100 Historical Boy Names To Inspire Your Name Search

✔ Research-backed

MomJunction believes in providing reliable, research-backed information to you. As per our strong editorial policy requirements, we base our health articles on references (citations) taken from authority sites, international journals, and research studies. However, if you find any incongruencies, feel free to write to us.

Parents choose historical boy names for their children because they want them to follow the same path of righteousness and wisdom. Historical figures are greatly honored for their contribution. Their efforts have helped to shape the current generation. Several notable historical figures teach us kindness, compassion, leadership, and perseverance. You might have looked through the history books for historical name inspiration for your little prince. That is why we have created this post with the names of the most respected revolutionaries, educators, politicians, and artists who will keep inspiring your children to achieve greater things in life.

In This Article

Famous Historical Boy Names, With Meanings

1. Abraham

The name of the former US president Abraham Lincoln, who abolished slavery, had to make it to our list of significant historical figures. His name is of Hebrew origin and means “exalted father.”

2. Adams

The English and Scottish origin name, Adams, is patronymic in nature as it means “son of Adams.” Thus, the name is inspired by the second president of America, John Adams.

protip_icon Did you know?
John Adams was one of the 31 American heroes named in the President’s Executive Order whose statue is in the National Garden of American Heroes (1).

3. Albert

Blaise, Historical boy names

Image: Shutterstock

It is inspired by the Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein, who was crowned as the pillar of Modern Physics after his Theory of Relativity. Albert means “noble” and is of Old German origin.

4. Alexander

The neutral name is inspired by the Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell. The name originates from the Latin and Greek name Alexandros, which means “defender of men.”

5. Alfred

Meaning “elf or magical counsel,” the name Alfred is of Old English origin. We took inspiration for this name from the noble King Alfred, who dedicated his life to promoting the importance of education.

6. Ali

The name Ali means “exalted” in Arabic. It is a name inspired by the professional American boxer and social activist Mohammad Ali. His perseverance would be an emerging impulse for your baby boy.

7. Amadeus

The name is inspired by the most influential Austrian composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is of Latin origin and means “lover of God.”

8. Anselm

The ancient and classic name Anselm is inspired by the Italian philosopher of the same name. It means “with divine protection” and is of Old German origin.

9. Antoninus

It is the alternative form of the Roman name Antonius or Anthony, which means “priceless one.” This would be an elegant name for your child if you wish to name him so. The name is inspired by the Roman Emperor, Antoninus Pius, one of the five good emperors of Rome.

10. Archimedes

The Greek mathematician Archimedes changed the world of physics with his discoveries, and thus, is a notable person in our list of historical baby names. His name means “master planner” and is of Greek origin.

11. Arthur

This name is inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who set the trend in detective novels with his creation of the everlasting masterpiece, Sherlock Holmes. His name means “means” and is of Irish, Celtic, and Gaelic origins.

12. Audie

The most decorated soldier of America, Audie Murphy, is our inspiration behind this name. It coincidentally means “noble strength” and has Old English origins.

13. Baldwin

The name is inspired by the American Novelist James Baldwin. He redefined the literature world by expressing the social and racial struggles through his work. The name Baldwin means “brave friend” and is of German origin.

14. Benjamin

Inspired by the Founding Father of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, this is an ideal name for patriots. Benjamin is of Biblical origin and means “son of the right hand.”

15. Blaise

The unique name is of French and Latin origin and means “stutter.” The inspirational mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal make this name noteworthy.

16. Booker

It is an occupational name for someone “dealing with books.” Booker. T. Washington was an educator and an aspiring leader who fought for the rights of the African-American community during the 1870s. By naming your child Booker, you would influence your child to strive for equality throughout their life.

17. Cary

Of Celtic origin, the name Cary means “the dark one.” It takes its reference from the famous English-American actor Cary Grant.

18. Cassius

The Roman historian Cassius Dio was the influence behind this name. This unique and uncommon name means “hollow” and is of Latin origin.

19. Cesar

This is another name inspired by a great leader and activist. Cesar Chavez fought for better pay for the working class. He was the co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association. This name of Latin origin means “ruler.”

