Short Boy Names: 165 Top Picks for 2023

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short boy names

Looking for short names for boys? You’re in the right place. This article rounds up the best short boy names — we’re talking four letters or less.

I handpicked this list of names to help you on your name search. I’m a researcher who’s spent over five years studying baby name trends. I’ve used that experience to create this list and hopefully, make your life a little easier.

You’ll find all sorts of short boy names here. We’ve got everything from classic to modern, cute to unique, and even some great unisex options.

And to make things even easier, I’ve also organized the names by how many letters they have — 2, 3, or 4.

For each name, I’ve included its origin and meaning, sourced from my personal database of over 2000+ names.

And if you’re hunting for a punchy middle name to pair with a longer first name, stick around until the end — I’ve got a section for that too.

For even more short name ideas, don’t forget to check out these short gender neutral names too.

Now, let’s jump in and find the perfect short name for your baby boy.

Classic short names for boys

First up are timeless short boy names. These names have stood the test of time, appearing regularly on the U.S. top 1000 name list over the last century (source: Social Security Administration data).

Some of these classic names are enjoying a surge in popularity today, such as Noah, Otto, Luke and Owen.

You’ll also find nicknames for some classic names on the list, like Abe and Bram as diminutives of Abraham.

1. Abe

  • Meaning: Father of many
  • Origin: Hebrew

2. Alan

  • Meaning: Precious
  • Origin: German

3. Alex

  • Meaning: Defender
  • Origin: Greek

4. Ames

  • Meaning: Friend
  • Origin: French; English

5. Ben

  • Meaning: Son
  • Origin: Hebrew

6. Bram

  • Meaning: Father of many
  • Origin: Hebrew

7. Clay

  • Meaning: Clay worker
  • Origin: English

8. Dane

  • Meaning: God will judge
  • Origin: Scandinavian

9. Dean

  • Meaning: From the valley
  • Origin: English

10. Ed

  • Meaning: Wealthy friend
  • Origin: English

11. Evan

  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Origin: English

12. Gene

  • Meaning: Noble
  • Origin: Greek

13. Hank

  • Meaning: Home ruler
  • Origin: German

14. Hugo

  • Meaning: Mind
  • Origin: German, Spanish, Portuguese, French

15. Ian

  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Origin: Scottish

16. Ike

  • Meaning: He laughs
  • Origin: Hebrew

17. Ivan

  • Meaning: God’s gift
  • Origin: Slavic, Russian, Hebrew

18. Jack

  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Origin: English

19. Jay

  • Meaning: Jaybird
  • Origin: Latin

20. Joe

  • Meaning: God will increase
  • Origin: Hebrew, English

21. Joel

  • Meaning: Lord is God
  • Origin: Hebrew

22. Karl

  • Meaning: Free man
  • Origin: German

23. Lars

  • Meaning: Laurel
  • Origin: Latin

24. Luke

  • Meaning: Bringer of light
  • Origin: Greek

25. Lyle

  • Meaning: Island
  • Origin: Scottish

26. Max

  • Meaning: Greatest
  • Origin: Latin

27. Nate

  • Meaning: God’s gift
  • Origin: Hebrew

28. Neil

  • Meaning: Champion
  • Origin: Irish, Scottish

29. Noah

  • Meaning: Rest
  • Origin: Hebrew

30. Otis

  • Meaning: Wealth
  • Origin: English, German

31. Otto

  • Meaning: Wealth
  • Origin: German

32. Owen

  • Meaning: Young noble
  • Origin: Welsh, Irish

33. Paco

  • Meaning: Eagle
  • Origin: Spanish

34. Paul

  • Meaning: Humble
  • Origin: Latin

35. Ray

  • Meaning: Counseling protector
  • Origin: English

36. Ryan

  • Meaning: Little king
  • Origin: Irish

37. Sam

  • Meaning: God has heard
  • Origin: Hebrew

38. Wade

  • Meaning: River ford
  • Origin: English
classic short names for boys: dane, hank, ian, evan, max, otis

Modern & cool short names

Next, these are the short boy names that are very on trend in 2023. These cool short names feel fresh and fashionable to today’s parents.

Here are a few highlights based on popular trends for names today.

