. being the primary culprits. In 2021, it ranked 301st in the U.S. Martin comes from the Late Latin Martinus, which comes from Mars. Although Martin is a popular first name, it’s also a common Scottish Gaelic surname.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Of Mars, warlike
  • Pronunciation: MAAR-tn, MAH-tin
  • Variations: Maarten, Martyn, Marten, Morten
  • Namesakes: Martin Luther King Jr., an African American Baptist minister, and civil rights leader. Martin Gardner, a popular American mathematics and science writer.
  • Popularity: Martin came 1st in Spain and 39th in Hungary for 2021.
Modern, Formal

Martinez

If Dad’s name is Martin, why not ditch Martin Jr. and go for the more festive Martinez? It might not be a common first name, but it’s so cheerful we couldn’t leave it off. Like many other converted surnames, Martinez has only just scratched the surface of its potential.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Son of Martin
  • Pronunciation: maar-TEE-nez, mah-TEE-nez, mar-TEE-ness
  • Variations: Martínez
  • Namesakes: Cliff Martinez, an American musician, composer, and former drummer with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  • Popularity: Worldwide, Martinez is not popular as a first name.
Exotic, Traditional, Playful
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Marvel

Marvel sounds like a newfangled fad, but it’s been around for a while. Though it isn’t as hot on the charts for boys, it last ranked in the U.S. in 1941 for girls. Boy or girl, we can all share in the splendor of this miracle moniker. With superheroes like Captain Marvel on our movie screens, it’s only a matter of time before Marvel takes flight again.

  • Origin: Latin, French
  • Meaning: Miracle, wonder
  • Pronunciation: MAAR-vl, MAH-vl
  • Variations: Marvell, Marvelle
  • Namesakes: Marvel Mills Logan, an American politician and lawyer.
  • Popularity: Marvel doesn’t rank in the U.S. top 1,000 for boy’s names.
Modern, Sweet, Unusual

Masami

Masami is a unisex pick among M names for boys that celebrates beauty perfectly. Other meanings include “considerate beauty” or “gracious beauty.” In western media, Masami is famously a talking cloud character in Cartoon Network’s Amazing World of Gumball.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Become beautiful
  • Pronunciation: muh-SA-mee
  • Namesakes: Masami Kageyama, a Japanese racecar driver. Masami Kurumada, a Japanese manga creator and manga studio founder.
  • Popularity: Masami is most prevalent in Japan at 46th in 2014.
Exotic, Sweet, Playful

Mason

Mason is a sturdy pick, from an English occupational surname given to stone workers. Mason is also very popular in Australia, Canada, Ireland, England, and Wales. Other origins for Mason may include Scottish and French.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Stone-worker
  • Pronunciation: MAY-sun
  • Variations: Masen, Macen, Mayson
  • Namesakes: Mason Musso, an American musician and lead vocalist of Metro Station. Mason Cook, an American actor, best known for his role in Spy Kids.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Mason ranked 14th in the Netherlands, 17th in Scotland, and 18th in the U.S.
Powerful, Cool, Traditional

Mateo

Mateo is a popular Spanish and Croatian form of Matthew from Hebrew, Matityahu. A fancy-sounding fit for your gift from God, Mateo is certainly a proud statement. It separates itself enough from its origin to be unique all on its own.

  • Origin: Spanish, Croatian, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Gift of God
  • Pronunciation: ma-TAY-oh
  • Variations: Matteo
  • Namesakes: Zander Mateo Cassierra Cabezas, a Colombian professional football player. Mateo Chiarino, a Uruguayan actor, writer, and director.
  • Popularity: Mateo ranked 3rd in Spain, 7th in Croatia, and 15th in the U.S. for 2021.
Religious, Exotic, Cute

Mathias

Mathias is a form of the Greek, Matthaios, which stems from the Hebrew, Matityahu. This version is slightly ornate, but if you’re looking for a break from Matthew, Mathias is your next best bet. Mathias had a great run in the top 100 names in Norway, Italy, and Denmark, so it’s proven its worth.

  • Origin: Greek, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Gift of God
  • Pronunciation: muth-EYE-us, ma-TEE-ass
  • Variations: Mattias, Matthias, Matias
  • Namesakes: Mathias Lauridsen, a Danish model. Mathias Bourgue, a French tennis player. Mathias Lauda, an Austrian professional racecar driver.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Mathias came 440th in the U.S.
Religious, Cool

Matthew

Matthew is a well-known Bible-based option for boy names with M. It’s the Anglicized form of the Hebrew, Matityahu. The Bible cites Matthew as an apostle of Jesus and the author of the Book of Matthew, the first book of the Gospels. Matthew has been used for so long by many communities that it has become a staple. Traditionalist parents can’t go wrong here.

  • Origin: English, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Gift of Yahweh, gift of God
  • Pronunciation: MATH-yew
  • Variations: Mathew
  • Namesakes: Matthew the Apostle, a 1st-century Galilean. Matthew McConaughey, an American actor. Matthew Morrison, an American actor, dancer, and singer.
  • Popularity: Matthew ranked 36th in the U.S. for 2021.
Biblical, Traditional, Religious

Maurice

Maurice is something you would expect to hear on an older man, and no boy stays a boy forever. Its etymology suggests a dashing Heathcliff or a charming Othello. On top of that, royals and intellectuals have been dubbed Maurice, truly selling its wise and mature impression.