20. Charlie

The name is inspired by the greatest musical innovator and jazz saxophonist of the 20th century, Carlie Parker. He set the trend and influenced several music artists of the previous century. The name Charlie means “free man” and is of Old German origin.

protip_icon Quick fact
Charlie Chaplin, an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer, is also a popular bearer of this name.

21. Charles

The name Charles is derived from the German name Karl, meaning “free man.” We seek our inspiration for this name from the English naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin.

22. Charlton

The name Charlton means “free peasant’s settlement” and is of Old English origin. The inspiration was the famous American actor and political activist Charlton Heston, who gained popularity by his role as Moses in the Biblical film The Ten Commandments.

23. Clark

The name is inspired by the King of Hollywood, Clark Gable. The name Clark is of Latin and English origin. It is an occupational name meaning “scribe.”

24. Claude

The name is inspired by the French impressionist painter Claude Monet. He was one of those few painters who transformed the form of French painting with the Impressionist Movement. The name Claude means “enclosure” and is of French origin.

protip_icon Quick fact
Claude Shannon, the American mathematician and computer scientist, also shares this name.

25. Cobb

Cobb is a name inspired by the vigilant American baseball player Ty Cobb. The name Cobb is a diminutive form of Jacob, which is a name of Hebrew origin and means “supplanter.”

26. Constantine

Constantine refers to someone who is steadfast

Image: IStock

The antique name is inspired by the Roman emperor of the same name. It means “steadfast” and has a Latin origin.

27. Cyrus

The Persian emperor Cyrus was an influential leader who modeled centralized administration to many leaders after his time. His name means “one who bestows care” and is of Persian origin.

28. Degas

The name Degas of French origin means “blessing.” Edgar Degas, the French impressionist, defined the ideas of centering through his paintings.

29. Desmond

Desmond Tutu was the first black African to become the Archbishop of Cape Town. Since a young age, he had been fighting for civil rights and apartheid. His name means “gracious defender” and is of Anglo-Saxon origin.

30. Dylan

The name got popular during the 20th century due to the famous and greatest songwriter of all time, Bob Dylan. The name Dylan is of Welsh origin and means “son of the sea.”

31. Edison

A name that is known well by the science community, Thomas Edison is the inventor of the incandescent electric bulb and the phonograph. Edison is a patronymic surname meaning “son of Edward” and is of Old English origin.

32. Edgar

Edgar means “wealthy spearman” in Anglo-Saxon origins. The name is inspired by the American writer, poet, and literary critic, Edgar Allan Poe. Although he had a short career as a writer, his captivating short stories and poems continue to motivate several writers, even today.

33. Erasmus

The Greek name Erasmus means “beloved.” Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus who was the most influential and greatest thinker of his time, inspired us for this name.

34. Elie

Elie is a Hebrew origin name that means “God is my help.” The name is inspired by the Roman-American writer, Elie Wiesel. He dedicated his life to the genocide committed by the Nazis during World War II, which would be a key takeaway for your child from his story.

35. Elvis

Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, defined the music industry and is an influential historical figure. His name is of Old English origin and means “wise friend.”

36. Ernest

The American novelist Ernest Hemingway of The Old Man and the Sea is a literary icon whose name had to be on our list. Ernest means “resolute” and is of Old German origin.

37. Errol

Derived from the Old English name Earl, the name Errol means “nobleman.” The famous Australian-born actor Errol Flynn mesmerized the audience during the Golden Age of Hollywood, is our inspiration behind this name.

38. Fitzgerald

The American novelist Fitzgerald Scott is our inspiration. His short stories The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night are favorites. His name means “son of spear-ruler” in Old German and Old French.

39. Frank

The American gay rights activist Frank Kamany had to make it into our list of influential historical figures for his ceaseless efforts towards equality. His name is of Latin origin and means “free one.”

40. Franklin

The efforts that the former US president Franklin Roosevelt made towards the economic recovery are something one needs to take inspiration from. His name is of Middle English origin and means “free landholder.”

41. Franz

The writer of the realistic fantasy Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, is an inspiration to many writers. He is the most celebrated author is of Old German origin and means “free man.”

42. Frederick

The name is inspired by the well-known abolitionist of American history, Frederick Douglas. His anti-slavery writings form a basis for the contemporary world. The name Frederick means “peaceful ruler” in Old German.

