25 Rockin' 'R' Names for Boys

Names like Robert and Richard are popular in older generations and Ryder and Rileys are common in the new, but that doesn't mean "R" names for boys are limited to the top 40. 


The letter R is so flexible that there are tough "R" names and sweet "R" names, names that are both tough and sweet, and names that are somewhere in between. We rounded up our favorites:

  1. Radley: A sweet name for baby boys, Radley borrows from Boo Radley's character in Harper Lee's classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird. That means that even though it's adorable by itself, it lends itself to the cutest nickname ever: Boo.
  2. Ralph: As a name, Ralph is full of history, but all the way at its roots it comes from the Old Norse words for "counsel" and "wolf." It also has important forebears: Ralph Waldo Emerson is one, and who could forget Ralphie Parker from A Christmas Story
  3. Rami: Rami comes from the Arabic word for "archer," and it's a traditional name in Arabic and Hebrew. It has a beautiful, full sound that makes for a strong choice for boys.
  4. RamseyRamsey is a common Scottish surname that's been repurposed as a first name, and we couldn't be happier that is has. It has a stately feel to it, making it perfect for little boys with big futures.
  5. Randall: Another old name with deep roots in Old English and Norse history, Randall roughly means "shield wolf." It might sound too old for little boys, but its great nicknames like Randy that make it an easy choice for all ages.
  6. Raymond: Raymond has always been popular, but it hit its peak in the 1920s. It's a solid name on its own, but Ray makes a sweet and simple nickname. 

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  7. Reed: Reed has been steadily gaining popularity in the last couple of decades. It's short and strong, but still has a boyish energy to it, making it a great and modern choice.
  8. Rex: There's something inherently cool about the name Rex -- maybe it's the "x," the straightforward-ness of the sound, or the fact that it comes from the word "king."
  9. Rhett: Rhett Butler was a character in Gone With the Wind, which probably explains why the name started getting popular right around the time that the book and the movie came out. The name itself is adorable, but we love how clear and strong it is on top of everything else.
  10. Riker: Though it's sometimes spelled Ryker, both spellings are pronounced to rhyme with "hiker." It's a name that has a little bit of an edge to it, and though it's only gotten popular recently, we think it will stick around for a while.
  11. Riot: It has a hint of chaos and a touch of danger to it, but Riot really is a sweet name in sound alone. Any kid named Riot will have instant street cred, but that doesn't mean they can't be a softy, too.

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  12. Roald: Roald is an unusual choice, but that only means that its tie to the wonderful children's book author is that much stronger. It's a name with an old soul, and we love that it just sounds like a breath of peace.
  13. RobinsonRobinson is a fairly common surname, but one that can be easily adapted into a first name. Robinson Crusoe gives it a adventurous spin, but it also shortens well to more common nicknames like Rob and Robbie.
  14. Rocky: Though it's lost some of it's popularity in the past few years, Rocky is still a very cool name for boys -- with its history on Rocky Balboa, how could it not be?
  15. Ronan: Ronan is another old Irish name, but it first hit the popularity charts in the U.S. in 1990. Since then, it's been steadily gaining popularity with reason -- it's a sweet-sounding name with a backbone to it.
  16. Roosevelt: Though it's obviously very presidential, Roosevelt actually means "of a rose field" in Dutch. That means it has a strong outside and a sweet inside, making it our favorite kind of name.

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  17. Roscoe: Roscoe is a great name that hasn't gotten much attention in almost half a century. It comes for the words for "deer" and "forest" in Old Norse, and keeps it's old fashioned sound without losing it's cool.
  18. Ross: Ross has its roots in Scotland, and it's a great alternative to the more popular Russell. Ross Geller was one of the core characters on the popular TV show Friends, which helped bring this name some of the attention it deserves.
  19. Rowland: Rowland is a twist on the more classic name Roland, but it keeps the charm in all the right places. It has a noble feel to it, making it perfect for little boys with big futures.
  20. Roy: Short and sweet, Roy hit its peak just before the turn of the 20th century, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work for boys today. It's fun and easy to work with, and has a long history of famous forebears.

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  21. Rudy: Rudy has always been popular, and with good reason: It's strong, sweet, and just feels warm ... but even with all that, it's never been so common that'll you'll run into a Rudy on every corner.
  22. Rufus: Rufus doesn't have the best track record in the U.S., but in England it's considered a high class name and we think it's on its way back: Rufus Humphrey is a Gossip Girl character, and James Taylor named one of his children Rufus.
  23. Rupert: Though it's actually a variation of Robert, Rupert has held its own for centuries. Though it's considered old fashioned, it's still worn by modern figures like Rupert Grint and Rupert Murdoch.
  24. Russell: Russell is pretty common on its own, but what makes this name great is its nicknames: Russ is a cute version of Ross that ages well, and Rusty is just plain adorable. 
  25. Rye: Rye is a little bit unusual but no less sophisticated. It shares sounds with more well known names like Kai and Guy, and is a sweet choice for boys.

Which of these "R" names is your favorite?


Image via Aaron Amat/shutterstock; akegooseberry/shutterstock

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