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100 Badass Gothic Boy Names: With Origins

These gothic boy names are show-stoppingly sinister.

You find yourself stumbling blindly through the forest as the wind picks up. A light flickers on ahead, urging you forward. Upon your arrival, a voice behind the door asks, “Do you desire a gothic name for your Byronic baby?”

Breathe easy. Our mausoleum of macabre gothic boy names will provide exactly what you need! We aren’t referring to the Ostrogoths or Visigoths. It’s all about Gothic literature and the goth subculture.

From the moody and broody to the angsty and ancient, there’s something in our spellbook for everyone. Ghosts and ghouls await. Do you dare to delve into the darkness?

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100 Mysterious Gothic Male Names

Here are 100 edgy gothic boy names for your creepy collection.


Tied to Japanese folklore, Akuma describes an evil fiery-headed spirit or supernatural beings that bring misfortune. Although first used in Buddhist writings, the word is more often associated with Christian demonology and even Satan. Calling your baby Akuma is a big no-no in Japan. Maybe that’s why the Japanese use Gouki, meaning “fierce demon,” for the Street Fighter character, Akuma.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Demon, devil
  • Pronunciation: AH-koo-mah
  • Namesakes: Akuma Hokoru, an American documentary participant for The Lost Arcade. Gran Akuma, an American retired professional wrestler.
  • Popularity: About 9,868 people are called Akuma worldwide.
Exotic, Cursed, Fierce


Alder is a fairly common surname in England and Switzerland. It was once a German variant of Alter meaning “older,” a nickname meant to distinguish between two people bearing the same name. However, in English, Alder is a reference to the alder tree. These trees are linked to the supernatural and have an atmosphere of mystery.

  • Origin: German, English
  • Meaning: Older, Alder tree
  • Pronunciation: AAL-dur, AL-dur
  • Popularity: Alder is borne by about 5,017 people worldwide and is the most popular in Israel.
Refined, Unique, Manly


Alexander is a combination of the Greek verb “aléxein” meaning “to ward off” or “defend,” and “anḗr” or “andrós” meaning “man.” In Ellen Schreiber’s Vampire Kisses book series, the secondary main character is a vampire called Alexander Sterling. Not only is he brooding and mysterious, but his parents, Constantine and Cassandra, have elegant Greek names too.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Defender of Man
  • Pronunciation: a-lek-ZAN-dur
  • Variations: Aleksandar, Aleksander, Aleksandr, Alexandre, Alexandros
  • Namesakes: Alexander the Great, a Macedonian king and conqueror. Alexander Pope, an early 18th-century English poet and translator. Alexander Klingspor, a Swedish painter and sculptor.
  • Popularity: Alexander ranked 10th in Scotland, 17th in Australia, and 13th on U.S. charts in 2021.
Powerful, Refined, Handsome


Alucard is simply Dracula spelled backward and is usually an alias of the Count himself. It first appeared in the 1943 Son of Dracula movie. Nowadays, it’s associated with Alucard (originally Dracula) from the Hellsing manga and anime or with Adrian Tepes from the Castlevania franchise. In Castlevania, Adrian, better known as Alucard, is the half-vampire son of Dracula.

  • Origin: English (fiction)
  • Meaning: Son of Dracula
  • Pronunciation: A-loo-kard, AH-loo-kard
  • Popularity: Alucard is most prevalent in Russia, with over 80 bearers globally.
Unique, Modern, Cool


Ambrose is the Anglicized Ambrosius, a Latin derivative of the Greek Ambrosios, meaning “belonging to immortals” or “of the gods.” It’s also the source of the Greek word “ambrosia,” meaning “food of the gods.” Ambrose Bierce wrote about ghosts and war, his stories highlighting the absurdity of death and the enigma of the universe. Long live Ambrose’s spooky legacy.

  • Origin: Greek, Latin
  • Meaning: Immortal
  • Pronunciation: AM-brohz
  • Variations: Ambrosios, Ambrosius
  • Namesakes: St. Ambrose of Milan, a theologian and bishop. Ambrose Bierce, an American author and poet. St. Ambrose of Camaldoli, or Ambrogio Traversari, an Italian monk and theologian.
  • Popularity: Ambrose was most popular in the U.S. in 1901, where it was 294th and ranked 671st in 2021.
Refined, Handsome, Powerful


Ancalagon the Black is a fire dragon from J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. With such a savage meaning, this literary mouthful might be too intense for some. But dark male names come in all shapes and sizes, and maybe the dragon-sized Ancalagon is just right for your gothic baby.

  • Origin: Sindarin
  • Meaning: Rushing jaws, biting storm
  • Pronunciation: ang-KA-luh-gon
  • Variations: Ankalagon
  • Popularity: There is one recorded use of Ancalagon worldwide.
Unique, Powerful, Fierce


Anubis is the Latinized form of the Greek Anoubis. Ultimately, both stem from either the ancient Egyptian root “jnpw,” meaning “royal child” or “prince,” and “jnp” meaning “to decay.” Anubis was the jackal-headed Egyptian god of the embalming process and the protector of tombs who guided kings through the underworld. You can put all your doubts to rest with Anubis.

  • Origin: Ancient Egyptian
  • Meaning: God of the dead, to decay
  • Pronunciation: uh-NOO-bis
  • Variations: Anoubis
  • Popularity: Anubis is commonly used in Venezuela and Egypt.
Powerful, Ancient, Unique


What is Apollo doing on a list of gothic names for boys? After all, this godly epithet comes from the Greek deity of music, the sun, and healing. With an uncertain etymology, Apollo might stem from the Greek verb “apollymi” meaning “to destroy.” Though it falls on the lighter side of goth boy names, it’s certainly suitable for a little troube-maker.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Strength, destroyer
  • Pronunciation: uh-PO-loh
  • Namesakes: Apollo Korzeniowski, a Polish poet, playwright, and translator. Apollo Price, an American professional gamer. Apollo Rossdale, son of singers Gwen Stephani and Gavin Rossdale.
  • Popularity: Apollo placed 907th in England and Wales and peaked in the U.S. at 400th in 2021.
Fierce, Handsome, Cool


Ash is the grayish powder left behind after something or someone is burned and comes from the Old English “æsc.” It’s used as a diminutive of Ashley, meaning “ash tree clearing,” Ashton meaning “ash tree town,” and Asher meaning “happy.” In Norse myth, the World Tree, Yggdrasil, is an ash, and the Vikings were sometimes called “men of ash.”

  • Origin: Hebrew, English
  • Meaning: Happy, ash tree
  • Namesakes: Ash Atalla, an Egyptian-British TV producer. Ash Amin, a Ugandan-born British academic.
  • Popularity: Ash is rising on U.S. charts but falls short of the top 1,000 names.
Sweet, Cool, Modern


Astaroth features in books, movies, and games. Derived from Astarte or Ashtoreth, a Canaanite goddess mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, Astaroth is demonology’s Great Duke of Hell. The original name might find roots in the Persian “sitara” meaning “star.” Meanwhile, the Hebrew “ashto’reth” is likely a combination of the Phoenician “strt” and parts of the Hebrew word “bo’sheth” meaning “shame” or “abhorrent.”

  • Origin: Persian, Phoenician
  • Meaning: Star
  • Pronunciation: A-stuh-roth
  • Variations: Ashtaroth, Astarot, Asteroth
  • Popularity: Astaroth is most prevalent in Russia, with about 25 global bearers.
Cursed, Mysterious, Ancient
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The Hebrew Azazel likely uses root words that mean “goat” and “disappear.” The Latin interpretation renders the Hebrew phrase as “caper emissarius” meaning “emissary goat” or “scapegoat.” Finally, the Greek rendering is “one carrying away evil.” Because of Hellenization, Azazel became attributed to a fallen angel who introduced mankind to forbidden knowledge. Azazel also appears as a demonic X-men antagonist.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Goat that disappears, scapegoat
  • Pronunciation: ah-zah-ZEL, ah-ZAH-zl
  • Namesakes: Azazel Jacobs, an American movie director and screenwriter.
  • Popularity: Borne by about 193 people worldwide, Azazel is most popular in Russia and Belarus.
Religious, Mysterious, Cool


In Judaism, Islam, and Abrahamic traditions, Azrael is the angel of death. It comes from the Arabic “Izrāʾīl” or “Azra’eil” from the Hebrew “‘ezrâ’” meaning “one whom God helps” or “helped by God.” In pop culture, Azreal is a superhero alias used by several persons in the DC comic universe. Grab a flaming scythe and reap the rewards of Azrael.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Helped by God
  • Pronunciation: AZ-ree-el, AZ-reye-el
  • Variations: Azriel, Izrail
  • Popularity: Azrael first ranked in the U.S. in 2019 at 949th and peaked at 837th in 2021.
Cool, Religious, Handsome


Baelfire is the Celtic word for a bonfire — specifically one built during the Mayday celebration of Beltane. Wiccans adopted a similar celebration called Beltane or Beltain, with practices taken from different cultures. Like Rumplestiltskin from ABC’s Once Upon A Time, you can light a fire under your list of gothic boy names with Baelfire.

