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100 R Names For Boys

Updated
Focus on these awesome boy names that start with R for your rambunctious little lad.

Once you have your heart set on boy names that start with R, your journey is just beginning. R names include some of the most popular names around, from the classic to more modern, unisex choices. How can you narrow it down while not missing any details?

Our fun guide to R names for boys includes all the information you need, neatly categorized for your convenience. You’ll find the entertaining history and unique facts to be able to say yes to the best R name for your little guy.


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100 Popular Male Names That Start with R

Make the right choice with these cool boy names that start with R ahead.

Ra

Ra is the name of the Egyptian sun god who ruled over creation and the afterlife. Ra was portrayed as a falcon and is one of the most fantastic boy names with R around.

  • Origin: Egyptian, Arabic
  • Meaning: Sun
  • Pronunciation: RAA
  • Namesakes: Sun Ra (born Herman Blount), an American jazz composer and leader of “The Arkestra” ensemble.
  • Popularity: Ra is uncommon worldwide and mostly used in India, where it ranked 327th in 2014.
Ancient, Cool

Rabbi

In Judaism, a rabbi is a person qualified to be a religious teacher. It’s also a title of dignity, meaning “master.” In Arabic, Rabbi means “gentle wind.”

  • Origin: Hebrew, Arabic
  • Meaning: Teacher
  • Pronunciation: RAH-Baey
  • Variations: Rabi, Rabbie
  • Popularity: Rabbi is rare worldwide, primarily used in Bangladesh, and ranked 315th in Congo in 2014.
Ancient, Masculine

Rabbit

Rabbit derives from the first name Robert and the English “rabet.” It’s also associated with the French and Dutch “robbe,” itself based on the first name Radbode. Rabbit to us means a cute, cuddly bunny in the form of boy names that start with R.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Rabbit (animal)
  • Pronunciation: RAE-Baht
  • Variations: Rabbyt
  • Popularity: Rabbit is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Congo.
Cute, Unusual

Rachan

Rachan is also an Indian surname meaning “the great king.” Its equally strong female equivalent is Rachana and Rachna for girls.

  • Origin: Indian, Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Creation
  • Pronunciation: Raa-SHAAN
  • Variations: Racham
  • Popularity: Rachan is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Thailand.
Unique, Uncommon

Radcliff

Radcliff was originally a British surname for a person from various places called Ratcliffe, Radcliffe, or Redcliff. It refers to a “red cliff” and may indicate the color of the hills.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Red cliff
  • Pronunciation: RAED-Klihf
  • Variations: Radclif, Radcliffe
  • Popularity: Radcliff is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Formal, Uncommon

Raddix

Raddix may come from the Latin “radix,” meaning “root.” It’s a creation famously used by Cameron Diaz for her daughter that includes “rad,” a surfer term for “awesome.”

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Root
  • Pronunciation: RAD-icks
  • Popularity: Raddix is extremely rare worldwide, with only two occurrences in 2014 and 2019, both in the U.S.
Rare, Modern

Radek

Radek is a Slavic version of the Old German Roderick, meaning “famous ruler.” It’s also a nickname for Slavic names, including “rad,” meaning “merry,” like Radoslav or Radovan.

  • Origin: Slavic
  • Meaning: Famous ruler
  • Pronunciation: Raa-Dehk
  • Namesakes: Radek Martínek, a Czech former ice hockey player for the New York Islanders. Radek John, the Minister of Interior of the Czech Republic from 2010 to 2011.
  • Popularity: Radek is rare worldwide and mostly used in the Czech Republic, ranking 50th in 2014.
Informal, Powerful

Radomir

Radomir is made up of the Slavic “rad,” meaning “joy,” and “mir,” meaning “peace” or “world.” It’s also the name of a town in Bulgaria. Your young Radomir can be known as Rado or Rasha for short.

  • Origin: Slavic
  • Meaning: Famously happy
  • Pronunciation: RAA-doh-Mihr
  • Variations: Radimir
  • Namesakes: Radomir Mihailović, a Serbian guitarist for the band Smak. Radomir Lazović, a member of the National Assembly of Serbia since 2022.
  • Popularity: Radomir is rare worldwide, mainly used in Serbia, and ranked 39th in Montenegro in 2014.
Traditional, Formal

Rafa

Rafa is a common Spanish nickname for Rafael, also very popular in Poland. It’s grown in popularity in the U.S. among Latin populations. Rafa is also an Arabic girl’s name meaning “well-being or prosperity.”

  • Origin: Spanish, Italian
  • Meaning: God has healed
  • Pronunciation: RAEF-ah
  • Variations: Rapha
  • Namesakes: Rafa Mir, a Spanish footballer for Sevilla. Rafa Villar, a Spanish writer who helped found the publishing firm Letras de Cal.
  • Popularity: Rafa is rare worldwide and primarily used in Poland, where it ranked 254th in 2014.
Informal, Unique

Rafferty

Rafferty arose from the Irish Ó Raifeartaigh, meaning “prosperity wielder.” It’s also associated with the surname Raftery, meaning “one who will prosper.”

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Abundance, prosperity
  • Pronunciation: RAEF-er-Tiy
  • Variations: Raffartey, Raffarty
  • Popularity: Rafferty is extremely rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Rare, Cute
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Raffiel

Raffiel is composed of the Hebrew “rāp̄ā,” meaning “he has healed,” and “ēl,” meaning “God.” It’s the most unusual spelling found for otherwise common guy names that start with R on the list.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God has healed
  • Pronunciation: Raa-fiy-Ehl
  • Variations: Rafael, Raphael, Raffaell
  • Popularity: Raffiel is extremely rare worldwide, with 31 occurrences in 2014, mainly in the U.S.
Unique, Ancient

Ragin

Ragin started as a Germanic surname meaning “descendant of Ragin.” It’s a shorter version of vintage names beginning with Ragin, like Raganfrid, Ragingar, and Raginald.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Advice, counsel
  • Pronunciation: RAY-Gin
  • Variations: Regin
  • Popularity: Ragin is very rare worldwide and primarily used in India.
Unusual, Rare

Ragnar

Ragnar is built upon the Old Norse “ragin,” meaning “counsel” and “hari,” meaning “army.” Ragnar also means “judgment” and is most famous for Ragnar Lodbrok, an Old Norse folk hero.

