Finding 100 exotic boy names was trickier than you might think. Not because there is a shortage of unique boy names, but because what is an exotic boy’s name in one culture can be mundane and ordinary in another.
Don’t be surprised if you find what you consider to be a common boy’s name on the list. While you might see it as boring and run-of-the-mill, someone from a different background may find it exciting and unusual.
100 Exotic Names for Boys
Looking for a moniker that’s not run-of-the-mill? Our team chose these as our 100 favorite exotic male names.
Ádomás is a Hungarian name meaning pledge.
This exotic name for boys is pronounced AAL-doh-maash. Ádomás is different from Adomas, which is the Lithuanian version of Adam, which means man-made from red clay.
Akio is a Japanese name that means bright man.
Japanese is written in symbols called kanji, and a range of kanji combinations can be used to create a number of words or phrases with the same sounds. 昭夫 means bright man, but other combos may have different meanings.
Altair means the bird in Arabic.
Altair is the name of the brightest star in the Aquila constellation. It is also the twelfth most luminous star in the night sky.
Alvis is an Old Norse name that means all wise.
Norse mythology tells of Alvis, a dwarf who wanted to marry Thor’s daughter. Thor didn’t want this to happen, so all night until the sun rose, Thor asked Alvis questions. When sunlight struck Alvis, he was turned to stone.
Anders is a Scandinavian name meaning manly.
The earliest documented use of Anders in Denmark was recorded during the 12th century, and in Denmark, Donald Duck is known as Anders And.
Arjun is a modern Indian name that means white, clear.
This is a modern spelling of Arjuna, who was a hero in Hindu writings. He was said to be the son of the princess Kunti and the god Indra.
A Hebrew name, Asher means happy, blessed.
Asher was rarely seen in the U.S. before the 1990s. However, since then, it has seen a sharp increase in use. By 2019, it was ranked number 43 in the most used boys’ names that year.
The most famous Atticus, at least in the modern-day, is probably Atticus Finch, the fictional lawyer and central character from the classic novel, To Kill A Mockingbird.
Azaire is an archaic French name meaning God has Helped.
Azaire is an archaic French version of the Hebrew name Azariah, and although considered a French name, Azaire evolved in French-speaking areas of the “new world.” Consequently, it was found in Quebec and Louisiana, rather than France.
Bacchus is a Greek name that means to shout.
Bacchus was the Roman god of the grape harvest, wine-making, wine, festivity, and theater. He was also worshipped as the god of orchards and fruit, fertility, religious ecstasy, ritual madness, and insanity.
Barış is a Turkish name that means peace.
The correctly written form of Barış is with the Turkish dotless i and the S-cedilla. The Persian word, بارش, is pronounced baris and means rainfall.
Beauden is a modern name from New Zealand, meaning beautiful.
The popularity of New Zealand rugby player Beauden Barrett caused this name to experience a surge of popularity in his home country.
Belvedere is Italian and means beautiful view.
In architecture, a belvedere is a structure or part of a structure built so you can enjoy a scenic view.
Booker is an English boy’s name that means the maker of books.
Booker as a forename was an example of the surname-to-first-name trend in the 19th century U.S. and reached peak popularity during the early 20th century.
Brien is an English name of uncertain meaning.
A Spanish name, Calisto, means most beautiful.
There are 44 known species of Calisto butterfly, all of which are found in the Caribbean islands. Most of the species are located on the islands of Hispaniola and Cuba.
Cathal is an Irish name that means ruler of the battle.
English speakers or those with English as a second language may be inclined to pronounce this name CATH-all. However, the correct pronunciation is KA-hal.
Chi is an Igbo name and means God or spiritual being.
Odinani is the traditional cultural and religious practices and beliefs of the Igbo. One element of Odinani is the belief that everyone has a personal spirit that determines their destiny, and this spirit is called Chi.
Cowel is a Manx name meaning joint pledge.
Manx names are specific to a small, self-governing island in the Irish Sea. It has been populated since before 6500BC, and in 2016 was given Biosphere Reserve Status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
Dante is an Italian name that means enduring.
Dante began as a shortened form of Durante, an Italian name that evolved from the Late Latin name Durans.
In French, D’Artagnan means from Artagnan.