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Bonfire
  • Pronunciation: BAYL-feyer
  • Popularity: Baelfire is extremely rare, with about one recorded bearer worldwide.
Badass, Ancient, Unique


Balthazar gives off dark magician vibes, but it’s actually a royal epithet. Stemming from Belshazzar in the Bible, it has Akkadian roots. Bêl is a title meaning “lord” or “master,” given to various gods in ancient Mesopotamia religion. Balthazar is a request to the “lord” to protect the king — in this case, your own budding monarch.

  • Origin: Babylonian (Akkadian)
  • Meaning: Bel protects the king, (Bel) protects his life
  • Pronunciation: BAL-thuh-zaar
  • Variations: Belshazzar, Balthasar, Balthassar, Baltazar
  • Namesakes: Paul Balthazar Getty, an American actor and musician.
  • Popularity: Most popular in Burundi, Balthazar is borne by about 13,089 people worldwide.
Ancient, Powerful, Religious


Beowulf was the main character in the 9th-century epic poem of the same title. The moniker could be a metaphorical term for a bear, as in “bee-wolf” or “bee-hunter.” It has also been suggested that the first element comes from “beadu” meaning “battle” or “war.” The only sure thing is that Beowulf is built for the most badass baby.

  • Origin: Geatish, Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: Bear, battle wolf
  • Pronunciation: BAY-oh-wuulf
  • Namesakes: Beowulf Boritt, an American scenic designer.
  • Popularity: Beowulf is most prevalent in Germany but is very rare worldwide.
Fierce, Ancient, Badass


Though Blackburn sees more use as a surname, it has tons of potential as a first. It comes from Old English roots, referencing either a stream in a dark place or muddy waters. It was most likely taken from an industrial city in Lancashire, England. Blackburn will not only make an impression on Halloween but throughout the year.

  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: Black brook, dark stream
  • Popularity: Blackburn is most popular in England and Wales and the U.S., with just under 100 bearers worldwide.
Unique, Cool, Mysterious


Blackwell is a popular last name with Old English origins. It combines the elements “blæc” meaning “black” or “dark,” and “wæll(a),” “well(a),” or “woell” meaning “well,” “spring,” or “water hole.” Have you ever peered down a deep, dark well? The idea makes Blackwell a pretty ominous pick among dark names for boys.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Black spring, black stream
  • Pronunciation: BLAK-wehl
  • Popularity: Blackwell has about 1,378 bearers globally.
Cool, Refreshing, Unique


Blade is undeniably edgy, but that’s not necessarily bad. Gothic male names should have a bit of a tough-guy streak. Blade sees transferred use from a surname rooted in the Old English word “blæd” meaning “leaf of a plant.” To solidify its badass image, Blade is also a movie franchise based on a character of the same name.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Knife, sword, leaf
  • Pronunciation: BLAYD
  • Variations: Blayd, Blaid
  • Popularity: Blade has about 571 bearers worldwide, finding most use in the U.S.
Badass, Fierce, Modern


Bram is a diminutive of Abraham. In some cases, it’s a derivative of Bramwell, from the Old English word for “broom” or “bramble well.” Bram’s Dutch pronunciation is “BRAAM,” though this can sound a lot like “BRUHM.” If you love gothic horror, then Bram is perfect. It has a clear connection to Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula.

  • Origin: Dutch, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Father of multitudes
  • Pronunciation: BRAM, BRAAM
  • Variations: Braam
  • Namesakes: Abraham “Bram” Stoker, an Irish author known for his novel Dracula. Bram van der Stok, a Dutch World War II military pilot and ace. Bram Cohen, an American computer programmer.
  • Popularity: Bram doesn’t appear on U.S. charts, but it’s popular in the Netherlands, ranking 16th in 2022.
Religious, Sweet, Refreshing


Bran stems from the Old Welsh “bran” meaning “raven,” but as a variant of Bram, it might also reference a “bramble-covered hill.” Brân the Blessed, or the Blessed Crow, is the giant brother of Branwen from Welsh mythology. But he isn’t the only fictional character whose symbol is the raven. Game of Thrones Bran Stark is known as the Three-Eyed Raven.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Raven, crow
  • Pronunciation: BRAN, BRAAN
  • Variations: Brân
  • Namesakes: Bran Mutimirović, a Serbian prince. Bran Becc mac Murchado, a king of Leinster.
  • Popularity: Bran is carried by about 7,965 people worldwide.
Cool, Mysterious, Sweet
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Briar is a prickly pick that’s more popular for girls, ranking 515th in the U.S. for 2021. Its reference to thorn bushes brings the hard rock band Guns N’ Roses to mind. They paved the way for the grunge genre that captivated a new generation of rockers. Similarly, Briar is a trendy modern option we’re keen on sharing.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Thorny bush, brambles
  • Pronunciation: BREYE-uh, BREYE-er
  • Namesakes: Briar Nolet, a Canadian dancer and actress. Briar Rose Christensen, daughter of American actress Rachel Bilson and Canadian actor Hayden Christensen.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Briar was 713th for boys in the U.S.
Modern, Fierce


Bronte is more popular for girls, last showing up on charts in England and Wales at 814th in 2017. If referring to the respelling of Brunty, Brontë is pronounced as “BRON-tee.” This is despite the use of a diaeresis (the two dots) which give the “e” an “EH” sound. Bronte is famously associated with the literary Brontë sisters.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Thunder
  • Pronunciation: BRON-tay, BRON-teh
  • Variations: Brontë, Brønte
  • Namesakes: Bronte Woodard, an American writer best known for the film Grease.
  • Popularity: Bronte is most prevalent in Australia, England and Wales, and the U.S.
Powerful, Unique, Manly


Cain is Hebrew and has long-held associations with the biblical figure who became the first murderer – also known as a farmer and the firstborn son of Adam and Eve. It means “something produced,” referencing Eve’s words about her oldest son: “I have produced a man with the aid of Jehovah.” Unlike other gothic boy names with roots in betrayal and bloodshed, Cain has maintained its popularity worldwide.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Something produced
  • Pronunciation: KAYN
  • Variations: Kain
  • Namesakes: Cain Devore, an American movie and TV actor. Caín Velasquez, an American professional wrestler and mixed martial artist.
  • Popularity: Cain’s best year on U.S. charts was in 2014, where it placed 726th, going on to rank 956th in 2021.
Cursed, Religious, Ancient


Casper is derived from the Latin Gasper, possibly from the Hebrew word “gizbar.” It ultimately stems from the Persian “ganzabara,” meaning “treasurer” or “treasure bearer.” October is the time of ghosts and ghouls, and Casper is the most famous specter of the last century. This classic epithet blends into the mainstream quite well but still makes the obvious spooky connection.

  • Origin: Persian, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Treasure bearer, treasurer
  • Pronunciation: KASS-pur
  • Variations: Kasper
  • Namesakes: Casper ten Boom, a Dutch watchmaker who helped Jews escape Nazis during the Holocaust.
  • Popularity: In 1907, Casper peaked at 514th in the U.S. and last ranked 982nd in 1933.
Mysterious, Vintage, Sweet


Cassiel is a Latinization of the Hebrew Qafsiel or Qaftzi’el. The meaning is uncertain, but some suggestions include “speed of God,” “cover of God,” or “God is my wrath.” In Jewish, Islamic, and Christian mysticism, Cassiel is an angel or archangel, sometimes called the Angel of Tears and Temperament. He also makes appearances in occult literature and exorcism manuals.