  • Origin: Norse
  • Meaning: Warrior
  • Pronunciation: RAAG-Naar
  • Variations: Ragnor
  • Namesakes: Ragnar Sigurðsson, an Icelandic footballer for the Iceland national team. Ragnar Sohlman, the Swedish creator of the Nobel Foundation.
  • Popularity: Ragnar is rare worldwide, mostly used in Norway, and ranked 1,927th for boys in the U.S. in 2022.
Masculine, Powerful

Rahim

Rahim also means “compassionate” and “loving.” It refers to an “empathetic” and “merciful” person. It’s one of the many names of Allah in Islam.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Kind
  • Pronunciation: Raa-HHIYM
  • Variations: Raheem, Rahime
  • Namesakes: Rahim Jaffer, a Canadian politician in the House of Commons of Canada from 1997 to 2008. Rahim Zafer, a Turkish football player for Beşiktaş JK.
  • Popularity: Rahim ranked 1,624th worldwide, is mainly used in Pakistan and ranked 118th in Iran in 2014.
Traditional, Popular

Raiden

In Japanese mythology, Raiden was another name for Raijin, the god of thunder and lightning. Though not traditionally used outside Asia, it’s gaining in popularity in the U.S. for boys and girls.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Thunder
  • Pronunciation: RAAY-Dehn
  • Variations: Raden, Raidan
  • Namesakes: Han Seok-hyun (known as Raiden), a South Korean DJ known for the 2017 song “Heart of Steel.” Raiden Tameemon (born Seki Tarōkichi), a Japanese sumo wrestler who holds the all-time win ratio record.
  • Popularity: Raiden is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 305th for boys in 2022.
Cool, Powerful

Raijin

Raijin has origins in the Japanese “kaminari,” meaning “thunder,” and “kami,” meaning “God.” The god Raijin hits Taiko drums with large hammers to make the sound of thunder. Sometimes, he has three fingers to symbolize the past, present, and future.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Spirit of thunder
  • Pronunciation: Ray-JHIHN
  • Variations: Raiden
  • Popularity: Raijin is extremely rare worldwide, with only 19 occurrences in 2014, mostly in India.
Powerful, Rare

Rainer

Rainer is a German variation of the Scandinavian Raginheri. It’s composed of the German “ragin,” meaning “advice” and “heri,” meaning “army.” Rainer also means “warrior from the gods” in Norse.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Deciding warrior
  • Pronunciation: Rey-NIHR
  • Variations: Rayner
  • Namesakes: Rainer Åkerfelt, a Finnish sprint canoer who competed at the 1960 Summer Olympics. Rainer Sarnet, an Estonian film director known for the film November (2017).
  • Popularity: Rainer is uncommon worldwide and mainly used in Germany, ranking 166th in 2014.
Masculine, Powerful

Rakem

Rakem is an Arabic variation of Rahim, meaning “kind.” Among male names that start with R, it’s become common with African American men today.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Merciful
  • Pronunciation: Rey-KAHM
  • Variations: Rakeem, Rakim
  • Namesakes: Rakim Sanders, an American basketball player for the Changwon LG Sakers of the Korean Basketball League. Rakim Mayers (known as A$AP Rocky), an American rapper whose album Long. Live. A$AP debuted at number one.
  • Popularity: Rakim is rare worldwide and primarily used in Indonesia.
Ancient, Uncommon

Rakesh

Rakesh is based on the Sanskrit “raka,” meaning “full moon,” and “isha,” meaning “lord” and “ruler.” It’s associated with the Hindu god Lord Shiva and also means “lord of the night.”

  • Origin: Sanskrit, Arabic
  • Meaning: Ruler of the full moon
  • Pronunciation: Raa-KESH
  • Variations: Rajesh
  • Namesakes: Rakesh Bedi, an Indian actor appearing in the film Chashme Buddoor (1981). Rakesh Sharma, an Indian Air Force pilot and the only Indian citizen to travel to space.
  • Popularity: Rakesh ranked 347th worldwide, is mostly used in India, and ranked 17th in Qatar in 2014.
Powerful, Popular

Raleigh

Raleigh also means “dweller at the roe meadow.” Though initially a surname and boy’s name, Raleigh ranked 1,541st for girls in the U.S. in 2021. It’s also the capital city of North Carolina, named after Sir Walter Raleigh.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Meadow of roe deer
  • Pronunciation: RAA-Liy
  • Variations: Rawleigh, Rawle
  • Namesakes: Walter Raleigh Trevelyan, a British author and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Raleigh Gilbert, a British horse racing commentator for ITV.
  • Popularity: Raleigh is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Formal, Uncommon
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Ralph

Ralph originated as the Old Norse Raðulfr and Old English Rædwulf. They’re both made up of “ræd,” meaning “counsel,” and “wulf,” meaning “wolf.” It turned into Radulf and then Ralf, a current spelling variation of Ralph today.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Wolf counsel
  • Pronunciation: RAELF
  • Variations: Ralf, Ralfe
  • Namesakes: Ralph Fiennes, an English actor known for The English Patient (1996). Ralf Bochröder, a German marathon runner who won the 1975 Berlin Marathon.
  • Popularity: Ralph ranked 1,359th worldwide and is primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 1,106th for boys in 2021.
Traditional, Masculine

Ram

In Hindu mythology, Ram is the seventh incarnation of the god Vishnu. In the Bible, Ram is also an ancestor of King David and Jesus. Ram is used as an Indian nickname for Ramdeep and Rama and for the Hebrew Avram.

  • Origin: Sanskrit, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Pleasing, supreme
  • Pronunciation: RAAM
  • Variations: Ramm, Rahm
  • Namesakes: Ram Kapoor, an Indian actor appearing in the TV series Kasamh Se. Ram Charan, an Indian-American business consultant, known for the book Execution.
  • Popularity: Ram ranked 58th worldwide and is mostly used in India, ranking #1 in 2014.
Ancient, Popular

Ramiro

Ramiro has ranked in the top 1,000 names in the U.S. since 1922 and stayed there until 2016. Ramiro also means “renowned counselor” and may be associated with the Latin Ramirus.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Supreme judge
  • Pronunciation: Raa-MIY-Row
  • Variations: Rameero, Ramyro
  • Namesakes: Ramiro Civita, an Argentine cinematographer on the Italian film The Girl by the Lake. Ramiro Costa, an Argentine footballer for the Mexican club Atlante.
  • Popularity: Ramiro is uncommon worldwide, mainly used in Mexico, and ranked 62nd in Bolivia in 2014.
Masculine, Unique

Ramon

Ramon is a Spanish version of the Germanic Raginmund or English Raymond. It’s made up of the Germanic “ragin,” meaning “advice,” and “munt,” meaning “protection.”

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Counsel protection
  • Pronunciation: Raa-MOWN
  • Variations: Raemonn
  • Namesakes: Ramon Tulfo, a Filipino columnist for The Philippine Star. Ramon Tikaram, a British actor known for the soap opera EastEnders.
  • Popularity: Ramon ranked 265th worldwide, is primarily used in Argentina and ranked 7th in the Dominican Republic in 2014.
Popular, Powerful

Ramses

Ramses originally meant “begotten of Ra (the sun god).” As Rameses, it was the name of many Egyptian kings, like Ramses II. Rameses also means “born of Ra” for the most ancient of R names for boys.

  • Origin: Egyptian
  • Meaning: Son of Ra
  • Pronunciation: RAEM-Siyz
  • Variations: Rameses
  • Popularity: Ramses is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Egypt.
Ancient, Rare

Randall

Randall comes from the Old English Randwulf. It’s composed of “rand,” meaning “shield: and “wulf,” meaning “wolf.” Randall is also an Anglo version of the Gaelic surname MacRaghnaill, meaning “son of Raghnall.”