  • Origin: Latin, French
  • Meaning: Moorish, dark, swarthy
  • Pronunciation: mor-EES
  • Variations: Morris
  • Namesakes: Prince Maurice of Battenberg, a member of the noble Battenberg family and extended British Royal Family. Maurice Blanchot, a French author and philosopher.
  • Popularity: Maurice placed 39th in Belgium and 826th in the U.S. for 2021.
Formal, Refined

Maverick

Think your baby is the most unique and unconventional? Maverick might be your M name of choice. Starting as a surname, it has become a common English word. Let your son’s free-spirited nature shine with Maverick.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Non-conforming, unorthodox, independent
  • Pronunciation: MA-vr-ik, MA-vuh-rik
  • Variations: Maverik, Mavrick, Maveric
  • Namesakes: Maverick Ahanmisi, an American basketball player of Filipino-Nigerian descent. Maverick Banes, an Australian tennis player. Maverick Viñales, a Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle racer.
  • Popularity: Maverick appeared in the U.S. top 1,000 in 1958 and 47th in 2021.
Unusual, Vintage, Badass

Maxim

Maxim is the Slavic form of Maximus. It rolls off the tongue fairly easily and has two nickname options — Max and Maxy. Literary buffs might recognize a maxim as a short statement of truth, and the truth about Maxim is that it’s awesome. Despite being supposedly hard to impress, from 2015 to 2019, its variant, Maksim, ranked in Russia’s top ten.

  • Origin: Latin, Slavic
  • Meaning: The greatest
  • Pronunciation: MAKS-ihm
  • Variations: Maksim, Maxym, Maksym
  • Namesakes: Maxim Gorky, a Russian actor and political activist. Maxim Dlugy, an American chess grandmaster.
  • Popularity: Maxim was in the U.S. top 1,000 from 2000 to 2019, ranking at 985 in 2019.
Powerful, Cool, Unusual

Maximilian

Maximilian stems from the Latin name Maximus, possibly blended with Aemilianus. Two Roman emperors, Maximilian I and II, first put this moniker on a pedestal. A series of dukes, princes, and archdukes continues the prestigious trend, solidifying Maximilian as the name to rule them all. Shorten it to Max to avoid power trips.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: The greatest
  • Pronunciation: MAKS-ih-mill-ee-un
  • Variations: Maximiliano, Maximillian
  • Namesakes: Maximilian I, a 14th-century Holy Roman Emperor. Maximilian Schell, an Australian-born Swiss actor.
  • Popularity: Maximilian ranked 3rd in Austria and 91st in Switzerland for 2020.
Cool, Regal, Powerful
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Maxwell

Maxwell stems from a combination of “magnus,” Latin for “great,” and the Old English “wella,” for “stream.” Maccus was the Scottish version of Magnus, referring to someone living near the stream of “Maccus” or “Mack’s stream.” Thus, the raw etymology can be given as “great stream.”

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: Mack’s stream, great stream
  • Namesakes: Gerald Maxwell Rivera, an American R&B singer-songwriter. Maxwell Cotton, an American actor.
  • Popularity: Maxwell ranked 163rd in England and Wales and the U.S. for 2021.
Traditional, Sweet, Formal

Meinhard

Meinhard is most popular in Germany, the Faroe Islands, and Austria. We don’t know why it isn’t getting more attention in the west when it’s dripping with so much manliness. A possible nickname could be Hardy — like the Hardy Boys or actor Tom Hardy.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Brave, hardy strength
  • Pronunciation: MAY-nart, MEYEN-hart
  • Variations: Meinhardt, Meinhart, Maynard
  • Namesakes: Meinhard St. John, a Faroe Islander actor and model. Saint Meinhard, a German Augustinian canon and the first Bishop of Livonia.
  • Popularity: Meinhard doesn’t appear in the U.S. top 1,000 names.
Powerful, Badass, Exotic

Melbourne

Melbourne is most widely known as an Australian capital city, but it’s also an excellent M name for a boy. Melbourne’s etymology might seem somewhat unexpected but just roll with it. The Australian city, known for its art and culture, got its title from former British prime minister William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. Melbourne likely then comes from Melbourne, Derbyshire.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Mill stream
  • Pronunciation: MELL-burn
  • Variations: Melbourn
  • Namesakes: Melbourne Alexander Gass, a Canadian politician and businessman.
  • Popularity: Melbourne ranked in the U.S. top 1,000 once in 1913 at 984th.
Traditional, Unusual, Vintage

Melchizedek

Melchizedek was a prominent Bible figure, as a king and high priest of God. Many find this pick strange and difficult to pronounce, but it’s fairly simple once you get the swing of it. Melchizedek is most popular in Ghana but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: King of righteousness
  • Pronunciation: mell-KIH-zuh-dek
  • Variations: Melchisedech
  • Namesakes: Melchizedek, the king of ancient Salem and a high-priest of God.
Biblical, Regal, Unusual

Melecio

In true Spanish fashion, Melecio should be said with a “th” sound where the “c” should be. It is derived from the Latinized form of the Greek “Meletios.” If you want to remind your son to be careful without sounding like a nag, just call him Melecio.