  • Origin: Latin, Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is my wrath, speed of God
  • Pronunciation: KA-see-el
  • Namesakes: Cassiel Rousseau, an Australian diver.
  • Popularity: Cassiel has about 497 bearers worldwide, with the majority of these recorded in Brazil.
Handsome, Fierce, Religious


Many parents will agree that babies can be whirlwinds of chaotic energy, but Chaos doesn’t just imply disorder. It originally comes from the Greek word “khaos” meaning “gaping void” or “abyss.” According to Greek myth, this was the term for the void which preceded the creation of the cosmos. This vast emptiness, Khaos or Chaos, was worshiped as a goddess.

  • Origin: English, Greek
  • Meaning: Abyss, void
  • Pronunciation: KAY-os
  • Variations: Khaos
  • Popularity: A little over 200 people are called Chaos worldwide.
Badass, Unique, Fierce


Corbin comes from a French surname derived from “corbeau,” the word for “raven.” Due to Anglo-Norman influences, the English root word “corb” also means “crow.” Crows symbolize destiny, death, and the afterlife; ravens are tied to loss and ill-omen. So although Corbin was usually bestowed on someone with dark hair or features, it’s ideal for a heart of darkness too!

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: Raven, dark-haired
  • Pronunciation: KAWR-bin, KOR-bin
  • Variations: Korbin
  • Namesakes: Corbin Bleu Reivers, an American actor and singer. Corbin Harney, a Newe (Western Shoshone) elder and spiritual leader. Corbin Bernsen, an American actor and film director.
  • Popularity: Corbin last ranked in England and Wales at 972nd in 2009 but was 366th on U.S. charts in 2021.
Sweet, Mysterious, Cool


Cosmo is a well-known fairy name thanks to Nickelodeon’s The Fairly OddParents. Yet its true origins are found in the Greek name Kosmas, derived from the word “kosmos.” Kosmos means “order and decency” but also implies “ornaments” or “decoration.” Bring a little peace and tranquility to your life by adorning your boy with Cosmo.

  • Origin: English, Greek
  • Meaning: Order, decency, world/universe
  • Pronunciation: KOZ-moh
  • Variations: Cosmos, Cosimo
  • Namesakes: Cosmo Alexander, a Scottish portrait painter. Harrison Cosmo Jarvis, an American-born British actor, musician, and filmmaker. Cosmo Campoli, an American sculptor known for his focus on themes of birth and death.
  • Popularity: Cosmo peaked at 933rd in the U.S. in 1913 and last appeared at 966th in 1926.
Mysterious, Powerful, Refreshing


Crimson is a word name that makes a bold statement. In fact, it’s quite rare around the world, with only about 475 known bearers. Spell it with a “K” and your baby will definitely be one of a kind. Gothic boy names need a little splash of bloody fun, and Crimson is new-age enough to be cool without being distasteful.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Rich deep red (color)
  • Pronunciation: KRIM-zun, KRIM-zn
  • Variations: Krimson
  • Popularity: Crimson is most popular in the U.S. but doesn’t crack the top 1,000 names.
Modern, Unique, Fierce


Crow comes from the Old English “crawa,” used as a nickname for someone with dark features. It’s a straightforward way to reference The Crow, a comic later adapted into the hit 1994 film. Revolving around the vengeful Eric Draven, James O’Barr created it to cope with his fiancée’s death at the hands of a drunk driver.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Crow
  • Pronunciation: KROH, KROHW
  • Variations: Crowe
  • Popularity: About 355 people are called Crow worldwide.
Unique, Modern
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Cullen’s Gaelic root, Cuileannain, means “son of the holy one.” It implies an impressive bloodline, meaning little vampires and vampire slayers alike can enjoy this sparkly epithet. Edward Cullen and his vampiric family have properly cemented Cullen in the broody romantic horror space. It makes for an emo pick that’s great for sensitive, introverted types.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Handsome, good-looking lad, holly
  • Namesakes: Cullen Jones, an American competitive swimmer and Olympic gold medalist. Cullen Jenkins, an American (gridiron) football player.
  • Popularity: Cullen’s most popular year in the U.S. was 2010, where it ranked 413th, while in 2021, it ranked 742nd.
Modern, Cool, Handsome


Cyfrin feels like a well-kept secret with no known bearers or presence on name charts. In fact, it literally means “secret” in Welsh. Some cool nicknames include Cy, Rin, and depending on the pronunciation, Cai.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Secret
  • Pronunciation: s-EYE-frin, SIH-frin, k-EYE-frin
  • Popularity: Cyfrin doesn’t show up on any popularity charts, making it super rare.
Sweet, Unique, Mysterious


Dante is a diminutive of the Italian Durante, most notably borne by the poet Dante Alighieri. He famously wrote the Divine Comedy, a narrative poem divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The first part is commonly known as Dante’s Inferno and describes the author’s journey through Hell. Dante is pretty mainstream but maintains an air of literary class.

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: Enduring, steadfast
  • Pronunciation: DAN-tay, DAAN-tay, DAN-teh
  • Namesakes: Durante “Dante” Alighieri, an Italian poet and philosopher. Gabriel Dante Rossetti, an English poet and artist. Dante Cappelli, an Italian actor.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Dante was 311th in the U.S. and 543rd in England and Wales. In 2022, Dante placed 265th in the Netherlands.
Handsome, Modern, Refreshing


Darkling is undeniably cool, if not a little on the nose. The term is an archaic adjective meaning “characterized by darkness” and a fantasy creature that lives in the dark. Most notably, it references the Darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy. Nothing could make Darkling sexier than a tortured and villainous love interest dressed in all-black.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: To grow dark, creature of the darkness
  • Pronunciation: DAA-kling, DAAR-kling
  • Popularity: There is one recorded use of Darkling in the U.S.
Unique, Mysterious, Cool


Djimon is Yoruban and is famously associated with the actor Djimon Hounsou. Parents who aren’t looking to go the literary horror or Victorian-era route can switch it up with this exotic option. After all, Djimon is a great way to express pride in your family tree. It’s all about the strength of blood and bloodlines.

  • Origin: West African
  • Meaning: Powerful blood, strong blood
  • Pronunciation: JEYE-mun
  • Namesakes: Djimon Hounsou, a Beninese-American actor and model.
  • Popularity: Djimon has about 1,941 bearers worldwide and is most popular in Benin.
Exotic, Powerful, Manly


Dorian was an ancient Greek pre-Spartan tribe. Suggested meanings include “of Doris” or “of Doros,” possibly referring to Helen of Sparta’s son. However, Dorian’s etymology is debatable. Another widely accepted meaning is “gift” — quite fitting for your precious bundle. Perhaps most famously, Dorian was the main character of Oscar Wilde’s novel and subsequent film adaptations, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Gift, of Doros
  • Pronunciation: DOR-ee-un, DAW-ree-un
  • Namesakes: Dorian FitzGerald, a Canadian artist. Dorian Gregory, an American actor and TV host. Dorian Foulon, a French paralympic cyclist.
  • Popularity: Dorian placed 567th on U.S. charts in 2021.
Sweet, Handsome, Refined


Everyone knows the villainous Draco Malfoy from J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. With its bad-boy feel, this draconic pick will have fantasy buffs swooning. Besides its ferocity, Draco has ties to the celestial realm as a constellation in the far northern sky. Let your son fly as high as a dragon with the fantastical Draco.

  • Origin: Greek, Italian
  • Meaning: Dragon
  • Pronunciation: DRAY-koh
  • Variations: Drako
  • Namesakes: Draco Rosa, a Puerto Rican musician, singer-songwriter, and entrepreneur.
  • Popularity: About 160 babies were called Draco worldwide, but it doesn’t appear in the U.S. top 1,000 names.
Badass, Cool, Fierce


Draven is composed of the prefix D’, meaning “of” and “raven.” It was used in the 1994 movie, The Crow, as the main character’s surname. The sudden spike in U.S. charts in 1995 was likely a direct result of the movie’s popularity. Other etymological roots point to the Anglo-Saxon surname from the Old English word “draefend,” meaning “hunter.”