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Shield wolf
  • Pronunciation: RAEN-Dael
  • Variations: Randal, Randel
  • Namesakes: Randall Roach, the mayor of Lake Charles, Louisiana, from 2000 to 2017. Randall Boe, the commissioner of the American Arena Football League since 2018.
  • Popularity: Randall is uncommon worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 1,310th for boys in 2022.
Masculine, Powerful

Ranger

As an English surname, Ranger was an occupational name for a “gamekeeper” or “warden.” It’s based on the Middle English “range(n),” meaning “to dispose of.” Ranger means everything from the Lone Ranger character to the Power Rangers cartoon to the New York Rangers hockey team.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Forest guardian
  • Pronunciation: REYN-Jher
  • Variations: Rainger, Reinger
  • Popularity: Ranger is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Cool, Modern

Ranjit

Ranjit also means “influenced by charm.” Ranjit Singh was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. Ranjit is popular among names for boys that start with R in Asia and also means “conqueror of the battle.”

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Victorious
  • Pronunciation: Raen-JHIYT
  • Variations: Ranjeet
  • Namesakes: Ranjit Fernando, a Sri Lankan cricketer who played in the 1975 Cricket World Cup. Ranjit Desai, an Indian Marathi-language writer, awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1964.
  • Popularity: Ranjit ranked 776th worldwide and is mostly used in India, ranking 90th in 2014.
Traditional, Popular

Raoul

Raoul is the French version of Radulf or Ralph. It appears as Raul in Spanish and also means “red wolf.” Ralph is based on Old Norse but is the strongest of R names for boys who howl at the moon.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Wolf counsel
  • Pronunciation: Raa-UWL
  • Variations: Raul
  • Namesakes: Raoul Heertje, a Dutch panelist on the TV show Dit was het nieuws. Raoul Walsh (born Albert Walsh), an American founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • Popularity: Raoul is rare worldwide and mainly used in France, ranking 548th in 2014.
Masculine, Powerful

Rashid

Rashid also means “having the true faith” and “the high one.” It comes from the Arabic “rashīd,” meaning “wise” and “judicious.” Ar-Rashīd is one of the names of God in Islam, meaning “guide to the right path.”

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Righteous, rightly advised
  • Pronunciation: Raa-SHIYD
  • Variations: Rasheed, Raashid, Rascheed
  • Namesakes: Rashid Yasemi, an Iranian-Kurdish poet and founding member of the Daneshkadeh Literary Society. Rashid Khan Gaplanov, the Minister of Finance of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
  • Popularity: Rashid ranked 772nd worldwide, is mainly used in Pakistan, and ranked 5th in Oman in 2014.
Powerful, Traditional
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Rashne

Rashne is very rare and also appears in Farsi. It’s often associated with Rashnu, one of the three Zoroastrian judges of people’s souls after death.

  • Origin: Arabic, Persian
  • Meaning: A judge
  • Pronunciation: RAESH-ney
  • Variations: Rashnee, Rashnie
  • Popularity: Rashne is extremely rare worldwide, with only 37 occurrences in 2014, mainly in the U.S.
Masculine, Rare

Rasmus

Rasmus is a short form of the first name Erasmus. In Scandinavia, it’s derived from the ancient Greek “erasmos,” meaning “dearest.”

  • Origin: Dutch
  • Meaning: Beloved, desired
  • Pronunciation: RAEZ-Mihs
  • Namesakes: Rasmus Pettersen, a Norwegian gymnast and gold medalist at the 1906 Summer Olympics. Rasmus Rasmussen, the first theater director of Det Norske Teatret in Oslo from 1912 to 1914.
  • Popularity: Rasmus is rare worldwide and primarily used in Denmark, where it ranked 56th in 2014.
Unique, Informal

Rasputin

Rasputin also means “debauched one” when referring to the infamous priest Grigori Rasputin who held sway over the Romanov royal family. Rasputin derives from the Slavic “rasputa,” meaning “an ill-behaved child.”

  • Origin: Russian
  • Meaning: Mystic
  • Pronunciation: Ras-PEW-Tihn
  • Variations: Rasputen, Rasputun
  • Popularity: Rasputin is extremely rare worldwide, with only 40 occurrences in 2014, mostly in the U.S.
Cool, Unusual

Rayburn

Rayburn is better known as a Scottish surname taken from place names in Scotland like Raeburn. It’s made up of “rae,” meaning “roe-deer,” and “burn,” meaning “stream.” Rayburn also means “one who came from Ripponden.”

  • Origin: English, Scottish
  • Meaning: Deer brook
  • Pronunciation: REY-Behrn
  • Variations: Ryburn
  • Namesakes: Rayburn Doucett, a Canadian politician in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1970 to 1995. Rayburn Wright, an American jazz trombonist who produced the book Inside the Score in 1982.
  • Popularity: Rayburn is very rare worldwide, primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 587th in the Cayman Islands in 2014.
Unique, Rare

Raymond

Raymond comes from the Old German Raginmund. It’s composed of “ragin,” meaning “might,” and “mund,” meaning “protection.” Raymond came to England during the Norman conquest and can also mean “protecting hands.”

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Counsel protection
  • Pronunciation: REY-Mond
  • Variations: Raimond
  • Namesakes: Raymond Davis Jr., an American chemist, and co-winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics. Raymond Pichard, a French Dominican priest, and presenter of the show Le Jour du Seigneur.
  • Popularity: Raymond ranked 353rd worldwide and is mostly used in the U.S., ranking 562nd for boys in 2022.
Traditional, Masculine

Rebel

Rebel is based on the Old French “rebelle,” a nickname for a “rebellious” person. Your little one doesn’t need to lead a rebellion to use this coolest of names that start with R.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Defiant person
  • Pronunciation: Reh-BAHL
  • Variations: Rebele, Rebell
  • Namesakes: Rebel Randall (born Alaine Brandes), an American actress who was also the “The Coca-Cola Girl” in the 1940s. Rebel Wilson (born Melanie Bownds), an Australian actress appearing in the film Bridesmaids (2011).
  • Popularity: Rebel is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it’s slightly more common for girls.
Cool, Modern

Reed

Reed was originally a surname given to a person with a red or ruddy complexion or hair color. It’s built upon the Old English “read,” meaning “red.” Reeds that grow along a riverbank also make the best poetic name statement for your baby boy.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Red
  • Pronunciation: REEYD
  • Variations: Reid, Reyd
  • Namesakes: Reed Gershwind, an American deaf swimmer with the most U.S. medals at the Deaflympics. Reed Alexander, an American financial news reporter for Insider.
  • Popularity: Reed is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., ranking 449th for boys in 2022.
Unique, Modern

Reese

Reese is the English spelling of the Welsh boy’s name Rhys. As of the early 2000s, it’s also become a popular girl’s name in the U.S., meaning “enthusiasm.”

