Popular Scottish Boy Names

Popular Scottish Boy Names

Baby boy names scottish

We’ve put together a hand-picked selection of the best Scottish boy names – both traditional and contemporary, complete with meaning & origin whenever possible.

Of course you’ll find Gaelic, Celtic and Olde English choices.

But there are others which reflect the languages and cultures of the varied countries who invaded Scotland over the centuries.

Some of the ones you’ll see here are also well-known clan names.

Others are used interchangeably as first, or last, names.

This is because of the way the naming culture developed in Scotland.

If you’re interested in learning more about that, CLICK HERE (page will open in a new window).

Time To Name That Baby!

Here are the cream of the crop, there’s literally something for everyone 🙂

Below the chart you’ll also find a list of the Top 20 Boys Names in Scotland for 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020 (compiled by, and courtesy of, the National Records of Scotland).


Origin & Meaning

Adair GaelicMeaning ‘ford of the oaks’ or ‘oak grove’. Ailbeart Gaelic Scottish Gaelic form of Albert, meaning ‘bright nobility’. Alastair Gaelic Scottish Gaelic form of Alexander, meaning ‘defender’ or ‘defending man’. Alban GaelicFrom ‘Alba’,the Gaelic name for Scotland. Meaning ‘rock’. Alexander GreekAncient name meaning ‘defender’ or ‘defending man’. Made popular by Scottish kings, Alexander I, II and III. Alpin GaelicMeaning ‘white’. Andrew GreekMeaning ‘a brave man’. St. Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland. Angus GaelicMeaning ‘unique choice’. Seen in Scotland as early as the 6th century. Archibald Old GermanMeaning either ‘noble and bold’, or ‘bright gold’. Popular with Campbell clan members due to 12th century link. Also used as a surname. Baldwin Old GermanMeaning ‘bold friend’. Boyd Gaelic Meaning ‘blond’ or ‘yellow’. Also seen as a Scottish surname. Bryce CelticMeaning ‘pied’ or ‘speckled’. Calum GaelicMeaning ‘dove’. May be Gaelic derivative of Malcolm. Often spelled as ‘Callum’. Cameron GaelicMeaning ‘crooked nose’. Dates back to at least the 15th century. Unisex name. Popular Scottish surname. Campbell GaelicMeaning ‘crooked mouth’. Also popular Scottish surname. Cinead GaelicMeaning ‘born of fire’. Craig GaelicFrom Gaelic word ‘creag’ meaning’ ‘rock’. Recorded as early as 11th century. Also popular Scottish surname. Diarmid Gaelic From Irish Gaelic Diarmuid. Meaning ‘without envy’ or ‘free man’. Donald GaelicFrom Irish Gaelic ‘Domhnall’. First seen in Scotland during 9th century. Meaning ‘world mighty’. Donnan GaelicMeaning ‘brown’. Douglas GaelicFrom Gaelic ‘dubh’ meaning ‘black’, and ‘glas’ meaning ‘water’. Popular surname in Scotland. Unknown as forename before the 16th century. Drummond GaelicFrom Gaelic ‘drum’ and ‘onde’, meaning ‘high ground’ or ‘ridge’. Popular as surname. Dougal GaelicFrom Gaelic ‘dubh’ for ‘black’ and ‘gall’ for ‘stranger’. Meaning ‘dark stranger’. Also seen as Dugal. Also seen as Scottish last name. Duncan GaelicFrom Gaelic ‘dun’ – ‘brown, and ‘chadh’ – ‘warrior’. Meaning ‘dark/brown warrior’. Seen in 11th century Kings Duncan I and Duncan II. Eachann GaelicMeaning ‘horse’. Erskine GaelicFrom the Scottish Gaelic ‘Ard Sescenn’ meaning ‘projecting height’ or ‘high marsh’. Popular Scottish last name. Ethan Hebrew Meaning ‘strength’ or ‘long lived’ Ewan Celtic Meaning ‘born of the yew tree’ or ‘youth’. Also seen as Euan. Fergus GaelicAncient name, meaning ‘man of strength’ or ‘brave chieftain’. Royal name in Pictish and Celtic society. Root of Scottish surname Ferguson. Fingal GaelicMeaning ‘white