D’Artagnan was a name created by author Alexandre Dumas for a character in his novel The Three Musketeers. Artagnan is a town in Southwest France from which the character was said to have come.
Dechen is a Tibetan name meaning great happiness.
Transliterated to English language characters from the Tibetan བདེ་ཆེན, Dechen is a gender-neutral name that is also found in everyday use in Bhutan.
Deshal is a Hindi name that means nation.
In some places, you will see Deshal listed as a baby boys’ name, and in others, you will see it labeled as a baby girls’ name.
An Urdu name, Dilshad means happy heart.
Dilshad is gender-neutral and freely used for both boys and girls. The name has its roots in the Persian words دل (del), which means heart, and شاد (shad), which means happy.
Ebrima is a Gambian name meaning the father of many.
Ebrima evolved in Western Africa from the name Ibrahim. Ibrahim is the Arabic, Dhivehi, and Albanian form of Abraham.
Efrain is a Spanish name that means fruitful.
Pronounced eh-fra-EEN, this is the Spanish version of the Hebrew name Ephraim, which is pronounced as either EEF-ree-am or EEF-ram. If you are looking for an exotic boy’s name, choose your preferred pronunciation, and run with it.
Elias means Yahwah is my God.
Yahweh is the name of the Hebrew God and evolved from the Hebrew name Elijah. Popular in Europe, Elías has seen a steady increase in popularity in the U.S., and in 2019, 5,690 baby boys were given the name.
Émile is a French name meaning rival.
Novelist, journalist, and playwright Émile Zola failed his Baccalauréat, the French equivalent to a high school graduation, twice. As a result of that, he was unable to go to law school and began writing while he worked as a clerk.
Evander means bow warrior or the good of man.
An example of the same name evolving separately in two places, Evander is both an Ancient Greek name with the good of man meaning, and a Scottish name from the Old Norse Ivarr, which means bow warrior.
Ezekiel was a prophet in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. This could be a striking and unusual boys’ name choice for a family of mixed religious heritage.
Fabian is a Germanic name that means bean.
In 1980, Fabian was added to the list of names used for tropical cyclones in the Atlantic. It replaced Frederic. However, after the 2003 Hurricane Fabian caused four deaths in Bermuda, the name was retired and replaced with Fred.
Faustus was an Ancient Roman name meaning lucky or auspicious.
The Ancient Romans used Faustus as a cognomen. This came after a given name and clan name and was usually considered to be more of a nickname. Cognomen eventually merged with clan names and were inherited like surnames.
A Spanish name, Felipe means friend of horses.
Felipe has been the name of three kings of Portugal and six kings of Spain, including the current monarch whose full name is Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Grecia.
Firdaus is an Arabic and Urdu name that means paradise.
If you like Heaven as a name but don’t feel it suits a boy, has been overused, or both, then Firdaus is a viable exotic alternative.
Florian is a Germanic name meaning flower.
Although considered to be a boys’ name, Florian is the given name of Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O’Malley Armstrong, known by most people as Dido.
Fujin is a Japanese name that means wind spirit.
Pronounced FOO-ZHEEN, Fūjin was the name of the Japanese god of wind who was depicted as carrying the winds in a bag slung over his shoulder.
Gallus is an Ancient Roman name that means rooster.
If you are waiting until you get to know your baby boy’s personality before choosing his name, Gallus is an option if he wakes you with a loud cry as the sun rises.
An Indian name, Girish, means lord of the mountain.
Girish is a modern Indian form of the more traditional Girisha. Girisha is one of the names of the Hindu god Shiva. He was given this additional name because his home was in the Himalayas.
Gracian is an Occitan name that means grace.
Gracian is derived from a Spanish family name and is used as a given name by speakers of the Occitan language, which is sometimes called Provençal. It is spoken by some ethnic groups in Southern France, Spain, and Italy.
Guillermo is a Spanish name meaning determined protector.
Award-winning Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has made low-budget Spanish language movies and multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbusters, co-written a series of novels, and adapted them into graphic novels and TV shows. He’s even made animated children’s series for Netflix.
In Arabic, Harith means plowman or cultivator.
As families become more multicultural, we love the idea of using traditional occupational names outside of their cultures of origin. Harith is relatively mundane in North Africa, but it makes for a different farmer’s son’s name in the U.S.