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Ardent, fiery
  • Pronunciation: REEYS
  • Variations: Reece
  • Namesakes: Reese Waters, an American comedian, and host of Get Up DC! Reese Lynch, a Scottish boxer and bronze medalist at the 2021 AIBA World Boxing Championships.
  • Popularity: Reese is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 631st for boys in 2022.
Cute, Unique

Regan

Regan also means “descended from kings.” It’s made up of the Gaelic “ri,” meaning “sovereign/king,” and the suffix “-in.” It also refers to “the king’s child” and belonged to one of the daughters in Shakespeare’s King Lear.

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Nobility
  • Pronunciation: REY-Gaen
  • Variations: Reagan
  • Namesakes: Regan Hagar, an American drummer for the band Malfunkshun from 1980 to 1988. Regan Poole, a Welsh footballer for Lincoln City.
  • Popularity: Regan is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 546th in New Zealand in 2014.
Traditional, Cute

Regilio

Regilio was a surname based on the Old German Hrodger, meaning “famous with the spear.” It’s used as a Surinamese and Dutch name mostly today.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Glorious spearman
  • Pronunciation: Reh-JILL-iy-Ow
  • Variations: Rogelio
  • Namesakes: Regilio Jacobs, a Dutch footballer for Dijkse Boys. Regilio Tuur, a Suriname-Dutch boxer and the World Boxing Organization super featherweight champion in 1994.
  • Popularity: Regilio is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Suriname, ranking 651st in 2014.
Masculine, Powerful
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Reginald

Reginald may have originated from the Norman Reynold. It’s associated with the German “ragin,” meaning “decision,” and “wald,” meaning “ruler.” Also meaning “ruler’s advisor,” Reginald has been around since the Middle Ages.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: King
  • Pronunciation: REJH-ih-Nahld
  • Variations: Reynold
  • Namesakes: Reginald Bonham, the English Blind World Chess Champion in 1958. Reginald “Reggie” Miller, an American basketball player for the Indiana Pacers and a gold medalist in the 1996 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Reginald is uncommon worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Traditional, Formal

Regis

Regis also means “kingly” and is a derivative of the Old French “régir,” meaning “to rule or manage.” It was often used for local nobles or as a nickname for someone working in the royal household.

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Regal
  • Pronunciation: RIY-Jhis
  • Variations: Reegis
  • Namesakes: Regis Philbin, an American TV presenter with the Guinness World Record for the most hours on U.S. TV. Regis Masarim, a Brazilian footballer for Kashima Antlers.
  • Popularity: Regis is rare worldwide, mainly used in Brazil, and ranked 202nd in Rwanda in 2014.
Unique, Powerful

Remy

Remy began with the Latin Remigius, taken from “remedium,” meaning “cure.” Remy also means “oarsman” and is growing in popularity globally for boys and girls.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Remedy
  • Pronunciation: REH-Miy
  • Variations: Remy
  • Namesakes: Remy Hii, a Malaysian-Australian actor appearing in the soap opera Neighbors. Remy Hamilton, an American football kicker for the Detroit Lions.
  • Popularity: Remy is rare worldwide, mostly used in DR Congo, and ranked 433rd for boys in the U.S. in 2022.
Unique, Cute

Renaud

Renaud is associated with the Latin Reginald and Old French Reynard. It also means “ruler’s advisor” and appears much more as a surname than a first name today.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Powerful judgment
  • Pronunciation: Rih-NOW
  • Variations: Reynard
  • Namesakes: Renaud Laplanche, a French-American CEO of the fintech company Upgrade.
  • Popularity: Renaud is rare worldwide and mainly used in France, ranking 389th in 2014.
Traditional, Masculine

Rene

Rene is based on the Roman surname Renatus, meaning “born again.” In the U.S., Rene has always ranked in the top 1,000 names for boys.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Reborn
  • Pronunciation: Rey-NEY
  • Variations: Renee, René
  • Namesakes: Rene Bitorajac, a Croatian actor appearing in the 2001 Academy Award-winning Bosnian film No Man’s Land. Rene Capo, an American judoka who competed in the 1996 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Rene ranked 385th worldwide and is primarily used in France, where it ranked 25th in 2014.
Traditional, Popular

Rex

Rex is the ultimate of boy names, with R meaning “king.” It also means “mighty counselor” and “ruler.” Rex was once used as a suffix for a king, yet it became a common pet name in modern times.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: King
  • Pronunciation: REHKS
  • Variations: Rexx
  • Namesakes: Rex Ziak, an American writer known for his Lewis and Clark studies. Rex White, an American NASCAR driver who competed with the original Chevrolet racing team.
  • Popularity: Rex is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking 758th for boys in 2022.
Informal, Cool

Rey

Rey also means “ruler of a kingdom.” It originated from the Latin “rex,” is the Spanish word for “king,” and can be a variation of Ray. Rey wasn’t typically unisex but has become a girl’s name because of the Rey Skywalker character in Star Wars.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: King
  • Namesakes: Rey Quiñones, a Puerto Rican baseball player for the Boston Red Sox. Rey Galang, a Filipino martial arts teacher and founder of Bakbakan International.
  • Popularity: Rey is uncommon worldwide, primarily used in the Philippines, and ranked 761st for boys in the U.S. in 2021.
Masculine, Powerful

Rhett

Rhett did not rank among names for boys that start with R until 1955, 20 years after “Gone with the Wind” was published. It’s also a surname from the Dutch “de Raedt,” meaning “advice,” and is another form of Rhys.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: To speak
  • Pronunciation: REHT
  • Variations: Rhet, Rhette
  • Namesakes: Rhett Bernstein, an American soccer player and winner of the 2009 Hermann Trophy. Rhett Warrener, a Canadian ice hockey player for the Florida Panthers.
  • Popularity: Rhett is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., ranking 148th for boys in 2021.
Cute, Unique

Rhodes

Rhodes comes from the Old English surname Rhoades. It includes the root “rod,” meaning “clearing in the woods.” Rhodes is also a Greek island where either “rhodon” (“roses”), “rhoia” (“pomegranate”), or “erod” (snakes) were found.