stranger’. Finlay GaelicMeaning ‘fair headed’ or ‘white warrior’. Fraser Norman/FrenchMeaning ‘strawberry bearer’ or ‘grower of strawberries’. Popular as surname in Scotland. Gavin EuropeanMeaning ‘white hawk’ or ‘hawk man’. Popular during the middle ages. Gordon GaelicFrom Gaelic ‘gor-dun’ meaning ‘hill fort’. Graham Olde EnglishFrom ‘grand’ – ‘gravel’ and ‘ham’ – ‘home’. Meaning ‘gravel home’. Popular as surname in Scotland. Grant French Meaning ‘large or tall’. In French ‘grand’ means ‘big’. Popular last name. Gregor GreekMeaning ‘watchful’ or ‘vigilant’. Hamilton Olde EnglishMeaning ‘flat topped hill’ or ‘place of the hill’. Hamish GaelicGaelic form of James, meaning ‘one of supplants’. Hew Old GermanBrought to Scotland by the Normans. Meaning ‘heart, mind or spirit’. Now often seen as Hugh. Iain GaelicGaelic form of John, meaning ‘God is gracious’. Irvine GaelicMeaning ‘green water’. Often used as surname. James RomanMeaning ‘one who supplants’. Often seen in Scotland since 13th century. Popular with Scottish royals – there were 7 Scottish King James’. Also seen in Gaelic form as ‘Hamish’. Kennedy GaelicMeaning ‘helmet wearer’ or ‘ugly headed’. Lachlan Gaelic Irish Gaelic originally. Meaning ‘lake habitation’. Popular since 13th century, especially in the Scottish Highlands. Leslie GaelicMeaning ‘one who lives by the garden pool’. First seen in 11th century. Also seen as surname. Lewis Old German Meaning ‘noted warrior’. Malcolm Gaelic From Gaelic ‘maol calium’ meaning ‘follower of the dove’ ie Saint Columba. Can also mean ‘man of Columb’. Scottish Gaelic version is Calum. Muir GaelicMeaning ‘sea warrior’. Also popular last name. Mungo CelticAncient name meaning ‘dear one’ or ‘beloved’. Owen GaelicIrish Gaelic originally. Meaning ‘well born’ or ‘born to nobility’. Goes back to the time of the Picts in Scotland. Raibert Old GermanMeaning ‘bright flame’. Brought to Scotland by the Normans. Rory GaelicAncient name. From the Gaelic ‘ruadh’ – ‘red’ and ‘ri’- ‘king’. Meaning ‘red king’. Popular with Highland clans. Ross GaelicFrom the Gaelic ‘ros’ meaning ‘headland’. Seen in Scotland since the 12th century. Stuart GaelicFrom the Gaelic ‘sti-weard’, meaning ‘a steward’ or ‘animal warden’. Also seen as Stewart. Very popular Scottish surname. Tamhas Gaelic Gaelic form of Thomas. Meaning ‘twin’. William Old GermanMeaning ‘strong protector’. Came to Scotland with the Normans in 11th century. Popular during the Middle Ages.

Top Scottish Boys Names – 2016 & 2017

To give you a little more help, here is a (provisional) list of the Top 20 most popular Scottish boys names for 2016 (according to the National Records of Scotland website)…

For more info. and stats on popular Scottish baby names in 2016, visit this page Babies First Names 2016

The Top 20 Scottish boy names for 2017 contains the majority of the same names as were there in 2016, but there are a couple of new faces and a lot of jostling for position!

Here are a few books that take a comprehensive look at Scottish baby names in general, if you don’t see anything you love on this page they can help!

According to the registration information for babies born in Scotland during 2020, the most popular Scottish boys names list has seen some changes.

A traditional favorite, Lewis, has dropped down to sit in 15th place, and both Archie and Finlay have moved up into the top ten. As Archie only entered the top twenty in 2016, and Finlay jumped 12 places between 2019 and 2020, it would seem that they’re hot names right now.

So, here are the top twenty boys names in Scotland in 2020 (see the full National Records of Scotland PDF report HERE)