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Find the perfect baby boy name

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Boy names and meanings

Looking for the perfect baby boy name? Whether you are looking for popular or unique names, there are so many wonderful names ripe for the choosing. These ideas will help you narrow down your choices.

Infant Boy

Congratulations! It's a boy! Now, you just need to find that one perfect name for him. Ready to get looking?

Sure, naming a baby is serious business. But it should also be fun. While you might not be likely to have a Kal-El anytime soon, like Nicholas Cage does, it's important to keep your mind open when going through names. Your partner might just love one that you otherwise wouldn't consider ... but you should consider it, if only for a moment.

Now, how to choose a name.

How to find a baby boy name

It's time to get looking. Here's what to do.

  1. Independently make a list of names. Start by each going through baby names (SheKnows has a great baby name finder!), and making a list of all your favorites. Give yourself some time to do this (perhaps a week), so that you can really read through and digest what you find.
  2. Compare lists. See what names you two have in common and make a third master list. Passionate about a name that didn't make the cut? Allow each of you to add one absolute favorite to the master list.
  3. Discuss the names. Consider how the names will work with your last name. Also, check the meanings and origins of the names. Begin crossing out names that are 'likes' and not 'loves'.
  4. Sleep on it. Give both of you some time to think about the names and then revisit the list. Each pick your top three and try to come to an agreement.

Now, where can you find those names?

Social Security top 100 list

When babies receive their Social Security numbers, they aren't just getting an important code for all money matters in the United States. They are also participating in a giant survey of baby names. The Social Security Administration tracks baby names, ranking them by popularity (the more times they are used, the more popular they are. Each year, a list of the Top 100 names for boys and girls is published by the SSA.
This is a great place to look for names because these are solid names backed by the masses. Popular means that these names will be familiar when baby enters school or applies for a job -- so there will be no need for explaining the name.
The top five boys names in 2008, according to the SSA were Jacob, Michael, Ethan, Joshua and Daniel.

Unique boy name ideas

If the idea of a popular name has you rolling your eyes, then turn to unique names. An alternate spelling can give a cool twist to a classic name. For instance, perhaps your Jean could be a Gene. Maybe Calvin could be a Kalvin. Or David could become a Dayvid.

Exotic boy name ideas

Exotic names are real names that come from other parts of the world. Filled with meaning and depth, these names are another unique way of naming your baby boy. Draw from your family's native country, or anywhere that strikes your fancy.

For instance, in Iceland names like Ari and Gunnar are popular for boys. Wouldn't those be great names? Or look to Kenya where Makori and Pili are popular for boys. There are just so many great options.

To find more exotic names, check out the SheKnows feature on Exotic Baby Names and Meanings.

Celebrity boy name ideas

When a celebrity has a baby, it's big news -- and so is the baby's name. Maybe that's why celebs so often seem to choose wild and offbeat selections for naming their children.
Sean Penn and Robin Wright named their son Hopper, which happens to also be the box where bills are deposited for consideration in Congress. David Duchovny and Tea Leoni were ultra-creative when they named their son Kyd. And the list goes on. For inspiration (or to lighten the mood), check out the Top 25 Weird Celebrity Baby Names.
Get tips on finding the perfect girl name here!
For more ideas, check out all of our baby name articles.
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