  • Origin: English, Greek
  • Meaning: Where roses grow
  • Pronunciation: ROWDZ
  • Variations: Rhoades, Rhoads
  • Namesakes: David Rhodes, an English singer/songwriter whose debut album Wishes was released in 2015.
  • Popularity: Rhodes is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 1,544th for boys in 2014.
Unusual, Formal

Rhun

Rhun also means “legendary” and “son of Beli.” It’s rare but appeared in everything from a medieval Welsh tale to a place in The Lord of the Rings.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Great, mighty
  • Pronunciation: HRUHN
  • Variations: Rhûn, Rhyn
  • Namesakes: Rhun ab Arthgal, a ninth-century Welsh King of Strathclyde and the only son of Arthgal ap Dyfnwal. Rhun ap Iorwerth, the Welsh Deputy Leader of Plaid Cymru since 2018.
  • Popularity: Rhun is extremely rare worldwide, with 96 occurrences in 2014, primarily in Wales.
Ancient, Powerful
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Rhys

Rhys originated in Deheubarth in Southwest Wales. It’s composed of the Old Welsh “ris,” meaning “fiery warrior.” Rhys ap Tewdwr was one of the first famous kings and Welshman with this strong 4-letter name.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Ardor, fire
  • Pronunciation: RIYZ
  • Variations: Rhyse, Rhyce
  • Namesakes: Rhys Ifans, a Welsh actor appearing in the film Notting Hill (1999). Rhys Williams, a Welsh rugby union player for the Cardiff Blues.
  • Popularity: Rhys is rare worldwide, mostly used in England, and ranked 128th in Wales in 2014.
Traditional, Masculine

Richard

Richard appeared as the Old English Richeard in the Middle Ages. It’s made up of the German “rīk,” meaning “ruler” or “king,” and “hardu,” meaning “strong.” Richard is one of those guy names that start with R made for a king like your little one.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Strong in rule
  • Pronunciation: RICH-ahrd
  • Variations: Rychyrd, Ritchard
  • Namesakes: Richard Burton, a Welsh actor who was twice married to actress Elizabeth Taylor. Richard Ayoade, an English comedian known for the TV series The IT Crowd (2006 to 2013).
  • Popularity: Richard ranked 42nd worldwide and is mainly used in the U.S., ranking 340th for boys in 2022.
Traditional, Popular

Rico

Rico is an adorable Spanish and Portuguese nickname for the mighty Richard. Rico is a short form for names like Enrico and Federico in Italian.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Dominant ruler
  • Pronunciation: RIY-Kow
  • Variations: Ricco
  • Namesakes: Rico Gagliano, an American co-host of the podcast The Dinner Party Download. Rico Peter, a Swiss bobsledder who competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Popularity: Rico is rare worldwide, primarily used in the Philippines, and ranked 1,368th for boys in the U.S. in 2022.
Informal, Masculine

Rider

Rider referred to an Old English “horseman,” “cavalryman,” and “messenger.” Though steeped in tradition, it’s found a resurgence as a cool, modern name for boys (and some girls).

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Knight, mounted warrior
  • Pronunciation: RIYD-er
  • Variations: Ryder
  • Namesakes: Rider Strong, an American actor appearing on the TV sitcom Boy Meets World (1993 to 2000).
  • Popularity: Rider is rare worldwide, mostly used in Peru, and ranked 833rd in Bolivia in 2014.
Powerful, Cool

Rigby

Rigby is made up of the Norse “hryggr,” meaning “ridge,” and “býr,” meaning “homestead.” Rigby also means “of Rigsby,” a place in Lincolnshire, England, which is how it became a surname.

  • Origin: English, Norse
  • Meaning: Ridge farm
  • Pronunciation: RIHG-Biy
  • Variations: Rigbey, Rigbi
  • Popularity: Rigby is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Unusual, Rare

Rikar

Rikar is a lesser-known German version of Richard. It’s based on the German “reich,” meaning “wealthy.” Rikar may also be an alternative to Rikard, meaning “powerful ruler,” in German style.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Rich
  • Pronunciation: Rih-KAAR
  • Variations: Rikard
  • Popularity: Rikar is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Indonesia.
Rare, Masculine

Riley

Riley was an Irish surname based on the Gaelic O’ Raghallaigh, meaning “valiant.” The English version of Riley means “rye clearing.” Riley is ranked 30th for girls in the U.S., making it one of the best boy names that start with R, that’s unisex.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Courageous
  • Pronunciation: RIY-Liy
  • Variations: Rielly, Rilley
  • Namesakes: Riley Rossmo, a Canadian comic book artist for Marvel Comics’ Daken: Dark Wolverine. Riley Bonner, an Australian rules footballer for the Port Adelaide Football Club.
  • Popularity: Riley is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it’s ranked in the top 300 names for boys.
Cute, Unique

Ringo

Ringo also means “peace be with you” in Japanese. It’s more common as Ringo Starr from the Beatles -called Ringo because of the many rings he wore.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Apple
  • Pronunciation: RIYNG-Gow
  • Variations: Ryngo
  • Namesakes: Ringo (born Guy Bayle), a French pop singer who sold 30 million records during the 1970s. Ringo Madlingozi, a member of the National Assembly of South Africa since 2019.
  • Popularity: Ringo is rare worldwide and mostly used in DR Congo, where it ranked 1,852nd in 2014.
Cute, Unusual

Rinzen

Rinzen is considered a Tibetan Buddhist name used equally for girls. It’s also the name of a sculpture by Catalan artist Antoni Tàpies that won the Golden Lion at the 1993 Venice Biennale.

  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: The holder of intellect
  • Pronunciation: RIHN-sen
  • Popularity: Rinzen is extremely rare worldwide, with only 40 occurrences in 2014, mainly in India.
Unusual, Rare

Ripley

Ripley began as an English surname derived from “ripel.” It was used for towns found in between woodland areas. Ripley also means “from the noisy meadow” and is common among 6-letter R names for boys in the U.S.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Strip of clearing in the woods
  • Pronunciation: RIHP-Liy
  • Variations: Riply, Ripply
  • Namesakes: Ripley Rand, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina from 2011 to 2017. Ripley Hitchcock, an American editor for authors like Rudyard Kipling.
  • Popularity: Ripley is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 1,648th for boys in 2022.
Cute, Modern
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Rishab

In Hinduism, Rishab means “the father of Lord Rishabhdev.” It also refers to “one who is musically talented.”

  • Origin: Hindi, Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Morality, superior
  • Pronunciation: Rih-SHAEB
  • Variations: Rishabha
  • Namesakes: Rishab Jain, an American inventor named one of Time’s 25 Most Influential Teens in 2018. Prashant Shetty (known as Rishab Shetty), an Indian actor known for the film Kantara.
  • Popularity: Rishab is rare worldwide and mostly used in India.
Traditional, Unique

River

River originated from the Latin “riparia,” meaning “river bank.” It became popular because of American actor River Phoenix and is now also used for girls. River has ranked in the top 1,000 U.S. boys’ names since 2000.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: A flowing body of water
  • Pronunciation: RIYV-er
  • Variations: Ryver
  • Namesakes: River Alexander, an American actor appearing in the film The Way, Way Back in 2013. River Radamus, an American ski racer and a three-time Youth Olympic Games gold medalist.
  • Popularity: River is rare worldwide, primarily used in Egypt, and ranked 80th for boys in the U.S. in 2022.
Cool, Modern

Roald

Roald is a more modern, casual version of the Old Norse Hróðvaldr. It’s made up of “hróðr,” meaning “fame,” and “valdr,” meaning “leader.” Roald has a more fanciful feel due to the famous children’s author Roald Dahl.

