Boy Names Starting with O: Oliver, Otto, Oz

Boy names starting with O are riding high, with Oliver at the heights of popularity, and Owen not too far behind.

But a surprising number of rare O names for boys exist, too. Surnames like Orson and Ogden, imports like Octavio and Oleg, and mythological names from multiple traditions also begin with this bright and energetic letter.

O ranks 17th out of the 26 letters of the alphabet in terms of popularity, putting it well behind A and E, but ahead of I and U.

Of course, it might be Oliver that fuels some of that rank. A staggering 13,891 boys received the name in 2019. It’s wildly popular elsewhere in the English-speaking world, as well as throughout Europe, ranking in the Top 50 – or better – from Sweden to Hungary to Spain, to name just a few.

But O names for boys remain far less popular than boy names starting with A, while retaining much of the same appeal of a vibrant, vowel-forward choice.



A chart-topping favorite across much of the world, Oliver feels traditional, if not quite classic. It’s a playful name, but a sophisticated one, too. With Germanic roots and plenty of historical notables, Oliver is rooted in the past – but has never been more popular.

OWEN (#21)

A Welsh name – and sometimes Irish, too – Owen has become a go-to for parents in our era of boy names ending with n.

OSCAR (#205)

Borrowed from Irish myth, Oscar blends a literary vibe (Wilde) with all the innocence of Sesame Street. 

OMAR (#246)

Most familiar as an Arabic name, Omar means flourishing. It appears in the Old Testament, too, a Hebrew name meaning speaker.

ORION (#312)

The constellation of a mythological hunter, Orion is familiar to all stargazers.

ODIN (#330)

Another mythological possibility, we all know the Norse god Odin – father of Thor – thanks to the Avengers movies.

OAKLEY (#441)

A cool and edgy surname name, Oakley brings to mind oak trees, but also the sunglasses company.

OTTO (#427)

A palindrome name, Otto has been worn by a handful of famous Germans. It feels traditional-ish, but also quirky-cool in the US today.


OCEAN (unranked)

A nature name every bit as wearable as River.

OLIN (unranked)

A Scandi import, cousin to Olaf – and likely a little more accessible for Americans.

OMARI (#478)

Likely a Swahili spin on Omar, though other origins are possible.

ONYX (#745)

A gemstone found all over the world, Onyx is associated with its typical inky-black color.

OREN (unranked)

A Hebrew name meaning pine tree.

ORLANDO (#723)

A Florida place name, borrowed from poets of the Italian Renaissance, as well as Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

ORSON (unranked)

Originally a Norman surname meaning bear, Orson brings to mind director Welles and author Scott Card.

OSIRIS (unranked)

The Egyptian god of the underworld, a name at least as wearable as many other mythological gems.

OTIS (#707)

A buttoned-up version of Otto, originally in use as a surname.

OZIAS (unranked)

An Old Testament name with cool nickname Ozzy built right in.



A surname name that takes the best of Oakley and Wells.


Another Old Testament name, an alternative to Isaiah and Elijah.


Shakespeare’s fairy king in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


A romance-language take on ancient Octavius.


The much-traveled hero of Greek legend and Homer’s epic.


A place name-turned-surname, American poet Ogden Nash helps put this on the list of first-name possibilities.


The name of a warrior from Irish legend, Oisin means little deer.


A Russian name meaning blessed, Oleg has never caught on in the US.


An Old Testament name of a wicked king, Omri nonetheless feels ready for redemption now.


Ozias is slightly more common than just-Oz, but in our age of Bo, is Oz any less wearable?

What are your favorite boy names beginning with O?

popular O names for boys rare boy names beginning with O

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