  • Origin: Greek, Spanish
  • Meaning: Careful, attentive
  • Pronunciation: mell-IH-see-oh, mell-EE-see-oh
  • Variations: Melesio
  • Popularity: Melecio ranked 925th in Guatemala in 2014.
Exotic, Sweet, Cute

Meliodas

Two fictional namesakes back up Meliodas’ claim to fame. The first is the Arthurian figure and the father of Tristan. The second is the main character of The Seven Deadly Sins anime. This rare name deserves more love if only for its musical tone and elegant feel

  • Origin: Arthurian, French
  • Meaning: Father of Tristan
  • Pronunciation: MELL-ee-oh-duss
  • Variations: Meliadus
  • Popularity: Meliodas does not appear in the U.S. top 1,000 and is rare worldwide.
Rare, Unusual, Mythological

Mello

We think Mello is absolutely adorable with its pleasant nature meanings. The Flemish surname, in the form of “van Mello,” means “grove,” and Mello has also been posited as a variant of Estonian, Meljo. Maybe your baby has black hair or is as beautiful as a scenic woodland. Mello captures that imagery in one concise package.

  • Origin: Portuguese, Belgian
  • Meaning: Blackbird, grove
  • Pronunciation: MEH-loh
  • Variations: Melo
  • Namesakes: Ricardo Mello, a retired Brazilian tennis player.
Cute, Playful, Casual

Melville

Melville seems like a vintage first name trend, as it last ranked in Canada at 98th in 1926. From Scottish origins, Melville is a habitational name that invokes images of badlands. The roguish cowboy vibe is much more appealing between that and a rocking chair.

  • Origin: French, Scottish, Irish
  • Meaning: Bad settlement
  • Pronunciation: MELL-vihl
  • Variations: Melvill
  • Namesakes: Melville Reuben Bissell, an American entrepreneur and inventor of the modern carpet sweeper. George Melville Cooper, an English actor. Melville Lyons, a New Zealand journalist and politician.
  • Popularity: Melville last ranked in the U.S. in 1938 at 963rd.
Traditional, Unusual, Vintage

Memphis

Memphis is the Greek transcription of the ancient Egyptian word “mn-nfr” or “men-nefer,” an ancient capital city of Egypt. In the modern era, Memphis is a city in southwest Tennessee. As far as place names go, Memphis is one of the strongest contenders, as it sounds cool but isn’t too out there. Choose Memphis for its enduring quality.

  • Origin: Egyptian, Greek
  • Meaning: Established, enduring, beautiful
  • Pronunciation: MEM-fss
  • Namesakes: Memphis Depay, a Dutch professional football player.
  • Popularity: Memphis’ most popular year was 2021, ranking 404th in the U.S.
Powerful, Cool, Badass

Mercury

Mercury got its start in the Latin roots “mercari” meaning “to trade,” “merx” meaning “merchandise,” or “merces” meaning “wages.” Mercury was the Roman god of commerce, travelers, messages, and communication. Both the planet nearest the sun and the metallic element received their title from this mythological source. But Mercury might still be rare, as it doesn’t appear on popularity charts.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Trade, commerce
  • Pronunciation: MER-kyew-ree
  • Variations: Mercurio
  • Namesakes: Mercury Hayes, a professional American football and Canadian football player.
Cool, Unusual, Mythological
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Merlin

From Arthurian legends, Merlin is an English transcription of the Latinized form of Welsh, “Myrrdin.” Merlin held its popularity for longer in France, where it ranked 487th in 2011. Why not try out Merlin for your magical little boy? But please, no uninspired party tricks on his birthday!

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Sea fortress, sea hill
  • Pronunciation: MER-lihn
  • Variations: Merlyn
  • Namesakes: Merlin Mann III, an American blogger and podcaster. Merlin Bronques, an American musician, artist, and photo blogger.
  • Popularity: Merlin peaked in the U.S. in 1927 and was last seen in 1972 at 966th.
Mythological, Exotic, Playful

Mervyn

In New Zealand, Mervyn last placed 95th in 1957. In modern times, the Welsh spelling for Mervyn is “Merfyn.” Merfyn probably won’t become popular in the west since it will forever be mispronounced. As for Mervyn, the cool older brother of Mervin, English-speakers will have an easier time saying it. Plus, the “y” makes it look hip.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Famous friend, marrow famous
  • Pronunciation: MER-vihn
  • Variations: Merfyn, Mervin, Merwin
  • Namesakes: Mervyn Wood, an Australian rower and police officer, awarded many honors and distinctions. Mervyn Taylor, a Jewish Irish Labour Party politician.
  • Popularity: Mervyn ranked in the U.S. between 1930 and 1937, falling off the charts after reaching 828th.
Unusual, Vintage, Formal

Messiah

Parents looking for a heavenly option can stop their search here. Messiah is the Greek equivalent of “Christ.” It was almost banned in a 2013 Tennessee court ruling, but has since made it out the other side. Messiah has thrived in the U.S. despite, or perhaps because of, its weighty context.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Anointed one
  • Pronunciation: muu-SEYE-uh
  • Variations: Messias
  • Namesakes: Messiah Harris, an American rapper and son of rapper T.I. Messiah Marcolin, born Bror Jan Alfredo Marcolin, a Swedish band singer.
  • Popularity: Messiah first hit the U.S. top 1,000 in 2005 and peaked in 2021 at 172nd.
Modern, Unusual, Cool