  • Origin: Norse
  • Meaning: Famous ruler
  • Pronunciation: ROW-ahl
  • Variations: Roal
  • Namesakes: Roald Dahl, a British children’s book writer, most famous for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald van Noort, a Norwegian water polo player who competed at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Roald is rare worldwide and mostly used in Norway, ranking 242nd in 2014.
Ancient, Powerful

Robert

Robert comes from the Old English Hreodbeorht, which uses the German Hrodebert. It came to England after the Norman invasion. As a surname, Robert ranks 50th in the U.S.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Bright fame
  • Pronunciation: RAA-Bahrt
  • Variations: Robertson
  • Namesakes: Robert F. Kennedy, the 64th U.S. Attorney General from 1961 to 1964. Robert De Niro, an American actor known for films made with director Martin Scorsese.
  • Popularity: Robert ranked 23rd worldwide and is mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 79th for boys in 2021.
Masculine, Popular

Robin

Robin is a vintage nickname for Robert. It uses the prefix “Ro-,” meaning “fame” and “berht,” meaning “bright.” The most famous Robin was Robin Hood, the prince of thieves.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Bright, Famous
  • Pronunciation: RAA-Bihn
  • Variations: Robyn
  • Namesakes: Robin Leach, a British entertainment reporter and host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous from 1984 to 1995. Robin Williams, an Oscar-winning American actor and one of the greatest comedians of all time.
  • Popularity: Robin ranked 771st worldwide and is primarily used in the U.S., ranking 891st for boys in 2021.
Cute, Popular

Rocco

Rocco is one of many names for boys that start with R that use the German root “hrok,” meaning “repose.” The English equivalent is Roch, while the German is Rochus. Rocky is a much-used nickname for Rocco that’s got champion written all over it.

  • Origin: Italian, German
  • Meaning: Rest
  • Pronunciation: RAAK-ow
  • Variations: Rocko
  • Namesakes: Rocco DiSpirito, an American chef appearing on The Restaurant TV series. Rocco Marchegiano (known as Rocky Marciano), an American boxer and the world heavyweight champion from 1952 to 1956.
  • Popularity: Rocco is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy, where it ranked 120th in 2014.
Masculine, Informal

Rock

Rock is the most solid English variation of the Italian Rocco. Saint Rocco was famous for healing the sick with bed rest.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Rest
  • Pronunciation: RAAK
  • Variations: Roc, Rocke
  • Namesakes: Rock Hudson (born Roy Scherer Jr), an American actor appearing in Magnificent Obsession (1954). Rock Ya-Sin, an American football player for the Las Vegas Raiders.
  • Popularity: Rock is rare worldwide and mainly used in the Central African Republic.
Powerful, Uncommon

Rockwell

Rockwell means “dweller by the rock spring.” It’s also an English surname for a person from Somerset, England. Rockwell may have once appeared as Rockholt, but it’s officially cool as can be for boys.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Rock spring
  • Pronunciation: RAA-Kwehl
  • Variations: Rockwel
  • Namesakes: Rockwell J. Flint, an American politician in the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly. Kennedy Gordy (known as Rockwell), an American singer best known for the 1984 single “Somebody’s Watching Me.”
  • Popularity: Rockwell is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it’s slightly uncommon.
Formal, Uncommon

Rocky

Rocky was once a nickname for Robert. It’s also the Anglo version of the Gaelic Roch. Your little guy might like being named after the famous film boxer Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Stony
  • Pronunciation: RAAK-iy
  • Variations: Rocki, Rockie
  • Namesakes: Rocky Graziano, an American boxer whose life story appeared in the 1956 film Somebody Up There Likes Me. Rocky Elsom, an Australian rugby union player for the Wallabies from 2005 until 2011.
  • Popularity: Rocky is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., ranking 879th for boys in 2021.
Informal, Cute

Roderick

Roderick is a very English-sounding version of the German Hrodric. It also appears as the Russian Rurik and Spanish Roderigo. Despite being in use since the eighth-century, Roderick ranked in the top 1,000 U.S. names until 2012.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Famous ruler
  • Pronunciation: RAAD-eh-Rihk
  • Variations: Rodrick
  • Namesakes: Roderick Lewis, an American football player for the Houston/Tennessee Oilers. Roderick Watson, a Scottish poet and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
  • Popularity: Roderick is rare worldwide, mainly used in the Philippines, and ranked 242nd in Scotland in 2014.
Formal, Unique
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Rodney

Rodney also means “island near the clearing” and “the dweller near the cross.” It’s based on the Anglo-Saxon “rod,” meaning “cross,” and “neah,” meaning “near.”

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Roda’s island
  • Pronunciation: RAAD-Niy
  • Variations: Rodny
  • Namesakes: Rodney Dangerfield, an American stand-up comedian known for the catchphrase “I don’t get no respect!” Rodney Bingenheimer, an American radio host of Rodney on the ROQ from 1976 to 2017.
  • Popularity: Rodney is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 1,025th for boys in 2022.
Formal, Unique

Rodrigo

Rodrigo is the Spanish version of the Germanic Roderick. It may have originated as the Latin Rudericus. Roderick has been used for the Visigothic 8th-century King Roderic and the Spanish Saint Roderick. You can call your little Rodrigo Ruy or Rod.

  • Origin: Spanish, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Famous ruler
  • Pronunciation: Raod-RIY-gow
  • Variations: Roderigo
  • Namesakes: Rodrigo Duterte, the 16th president of the Philippines from 2016 to 2022. Rodrigo Hernández Cascante (known as Rodrigo), a Spanish footballer for the Spain national team.
  • Popularity: Rodrigo ranked 504th worldwide, is mostly used in Brazil, and ranked 19th in Chile in 2014.
Popular, Masculine

Roger

Roger comes from the Old English Hrothgar and French Roger. Hrōðgār was a character in the epic poem Beowulf, but you can stick with Roger for your baby boy.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Famous spearman
  • Pronunciation: RAA-Jhahr
  • Variations: Rodger, Rogers
  • Namesakes: Roger Zelazny, an American science fiction writer known for The Chronicles of Amber. Roger Angell, an American essayist for The New Yorker.
  • Popularity: Roger ranked 243rd worldwide and is mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 855th for boys in 2022.
Traditional, Powerful

Rohan

Rohan also means “spiritual” in Arabic. In Gaelic, Rohan appears as the unisex Rowan. Rohan also means “healing” and “medicine” in Sanskrit and “accompanying dew” in Japanese.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Ascending
  • Pronunciation: ROW-Haan
  • Variations: Rohann
  • Namesakes: Rohan Dennis, an Australian cyclist and the UCI men’s individual time trial world champion in 2019. Rohan Marley, a Jamaican entrepreneur and the son of Bob Marley.
  • Popularity: Rohan is rare worldwide, mainly used in India, and ranked 797th for boys in the U.S. in 2021.
Unique, Ancient

Roland

Roland was very popular in the Middle Ages, especially in the time of Charlamagne. It also means “fame of the land” and is regal-sounding among male names that start with R.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Famous land
  • Pronunciation: ROW-Lahnd
  • Variations: Rowland
  • Namesakes: Roland Joffé, a British filmmaker known for The Killing Fields (1984). Roland Barthes, a French literary theorist known for the 1957 essay collection Mythologies.
  • Popularity: Roland ranked 842nd worldwide, is primarily used in Germany and ranked 856th for boys in the U.S. in 2022.
Formal, Vintage

Romeo

Romeo might first be based on the Roman Romulus, meaning “pilgrim to Rome.” It’s related to the Italian Romolo but is most recognizable for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Citizen of Rome
  • Pronunciation: Row-MEY-ow
  • Variations: Romero
  • Namesakes: Romeo Bezușcu, a Romanian rugby union football player for RCJ Farul Constanța. Romeo Diaz, a Filipino member of the band Danny Diaz & The Checkmates.
  • Popularity: Romeo ranked 1,538th worldwide, is mostly used in the Philippines, and ranked 295th for boys in the U.S. in 2021.
Cool, Vintage

Romilly

Romilly is rare but is used more as a girl’s name. However, the English painter Augustus John named his son Romilly.