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Of the raven
  • Pronunciation: DRAY-vn
  • Popularity: Draven was most popular in the U.S. in 2005 at 637th, ranking 953rd in 2018 before disappearing from the charts.
Modern, Unique, Exotic


Dullahan is a dark fantasy moniker from the Irish Ó Dubhlacháin, meaning“descendant of (the) Dubhlachán.” The Dullahan or Dubhlachán refers to a hobgoblin or unseelie fairy that appears as a headless rider on a black horse. It implies a “dark, sullen person” as “dubh” means “black/dark,” “malicious,” “angry,” or “sullen.” Dullahan gives off major emo vibes.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Dark and sullen person, black elf/dwarf
  • Pronunciation: DOOLA-haan
  • Variations: Dubhlachán, Dulachan
  • Popularity: There are four known bearers of Dullahan in India.
Cool, Mysterious, Unique


The poised and posh Edgar comes from the Old English roots “ead” meaning “wealth” or “fortune,” and “gar” meaning “spear.” It was originally Anglo-Saxon and spelled Eadgar. A famous bearer, Edgar Allan Poe, was best known as a writer of gothic horror fiction. Unsurprisingly, the elegant Edgar is also popular in England and Wales, as well as France.

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: Wealthy spear
  • Pronunciation: ED-gur, ED-gr
  • Variations: Eadgar
  • Namesakes: Edgar Allan Poe, an American writer, poet, and editor. Edgar Degas, a French Impressionist artist. Edgar Ravenswood Waite, a British-Australian zoologist and ichthyologist.
  • Popularity: Edgar has been in the U.S. top 1,000 names since the 1900s and ranked 409th in 2021.
Refined, Handsome, Sweet
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Highly popular during the Victorian period, Edward originates with the Old English elements “ead” meaning “wealth,” and “weard” meaning “guard.” This stems from Anglo-Saxon Eadweard, which looks a bit like Ed-weird. And maybe there’s something to that interpretation, as fictional outcasts commonly use this classy option. Characters like Edward Scissorhands and Edward Cullen are gentle but misunderstood romantic heroes.

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: Wealthy guard
  • Pronunciation: ED-wurd, ED-wud
  • Variations: Eduard, Édouard, Edvard, Eideard, Eadweard
  • Namesakes: Edward V, a de jure King of England and one of the Princes in the Tower. Edward “Ed” Sheeran, an English singer-songwriter. Edward MacDowell, an American composer and pianist.
  • Popularity: Edward is the 204th most common name in the world and placed 217th on U.S. charts in 2021.
Handsome, Manly, Refined


Fenrir is a giant, monstrous wolf from Norse mythology and one of Loki’s children. This is an exotic option for parents craving something subtly wolfish for their werewolf baby. You could even use the nickname Fen, which is cute and easy to say. If little Fenrir has siblings, you can stay in theme with names like Hel and Jörmungandr.

  • Origin: Norse, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Fen-dweller
  • Pronunciation: FEN-reer
  • Popularity: Fenrir is most commonly used in Russia, Germany, and Norway.
Ancient, Cool, Powerful


Knights and dragons, wizards and castles — that’s the picture Gawain paints. With about 517 global bearers, Gawain has found fame in many media adaptations, including The Green Knight film. Although the character has appeared in Welsh mythology for centuries, its most well-known use is in Arthurian legends. Gawain is the perfect medieval choice for your brave knight.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: White hawk, little falcon
  • Pronunciation: guh-WAYN, GAH-win
  • Variations: Gavin
  • Namesakes: Gawain Vincent, a British handball player. Gawain Erland Cooper, a Scottish composer and multi-instrumentalist. Gawain Christopher Jones, an English chess player.
  • Popularity: Gawain is most common in Northern Ireland, England, and the U.S.
Sweet, Cool, Manly


Hear us out before you snub Gekko. Gecko Moria, romanized as Gekkō Moria, is a villain from the anime, One Piece. The moniker plays on the idea of the gecko as well as the Japanese words “gekko” meaning “moonlight,” and “komori” meaning “bat.” If you’re into foreign names and appreciate the allure of the pale moonlight, Gekko gives you both.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Moonlight
  • Pronunciation: GEH-koh
  • Popularity: Gekko is most prevalent in Japan, with about 143 bearers worldwide.
Unique, Exotic, Mysterious


Godbrand is a variant of Gudbrand, which was used for one of Dracula’s vampire generals in Netflix’s Castlevania adaptation. It comes from the Old Norse Guðbrandr from the elements “guð” meaning “god,” and “brandr,” meaning “sword,” “fire,” “blaze,” or “torch.” This is one badass pick for any baby. Bonus points if they grow up to be a Viking or vampire!

  • Origin: Old Norse, English
  • Meaning: God’s sword, god blaze/fire
  • Variations: Gudbrand, Gulbrand
  • Popularity: Godbrand doesn’t show up on any popularity charts.
Badass, Fierce, Manly


Godfrey originates with Old High German Godafrid or Godefrid. In the video game Elden Ring, Godfrey, First Elden Lord, is a type of boss encountered by players. The character is a legendary banished Elden Lord and the first husband of Queen Marika the Eternal. This is a powerful moniker to bestow upon your beloved gift. It just screams badass fantasy warrior.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: God’s peace, God’s protection
  • Pronunciation: GOD-fray, GOD-free
  • Variations: Gottfried, Godefroy, Godefrid, Godefroi
  • Namesakes: Godfrey of Saint-Omer, a Flemish knight and founding member of the Knights Templar. Godfrey Gao, a Taiwanese-Canadian model and actor.
  • Popularity: In 1947, Godfrey ranked 968th in the U.S. and again for a final time in 1948 at 932nd.
Religious, Powerful, Vintage


Griffin is a popular fantasy name tied to the mythical winged beast. With the head of an eagle and the body of a lion, this creature exudes majesty, stateliness, and courage. Fittingly, Griffin stems from the Latinized Gruffudd or Grifud, combining the elements “cryf” meaning “strong,” and “iudd” meaning “lord” or “prince.” Griffin is just right for little lords.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Strong lord, strong prince
  • Pronunciation: GRIH-fin, GRIH-fn
  • Variations: Grifud
  • Namesakes: Griffin Newman, an American actor and comedian. Griffin Murray, an Irish archaeologist and art historian. Griffin Dunne, an American actor, producer, and director.
  • Popularity: Griffin spiked on U.S. charts from 1985 and ranked 232nd in 2021.
Cool, Powerful


Grimbald comes from the Old Norse word “grîma,” meaning “mask,” and the Old High German “bald,” meaning “bold” or “brave.” A notable bearer of the variant, Grimwald, appears in the D&D campaign setting, the Forgotten Realms. This Grimwald is a legendary wizard of The Covenant. Grimbald will work wonders for your darling dark mage.

  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: Of bold/brave face
  • Pronunciation: GRIM-balld
  • Variations: Grimbold, Grimwald, Grimuald, Grimald
  • Namesakes: Saint Grimbald, a 9th-century Benedictine monk.
  • Popularity: Grimbald has about three known bearers globally.
Unique, Ancient, Powerful


Grimm immediately calls to mind the word grim, which has the same meaning: “stern,” serious,” or “severe.” Both the adjective and epithet come from a given name, Grímr, originating with the Old Norse “gríma” meaning “mask” or “helmet.” Renowned for its connection to the German authors, the Brothers Grimm, it takes on a dark fantasy feel.

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Stern, severe
  • Popularity: Grimm is most prevalent in the U.S. and North Macedonia.
Fierce, Cool, Modern


Grimoire is a French surname, also found in Russia. It’s uncommon as a given name, but goths might have good reason to pick it up. For the uninitiated, grimoires are magical texts that hold spells and invocations. All babies deserve a mystical moniker, and Grimoire has an extra dash of hocus pocus.

  • Origin: Latin, French
  • Meaning: Book of spells and invocations
  • Pronunciation: grim-WAHR
  • Popularity: There is one recorded instance of Grimoire in France and one in Peru.
Cursed, Unique, Cool
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Grimshaw doesn’t just sound cool, it is cool. Stemming from a habitational surname, it might originate with the Old Norse personal name Grímr. Alternatively, it could come from the Old English “grīma,” meaning “specter” or “goblin,” and “sceaga,” meaning “copse” or “woods.” Grimshaw is reminiscent of the supernatural horror genre. After all, sinister shadows lurk in the deep, dark woods.