  • Cowboy-chic: Jett, Colt, Ford
  • Soft flowing names: Elio, Leon, Levi
  • Cool word names: Cash, Ace, Van

39. Ace

  • Meaning: One, unity
  • Origin: Latin

40. Axel

  • Meaning: Father of peace
  • Origin: Scandinavian

41. Bear

  • Meaning: Strong bear
  • Origin: German

42. Bo

  • Meaning: To live; waves
  • Origin: Norse; Chinese

43. Cash

  • Meaning: Hollow; money
  • Origin: English; Latin

44. Colt

  • Meaning: Young horse
  • Origin: English

45. Crew

  • Meaning: Group of people
  • Origin: English

46. Cruz

  • Meaning: Cross
  • Origin: Spanish; Portuguese

47. Cy

  • Meaning: Sun
  • Origin: Greek

48. Dash

  • Meaning: Move quickly
  • Origin: English

49. Dax

  • Meaning: Town in France
  • Origin: French

50. Duke

  • Meaning: Leader
  • Origin: English

51. Eli

  • Meaning: Elevated
  • Origin: Hebrew

52. Elio

  • Meaning: Sun
  • Origin: Italian; Spanish

53. Finn

  • Meaning: Fair
  • Origin: Irish

54. Ford

  • Meaning: Dweller by the ford
  • Origin: English

55. Guy

  • Meaning: Guide
  • Origin: French

56. Jax

  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Origin: Constructed name

57. Jett

  • Meaning: Jet black
  • Origin: English

58. Kip

  • Meaning: Pointed hill
  • Origin: English

59. Leon

  • Meaning: Lion
  • Origin: Greek

60. Levi

  • Meaning: Joined
  • Origin: Hebrew

61. Lux

  • Meaning: Light
  • Origin: Latin

62. Mac

  • Meaning: Son of
  • Origin: Scottish/Irish

63. Neo

  • Meaning: New
  • Origin: Latin

64. Nico

  • Meaning: People of victory
  • Origin: Italian; Greek

65. Onyx

  • Meaning: Black gemstone
  • Origin: Greek

66. Oren

  • Meaning: Pine tree
  • Origin: Hebrew

67. Ren

  • Meaning: Lotus
  • Origin: Japanese

68. Rex

  • Meaning: King
  • Origin: Latin

69. Rio

  • Meaning: River
  • Origin: Spanish/Portuguese

70. Van

  • Meaning: Marsh
  • Origin: English

71. Wolf

  • Meaning: Wild dog
  • Origin: English

72. Zane

  • Meaning: God’s gift
  • Origin: Hebrew

73. Zeke

  • Meaning: God’s strength
  • Origin: Hebrew

74. Zev

  • Meaning: Wolf
  • Origin: Hebrew
cool short boy names: cash, jett, bo, finn, dax, levi

Cute short boy names

Next we have cute short boy names. These names are friendly and approachable. Many of the cute names have soft vowels and consonant sounds which are fashionable today.

Of the cute names, I love the ones that also feel grandpa-chic like Abel and Amos. Nickname style names like Iggy and Kit are not only cute but also unique picks too.

