boy names that start with r

If you have a family tradition of picking baby boy names starting with R or you just think there is something special about R names for boys, you’ve come to the right place. From popular names to rarer ones, check out these great names that start with R for boys to help you find the right pick for your little one.

Popular Boy Names That Start With R

Some names are popular for a reason, and these top 10 R names for boys in the United States are a great place to start on your baby-naming journey. Check out the most popular boy names that start with R to see if your perfect baby name is among them.

1. Ryan. Ryan comes from an Irish surname Ó Riain. The name may have roots in the words that mean “little king.” The name grew in popularity in the mid-twentieth century, especially from the 1950s onwards, and shot up after the release of the 1970s movie Ryan’s Daughter. It spent time in the top 20 names in the United States where it would remain over three decades. Canadian actors Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds are popular examples of celebrities with this name.

2. Roman. Roman comes from the Late Latin name Romanus, meaning “Roman” and was a name used by several early saints.

3. Robert. Coming from the Germanic name Hrodebert, this name has roots in the Germanic elements hrod, meaning “fame” and beraht, “bright.” The Normans brought this name to Britain, but over the time it evolved to become Robert. If you’re looking for a name that will stand the test of time, then Robert is the name, as it’s been one of the most common English boys’ names from the thirteenth to the twenty-first century. It was a name used by several kings; Scottish poet Robert Burns; and American actors Robert Redford, Robert De Niro, and Robert Downey Jr. to name a few.

4. Rowan. This Irish name has several possible origins. It could come from the Old Irish word for “red” or the rowan tree. Rowan can be used by both boys and girls, but for boys, a notable example is British comedian and actor Rowan Atkinson and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

5. River. River comes from the English word meaning “flowing body of water.” It can be used for both boys and girls, but American actor River Phoenix helped popularize it for boys.

6. Ryker. This is a variant of the German surname Roker, which comes from the Low German word rike, meaning “rich.” It became a trendy English name around the time when names like Ryan and Ryder became fashionable at the end of the twentieth century.

7. Rhett. Rhett is an Anglicized form of the Dutch de Raedt, which means “advice” or “counsel.” This name is most famous in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, with the character of Rhett Butler.

8. Riley. Riley has its roots in an Irish surname, but it could also come from the Old English word for “rye clearing.” It was a name exclusively for boys before the 1980s and kind of rare but increased in popularity for both boys and girls in the 1980s and 1990s.

9. Ronan. Ronan means “little seal” in Old Irish, and was the name used for several saints in Ireland. Irish singer Ronan Keating or Irish-American journalist Ronan Farrow are notable examples of this name.

10. Raymond. This name comes from the Germanic Raginmund, which is made up of words ragin, meaning “advice” and mund, “protector.” The Normans introduced this name to England as Reimund and it changed spelling over the years. There are many saints with this name. American writer Ray Bradbury was born as Raymond.

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Unique Boy Names That Start With R

If you’re searching for a unique and unusual boy name, then you might like these uncommon and unusual boy names that start with R. From Hindu and Japanese mythology to names from Eastern Europe and the Baltics, you’ll be sure to find some interesting unique R names for boys here.

11. Rabindra. This is the Bengali form of Ravindra, which means “lord of the sun” in Sanskrit. It’s also another name for the Hindu god Surya, the god of the sun.

12. Radomir. Radomir has its roots in medieval Slavic. It draws from the Slavic element rad, which means “happy” or “willing,” and meru, meaning “great” or “famous.” It could also have roots in the word miru, meaning “peace” or “world.”

13. Raeburn. This comes from a Scottish surname with roots in a place name meaning “stream where deer drank.” Scottish portrait painter Sir Henry Raeburn is an example of a bearer with this as a surname.

14. Raiden. Raiden comes from the Japanese words rai, meaning “thunder,” and den, meaning “lightning.” In Japanese mythology, this is the regional epithet of the god Raijin, the Japanese god of thunder and storms.

15. Ramūnas. This name derives from the Lithuanian word ramus, meaning “calm” combined with a patronymic suffix.

16. Rareş. The meaning of this Romanian name is uncertain, but it could have its roots in the word rar, meaning “sparse” or “rarer.” The sixteenth-century ruler of Moldavia, Petru Rareş bore this name.

17. Raven. Like in Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, the name Raven refers to the black bird. It has its roots in Old English and is associated with the Norse god Odin. However, this majestic bird is also revered by several Native American groups on the west coast. It’s a majestic and mysterious name.

18. Răzvan. This Romanian name is most likely related to Radovan, meaning “happy” or “willing” in medieval Slavic, but some say it came to Romania from India with the Roma community, and may mean “bringer of good news” in Romani.