43. Galen

The Greek physician Galen of Pergamon must be the first notable person who would think of this name. It means “healer” and is of Greek origin.

44. Galileo

Derived from the Latin and Italian name Galilaeus, Galileo means “from Galilee.” It is inspired by the Italian astronomer Galileo Galili, who transformed with his invention of the telescope.

45. Gary

The natural actor Gary Cooper inspired us for this name. Gary is a name of Old English origin, meaning “spear.”

46. George

George means “farmer” and has Greek origins. The name is inspired by the American agricultural scientist George Washington Carver. George Carver, aka the Plant Doctor, strived for the betterment of farmers throughout his life.

47. Gertrude

The name rose to popularity after the American novelist and modern poet Gertrude Stein. The name is of Old German origin and means “strength.”

48. Goethe

Composed of the German element got, Goethe, transcribes as “godfather.” Our inspiration behind the name is the German poet and playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

49. Grant

This English and Gaelic origin name, Grant, means “tall.” Thanks to the 18th president of the US, the name needs no introduction, Ulysses S. Grant, who played a key role in leading America to victory during the Civil War.

50. Granville

This Old French origin name means “large town.” Our inspiration behind this name is notable American inventor Granville Woods.

51. Grover

This name is inspired by the first black pilot who flew the mail for the US Postal Service, Grover Cleaveland Nash. The name Grover is of Old German origin, meaning “hollow.”

52. Hamilton

The name Hamilton is of Old English origin, and means “crooked hill.” The indispensable companion of George Washington and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Alexander Hamilton, is our inspiration behind this name.

53. Harvey

Harvey means worthy

Image: IStock

Harvey Milk, our inspiration behind this name, was the first openly gay elected official of California. To fight the discrimination against homosexuality, Harvey chose to live a life in power. His name means “worthy” in Old English and Old French.

54. Henri

If you love modern art, then this is the name for your baby. The French artist, Henri Matisse, had to make it into our list of influential historical figures. Henri means “house ruler” and has French origins.

55. Homer

When one thinks of Greek literature, Homer is one name they did not fail to miss. His creative works and mythical sagas such as the Iliad and the Odyssey were foundational to many Greek writers. The anime Homer means “security” with Greek origins.

56. Isaac

The name Isaac is of Hebrew origin and means “one who rejoices.” It is inspired by the mathematician, physicist, and astronomer Sir Isaac Newton. His theory of gravitation and laws of motion reshaped the scientific community.

57. James

The Irish novelist and short story writer James Joyce is an important writer of the 20th century as his contributions to the avant-garde movement have been regarded as influential. This name of Hebrew origin means “supplanter.”

58. Jackie

This Old English origin name means “God is gracious.” The name is inspired by the first African American baseball player Jackie Robinson, who is the embodiment of determination to many sportspeople.

59. Jasper

The depiction of the American flag, Jasper Johns, is the inspiration for this name. It is of Old English origin and means “treasurer.”

60. Jefferson

The name of the third US president, diplomat, and lawyer, Thomas Jefferson, is our inspiration. His patronymic surname is a worthy option even for a first name and means “son of Jeffrey.”

61. Jesse

Jesse is a name of Hebrew origin meaning “the Lord exists.” This name is inspired by the former US state senator for the District of Columbia, Jesse Jackson who fights for racial and economic justice.

62. Johann

The name Johann is most familiar with any classical music enthusiast. Johann Bach was the most regarded composer of the Baroque period. His name is of Hebrew origin, meaning “God is gracious.”

63. John

It is the name of a leader as it means a “winner” and has Latin origins. The name John is inspired by civil rights activist John Lewis. His struggle to end the legalized racial segregation played a prominent part in the Civil Rights Movement.

64. Langston

The name Langston is of Old English origin, meaning “long stone.” It is inspired by the American poet, playwright, novelist, and social activist, Hughes Langston who shaped American literature.

65. Lenny

The name Lenny means “hardy lion” and is of German origin. Inspired by the American stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce who diversified the entertainment industry with realistic humor, this name is a worthy one on our list.

66. Leonardo

The name Leonardo is known to all. His works Mona Lisa and The Last Supper are expressive and remarkable contributions to the world of art. His name is of Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish origins and means “brave lion.”