  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: Grim’s woods, dark woods
  • Pronunciation: GRIM-shaw
  • Variations: Grimshawe
  • Popularity: Grimshaw has about 17 bearers worldwide but is more popular as a surname.
Cool, Mysterious


Gunther is a fierce addition to your collection of gothic names for boys. It’s a cousin of the Germanic Gunner and a rarity in the U.S. The variant Gunter shows up in Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time as the Ice King’s penguin manservant. The innocent-looking penguin is a primordial cosmic entity known as Orgalorg, the Breaker of Worlds.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Battle warrior
  • Pronunciation: GUN-thur, GOON-thuh, GOON-tehr
  • Variations: Günther, Günter, Gunter, Guenter
  • Namesakes: Gunther Gerzso, a Mexican film and theater artist, director, and screenwriter. Gunther Rothenberg, a German military historian. Gunther von Hagens, a German anatomist .
  • Popularity: Gunther ranked in Austria for the last time in 1986 at 58th and in France at 198th in 1944.
Manly, Fierce, Powerful


Get gory with Gwyar. This unusual epithet is made for lovers of the morbid and macabre. From Old Welsh, Gwyar has a distinct pronunciation that won’t be obvious to English-speakers at first glance. According to Welsh legends, Gwyar was the father of King Arthur’s warriors, Gwalchmei and Gwalhafed. From an etymological standpoint, they were literally sons of bloodshed.

  • Origin: Old Welsh
  • Meaning: Gore, bloodshed
  • Pronunciation: GOO-yar
  • Popularity: Gwyar is borne by about four people worldwide.
Fierce, Ancient, Exotic


Hades might seem an obvious choice for goths, but it has a complex background. Stemming from the Greek “Haides,” it ultimately derives from “aides” meaning “unseen.” This references Hades’ role as the god of the underworld — the “unseen place” in Greek mythology. Despite modern depictions and ties to death, Hades wasn’t all that evil. Instead, he was altruistically inclined.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Grave, the unseen one/place
  • Pronunciation: HAY-deez
  • Variations: Haides
  • Popularity: Hades is borne by about 568 people worldwide and is the most popular in India.
Powerful, Cursed, Religious


Meaning “favored by Baal” or “grace of Baal,” Hannibal references a Canaanite fertility god. But “Baal” was really a title that meant “owner” or “master,” so it was also used as a designation for other lesser gods. Hannibal was famously borne by both a Carthaginian general and the fictional cannibal, Hannibal Lecter. Strike fear into hearts with the commanding Hannibal.

  • Origin: Phoenician, Carthaginian
  • Meaning: Grace of Baal
  • Pronunciation: HA-nuh-bl
  • Variations: Hunnable, Honeyball, Honeybell
  • Namesakes: Hannibal Buress, an American comedian, actor, rapper and producer. Hannibal of Carthage, a North African military leader. Hannibal Hamlin, an American attorney and politician.
  • Popularity: Hannibal doesn’t show up on U.S. popularity charts.
Ancient, Manly, Badass


Heathcliff consists of the English words “heath” and “cliff. Nothing too crazy, right? Except Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights features a man called Heathcliff, the ultimate poster child for the tortured Byronic antihero. This mysterious and jealous character forever changed the landscape of gothic romance. Heathcliff is a wonderfully passionate pick. Just don’t call his brother Edgar!

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Heath near a cliff
  • Pronunciation: HEETH-klif
  • Namesakes: Heathcliff Rellie, the son of British-American entrepreneur and fashion executive Lucy Sykes Rellie.
  • Popularity: Heathcliff is most prevalent in the U.S., but it doesn’t make the top 1,000 names.
Handsome, Manly, Refreshing


Hemlock is probably already high on your list of dark male names. Though extremely rare worldwide, it’s popular in fiction. Hemlock Grove is a 2012 horror-thriller novel adapted into a 2013 American horror TV series. Most people will know Hemlock as the plant called the poison hemlock or wild hemlock. In that regard, Hemlock could be considered a nature name.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Poisonous plant
  • Pronunciation: HEM-lok
  • Popularity: Hemlock occurs mostly in the U.S. but doesn’t appear in the top 1,000 names.
Badass, Cursed, Mysterious


Hunter comes from the Old English word “hunta,” and was an occupational surname for someone who hunted or “pursued.” The association with a vampire and werewolf hunters makes this one an obvious choice. Get out your stake and silver bullets because Hunter is hot on the charts.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Huntsman
  • Pronunciation: HUN-tur, HUN-tr
  • Namesakes: Robert Hunter Biden, an American lawyer and son of the 46th U.S. president, Joe Biden. Hunter Parrish, an American actor and singer.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Hunter placed 60th in England and Wales and 86th in the U.S. In New Zealand, Hunter ranked 20th in 2022.
Cool, Fierce, Modern


Hyacinthus is the Latinized form of the Greek “Hyakinthos” and is associated with tragic romance. In Greek mythology, Hyacinthus was an exceptionally beautiful youth loved by the god Apollo. Upon his death, a flower grew from where Apollo’s tears fell. A tragic tale is a perfect background for a melancholy moniker like Hyacinthus.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Blue/purple flower
  • Pronunciation: HEYE-uh-sin-thuhs, HEYE-uh-sn-thuhs, HEYE-ah-kin-thuhs
  • Variations: Hyakinthos
  • Namesakes: Saint Hyacinthus (or Hyacinth) of Caesarea, a Roman Christian and martyr.
  • Popularity: Hyacinthus is borne by less than ten people worldwide, making it quite rare.
Ancient, Unique, Refreshing


Hyde is the right choice for an epithet cloaked in mystery. It sounds like the word “hide” and clearly references the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This 1886 Gothic novella deals with the duality of man and is associated with Victorian concerns over divisions between public and private. Hyde is a gothic staple.

  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: From the hide
  • Variations: Hide
  • Namesakes: David Hyde Pierce, an American actor. Sir Hyde Parker, a British admiral of the Royal Navy, knighted in 1779. William Hyde Wollaston, an English chemist and physicist.
  • Popularity: Hyde is uncommon in the U.S. but has about 1,447 bearers around the globe.
Cool, Mysterious
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Ifrit will certainly turn heads as it refers to a formidable malicious being. In Arabic myth, it’s considered a demon or evil spirit. The phrase “the ifrit of the jinn” appears in the Quran via the root, “F-R,” and means “rebellious” and “strong.” It stems from “afara,” meaning “to rub with dust” or “to roll into dust.”

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Formidable and rebellious, strong and rebellious
  • Pronunciation: EE-freet
  • Variations: Afreet, Afrit, Afrite, Efreet, Ifrīt
  • Popularity: Ifrit is popular in Egypt and has about 859 bearers worldwide.
Fierce, Powerful, Ancient


Igor is surprisingly fierce, stemming from the Old Norse Ingvar. Igor has long been associated with gothic horror through the hunchbacked lab assistant in the Frankenstein films. Though the character was originally called Fritz, the sequel films dubbed the character Ygor. If you have a penchant for bringing life into the world, Igor might be the most suitable option.

  • Origin: Russian, East Slavic
  • Meaning: Warrior
  • Pronunciation: EE-gaw, EE-gor
  • Variations: Ihor, Ihar, Ygor
  • Namesakes: Igor II Olgovych, Prince of Chernigov and Grand Prince of Kiev. Igor Oistrakh, a Ukrainian violinist. Igor Vasilyevich Lotaryov, pseudonym Igor Severyanin, a Russian poet.
  • Popularity: Igor is the 302nd most common name globally, finding the most use in Russia, Brazil, and Belarus.
Sweet, Fierce, Exotic


Indigo might not strike you as very gothic at first, but this gender-neutral moniker is the color of the night sky. It’s a perfect representation of the dark. Indigo comes from the Greek “Indikon,” meaning “from India,” and refers to an Indian dye. The deep purplish-blue hue symbolizes wisdom, intuition, and spiritual awareness.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: (Purplish-blue dye) from India
  • Pronunciation: IN-duh-goh, IN-dee-goh
  • Namesakes: Indigo Sanara Phillips, daughter of Filipino-American actor and director Lou Diamond Phillips.
  • Popularity: Indigo ranked once in the U.S. at 906th in 2021 and 438th in England and Wales the same year.
Modern, Unique, Refreshing


Ingram was originally a first name that came to be used as a last. It’s a combination of “Ing,” the Norse god of peace and fertility, and the Old Norse “hramn” or “hrafn,” meaning “raven.” The more options that mean raven you put on your list, the better. Consider Ingram for an unusual but poised pick.