Hugh is a Germanic name that means heart, mind, or spirit.
Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation will know Hugh as the Borg drone rescued by the Enterprise-D. Once disconnected from the Borg hive-mind, Hugh learned a sense of self and developed an identity as an individual.
Idris is an Arabic name which may mean interpreter.
The prophet Idris of the Quran is considered to be the same person as the Hebrew prophet Enoch. Idris is also a Welsh name that means enthusiastic/impulsive lord. The best-known Idris in modern days is actor Idris Elba.
Ignatius is a Roman name of unknown meaning.
The name Ignatius was created when the spelling of the Roman family name Egnatius was changed to resemble the Latin word ignis, which means fire.
The anglicized form of the Irish name Aonghus, Innes means one strength.
Want a rare name for your boy? Virtually unheard of in the U.S., Innes has recently become relatively widespread in Scotland, where 77 baby boys were given this name in 2019.
Iokua is a Hawaiian name meaning God is salvation.
Technically speaking, Iokua does not translate directly to God is salvation. Instead, it is the Hawaiian version of Joshua, from which the meaning is derived.
Isander is an Ancient Greek name meaning equal of the man.
In the Greek epic poem, The Iliad, by Homer, Isander is a man who is killed by the god Ares.
Ives is an English name that means yew.
Some names from exotic, tropical countries sound wrong on a person from a different culture or another land. Ives is unusual while remaining appropriate for almost anyone.
Jabari is a Swahili word that means brave.
Jabari Price is an American Football player drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2014 NFL Draft. He plays cornerback.
Javier is a Spanish name meaning new house.
Javier was the surname of a noble family from the Basque region of Northern Spain and South Western France. Correctly pronounced kha-BYEHR, Javier is often mispronounced by English speakers as ha-VIER.
Joaquin is an American name that means raised by Yahweh, the Hebrew name of God.
The Academy Award-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix was born Joaquin Bottom. His parents changed the family name to Phoenix to symbolize leaving the religious cult of which they had been members.
Jothi is a Tamil name meaning light.
Found mostly in Sri Lanka and southern India, this is a gender-neutral name that is a regional form of Jyoti.
Kai is a Chinese name that means triumphant music.
As well as being a Chinese boys’ name, Kai is a gender-neutral Hawaiian name meaning sea, an Eastonian nickname for girls named Kaia, and a Frisian boys’ nickname for Gerard, Nicholas, Cornelius, and Gaius.
Kalei is a Hawaiian name meaning either the flowers or the child.
Although this is seen as a gender-neutral name in Hawaii, the similarity in pronunciation to girls names Keighley, Callie, and Kaylee could be off-putting for some people.
Kofi is a Ghanan name that means born on a Friday.
In Ghana, the traditional naming ceremony for infants is Outdooring. This happens eight days after birth when parents take their baby outside for the first time and give them a day name.
Kurō is a Japanese name that means nine or son.
While this was traditionally given to the ninth son of the family, it might be an unusual choice for a boy born on the ninth day of the month or the ninth month of the year.
Lazar is a Russian name meaning my God has helped.
Used in Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Macedonia, Lazar is most common in Eastern European countries and is a variant of Lazarus.
Maleko is the Hawaiian form of Mark, which means male.
If you want to give your child an exotic-sounding, tropical moniker, choosing an option such as Maleko gives them a name with a direct low-key equivalent. Therefore, if they want a less individual name later in life, they have a suitable ready-made option.
Malik is a Greenlandic name that means wave.
Malik is sometimes creatively spelled Malick, but both forms of the name have the same meaning. You may see Maligiaĸ as a name, and this means, more specifically, mid-sized wave.
Matias is a Spanish name meaning gift of God.
Although Matias is a Spanish name, it is popular enough in Finland to warrant an official name day. Therefore, if you want a striking baby boy name and your child is born on February 24th, then Matias is a good choice.
A Basque name, Mikel, means who is like God.
Mikel is the Basque form of Michael. Many parents feel pressure to name their child after a family member. If you are in this position, then an exotic alternative form of the name can be the answer.
Mohan is a modern Indian name meaning charming, bewitching, or infatuating.
This is a modern form of Mohana, a descriptive name that was often applied to the Hindu gods, Kama, Krishna, and Shiva.