67. Leo

The Russian writer Leo Tolstoy is our inspiration behind this name. His masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina explored humanity with his realistic fiction. His name is of Latin origin meaning, “lion.”

68. Leonidas

The Greek war leader, Leonidas I, whose participation was noteworthy during the Second Persian War, is a notable person with this name. Leonidas means “lion” and is of Greek origin.

69. Louis

The common English name of French origin means “famous warrior.” We seek inspiration for this name from Saint Louis IX of France, who strived for justice and peace.

70. Madison

The unisexual name, Madison, is inspired by the American Father of the Constitution and the fourth president of the US, James Madison. The Old English name is patronymic and means “son of Mathew.”

71. Malcolm

Another popular leader during the Civil Rights Movement was the African-American Muslim minister Malcolm X. His speech on the Ballot or the Bullet is inspirational to many even today. The name Malcolm is of Scottish and Gaelic origin, and it means “devotee of Saint Columba.”

72. Marcus

Marcus, Historical boy names

Image: IStock

The name is inspired by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, famously known as the five good emperors of Rome. The name is of Latin origin and is dedicated to the “Roman God of War, Mars.”

73. Mark

The father of literature, Mark Twain, had to make it to our list of the most inspirational historical figures. The classics Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are stories we cherish from time to time. Mark is a Latin origin name, meaning “God of War.”

74. Marshall

Marshall means “master of horses” and is of German origin. The former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Marshall Thurgood, is our inspiration behind this name. His pursuit of racial justice was influential.

75. Leif

The unique name of Scandinavian origin means “heir.” The Icelandic explorer, Leif Erikson, is the notable personality behind this name.

76. Luther

It is a name one cannot miss while speaking of history due to the remarkable Martin Luther King Jr. The young American minister changed the world of many African Americans by promoting peaceful protests. The name Luther is of Old German origin and means “soldier of the people.”

77. Monroe

The Scottish and Gaelic origin topographical name means “mouth of the river Rotha.” The name is inspired by the fifth US president, James Monroe, whose time was defined as the Era of Good Feelings. We hope this name would bring the same fortune to your child too.

78. Myles

We take inspiration from the American educator Myles Horton. He influenced many leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. The name is of Latin origin and means “soldier.”

79. Neil

The name is inspired by the first man to ever walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong. His achievement is celebrated by the whole world even today and is an inspiring name for future space enthusiasts. Coincidentally, the name Neil means “champion” in its Gaelic and Irish origins.

80. Nelson

The name Nelson has Irish origins, and it means “son of a champion.” We take this name’s inspiration from the icon of social justice and democracy, Nelson Mandela. His anti-apartheid revolution would be a motivational path for your baby boy.

81. Nikola

The Slavic and Old Greek origin name is inspired by the Serbian and American inventor, Nikola Tesla, which means “victor of the people.” His story is motivational, and we wish that this name would inspire your child to never lose hope, even during the toughest of times.

82. Oscar

The flamboyant Irish writer of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde, is our inspiration behind this name. His name has Irish and Gaelic origins, and it means “spear of the Gods.”

83. Pablo

After the popularity of the Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso, this name never stooped down in the trending charts. This name of Spanish origin means “humble.”

84. Paul

The name Paul means “humble” and is of Latin origin. It is the name inspired by the Boston patriot Paul Revere. He played a key role during the American Revolution by alerting the Colonial militia of the British invasion, the hymns of which are still sung.

85. Pedro

The name is inspired by the former Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro II. Under his leadership, Brazil witnessed prosperity, and it makes us wish that the name would do the same for your little one. Pedro is of Spanish and Portuguese origin and means “rock.”

86. Ralph

The name Ralph has German, Irish, Gaelic, and Old English origins. It means “famous wolf.” The prolific and famous professor, essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson is our inspiration behind this name.

87. Raphael

It means “God has healed” and has Portuguese origins. Our inspiration behind this name is the popular Italian Renaissance artist Raphael Sanzio.

88. Robert

The name Robert for your baby boy is inspired by one of the most famous poets of the 20th century, Robert Frost. His name justifies his popularity as it means “bright fame” in Old German.