  • Origin: German, English
  • Meaning: Ing’s raven, angel raven
  • Pronunciation: ING-grum, IN-gram
  • Variations: Ingeram
  • Namesakes: Ingram Marshall, an American composer. Ingram Crockett, an American poet and journalist. Ingram Bywater, an English classical scholar.
  • Popularity: With about 1,070 bearers globally, Ingram is most popular in the U.S.
Unique, Ancient, Refined


Jack isn’t as simple as it looks. Originally a diminutive of the Hebrew Jacob and John, it was so common during the Middle Ages that it’s since become a generic term for a man. Jack’s spooky ties run deep – from jack-o’-lanterns to the serial killer Jack the Ripper and The Nightmare Before Christmas’, Jack Skellington. Jack remains highly popular in modern times.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: God is gracious, supplanter
  • Pronunciation: JAK
  • Variations: Jac, Jak
  • Namesakes: Jack Black, born Thomas Jacob Black, an American actor, comedian, and musician. Jack the Ripper, an unidentified serial killer from 1888 London, England.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Jack was most popular in the U.S. at 11th.
Modern, Sweet, Religious


Jet has a laid-back, cool feel. In English, Jet refers to a glossy black semi-precious stone. The Dutch version of Jet is a nickname for the feminine epithets Henriette and Mariëtte. From Mariëtte, Jet could also mean “drop of the sea” or “star of the sea.” More likely, gothic fans will be referring to the inky-black gemstone.

  • Origin: English, Dutch
  • Meaning: Black gemstone, home ruler, sea of bitterness
  • Variations: Jett
  • Namesakes: Jet O’Rourke, an Australian musician and architect. Jet Tilakamonkul, known as Jet Tila, an American celebrity chef, author, and restaurateur of Thai-Chinese descent.
  • Popularity: Jet is the most popular in China.
Cool, Refreshing, Modern


Judas is a Greek form of Judah, derived from the Hebrew Yehuda(h). Despite the positive meaning, it’s associated with Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus. As a result, Judas has been left out to dry by many western nations and Christian traditions. But don’t be fooled. There are still 16,251 global bearers of this burdened moniker.

  • Origin: Hebrew, Greek
  • Meaning: Lauded
  • Pronunciation: JOO-dus
  • Variations: Judah
  • Namesakes: Judas Iscariot, a Judaean disciple and an apostle of Jesus Christ. Judas Prada, an American basketball coach. Judas Thaddaeus, a Galilean apostle of Jesus Christ.
  • Popularity: Judas is the most prevalent in South Africa and several other African nations.
Religious, Cursed, Powerful


Kage is Japanese for “shadow.” In the anime Naruto, Kage is a title reserved for the leaders of the five hidden ninja villages. Kage isn’t very common, but it has the potential to be one of the more casual gothic male names. Try it out as a middle name if you’re still not ready to commit to the ninja way.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Shadow
  • Pronunciation: KA-gay, KA-geh
  • Popularity: Worldwide, about 537 people are called Kage.
Mysterious, Exotic, Unique


Kervin is either a form of the Irish Kerwin, meaning “little dark (haired) one,” or Kevin, an Anglicization of the Irish Caoimhín. Kervin sounds a little nerdy for a gothic name, but it works pretty well with a meaning like that. Put Kervin on the dotted line if your baby has Irish ancestry or dark roots.

  • Origin: Irish, English
  • Meaning: Little dark one, handsome birth
  • Pronunciation: KUR-vin
  • Variations: Kerwin, Kervyn
  • Namesakes: Kervin Bristol, a Haitian-American professional basketball player. Kervin Godon, a Mauritian international football player. Kervin Ebanks, a Caymanian cricketer.
  • Popularity: Kervin doesn’t show up in the U.S. top 1,000 names.
Sweet, Unique


Klaus is a classic gothic romance epithet. It’s a diminutive of Nikolaus, from the Greek Nikolaos. It combines the elements “nike,” meaning “victory,” and “laos,” meaning “people.” In The Umbrella Academy comics, Klaus Hargreeves is called the Séance for his ability to talk with and channel the dead. Maybe your baby Klaus will have a ghostly gift too.

  • Origin: German, Greek
  • Meaning: Victory of the people
  • Pronunciation: KLAH-oos
  • Variations: Claus
  • Namesakes: Klaus Meine, a German singer-songwriter for the hard rock band Scorpions. Klaus Kinski, a German actor. Klaus Mann, a German writer known for his novel, Mephisto.
  • Popularity: Klaus placed 20th in 1969 in Germany and 55th in Austria in 1992.
Cool, Handsome, Powerful
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For a dash of the deceptive and dastardly, Loki gets our vote. This trickster god of Norse myth was associated with magic and shapeshifting. The Germanic root “luk,” meaning “to lock,” implies knots, hooks, locks, and closed rooms. As the god of mischief and a father to monsters, Loki is deeply tied to myth and magic.

  • Origin: Old Norse, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: To lock
  • Pronunciation: LOH-kee
  • Variations: Loke, Lokke
  • Namesakes: Loki Crichton, a Samoan rugby union player.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Loki ranked 425th in England and Wales.
Ancient, Unique, Powerful


Mephisto is a shortened version of Mephistopheles, a demon of German folklore, originally from the Faust legend. Mephisto is also a Marvel villain inspired by the original character. Mephisto probably stems from the Hebrew “mephitz” meaning “destroyer,” and “tophel” meaning “liar.” Alternatively, it might be a bastardization of the Greek compound consisting of “mē,” meaning “not,” and “philos,” meaning “love/loving.”

  • Origin: Hebrew, Greek
  • Meaning: Destroyer and liar, not loving light
  • Pronunciation: meh-FIH-stoh, meh-FIH-stohw
  • Variations: Mephistopheles
  • Popularity: About 38 people are called Mephisto worldwide.
Mysterious, Unique, Cursed


As one of the tamer dark male names, Merle stems from the French word for blackbird. It comes from the Latin root “merula.” But Merle could also be a derivative of Irish and Scottish, Merrill or Muriel, meaning “bright sea.” Either way, it has a gentler connotation than many other options with its feminine tilt.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Blackbird
  • Pronunciation: MURL, MEH-rl
  • Namesakes: Merle Allin, an American punk rock bassist. Wyatt Merle Kilgore, an American singer-songwriter and manager. Merle Robbins, an American barber and inventor of UNO.
  • Popularity: Merle was 999th for boys in 1979 in the U.S. but hasn’t appeared on the charts since.
Refreshing, Sweet, Vintage


Midnight — the time when the veil between the spiritual and corporeal realm is thinnest. From the Middle English “middelniȝte,” and ultimately from the Old English “midniht” or “middeniht,” Midnight has been around for centuries. It’s a gothic option that can be used for both boys and girls but hasn’t quite taken off. Shoot for the moon with the alluring Midnight.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Middle of the night
  • Pronunciation: MID-neyet
  • Namesakes: Midnight Musto, son of singer Blackbear (Matthew Musto) and model Michele Maturo. Sparrow Midnight Madden, son of actress Nicole Richie and singer Joel Madden.
  • Popularity: Midnight has about 378 bearers worldwide.
Modern, Unique, Cool


Morbius comes from the Latin “morbus” meaning “sickness” or “mental illness.” This heavy moniker was given to Dr. Edward Morbius in the Forbidden Planet movie. Besides old-school science fiction ties, Marvel also created the comic character Dr. Michael Morbius. This doctor contracted a rare blood disease, but his attempts at a cure turned him into Morbius, the Living Vampire.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Illness, sickness
  • Pronunciation: MOR-bee-us, MAW-bee-us
  • Popularity: Morbius has about three known bearers worldwide, limited to Brazil, Singapore, and the U.S.
Unique, Mysterious, Cool


Morpheus, from the Greek element “morphe,” meaning “form” or “shape,” was the Greek god of dreams and nightmares. This one already sounds cool, but the connection to The Matrix’s Morpheus adds another layer of badass. Netflix’s The Sandman also features a dark, brooding character called Morpheus, the King of Dreams. With Morpheus, your son can shape his every vision and hope.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Shaper of dreams
  • Pronunciation: MOR-fee-us, MAW-fee-us
  • Variations: Morpheus, Morfeus
Refined, Badass, Unique


Mortimer has lots of gothic appeal. It’s derived from an English habitational surname of Old French origins and means “dead water” or “stagnant water.” Eerie! But the mystery of Mortimer continues with The Hounds of Baskervilles. One of Sherlock Holmes’ clients is a British man called Dr. James Mortimer. And in the Discworld series, Death’s apprentice, Mortimer, went by Mort.

