Popular Two-Syllable Boy Names

Noah, Michael and Jacob are well-loved names with two syllables

Man reading beside pregnant wife.
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While many parents choose baby names that are namesakes for someone they know and love, some parents are motivated by less sentimental reasons: They want a name that will match well with their surname, be it long or short.  Most two-syllable names will pair well with either long or short family names, and there's no shortage of two-syllable names for boys on the top 100 list.

Here's a list of popular names for baby boys with two syllables that might give parents some ideas.


The current leader of the pack, Noah is a Biblical name with an ancient history. He's also become wildly popular among Millennial parents. He broke into the top 100 in 1995 and has been on a steady rise since. Best known for the story of the Ark in the Old Testament, Noah is derived from the Hebrew name Noe or Noach, which means "rest," or "comfort."


This Irish nickname for William has overtaken its predecessor during a sharp rise in popularity over the past decade. Liam means "protector," and has some pop culture namesakes in actor Liam Neeson and One Direction singer Liam Payne.


Mason means simply "stoneworker" or "builder." The name's etymology is rooted in the German word machen, which means "to make." One would like to believe that his meteoric rise on the popularity charts over the past decade was due to something other than a Kardashian choosing the name for her baby. But most signs point in that direction, with Mason now nearly as popular a first name for boys as it is a surname.


The once and future king of the popularity charts was bumped from the top spot by Noah in 2013 but remains a very strong contender. A name with roots in Hebrew, it's fitting that Jacob means "supplanter," because he bumped the 38-year reigning #1 boys' name Michael. If parents are looking for a unique or unusual name, Jacob is definitely not it, and it's likely to remain a commonly-used name among Millennials.


Old-fashioned and contemporary at the same time, William has been the No. 2 boys' name in the Western world for centuries (John would be No. 1). This Anglo-Saxon name has a similar meaning to Liam: "resolute protector," and has been the name of presidents, princes, and pop culture icons.


The original Hebrew meaning of Ethan is "strong, safe and enduring," which is a fine sentiment to bestow on a baby boy. Actor Ethan Hawke is likely responsible for the uptick in popularity of the name over the past two decades.


He ruled the charts as the No. 1 boys' name for nearly four decades before he was usurped by Jacob in 1999. Michael is a classic, well-loved boys' name, which means "who is like God" in its original Hebrew form. Although he's slipped from the top spot recently, Michael remains a popular name across many cultures.


An Old Testament name that means "God is my judge," Daniel is yet another classic boys' name that has stood the test of time. He's been among the more popular boys' names since 1921, and in the past decade has held a regular spot in the top 10. He also has several cute nicknames, including Danny, which may hold appeal for parents who don't want their baby to have such a formal name right away.


This Scottish place name is a relative newcomer to the American popularity charts, which may be due to the X-Men movies, whose heroic Wolverine is named Logan.


Although the currently popular version is different than the traditional Irish spelling "Aidan," this name has been suddenly popular with Millennial parents. The name of the old Celtic sun god, Aiden means "little and fiery," not a bad description of many baby boys.

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