89. Roy

The Gaelic name Roy is derived from the Scottish ‘Ruadh,’ which means “red.” This name is inspired by the American singer Roy Rogers.

90. Sallinger

This short and sweet name is inspired by the American writer, J.D. Sallinger. His book Catcher in the Rye and Nine Stories is still a fan favorite. The name Sallinger is of Hebrew origin, meaning “peace.”

91. Seneca

The Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca, one of the most intellectual figures, inspired us for this name. His name means “people of the standing rock” and is of Latin origin.

92. Shel

Of Old English origin, the name Shel is the diminutive form of Sheldon or Shelly, and it means “steep valley.” We take inspiration for this name from Shel Silversteen, the famous children’s poet, writer, and cartoonist.

93. Stephen

Stephan is a name inspired by the man who challenged misfortunes to become a role model to the world. His works on relativity theory and quantum mechanics set a foundation for the physics, and hence, would be a great name choice. His name means “crown” in Greek.

94. Theodore

Theodore, Historical boy names

Image: Shutterstock

Theodore Roosevelt is our inspiration behind this name. He promoted the conversation movement and promoted fair labor unions. Lovingly known as Teddy, the name Theodore means “gift of God” and is of Ancient Greek origin.

95. Thomas

The name Thomas means “twin” and has Hebrew origins. We take inspiration for this name from the English-American philosopher, activist, and revolutionary Thomas Paine. He advocated American independence, and hence, would be an ideal patriotic name for a baby.

96. Tyler

The name Tyler of Old English and Old French origin means “owner of a tavern.” The notable historical figure behind this name is the tenth US president, John Tyler.

97. Walt

The poet of the famous Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman, is a favorite of most English literature aficionados. His name is of Old German origin that means “commander of the army.”

98. William

The name is inspired by the famous English playwright William Shakespeare, who shaped the world of English literature for centuries to come. William is a name of Old English origin and means “strong-willed warrior.”

99. Winston

The story of the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is empowering. He successfully led Britain through World War II and hence is a name that would remain in trend for a long time. This name of Old English origin means “joyful stone.”

100. Yuri

It is a name that is bound to be loved by space and science enthusiasts, referring to the Soviet Cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin. The name is of Russian origin and means “farmer.”

Discover More Names

When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.

historical boy names_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there any negative aspects to choosing a historical name?

There are no major drawbacks to choosing a historical name for your baby. However, parents must ensure that they do thorough research on the name they decide to keep. They must consider factors such as the name’s meaning, sound, history, and how socially acceptable the name is.

2. How do you incorporate a historical name into a modern baby name?

A historical baby name can be incorporated into a modern baby name by using the historical name as a middle name, given name, or even as a nickname.

Historical figures find worldwide recognition, and you may consider naming your child after someone who exemplifies virtues and inspire your child throughout their lives. Their contributions have left a significant impact on people’s lives. If you are a science enthusiast, you may go for names such as Albert, Edison, or Nikola. William, Gertrude, Robert, or Langston may fascinate patrons of Literature. Our compilation includes geniuses in almost every field. We are sure that these historical boy names will intrigue you to use one of them for your little prince.

Infographic: Famous Historical Boy Names

Naming their child is always one of the most exciting and crucial decisions of every parent’s journey. You may want to choose a moniker that may eventually complement their personality. If you are brainstorming about names for your baby boy, this list of historical names may make your job easier.

boy names inspired by legendary heroes (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. American Heroes;
  2. Key Achievements of Galileo Spacecraft;
Was this article helpful?
Like buttonDislike button
Shikha is a writer-turned-editor at MomJunction, with over seven years of experience in the field of content. Having done a certification in Relationship Coaching, her core interest lies in writing articles that guide couples through their courtship to marriage and parenthood.

Read full bio of Shikha Thakur
Srija holds an MA in English Literature from the University of Calcutta and a PG Diploma in Editing and Publishing from Jadavpur University. Her interest in editing ranges across niches, including academics, human psychology, and child development.

Read full bio of Srija Chanda Burman
Praggya Joshi holds a bachelor's degree in Education and a master's in Ancient Indian History from University of Delhi. She has a robust knowledge of literature, society, and ethics. Praggya has been a content writer since 2021, researching and writing on education, health and wellness, and travel.

Read full bio of Praggya Joshi