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: Dead water
  • Pronunciation: MAWR-tih-mer
  • Namesakes: Mortimer Collins, an English novelist, journalist, and poet. Mortimer Lewis, an English architect and surveyor. Mortimer Wilson, an American classical music composer.
  • Popularity: In the U.S., Mortimer peaked in 1912 at 542nd and last ranked 887th in 1925.
Vintage, Mysterious, Refined


Noir kicks dark names for boys up a notch. This fancy French moniker comes from the French surname. A popular fictional namesake is the Homestuck webcomic character, Jack Noir. For fans of crime and drama, Noir evokes the cynical, stylish, and sleek atmosphere of film noir and noir fiction. But Noir’s allure may be better suited as a middle name.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Black
  • Pronunciation: NOO-ah, NOO-ar
  • Variations: Noire
  • Popularity: Noir has about 2,741 carriers worldwide.
Unique, Cool, Modern


Taken from a pitch-black, glassy volcanic rock, Obsidian is evocative of all things dark and sexy. This illustrious black stone was named after Obsius, an ancient Roman writer who first discovered it in Ethiopia. Young adult author, Jennifer Armentrout, understood its dark appeal and coined the first book of her Lux series, Obsidian.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Stone of Obsius
  • Pronunciation: ob-SIH-dee-un, ub-SIH-dee-un
  • Popularity: Obsidian is rare around the world, with about 24 bearers.
Badass, Cool, Mysterious


Onyx might scream Pokémon (though that one’s spelled “Onix”), but it’s, first and foremost, a glossy black and white banded gemstone. This gorgeous stone is believed to provide protection and improve confidence. From the ancient Greek word meaning “claw” or “fingernail,” Onyx has about 616 bearers worldwide. Maybe the etymology isn’t too appealing, but nicknames like Nyx and Nixie are!

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Claw, fingernail
  • Pronunciation: O-niks, AH-niks
  • Variations: Onix
  • Namesakes: Onyx Lorenzoni, a Brazilian politician, businessman, and veterinarian. Onyx Stauffer, son of Youtubers James and Myka Stauffer. Onyx Kelly, son of rapper Iggy Azalea.
  • Popularity: Onyx first ranked in the U.S. at 864th in 2018 and peaked in 2021 at 406th.
Cool, Unique, Ancient
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Orpheus is a dark ancient Greek option — literally! It comes from “órphnē,” meaning “darkness.” In Greek mythology, Orpheus was a legendary Thracian bard and prophet who traveled to the underworld to save his wife Eurydice’s spirit. Many versions of the tale do not have a happy ending. Still, true love and tragedy make Orpheus a romantic gothic option.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Darkness of the night, darkness of the netherworld
  • Pronunciation: OR-fee-us, or-FAY-oos
  • Variations: Orfeas
  • Namesakes: Orpheus Pledger, an Australian actor.
  • Popularity: Orpheus is most common in the U.S., with about 436 worldwide bearers.
Mysterious, Ancient, Unique


The ancient Egyptian god of the dead, Osiris, ruled over the afterlife and resurrection. But Osiris is the Greek form of the Egyptian “wsjr” or “Asar” and “Usir.” It might be related to “wsr” meaning “might,” or “jrt” meaning “eye.” If you’re a conspiracy theorist or simply invested in the lore of the Illuminati, Osiris might be a fitting pick.

  • Origin: Ancient Egyptian, Greek
  • Meaning: Mighty eye, powerful eye
  • Pronunciation: OH-seye-ris
  • Variations: Asar, Usir
  • Namesakes: Osiris Eldridge, an American professional basketball player. Osiris Jimenez, a Dominican Major League Baseball relief pitcher. Osiris Castillos, a Uruguayan writer, poet, composer and singer.
  • Popularity: Osiris first made the U.S. charts in 2020 at 916th and dropped to 948th in 2021.
Ancient, Powerful, Religious


Raven symbolizes ill-omen, prophecy, and wisdom. Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, The Raven, captures its atmosphere of mystery and malice. “…there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore….” Raven frequently appears in gothic media. The Vampire Kisses series’ main character, Raven Madison, is a goth who falls for a vampire. Lovers of the dark will adore Raven.

  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: Blackbird, dark-haired
  • Namesakes: Raven Klaasen, a South African professional tennis player. Raven Mimura, an American artist whose work has appeared in role-playing games. Raven Chacon, a Diné-American musician and artist.
  • Popularity: Raven was most popular for boys in the U.S. in 1999 at 814th, but fell off the charts after 2002.
Cool, Modern, Sweet


Rune has a long history. It comes from Old Norse “rún,” derived from the Proto-Germanic “rūnō,” meaning “letter,” “secret,” and “literature.” Runes were a Germanic writing system that predated the Latin alphabet. At some point, the rune began to denote a symbol with occult purposes. Rune combines practicality and mysticism.

  • Origin: Norse
  • Meaning: Secret, a rune/letter
  • Pronunciation: ROON
  • Namesakes: Rune Brattsveen, a Norwegian biathlete. Rune Klan, a Danish comedian and magician. Rune Johansson, a Swedish ice hockey player.
  • Popularity: Rune last ranked in Belgium at 98th in 2013, and Norway had a final ranking of 96th in 1994.
Unique, Mysterious, Ancient


Salem is Hebrew and Arabic, and both etymologies ascribe a similar meaning. The Arabic Salem, or more accurately Salim from the root “salima,” meaning “to be safe,” is a derivative of the Hebrew Shalem, meaning “safe,” “peaceful,” or “complete.” Between 1692 and 1693, Salem Village and its environs were far from peaceful when the famous witch trials took place.

  • Origin: English, Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Peace, safe, intact
  • Pronunciation: SAY-lum
  • Variations: Salim, Saleem
  • Namesakes: Salem Chalabi, an Iraqi lawyer. Lars Salem Al Fakir, a Swedish musician, singer-songwriter, and record producer. Salem Poor, an enslaved African-American who purchased his freedom and became a soldier and war hero.
  • Popularity: Salem placed in the top 1,000 names for boys in the U.S. from 2019 to 2021.
Ancient, Religious, Unique


In Jewish mysticism and literature, Samael is an angel of death and a destroyer of sinners. Sometimes he is depicted as a fallen angel, but in some Gnostic cosmologies, he became identified with the Demiurge, the maker of the material world. Samael is a cool angelic pick that could fit right into the young adult fantasy genre.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Venom of God, severity of God
  • Pronunciation: SAM-eye-el
  • Variations: Samil, Samiel
  • Namesakes: Samael Aun Weor, born Víctor Rodríguez, a Columbian spiritual teacher and author of esoteric spirituality books.
  • Popularity: Samael ranked for the first time in France at 450th in 2021.
Powerful, Fierce, Religious


When most people hear Severus, they think Severus Snape from J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. By all measures, Snape really embodies his moniker. Severus is one of the most commanding if you adore straight-laced Latin options. Give your naming scheme a dash of magic and majesty with Severus.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Stern
  • Pronunciation: SEH-vuh-rus, seh-WEH-roos
  • Variations: Severo, Sever
  • Namesakes: Saint Severus of Vienne, a French evangelizing priest. Saint Severus of Barcelona, a bishop of Barcelona.
  • Popularity: Severus is borne by about 401 people globally.
Fierce, Refined, Manly


Shade was a topographic surname from the Old English “scead,” describing someone living near a boundary. It was also a byname for a gaunt person, stemming from the Middle English “schade” meaning “wraith” or “shadow.” In Kenneth Oppel’s Silverwing series, the main character is a young bat called Shade. With all the wraiths and bats involved, Shade conjures that Halloween spirit!