75. Abel

  • Meaning: Breath
  • Origin: Hebrew

76. Amos

  • Meaning: To carry
  • Origin: Hebrew

77. Arlo

  • Meaning: Fortified hill
  • Origin: English

78. Asa

  • Meaning: Healer
  • Origin: Hebrew

79. Avi

  • Meaning: Father
  • Origin: Hebrew

80. Beau

  • Meaning: Beautiful
  • Origin: French

81. Cal

  • Meaning: Devoted
  • Origin: Hebrew

82. Cole

  • Meaning: Swarthy
  • Origin: English

83. Emil

  • Meaning: To strive
  • Origin: Latin

84. Enzo

  • Meaning: Home ruler
  • Origin: Italian

85. Ezra

  • Meaning: God helps
  • Origin: Hebrew

86. Gus

  • Meaning: Majestic
  • Origin: Latin

87. Huck

  • Meaning: Huckleberry
  • Origin: English

88. Iggy

  • Meaning: Fiery one
  • Origin: English

89. Ira

  • Meaning: Watchful
  • Origin: Hebrew

90. Kai

  • Meaning: Sea
  • Origin: Hawaiian

91. Kit

  • Meaning: Bearing Christ
  • Origin: English

92. Leif

  • Meaning: Heir
  • Origin: Norse

93. Leo

  • Meaning: Lion
  • Origin: Latin

94. Liam

  • Meaning: Protection
  • Origin: Irish

95. Luca

  • Meaning: Bringer of light
  • Origin: Latin

96. Mica

  • Meaning: Loved friend
  • Origin: Hebrew

97. Milo

  • Meaning: Soldier, beloved
  • Origin: German, Slavic

98. Mo

  • Meaning: Bitter
  • Origin: Hebrew

99. Pip

  • Meaning: Horse lover
  • Origin: English

100. Reid

  • Meaning: Redhead
  • Origin: English

101. Rhys

  • Meaning: Fiery
  • Origin: Welsh

102. Tate

  • Meaning: Cheerful
  • Origin: English

103. Theo

  • Meaning: God’s gift
  • Origin: Greek

104. Toby

  • Meaning: God is good
  • Origin: Hebrew, Greek

105. Ty

  • Meaning: Thunder
  • Origin: English

106. Val

  • Meaning: Valiant
  • Origin: Latin

107. Wes

  • Meaning: West meadow
  • Origin: English

108. Zed

  • Meaning: Just Lord
  • Origin: Hebrew
cute short boy names: iggy, abel, enzo, toby, mo, kit

Unique short names for boys

Now, let’s turn to unique short boy names. These are the names you won’t find on the top 1000 charts.

From the rare names below, I like Elm as a unique answer to today’s nature name trend. I also like Lev as a simpler alternative to popular Levi.

109. Art

  • Meaning: Bear man
  • Origin: Celtic

110. Baz

  • Meaning: Brave
  • Origin: Arabic

111. Beck

  • Meaning: Stream
  • Origin: German; Hebrew

112. Bran

  • Meaning: Raven
  • Origin: Irish

113. Buck

  • Meaning: Cowboy
  • Origin: English

114. Buzz

  • Meaning: Low humming
  • Origin: English

115. Echo

  • Meaning: Reflection of sound
  • Origin: English

116. Egan

  • Meaning: Little fire
  • Origin: Irish

117. Elm

  • Meaning: Elm tree
  • Origin: English

118. Fitz

  • Meaning: Son of
  • Origin: French

119. Fox

  • Meaning: Animal fox
  • Origin: English

120. Hart

  • Meaning: Stag
  • Origin: English

121. Hawk

  • Meaning: Bird of prey
  • Origin: English

122. Ivor

  • Meaning: Bow man, tree
  • Origin: Norse

123. Kale

  • Meaning: Leafy green
  • Origin: English

124. Kian

  • Meaning: Grace of God
  • Origin: Irish

125. Lev

  • Meaning: Heart, lion
  • Origin: Hebrew; Russian

126. Lynx

  • Meaning: Wild cat
  • Origin: Latin

127. Mars

  • Meaning: God of War
  • Origin: Latin

128. Nev

  • Meaning: He will prosper
  • Origin: Hebrew

129. Oz

  • Meaning: Courage
  • Origin: Hebrew

130. Rem

  • Meaning: By the riverbank
  • Origin: Dutch

131. Rook

  • Meaning: Passerine bird
  • Origin: English

132. Tam

  • Meaning: Twin
  • Origin: Scottish

133. Teo

  • Meaning: God’s gift
  • Origin: Spanish

134. Tex

  • Meaning: From Texas
  • Origin: English

135. Yael

  • Meaning: Mountain goat
  • Origin: Hebrew

136. Zvi

  • Meaning: Deer
  • Origin: Hebrew
short names for boys unique: baz, fitz, elm, lev, oz, zvi

Unisex short names

Our last category of short names for boys are actually unisex names. These names not only have the simplicity of being short, they also give your baby future flexibility given their place outside gendered names.

I have a soft spot for gender neutral names, having used them for our own kids. This is a selection of short unisex names, but I’ve written also written a whole article on short unisex names if you’re looking for even more ideas.