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Wanderer
  • Pronunciation: RAH-miyl-Liy
  • Variations: Romelle
  • Namesakes: Romilly Lunge, a British film actor in the Royal Navy who briefed Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, during World War II.
  • Popularity: Romilly is very rare worldwide and mainly used in England.
Unusual, Ancient

Ronald

Along with Ranald, Ronald is a Scottish form of the English Reynold or Reginald. It comes from the Old Norse Rögnvaldr and can use the nicknames Ron and Ronnie.

  • Origin: Scottish, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Ruler’s counselor
  • Pronunciation: RAAN-ahld
  • Variations: Ronnald
  • Namesakes: Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the U.S. from 1981 to 1989. Ronald Wood, an English member of the Rolling Stones since 1975.
  • Popularity: Ronald ranked 207th worldwide and is primarily used in the U.S., ranking 1,134th in 2022.
Traditional, Masculine

Ronan

Ronan is made up of the Irish “rón,” meaning “seal” and the diminutive suffix “-án.” Ronan is based on the folktale of a mother seal turned human who gives birth to “ronans” or “little seals.”

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Little seal
  • Pronunciation: ROW-Nihn
  • Variations: Ronin, Ronnan
  • Namesakes: Ronan Sheehan, an Irish novelist and winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 1984. Ronan Keating, an Irish member of the Irish pop group Boyzone.
  • Popularity: Ronan is rare worldwide, mostly used in Brazil, and ranked 150th in Ireland and Northern Ireland in 2014.
Cute, Unique

Ronson

Ronson was a Norman surname based on the Old French “roncin,” meaning “workhorse.” It’s also an English surname, meaning “son of Ronald,” and is one of the most unique boy names with R.

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: Workhorse
  • Pronunciation: RAAN-Sahn
  • Popularity: Ronson is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Masculine, Uncommon
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Rooney

Rooney is the English variation of the Gaelic O’Ruanaidh, meaning “son of the champion.” It was taken from Ruanaidh, a first name meaning “champion.”

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Hero
  • Pronunciation: RUW-Niy
  • Variations: Roony
  • Namesakes: William Lee (known as Rooney Lee), the son of General Robert E. Lee and a Confederate General in the American Civil War. Rooney Massara, a British rower who competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Rooney is rare worldwide and primarily used in Egypt.
Cute, Traditional

Roosevelt

Roosevelt originated as the Dutch surname Van Rose(n)velt, meaning “of a rose field.” It ranked in the top 1,000 U.S. boys’ names until 1993. Roosevelt is most famous for Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, two U.S. presidents.

  • Origin: Dutch
  • Meaning: Rose field
  • Pronunciation: RUW-zeh-Vehlt
  • Variations: Roosvelt
  • Namesakes: Roosevelt (born Marius Lauber), a German singer whose single Elliot was named Pitchfork’s “Best New Track.”
  • Popularity: Roosevelt is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Vintage, Uncommon

Rory

Rory comes from the Irish Ruaidhri. Rory is composed of “ruadh,” meaning “red” and “rígh,” meaning “king.” Rory was used for redheads and can still name your little red king today.

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Red king
  • Pronunciation: RAOR-iy
  • Variations: Rori, Rorry
  • Namesakes: Rory Brennan, an Irish presenter at RTÉ Radio. Rory Dodd, a Canadian rock vocalist on Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”
  • Popularity: Rory is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking 461st for boys in 2022.
Cute, Traditional

Rousseau

Rousseau was a French nickname for a person with red hair. It uses the root “roux,” meaning “redhead.” Rousseau is a more French version of Russell and Rory.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Little redhead
  • Pronunciation: Ruw-SOW
  • Variations: Rousse, Rousset
  • Popularity: Rousseau is rare worldwide and primarily used in Haiti, where it ranked 997th in 2014.
Vintage, Formal

Rowan

Rowan is associated with the Irish surname Ruadhán, meaning “red-haired.” Rowan is also an Arabic girl’s name meaning “river in Paradise.”

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Famous
  • Pronunciation: ROW-ahn
  • Variations: Rowen, Rowyn
  • Namesakes: Rowan Crothers, an Australian swimmer and gold medalist at the Tokyo Paralympics.
  • Popularity: Rowan is rare worldwide, mostly used in Egypt, and ranked 106th for boys in 2022.
Traditional, Cute

Royal

Royal specifically means “of kingly character.” It was used for those with royal titles and has gained in popularity since the birth of Prince William’s son, George.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Regal
  • Pronunciation: ROY-ael
  • Variations: Royale,
  • Namesakes: Royal Sprague, the 11th Chief Justice of California in 1872. Royal Dano, an American voice actor for Disney’s Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction.
  • Popularity: Royal is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Cool, Unusual

Royce

Royce is based on the Old French “roial,” meaning “kingly.” It was originally used for the “son of the king.” These days, Royce is better known as the famous black luxury car Rolls Royce.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Royal
  • Pronunciation: ROYS
  • Variations: Roice, Royse
  • Namesakes: Royce Gracie, a Brazilian member of the Gracie family who competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Royce Deppe, a South African tennis player with a doubles ranking of 75th in 1992.
  • Popularity: Royce is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 492nd in 2022.
Unique, Modern

Ruben

Reuben was originally the Hebrew Re’uven, meaning “behold, a son.” In the Bible, Ruben (spelled Reuben) was Jacob’s firstborn son.