Murad means wish or desire in Arabic.
Some people choose names for their meaning, and if you have had a difficult path to parenthood, Murad is an exotic boys’ name that reflects this in a positive way.
Nevan is from an Irish name that means little saint.
Are you looking for an unusual name but worried about being too out there? Anglicized forms of some ethnic names can be a suitable half-way point. In this case, Nevan is the easier to spell and pronounce version of Naomhán.
Ossian is a name from literature, meaning little deer.
James Macpherson was an 18th-century Scottish writer who published a volume of epic poems narrated by a figure named Ossian. Scholars debate how genuine the work is, but Ossian remains an excellent exotic boys’ name.
Osten is a Swedish name that means island of stone.
If you are looking for an exotic boys’ name from tropical climes, then this is not it. However, if you want a Scandinavian name, then Osten, which is used in both Sweden and Finland, could work for you.
Pavel is a Russian name that means humble.
Like the name Paul, Pavel comes from the Roman family name Paulus. While this is a relatively common name in Russia, Belarus, and the Czech Republic, in other cultures, it may be seen as unusual.
A Manx name, Pherick means nobleman.
Cabel Pherick was a place of worship on the Isle of Mann, where Manx names originate. Known as a keeill on the island, the ruins are located within a burial ground in a quiet glen.
Phineas is an Ancient Hebrew name of uncertain meaning.
Researchers are unsure whether this name means Nubian, which referred at the time to an ethnic group from what is now northern Sudan and southern Egypt, or serpent’s mouth, in Hebrew. If you name your son this, however, get ready to hear some Phineas and Ferb jokes.
Proinsias is an Irish name that means Frenchman.
If you’re looking for a multicultural name to reflect your family and you have Irish and French roots, Proinsias could work for you.
Rafael is a form of Raphael, meaning God heals.
Rafael Nadal is a Spanish professional tennis player who is tied with Roger Federer as having won more men’s’ Grand Slam titles than anyone else.
Ramzan is a Chechnian name that means parched.
When a word is translated from one written language to another in a way designed to help the non-native speaker pronounce the word correctly, it is called transliteration. Ramzan is a transliteration of Ramadan.
A Scandinavian name, Rasmus means beloved.
Pronounced Raz-mus by most English speakers, in Danish, it is RAS-moos, in Swedish and Norwegian RAS-muys, and in Finland, the pronunciation is RAH-smoos.
Rasul is an Arabic name that means prophet or messenger.
Rasul is also an Avar name. Avar names are used by the Avar people of the Republic of Dagestan, a small republic of Russia located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea.
Raul is an Italian and Portuguese name meaning wolf’s counsel.
Raul has featured in the top 1,000 boys’ names in the U.S. since 1910. In 2019, the last year for which data is available, 550 boys were named Raul.
Roark is an English name of disputed meaning.
This name could be an Anglicized version of the Ancient Scandinavian name Hrœrekr, which means famous ruler. Alternatively, it may be from the Irish language word ruarc, which means rainstorm.
Ruben is a form of the Hebrew name Reuben, which means behold, a son.
This slightly shorter form of Reuben is the more popular spelling in Belgium, France, Italy, and Spain. It is also a way to distinguish it from the popular Reuben sandwich.
Sláine is an Irish name that means health.
Sláine is pronounced SLAW-nya and was the name of the first High King of Ireland. Sláine mac Dela was of the Fir Bolg, a mythical people who abandoned Ireland, settled in Greece, and returned to the country to rule.
Somerled is a Scottish name meaning summer traveler.
Pronounced with a lee sound at the end, rather than the ed sound you might imagine, Somerled is an unusual boys’ name suitable for the child of travelers.
Soulougue is a Cajun name of uncertain meaning.
This name is thought to be a misspelling of the surname Soulouque. Faustin Soulouque ruled Hati, first as President and then as Emperor from 1847 to 1859.
A Japanese name, Suijin means water spirit.
Suijin was the Japanese god of pools, lakes, and water and the guardian of fishers, making this an unusual boys’ name that’s wonderful for those with a family history connected to fishing.
Sulaiman is the Indonesian form of Solomon, meaning peace.
As well as being the Indonesian form of Solomon, Sulaiman is the English transliteration of an Arabic name, which means man of peace.