137. Aden

  • Meaning: Little fire
  • Origin: Hebrew

138. Ali

  • Meaning: Elevated
  • Origin: Arabic

139. Ari

  • Meaning: Lion; eagle
  • Origin: Hebrew; Nordic

140. Ash

  • Meaning: Ash tree
  • Origin: English

141. Bay

  • Meaning: Sea inlet
  • Origin: Word Name

142. Cade

  • Meaning: Round
  • Origin: English

143. Cary

  • Meaning: Stream; pure
  • Origin: Latin; English

144. Cove

  • Meaning: Bay, inlet
  • Origin: English

145. Dana

  • Meaning: Pearl, God will judge
  • Origin: Hebrew

146. Dell

  • Meaning: Small valley
  • Origin: English

147. Drew

  • Meaning: Strong
  • Origin: English; Greek

148. Eden

  • Meaning: Biblical garden
  • Origin: Hebrew

149. Grey

  • Meaning: Gray-haired
  • Origin: English

150. Joss

  • Meaning: One of Goths
  • Origin: English; German

151. Jude

  • Meaning: Praised
  • Origin: Hebrew; Latin

152. Lane

  • Meaning: Pathway
  • Origin: English

153. Lark

  • Meaning: Songbird
  • Origin: English

154. Lee

  • Meaning: Meadow
  • Origin: English

155. Lex

  • Meaning: Defender of man
  • Origin: Greek

156. Luz

  • Meaning: Light
  • Origin: Spanish; Portuguese

157. Rain

  • Meaning: Rain shower
  • Origin: English

158. Remy

  • Meaning: Oarsman
  • Origin: French; Latin

159. Rory

  • Meaning: Red king
  • Origin: Irish

160. Rue

  • Meaning: Herb
  • Origin: English

161. Sage

  • Meaning: Wise; herb
  • Origin: Latin

162. Shea

  • Meaning: Dauntless one
  • Origin: Irish

163. Sky

  • Meaning: Sky, cloud
  • Origin: Norse

164. Tory

  • Meaning: Victory
  • Origin: English

165. Winn

  • Meaning: Friend, fair
  • Origin: Welsh; English

2-letter boy names

To make your search easier, I’ve also organized the names above by number of letters. Up first are the shortest of short boy names: 2-letter boy names.

BoMo
CyOz
EdTy

3-letter boy names

Next, here are the 3-letter boys names.

AbeLeo
AceLev
AliLex
AriLux
ArtLuz
AsaMac
AshMax
AviNeo
BayNev
BazPip
BenRay
CalRem
DaxRen
EliRex
ElmRio
FoxRue
GusSam
GuySky
IanTam
IkeTeo
IraTex
JaxVal
JayVan
JoeWes
KaiZed
KipZev
KitZvi
Lee

4-letter boy names

Finally, here are the 4-letter boy names to round out the list.

AbelEmilLynx
AdenEnzoMars
AlanEvanMica
AlexEzraMilo
AmesFinnNate
AmosFitzNeil
ArloFordNico
AxelGeneNoah
BearGreyOnyx
BeauHankOren
BeckHartOtis
BramHawkOtto
BranHuckOwen
BuckHugoPaco
BuzzIggyPaul
CadeIvanRain
CaryIvorReid
CashJackRemy
ClayJettRhys
ColeJoelRook
ColtJossRory
CoveJudeRyan
CrewKaleSage
CruzKarlShea
DanaKianTate
DaneLaneTheo
DashLarkToby
DeanLarsTory
DellLeifWade
DrewLeonWinn
DukeLeviWolf
EchoLiamYael
EdenLucaZane
EganLukeZeke
ElioLyle

Short middle names for boys

These short names work well as middle names with most names. Their sound flow well following many names. For these short boy middle names, I highlighted a mix of timeless names with names that add a touch of uniqueness.

The middle name slot is a great place to add a zest to a full name. You may not use a unique name like Fitz, Elm or Rex as a first name but they could be cool middle name contenders.

AbelFitz
AceGrey
AdenHugo
AmesJude
AsaLee
AshLeo
BeauLeon
BeckOtto
CadeOz
ColeRex
CoveSage
ElmVan
EvanWinn

I hope you were able to find some perfect short boy names to add to your list. If you’re looking for more name ideas for boys, you may also like my list of favorite boy first and middle names.

About the Author

Elizabeth Jon is a Ph.D. researcher whose work focuses on pregnancy and education. At Shoestring Baby, she uses her skills to research baby name trends, in-depth baby gear reviews & money savings ideas for parents.

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