Methuselah

Methuselah was Enoch’s son and Noah’s grandfather, and because of him, the moniker is synonymous with longevity. According to the Bible, he lived to 969 — almost 1,000! Methuselah can carry him through if you wish for your baby to have a long, fulfilling life ahead.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Man of the missile (javelin or spear)
  • Pronunciation: meh-THOO-suu-luh, meh-THOO-zuu-luh
  • Variations: Methusalem, Mathusalam, Metushelach
  • Popularity: Methuselah is most prevalent in Kenya and Liberia but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names.
Powerful, Vintage, Biblical

Micah

Micah is a diminutive of either Michael or Micaiah, and in the latter’s case, it would render the meaning as “Who is like Jehovah?” Although the Bible mentions other Micahs, the most well-known was a minor prophet and contemporary of Hosea and Isaiah. Micah has a youthful energy with its simple and sweet finish.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Who is like God?
  • Pronunciation: MEYE-kuh
  • Variations: Micha, Micajah, Mikhah, Mikhayahu
  • Namesakes: Micah Kogo, a Kenyan long-distance runner. Micah Lincoln Richards, an English professional football player.
  • Popularity: Micah ranked 107th in 2017, 2020, and 2021 in the U.S.
Casual, Cool, Modern

Michael

Though commonly used worldwide, Micheal is an intense name, coming from the archangel in the Bible. Most parents see their baby as a little angel, so Micheal only makes sense. With a tried and tested track record, Micheal is a reliable option, especially in the west.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Who is like God?
  • Pronunciation: MEYE-kll
  • Variations: Micheal, Mikhail
  • Namesakes: Michael Jordan, an American businessman and former professional basketball player. Michael Faraday, an English scientist. Michael Fassbender, an award-winning Irish actor.
  • Popularity: Michael has maintained a spot in the U.S. top 50 since the 1900s and placed 17th in 2021.
Traditional, Formal, Biblical

Miche

Miche comes from the Old English nickname and surname, meaning “meek,” but also derives from the Hebrew name Michael. Put this super cute option on your radar.

  • Origin: English, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Meek, humble, who is like God?
  • Pronunciation: MEE-shuu
  • Namesakes: Miche Phinck, or Mike Fink, a late 18th- to early 19th-century American brawler and river boatman.
  • Popularity: Miche is most prevalent in the Congo.
Sweet, Unusual, Religious

Michelangelo

Michelangelo comes from a combination of the Hebrew-derived Michael and the Italian form of the Greek “angelos.” It translates to “who is like God?” and “angel” or “messenger” respectively. Please don’t be intimidated by its length or properness because Michelangelo is gorgeous and has one of the most esteemed forebears. If fine art is your passion, Michelangelo will let everyone know.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: The messenger “who is like God?”
  • Pronunciation: meye-kll-AN-juh-loh
  • Variations: Michael Angelo
  • Namesakes: Michelangelo Buonarroti, an Italian Renaissance artist and poet. Michelangelo Signorile, an American journalist, author, and radio host.
  • Popularity: Michelangelo ranked 117th in Italy in 2020.
Exotic, Refined, Formal

Midas

Although Midas’ true meaning is unknown, most have associated it with the golden touch of the mythological king. Some versions of this vain king’s story end tragically, while others describe him shedding his power to the river Pactolus. Because of the myth, Midas feels shiny, but more importantly, it bears the nickname Mighty Midas!

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Golden touch
  • Pronunciation: MEYE-duhs
  • Namesakes: Wandert Jacobus Dekkers, known as Midas Dekkers, a Dutch biologist and fiction and non-fiction author.
  • Popularity: Midas’ popularity in the Netherlands has been sporadic, ranking 410th in 2021.
Badass, Cool, Regal

Miguel

Miguel is the Spanish and Portuguese form of the Hebrew-derived Michael. It was quite popular in France at 382nd in 2021 and Portugal at 11th in 2018. In the U.S., its most celebrated namesake is singer Miguel Jontel Pimentel, known by the singular name Miguel.

  • Origin: Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Who is like God?
  • Pronunciation: MEEG-ell
  • Variations: Miguela, Maikel, Micael
  • Namesakes: Miguel de Cervantes, a 15th-century Spanish writer. Miguel Ángel Silvestre, a Spanish actor known for roles in Sense8 and Narcos. Miguel Cabrera, a Venezuelan professional baseball player.
  • Popularity: Miguel ranked 26th in Spain and 195th in the U.S. for 2021.
Religious, Playful, Exotic
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Mika

This Mika is not to be confused with the Japanese female-only Mika, which means “beautiful fragrance.” A boy’s name of Finnish origin, Mika is a diminutive of Mikael, from Michael. Mika is already cute, but if you want a nickname, be prepared for it to be longer than the original. Mickey is likely your only option.