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Shadow, wraith, boundary
  • Pronunciation: SHAYD
  • Popularity: Shade is the most popular in Nigeria.
Mysterious, Sweet, Modern


Shadow stems from Middle English “shadwe,” derived from the Old English “sceadu.” These days, the most prominent fictional namesake is Shadow the Hedgehog, a black hedgehog and antihero in the Sonic franchise. Shadow is perfectly suited to this unapologetic, lone-wolf archetype. Why not cloak your moody little man with the ever-cool Shadow?

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Shade
  • Pronunciation: SHA-doh, SHA-dohw
  • Popularity: Shadow has about 4,924 global bearers, but isn’t in the U.S. top 1,000 names.
Modern, Mysterious, Cool


Sullivan is an Anglicized Irish surname from “súildhubhán,” an Irish word made up of the elements “súil” meaning “eye,” and “dubh” meaning “black.” A dark-eyed baby deserves something as stately sounding as Sullivan. It could even be a nod to Pixar’s Monster’s Inc. top-tier “Scarer,” James P. Sullivan. Like the movie, you could make use of the nickname Sully.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Black-eyed, dark-eyed
  • Pronunciation: SUH-luh-vun
  • Namesakes: Sullivan Stapleton, an Australian actor. Sullivan Walker, a Trinidadian actor. Keaton Prescott, stage name Sullivan King, an American DJ and heavy metal musician.
  • Popularity: Sullivan peaked in the U.S. in 2021, ranking 373rd.
Refined, Powerful
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Sweeny is really cutthroat. It’s famously associated with Sweeny Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. You can’t get more morbid than a serial killer who provides the meat for human pies. Ironically, Sweeny is an Anglicization of Suibhne, meaning “pleasant” or “well-disposed.” This was a nickname derived from a Gaelic surname from the root “subae,” meaning “joy” or “pleasure.”

  • Origin: Scottish-Gaelic
  • Meaning: Pleasant
  • Pronunciation: SWEE-nee
  • Variations: Suibhne
  • Namesakes: Sweeney Young, an Australian actor.
  • Popularity: Sweeny is most prevalent in the U.S. but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names.
Sweet, Unique, Refreshing


You won’t meet many people called Thanatos, and that’s because it’s the Greek word for “death.” In Greek myth, Thanatos was the son of Nyx, the goddess of night, and the brother of Hypnos, the god of sleep. As the personification of death, he had numerous siblings, such as the gods of old age, doom, and suffering. Thanatos is certainly an intimidating choice.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Death
  • Pronunciation: THAN-uh-toss
  • Variations: Thanatus
  • Popularity: Thanatos has about 19 bearers globally and is most popular in Brazil and Russia.
Badass, Powerful, Cursed


Thorne is a popular topographic surname in the U.S. This was usually used to refer to someone who lived near a thorn bush. This epithet is just the right amount of edgy. Thorne could be a badass first name if someone gave it a chance.

  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: From the thorn bush
  • Variations: Thorn
  • Namesakes: James Thorne Smith Jr., an American supernatural fantasy author.
  • Popularity: Thorne is most prevalent in the U.S., with just under 600 carriers around the globe.
Modern, Cool, Fierce


Tristan is a Celtic form of Drustan, or Welsh Drystan, a diminutive of Drust. It probably came from the Celtic “trusto” meaning “noise” or “tumult,” but was altered by associations with Old French “triste” meaning “sad.” In the medieval romance Tristan and Iseult, Tristan is a tragic hero bewitched into a forbidden love. Tristan is as gloomy as they come.

  • Origin: Celtic, French
  • Meaning: Noise, tumult, melancholy, sorrowful
  • Pronunciation: TRISS-tn, TRISS-tun
  • Variations: Tristram, Triston, Tristin, Tristen
  • Namesakes: Tristan Bernard, a French playwright, novelist, journalist and lawyer. Tristan Dorian, stage name Tristan D, an English trance DJ and EDM producer.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Tristan placed 221st in England and Wales and 208th in the U.S.
Handsome, Sweet, Modern


Úlfr is not as common as Ulf or Ulv, which were popular in Scandinavia and Germany until the mid-’60s. If you want the more authentic-sounding version, Úlfr is your guy. Let your boy run wild with the wolves, or honor the legend and legacy of Úlfr, the poet. Úlfr is guaranteed to show off your son’s intrinsic greatness.

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: Wolf
  • Pronunciation: OOL-fur
  • Variations: Ulf, Ulfr, Ulv
  • Namesakes: Úlfr Uggason, a 10th-century Icelandic skald (a composer and reciter of poems).
  • Popularity: With about four recorded bearers worldwide, Úlfr is most popular in Russia and Norway.
Ancient, Badass, Powerful


Valentine stems from the Roman Valentinus, a derivative of Valens meaning “strong,” “healthy,” or “vigorous.” Romantic Valentine is a staple in Gothic horror, usually used for a vampire or other sexy fiend. Take for example, the vampire Keith Valentine from the Shadow Hearts video games. Or Valentine Morgenstern, a shadow hunter and the main antagonist of The Mortal Instruments series.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Healthy, strong
  • Pronunciation: VAL-un-teyen
  • Variations: Valentin, Valentinus
  • Namesakes: Saint Valentine, a 3rd-century Roman saint. Valentine Abt, an American composer and mandolin player.
  • Popularity: Valentine last placed 940th on U.S. charts in 1955.
Vintage, Handsome, Refined


Vesper is the atmospheric Latin cognate of the Greek Hesperos, meaning “evening.” It can refer to evening prayers or the planet Venus. In biology, the Vespertilionidae is a family of microbats, colloquially called vesper bats or simple-nosed bats. Vesper is ideal for goths obsessed with vampires and other shapeshifting night crawlers.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Evening star
  • Pronunciation: VES-pur, VES-par, WES-per
  • Popularity: Worldwide, there are about 597 people called Vesper.
Mysterious, Cool, Refreshing


Victor means the “victor” or “winner” in Latin, equivalent to a “conqueror.” There are two well-known Victors of the gothic scene. The first is Victor Hugo, a renowned author who penned Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The other is the fictional Dr. Victor Frankensten, a scientist from the book of the same name.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Conqueror
  • Pronunciation: VIK-tuh, VIK-tur
  • Variations: Viktor
  • Namesakes: Victor-Marie Hugo, a French writer and politician. Victor Garber, a Canadian-American actor and singer. Victor Horta, a Belgian architect.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Victor ranked 14th in Denmark, 239th in England and Wales, and 209th in the U.S.
Powerful, Refined, Manly


Stories have drawn on the savage imagery of wolves for centuries. Wolfram is a dignified representation of this, coming from the Old German “wolf” and “hram” meaning “raven.” The Kyo Kara Maoh! Japanese light novels include a character called Wolfram von Bielefeld, the youngest son of the former Demon Queen. Overall, Wolfram is more formal than Wolf and more masculine-sounding than Raven.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Wolf raven
  • Pronunciation: WUUL-frum, WUUL-fram
  • Variations: Wulfhram, Wolfran, Wulfram
  • Namesakes: Wolfram von Eschenbach, a German knight, poet and composer. Wolfram Saenger, a German biochemist and crystallographer. Saint Wulfram of Sens, an archbishop of Sens.
  • Popularity: Wolfram is the most popular in Germany.
Refined, Cool, Fierce


Xander is a diminutive of Alexander, the Latinized form of the Greek Alexandros, meaning “defending men.” Its elements include the Greek “alexo,” meaning “to defend” or “to help,” and “aner,” meaning “man.” Xander was probably popularized because of a similarly-named main character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Why not help your little man by blessing him with Xander?

  • Origin: English, Greek
  • Meaning: Defender of Man
  • Pronunciation: ZAN-dur, ZAN-duh
  • Variations: Sander, Zander
  • Namesakes: Xander Straat, a Dutch stage, TV, and film actor. Xander Marro, an American artist. Xander Bennett, an Australian screenwriter and author.
  • Popularity: In the U.S., Xander was the most popular in 2017, where it was 164th, before ranking 187th in 2021.
Badass, Powerful, Modern
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About the Author

Leigha Mayers

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