  • Origin: Spanish, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Behold, a son
  • Pronunciation: RUW-Ben
  • Variations: Reuben
  • Namesakes: Ruben Rupp, a German member of the Baden-Württemberg state parliament since 2021. Ruben Jille, a Dutch badminton player and four-time Dutch junior champion.
  • Popularity: Ruben ranked 377th worldwide, is mostly used in Mexico and ranked 32nd in Argentina in 2014.
Masculine, Popular

Rudy

Rudy is an adorable nickname for Rudolph. It derives from the Old German Hrōdwulf. Rudy is now considered one of the most informal guy names that start with R.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Famous wolf
  • Pronunciation: RUW-Diy
  • Variations: Rudi
  • Namesakes: Rudi Carrell (born Rudolf Kesselaar), a Dutch TV host of the Rudi Carrell Show. Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, an American motivational speaker who inspired the 1993 film, Rudy.
  • Popularity: Rudy is uncommon worldwide, mostly known in the Philippines, and ranked 1,092nd for boys in the U.S. in 2022.
Cute, Informal

Rudyard

Rudyard also means “famous wand” and “red enclosure.” The most famous among namesakes is English poet Rudyard Kipling. He was named after Rudyard Lake in Rudyard, England.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Red paddock
  • Pronunciation: RUHD-Yard
  • Namesakes: Rudyard Griffiths, a Canadian TV broadcaster at the CTV News Channel. Rudyard Spencer, a member of the Senate of Jamaica in 1993.
  • Popularity: Rudyard is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the Philippines.
Formal, Vintage
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Ruel

Ruel also means “a little by-path.” It was also a French surname for a person who lived on a narrow street. Ruel is commonly used everywhere, from the Philippines and the U.S. to Saudi Arabia.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Friend of God
  • Pronunciation: RUWL
  • Variations: Reuele, Reulle
  • Namesakes: Ruel van Dijk (known as Ruel), a British-Australian singer who won the Breakthrough Artist Award at the 2018 ARIA Music Awards in 2018.
  • Popularity: Ruel is rare worldwide and primarily used in the Philippines
Unusual, Cool

Rufus

In Latin, “rufus” means “red.” It was once the nickname for the red-haired English King William but is a sweet, old-fashioned choice for red-headed boys today.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Red-haired
  • Pronunciation: RUW-Fahs
  • Variations: Ruffus
  • Namesakes: Rufus Wainwright, a Canadian-American singer/songwriter appearing on the album Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall. Rufus Rodriguez, a Filipino member of the House of Representatives since 2019.
  • Popularity: Rufus is rare worldwide and mostly used in Nigeria.
Unique, Vintage

Rumi

Rumi also means “flow” and “Lapis Lazuli.” It’s the name of a famous 13th-century Persian poet and saint, also well-known among Sufi masters.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Beauty
  • Pronunciation: RUW-Miy
  • Namesakes: Rumi Hiiragi, a Japanese voice actress in the anime film Spirited Away. Rumi Suizu, a Japanese figure skater and the 2007 Japan Junior champion.
  • Popularity: Rumi is rare worldwide and mainly used in Bangladesh, ranking 140th in 2014.
Unusual, Cool

Ruslan

Ruslan is a Slavic form of the Turkish “arslan,” meaning “lion.” It’s known through the folk tale hero Yeruslan Lazarevich and is popular in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Belarus.

  • Origin: Slavic
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: RUUS-laan
  • Variations: Roslan
  • Namesakes: Ruslan Goncharov, a Ukrainian ice dancer and a 2006 Olympic bronze medalist. Ruslan Abdulgani, an Indonesian diplomat and UN ambassador in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Popularity: Ruslan ranked 562nd worldwide, is primarily used in Russia and ranked 11th in Kazakhstan in 2014.
Powerful, Masculine

Russell

Russell uses the French “roux,” meaning “red.” It was once the French surname Russel and Old Norse Rossel, both given to redheads. Your young Russell can be called Russ or Rusty for short.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Red-haired
  • Pronunciation: RUH-Sehl
  • Variations: Rusell
  • Namesakes: Russell Means, an Oglala Lakota activist for the rights of Native Americans. Russell Brand, an English comedian and winner of three British Comedy Awards.
  • Popularity: Russell ranked 1,881st worldwide and is mostly used in the U.S., ranking 492nd for boys in 2022.
Traditional, Popular

Ryan

Ryan originated from the Old Irish Rían, which also means “illustrious.” Between 1976 and 2010, Ryan ranked in the top 20 U.S. boy’s names. The traditional Irish spelling Rian is more common on the Emerald Isle.

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Little king
  • Pronunciation: RYE-aen
  • Variations: Ryann
  • Namesakes: Ryan Gosling, a Canadian actor whose movies have grossed over 1.9 billion USD. Ryan Strome, a Canadian ice hockey player for the Anaheim Ducks.
  • Popularity: Ryan ranked 622nd worldwide and is mainly used in the U.S., ranking 66th in 2021.
Cute, Popular

Ryder

Ryder is an Americanized spelling of the Dutch Rijder. It was a surname used for a “mounted warrior” or “messenger.” Between 2002 and 2005, Ryder climbed 600 spots on the U.S. name charts.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Horseman
  • Pronunciation: RIYD-er
  • Variations: Rider
  • Namesakes: Ryder Windham, an American science fiction author of over 60 Star Wars books. Ryder Hesjedal, a Canadian racing cyclist who finished fifth at the 2010 Tour de France.
  • Popularity: Ryder is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Modern, Cool

Ryker

Ryker is made up of the German “reich,” meaning “wealthy.” It also means “brave power” when used as a Dutch diminutive for Richard.

  • Origin: German, English
  • Meaning: Rich
  • Pronunciation: RIYK-er
  • Variations: Riker
  • Popularity: Ryker is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 153rd for boys in 2021.
Unique, Modern

Rylan

Rylan is a unique variation of the English surname Ryland. It also means “country of cereal grass.” Rylan is one of the more offbeat boy names that start with R for your little one.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Island meadow
  • Pronunciation: RIY-Laen
  • Variations: Rylynn
  • Namesakes: Rylan Reed, an American baseball player in the minor leagues of the Chicago White Sox from 2001 to 2005. Ross Clark (known as Rylan), an English personality who won the 11th series of Celebrity Big Brother.
  • Popularity: Rylan is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking 307th for boys in 2022.
Unique, Cute

Ryurik

Ryurik was once an Old English place name meaning “Hroda’s island.” It’s very well known in Russia today, where it may be associated with the prefix “Ry-.”

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Famous ruler
  • Pronunciation: Ry-UW-rik
  • Namesakes: Rjurik Lonin, a Veps folklorist and founder of The Rjurik Lonin Veps Ethnographic Museum in Šoutar’v (Shyoltozero).
  • Popularity: Ryurik is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Russia.
Unusual, Powerful
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R Names for Boys FAQs

What Are Some Unique R Names for Boys?

Some very unique R names for boys include Rockwell, Rafa, Rumi, and Raddix. Coincidentally, they are all R names for boys chosen by celebrities. Romilly, Rooney, and Ripley are other interesting and rare R names, but this group is gender-neutral, so they work for baby boys and girls.

What Is the Most Popular R Name for Boys?

Robert is the most popular of boy names that start with R. It ranked 23rd worldwide and is mostly used in the U.S., where it’s currently ranked 80th. Robert means “shining glory.” It comes from the Old German Hrodebert and is composed of “hrothi,” meaning “fame,” and “berhta,” meaning “bright.”

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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.
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