  • Origin: Finnish
  • Meaning: Who is like God?
  • Pronunciation: MEE-kah, MEE-kuh
  • Variations: Miska, Mikah, Mica
  • Namesakes: Mika Chunuonsee, a Wales-born Thai professional football player. Mika Häkkinen, a former Finnish racecar driver. Mika Singh, an Indian singer.
  • Popularity: In the Netherlands, Mika ranked 147th in 2021.
Cute, Religious, Sweet

Mikael

Mikael is the Scandinavian form of the Hebrew-derived Micheal. If you loved the original, the spin-off is even better. Mikael appears as an antagonist in media like The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Regardless of the one or two fictional bad boys, Mikael stays angelic — just like your baby boy!

  • Origin: Scandinavian, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Who is like God?
  • Pronunciation: MEE-ka-el, mee-ka-EL
  • Variations: Mikkel
  • Namesakes: Mikael Åke Persbrandt, a Swedish actor. Mikael Tillström, a former Swedish professional tennis player. Mikael Stanne, a Swedish band musician.
  • Popularity: Mikael ranked once on the U.S. charts at 960th in 2016.
Religious, Cool, Unusual

Miles

Miles seems straightforward enough that it shouldn’t need explaining, but it does have two etymologies. It is an English form of the Germanic, Milo, meaning “merciful,” but also comes directly from the Latin word “miles” meaning “soldier.” A famous fictional namesake is Miles Morales, one of Marvel’s many versions of Spider-man.

  • Origin: Latin, German, English
  • Meaning: Soldier, merciful
  • Variations: Myles
  • Namesakes: Miles Davis III, an American trumpeter and bandleader. Miles Dempsey, a senior British Army officer for both world wars.
  • Popularity: Since its debut, Miles has steadily grown in popularity in the U.S., ranking 54th in 2021.
Casual, Powerful, Modern

Milford

In 1961, Milford ranked in the U.S. for the last time at 932nd, making it an antique. It is an Old English habitational surname and personal name that means what it says. Milford will do the trick if you’d like your baby to be all business all the time.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Ford by a mill
  • Pronunciation: MILL-furd, MILL-fuhd
  • Variations: Milforde, Millford, Millforde
  • Namesakes: Milford Keresoma, a Samoan-born New Zealand rugby player. Milford Burriss, an American businessman and politician. Milford Beagle Jr., a United States Army lieutenant general.
  • Popularity: Milford is most popular in Jamaica but falls shy of the top 1,000 names.
Traditional, Formal, Vintage

Miller

From Middle English, “mille,” Miller is an occupational surname that gained traction as a given name. It’s short and has an air of laid-back coolness. Ranking 482nd in England and Wales, and 591st in the U.S. for 2021, Miller is pretty popular. Try out the epithet Mills if you go with this one.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Mill worker, grinder of grain
  • Variations: Myller, Mueller, Müller, Mühler, Moller, Möller, Møller
  • Namesakes: Miller Huggins, an American professional baseball player. Stanley Miller Williams, an American poet, translator, and editor. Miller M. Duris, an American politician and former mayor.
  • Popularity: Miller was most popular in the U.S. in 1903 at 565th.
Traditional, Casual, Cool

Milton

Milton stems from Old English and is common in English-speaking nations, though its usage is waning in the west. It last placed in Canada’s top 1,000 names in 1929 and New Zealand in 1927. Who knows? Your baby Milton could be the one to bring it back in style.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Mill town, settlement with a mill
  • Pronunciation: MILL-tn, MILL-tun
  • Namesakes: Apollo Milton Obote, a Ugandan political leader. Milton Friedman, an American economist and Nobel Memorial Prize recipient.
  • Popularity: Milton last ranked 935th in the U.S. in 2008, but in Sweden, it ranked 72nd in 2021.
Formal, Traditional, Refined

Miroslav

Miroslav is an option you don’t usually hear in the west. “Miro” translates to “peace” and “slav” is “glory” or “fame,” thus, the meaning can be rendered “one achieving glory through peace.” World peace is a massive goal, but hey, it’s the thought and ambition that counts. Nicknames for Miroslav could include Miro, Slavko, Slava, Mirek, and Miros.

  • Origin: Slavic
  • Meaning: One who celebrates peace
  • Pronunciation: MEE-roh-sluv, MEE-ro-slaav
  • Variations: Mirosław
  • Namesakes: Miroslav, a Serbian nobleman holding the title of “kaznac.” Miroslav Kostadinov, a Bulgarian singer-songwriter.
  • Popularity: In 2016, Miroslav was 43rd in the Czech Republic but hasn’t ranked since.
Cool, Exotic, Badass

Misha

Misha is a diminutive of the Russian name Mikhail, which comes from Michael. In a few English-speaking territories, it has also become a feminine epithet, but it stays masculine in its places of origin. Something about Russian names makes even Misha sound manly and cool. Think Russian bears and extreme winters.

  • Origin: Russian, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Who is like God?
  • Pronunciation: MEE-shuh
  • Variations: Mishka, Mischa
  • Namesakes: Misha Zilberman, an Israeli badminton player. Misha Mansoor, an American musician.
  • Popularity: Misha is most popular in Armenia at 171st in 2014.
Sweet, Religious, Cute

Mitchel

Mitchell has remained the more popular version of Mitchel worldwide. This somewhat forgotten moniker has also been suggested to stem from Middle English “michel,” “mechel,” and “muchel,” meaning “big” or “large.” You don’t need two “Ls” to make Mitchel, so why not try it with just one? And remember, Mitch and Mike, are still respectable nicknames.