Tafari is an Amharic name that means the man who inspires awe.
Tafari Makonnen was the last Emperor of Ethiopia. Upon ascension to the throne, he took the name Haile Selassie I, and adherents of the Rastafarian religion consider him to be an Earthly incarnation of God.
Tāne is a Maori name meaning man.
In Maori mythology, Tāne was the god of light and the forests. In some accounts, he is said to be the creator of man. On Tahiti, Tāneis is the name of the god of peace and beauty.
Taranis is derived from the Celtic word taran, which means thunder.
Taranis Patera is the name of a volcanic crater on Io, one of the moons orbiting Jupiter. The volcano has not been observed erupting, so it is unknown whether it is still active or not.
Taro is a Japanese name meaning big son.
Taro is a tropical plant grown for its edible root and is believed to be one of the earliest cultivated vegetables.
Tau is a Southern African name that means lion.
Used across Southern Africa, Tau is found in the Tswana and Sotho languages. Both languages are from the Bantu family.
Teague is an Anglicized form of the Irish name Tadhg, meaning poet.
While Tadhg has become increasingly popular in Ireland, Teague is not used there as a name. This is because the anglicized version was used as a term for “stage Irishmen,” the stereotypical portrayal of the Irish and an ethnic slur.
Tómi is an Old Norse nickname that means thunder.
Although Tómi is an Old Norse nickname, it has recently seen a revival, but as a given name, in Sweden.
Ulrik is a Scandinavian name that means prosperity and power.
An unusual baby boys’ name in some parts of the world, Ulrik has recently become popular in Norway. However, in Sweden, it is still rare, unlike the female version, Ulrika.
A Macedonian name, Vancho, means God is gracious.
An excellent example of a name that works for mixed-heritage families, Vancho is, by way of many evolutions, the Macedonian version of John. This makes it a straightforward and exotic name all rolled into one.
Varam is an archaic name from Georgia, meaning victory over resistance.
The word Varam has meanings in many languages. In Latvian, Varam means we can, in Sanskrit, it means preferably or rather, while in Tamil, it means boon, and in Pali, it means better.
A name from Bali, Wayan means first child.
Balinese custom automatically names a child according to their birth order. The name is not gender-specific, and instead, i is added to the front of the name for a boy, and ni is added for a girl.
Wynfor is a Welsh name that means fair, white, or blessed.
Wynfor is an excellent choice if you want a rare boys’ name, your family has Welsh heritage, and you do not want to spend a lot of time explaining how to spell or say your chosen name.
Xaloc is a Modern Catalan name that means sirocco.
The sirocco is an easterly wind that blows from the Sahara across the Mediterranean Sea. The dry sandy air of the desert sometimes mixes with the moist air of the sea, which then falls as blood rain in Southern Italy.
Xavier is an Archaic Spanish name meaning the new house.
Due to the popularity of The X-Men, many English speakers pronounce this as Ex-zay-vi-er. However, for native Spanish speakers, it is shs-bee-EH, for European Portuguese speakers it is shu-vee-EHR, and in France, it is GZA-VYEH.
A name from Cornwall, Yakob means supplanter.
Yakob comes from the same root as Jacob and James. For many centuries, Jacob was seen as the Jewish version, and James was considered the Christian version. Yakob was used as a form free of religious significance.
Yasin is a Turkish name that means age.
Although the literal Turkish translation of Yasin is age, this is not a case of a word being adopted as a name. Instead, it comes from the Arabic letters, ي, pronounced ya, and, س, which is pronounced sin.
Zelek is from an Aramaic verb meaning to cleave.
Unfortunately, some people become divided when a family member forms a relationship with a partner perceived to be from “outside their own culture.” Zelek is an exotic boys’ name with deep symbolism for those from such families.
Zubair is an Arabic name that means strong, powerful, or wise.
Zubair is a volcanic island in the Red Sea, which is part of the uninhabited Zubair group of volcanic islands. A popular tourist destination, the last eruption was recorded in 2013.
Choose Your Exotic Name Wisely
Naming your child is a great responsibility. A name creates an impression of a person, often long before we get to meet them in person. That means it is important to consider what kind of image the name you choose may give to others, not just now, but when your child reaches adulthood.