  • Origin: English, Scottish
  • Meaning: Who is like God?
  • Pronunciation: MIH-chl
  • Variations: Mitchell
  • Namesakes: Mitchel Musso, an American actor and singer. Mitchel Lee Hyman, known as Mickey Leigh, an American musician and writer.
  • Popularity: In 2002, Mitchel ranked 924th in the U.S. before falling off the charts.
Religious, Vintage, Casual

Mohammed

Muhammad ibn Abdullah is the most prolific bearer of the many Mohammed variations. Its rise to global celebrity status could be attributed to him. With the subsequent spread of Islam, this respectable M name for boys is so popular that it’s become common outside Muslim communities. If you’re uncertain, give Mohammed a shot as a second name.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Praiseworthy, commendable
  • Pronunciation: moh-HUH-med, moh-HUH-mud, moh-HA-med
  • Variations: Muhammad, Muhammed, Mohammad, Mohamed
  • Namesakes: Mohammed Rafi, an Indian playback singer and musician. Mohammed bin Hammam, a Qatari football administrator and former FIFA executive committee member.
  • Popularity: Mohammed ranked 692nd in the U.S. for 2021.
Powerful, Traditional, Religious
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Mojave

A tribal and place name, “Mojave” or “Mohave” comes from “Hamakhaave” or simplified, “Aha macave.” The word “aha” means “water,” and “macave” means “along” or “beside.” This then becomes “people dwelling alongside the water.” We think Mojave is a pretty awesome name to have.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Beside the water
  • Pronunciation: MOH-haa-vee, MUH-haa-vee
  • Variations: Mohave
  • Popularity: Mojave is most prevalent in Israel but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names.
Rare, Exotic, Unusual

Montano

Montano may not be in the U.S. top 1,000 names, but this mountain is no molehill. It’s part of the stage name of Trinidadian musician Machel Montano and comes from Latin, “Montanus.” Montaño is the Spanish variant of Montano, and while both are more popular as surnames, its feminine form, Montana, has made more inroads as a first.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Mountain
  • Pronunciation: mon-TA-noh
  • Variations: Montaño, Montana
  • Namesakes: Montano d’Arezzo, a 13th- to 14th-century artist from Naples.
  • Popularity: Montano is most popular in the Philippines but doesn’t crack the top 1,000 names.
Unusual, Powerful

Monte

Monte is shortened from French, Italian, and Spanish words for “mountain,” but ultimately comes from Latin “mons.” Monte sounds like “MON-tee” in the west, but in its native languages, it’s pronounced “MON-tay.” The Count of Monte Cristo is an 1844 French novel that has seen several other media adaptations and has helped popularize the use of Monte.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Mountain
  • Pronunciation: MON-tee, MON-tay
  • Variations: Monty
  • Namesakes: Monte Hellman, an American film producer, director, and writer. Monte Lipman, an American music industry executive and film producer.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Monte ranked 3rd in Armenia and last ranked 906th in the U.S. in 1990.
Casual, Cute, Modern

Montgomery

Montgomery translates to “Gumarich’s mountain” in Norman French. Gumarich consists of the Germanic elements “guma” meaning “man,” and “ric” meaning “ruler,” “power,” or “mighty.” Montgomery might be too formal for a more laid-back American audience but finds a perfect spot within prim and proper English circles.

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: Ruler’s mountain, mountain of the mighty man
  • Pronunciation: maant-GUM-mer-ee
  • Variations: Montgomerie
  • Namesakes: Edward Montgomery Clift, an American actor. Montgomery Blair, an American politician and lawyer.
  • Popularity: Montgomery fell off the U.S. charts in 1968 but ranked 526th in England and Wales in 2021.
Formal, Regal, Powerful

Moore

Moore comes from an English surname of several origins and meanings. From Middle English, it means “open land,” “bog,” or “marsh,” but from Old French roots, it means “Moorish” or “dark-skinned.” Its Gaelic origins render the meaning “noble” or “great.” In the end, Moore is more widely used as a surname.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Bog, swarthy, Moorish
  • Namesakes: Peter Moore Smith, an American writer and a Pushcart Prize awardee.
  • Popularity: Moore is most popular in the U.S. but doesn’t scratch the top 1,000 names.
Cool, Regal, Casual

Mordechai

Mordechai is a variation of Mordecai, the version that appears in the Bible. He is mentioned as the older cousin of Esther and a loyal servant of King Ahasuerus of Persia. Mordechai and its variations are well-loved in Jewish communities but are a perfect fit for anyone that wants it.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Follower of Marduk
  • Pronunciation: MOR-duh-kye, maw-duh-KYE
  • Variations: Mordecai, Mordechaj
  • Namesakes: Mordechai Werdyger, stage name Mordechai Ben David, a Hasidic Jewish singer-songwriter. Mordechai Shapiro, a Jewish American singer-songwriter.
  • Popularity: Mordechai first appeared on U.S. charts in 2003 and ranked 995th in 2021.
Biblical, Religious, Formal

Morgan

Morgan has been in the U.S. top 1,000 for a longer period for boys than girls, though it has blown up much more for girls. Morgan may also have an additional meaning of “sea defender.” This Welsh nautical pick is ideal for parents who love the briny deep. Sail home with your newest crewmate, Morgan.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Of the sea, sea-born, dweller by the sea
  • Pronunciation: MOR-gn, MAW-gn
  • Variations: Morghan, Morgana, Morgane, Morgen, Morgaine
  • Namesakes: Morgan Freeman, an African American actor and narrator with multiple accolades. Morgan Tsvangirai, a Zimbabwean politician and former prime minister.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Morgan ranked 612th for boys in the U.S.
Sweet, Modern, Powerful

Morocco

The celebrity son of Mike Tyson, Morocco Elijah Tyson, was one of two 2011 births that produced this moniker. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon also gave their son a version of this unique moniker — Moroccan Scott Cannon. Morocco is a bold statement for a young boy, but for travel-loving parents, Morocco’s artisanal crafts and warm desert sands are an enticing inspiration.

  • Origin: African
  • Meaning: The Western Kingdom
  • Pronunciation: muh-RO-koh
  • Variations: Moroccan
  • Namesakes: Morocco Tyson, American son of Mike Tyson.
  • Popularity: Morocco is most popular in Nigeria and the U.S. but does not appear in the top 1,000.
Unusual, Rare, Playful

Morrison

Morrison was recorded in 1910 and 1920 in the U.S., but even then, it didn’t break into the top 1,000. That just goes to show how uncommon it is as a first name. But don’t let the rarity deter you. Morrison is a sturdy option.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Son of Morris/Maurice, dark-skinned, swarthy
  • Pronunciation: MAW-ruh-sn, MO-rih-sun
  • Variations: Morison
  • Namesakes: Morrison Foster, the brother, agent, and biographer of American composer Stephen Foster.
Formal, Traditional, Vintage

Mortimer

Mortimer stems from the Old French “mort” meaning “dead,” “mer” meaning “sea,” and from the Latin “mare.” This refers to a still or stagnant body of water. It gets a bad rap as being for old scrooges, but Mortimer is just classy and vintage. Try the nickname Mort for a more serious mood or Morty for a playful flair.

  • Origin: English, French, Latin
  • Meaning: Dead sea
  • Pronunciation: MOR-tih-mer, MAW-tih-mer, MAW-tee-mer
  • Namesakes: Mortimer Wilson, an American classical music composer. Mortimer Zuckerman, a Canadian-American billionaire media tycoon, and investor.
  • Popularity: Mortimer has been in the U.S. top 1,000 since the early 1900s but fell off after ranking 887th in 1925.
Unusual, Formal, Vintage
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Moses

The biblical figure, Moses, is considered one of the most important prophets of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. This background makes it a powerful option. Picture your little Moses parting figurative seas. If Moses seems too heavy, try using it as a second name.

  • Origin: Egyptian
  • Meaning: Drawn out (of the water), delivered from the water
  • Pronunciation: MOH-zuss, MOW-ziss
  • Variations: Moyses, Moishe, Movses, Moshe
  • Namesakes: Moses Malone, an American basketball player. Moses, a Hebrew leader of Israel, also a lawgiver, prophet, judge, and writer.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Moses ranked 519th in the U.S. and 650th in England and Wales.
Biblical, Refined

Moshe

Moshe is a Hebrew version of Moses that’s become distinct from its origins. Its popularity extends beyond the U.S. and Israel, ranking 871st in England and Wales for 2021. Other forebears include Moshe Katsav, a former president of Israel, and Moshe Dayan, an eye-patch-wearing Israeli military leader. If the eye patch doesn’t sell it, we don’t know what will.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Drawn out (of the water)
  • Pronunciation: MO-shuu
  • Variations: Moses
  • Namesakes: Moshe Ivgy, an Israeli actor and director. Mark Moshe Kasher, an American comedian, writer, and actor.
  • Popularity: Moshe ranked 9th in Israel for 2020 and 484th in the U.S. for 2021.
Cute, Religious, Playful

Moss

Moss is a Middle English form of Moses and a topographical name for someone living near a peat bog. Moss sounds wholesome and cute whether you enjoy nature or like its reference to the biblical figure. Your boy will undoubtedly stand out from the crowd with Moss.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Descendant of Moses, peat bog
  • Variations: Moyses, Moishe, Movses, Moshe
  • Namesakes: Moss Burmester, a New Zealand swimmer and diver. Moss Hart, an American playwright and theater director.
  • Popularity: Moss does not make the U.S. top 1,000.
Casual, Cute, Unusual

Mu

Mu is our entry for a Chinese M name for boys. It’s very cute but it sounds like you’re calling a cow in English. If you can get past the bovine connections, Mu could make a sweet moniker or middle name. Other meanings include “tree” or “wood.” For your growing sapling, maybe Mu is just right.

  • Origin: Chinese
  • Meaning: Admired, adored
  • Pronunciation: MOO
Cute, Exotic, Sweet

Munroe

Globally, Munroe is uncommon. The variant, Monroe, has ranked on U.S. charts since the ’80s but fell off after ranking 947th in 1971. After Mariah Carey called her daughter Monroe in 2011, this male epithet reappeared on U.S. charts in 2012 as a girl’s name. If trend-setting is that easy, why not try it with Munroe?

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: From the mouth of the river Roe
  • Pronunciation: mun-ROH, mun-ROW
  • Variations: Monroe, Munro
  • Namesakes: Munroe Smith, an American jurist and historian.
  • Popularity: Munroe does not appear on popularity charts, with only 230 bearers worldwide.
Rare, Traditional, Formal

Muriel

Worldwide, Muriel is primarily used for girls but has also seen some usage for boys. Muriel is your best bet if you are looking for a softer, prettier pick for a little boy. If you’re already sold, remind any Negative Nellies that Muriel is gender-neutral. For those in the doubters camp, simply play it safe as a middle name.

  • Origin: Irish, English
  • Meaning: Sparkling sea, bright sea
  • Pronunciation: MEW-ree-ull, mew-ree-ELL
  • Variations: Muireall, Muirgheal, Merial
  • Namesakes: Muriel Gustavo Becker, a Brazilian professional football player.
  • Popularity: In 1959, Muriel ranked 468th in France for boys.
Cute, Sweet, Playful

Murphy

Murphy can’t escape the association with Murphy’s Law: “anything that can go wrong, will.” But at least it isn’t Sod’s Law! Still, Murphy is a relatively laid-back choice with ties to the sea. It gets more airtime as a surname, as in the case of Eddie Murphy.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Sea warrior
  • Pronunciation: mer-FEE
  • Variations: Murphey
  • Namesakes: Murphy Jensen, an American former professional tennis player. Murphy Morobe, a South African activist from the anti-apartheid movement.
  • Popularity: Murphy ranked 966th in the U.S. for 2020.
Cool, Powerful, Casual

Murray

Murray might be short, but it has maturity. It fell off the charts in Canada after 1966 and later in 2009 in England and Wales. Murray has become pretty old-school everywhere but Scotland. Trends come and go, so maybe Murray needs a little help getting back on its feet.

  • Origin: Scottish, Irish
  • Meaning: Settlement by the sea
  • Pronunciation: MER-ee, MUH-ree
  • Variations: Moray
  • Namesakes: Murray Bartlett, an Australian actor. Murray Melvin, an English actor and author.
  • Popularity: Murray last ranked in 1975 at 998th in the U.S. but 86th in Scotland in 2021.
Traditional, Vintage

Mustafa

Not to be confused with Disney’s Mufasa of Manazoto origin, Mustafa is a common Muslim name, though both are cool. Mustafa muscles its way to the front for an imposing M name with an exotic air. Meaning “chosen,” it could be ideal for an only child.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Chosen, selected
  • Pronunciation: moos-TA-fa, MOOS-ta-fuh
  • Variations: Moustafa, Mustafah
  • Namesakes: Mustafa Abdul Jalil, a Libyan politician. Mustafa Tlass, a Syrian senior military officer and former minister of defense.
  • Popularity: Mustafa gained traction on U.S. charts in 2001, and in 2021 was 890th.
Powerful, Regal, Exotic

Myron

Myron is an aromatic pick from ancient Greece. There’s a train of celebrated and influential forebears for Myron. A few examples include Saint Myron of Crete, an archbishop, Myron of Eleutherae, a 5th-century Athenian sculptor, and the most recognized, Myron Scholes, a Nobel Prize recipient. In France and some Slavic nations, Myron is more commonly spelled Miron, pronounced “MEE-ron.”

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Myrrh, fragrant oil, perfume
  • Pronunciation: MEYE-ron, MEYE-run
  • Variations: Miron
  • Namesakes: Myron Scholes, a Canadian-American economist. Myron Bruce Bradley, an American water polo player and Olympic bronze-medallist. Myron Markevych, a Ukrainian football manager and former football player.
  • Popularity: Myron last ranked in 2000 at 922nd in the U.S. and 953rd in England and Wales.
Refined, Sweet
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M Names for Boys FAQs

What Is a Unique Boy Name That Starts with M?

Mowgli might be a well-known M name, but it isn’t used often. The feral child, Mowgli, was the main character from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. This likely is where the name first originated.

In the U.S., Mowgli does not appear on popularity charts. Only 50 people worldwide have the name, making it both unusual and exceptionally rare (1). Its meaning is yet to be confirmed!

What Is the Most Popular M Name for a Boy?

Muhammad and Mason are the top contenders for the most popular boy names, with M. Although Mason is highly popular in many places, Muhammad is the 5th most common name worldwide (2). Even its variant, Muhammed, ranked 403rd most common (3).

Muhammad ranked 5th in England and Wales, 47th in Australia, and 306th in the U.S. for 2021 (4). In 2019, it ranked 40th in Canada (5). We could go on, but you get the point! The famous Islamic prophet, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, gave this name weight, and permanency still felt around the globe.

What Is the Most Beautiful Name for a Boy That Starts with M?

Being predominantly used for girls, the unisex name Muriel is possibly the most beautiful M name for boys. Its meaning, “bright sea” or “sparkling sea,” is simply picturesque. Some online forums have described Muriel as “delicate,” “musical,” “pretty,” and “sweet” (6).

Muriel was popular in France during the 1950s as a boy’s name (7). Since it’s mostly used for girls, it may seem unusual for a boy, but many outright masculine names have become gender-neutral in much the same way.

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