19. Regulus. Regulus means “prince” or “little king” in Latin. Also, if you’re an astronomy lover, you might like this name as it’s the name of a star in the constellation of Leo, so it could be a good name for your little boy if he’s born under this sign.

20. Rembrandt. Rembrandt comes from a Germanic name made up of the elements ragin, meaning “advice” and brand, “sword.” The most famous example of this name is Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn.

More Unique Boy Names That Start With R

Choosing a baby name can be fun yet also overwhelming. Watch this video for some exciting facts that could help you find the perfect baby name!

Hebrew and Biblical Boy Names That Start With R

Whether you are looking for a name from the Old or New Testament, you’ll find a range of boy names that start with R in the Bible. From Hebrew to Greek biblical names, here are some of our picks of R letter names for boys from the “Good Book.”

31. Raguel. Raguel is a Latin variant of Reuel and appears in the Old Testament in the Book of Exodus. It’s used as another name for Jethro. In the apocryphal Book of Enoch, there is also an archangel that uses this name.

32. Ram. Ram means “exalted” in Hebrew and was the son of Hezron in the Old Testament. Fun fact: It’s also a name used in India as the modern form of Rama.

33. Raphael. Raphael means “God heals” in Hebrew and is the name of an archangel who appears in the Book of Tobit. It’s not a name that’s been popular in the English-speaking world, but it’s used across Europe. Renaissance Italian artist Raphael Sanzio—usually just known as Raphael—is a popular example.

34. Rehoboam. This comes from the Hebrew name meaning “he enlarges people.” The name appears in the Old Testament where it’s used for the son of Solomon.

35. Remiel. This spelling is sometimes used in the Old Testament for Jeremiel, one of the archangels who also goes by the name Uriel.

36. Reuben. Reuben means “behold, a son” in Hebrew. He’s the eldest son of Jacob and Leah in the Old Testament and is the ancestor for one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

37. Reuel. Reuel means “friend of God” in Hebrew and is sometimes used in the Old Testament as another name for Jethro. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings author, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien had this name.

38. Rufus. Rufus comes from the Latin word meaning “red-haired.” The name was mentioned by one of Paul’s epistles in the New Testament. As a name it became popular in the English-speaking world after the Protestant Reformation.

39. Rotem. Rotem most likely comes from the Hebrew word that means “to bind,” but it’s also used for the name of a desert plant.

40. Ronen. This name means “song” or “joy” in Hebrew.

More Hebrew and Biblical Boy Names That Start With R

Cool Boy Names That Start With R

From cool middle names for boys to names from Egyptian mythology and more, you’ll find some cool boy names that start with R in this list. For something different and with that cool factor, read on to see if these baby boy names starting with R stand out from the crowd for you.

51. Royle. Royle comes from a surname with its roots in a place name meaning “rye hill” in Old English.

52. Rashawn. This name combines Shawn with the pre-fix ra. It’s a name used among the African-American community.

53. Radzim. This Polish name is the short form of Radzimierz, the Polish form of Radomir.

54. Rocco. Rocco comes from the Germanic element hrok, meaning “rest.” However, it’s since become a name used in Italy. It was the name of a fourteenth-century French saint who was the patron saint of the sick. The name was used for the title character of Luciano Visconti’s classic film Rocco and His Brothers. The son of American pop star Madonna and British director Guy Ritchie, Rocco Ritchie is a notable example of this name.

55. Ryder. Ryder comes from the Old English word ridere, meaning “mounted warrior” or “messenger.” It grew in popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s along with names like Ryan and Riley.

56. Rameses. Rameses comes from Ancient Egypt and means “born of Ra,” named for the sun god. It was a name that was often used for Egyptian pharaohs, like Rameses II the Great.

57. Roosevelt. Roosevelt had its roots in the Dutch surname that meant “rose field” and is often given as a first name in honor of American presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

58. Ronald. Ronald is the Scottish form of the Scandinavian name Ragnvaldr, which has its roots in the Old Norse elements meaning “advice” or “counsel” and “power” or “ruler.” Ronald became popular outside Scotland in the twentieth century, most notably for American president Ronald Reagan.

59. Ross. Ross used to be a place in northern Scotland, and has roots in the Gaelic word ros, meaning “promontory” or “headland.” Antarctic explorer Sir James Clark Ross had this as his surname, but the name had its moment in popular culture with the character of Ross Geller on the sitcom Friends.

60. Russell. Russell means “little red one” in Old French and came to England with the Normans. It was originally a surname, like with philosopher Bertrand Russell, but it’s been used a first name. Australian actor Russell Crowe and British comedian Russell Brand are notable examples.

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International R Names for Boys

If you’re looking for a cosmopolitan baby boy name starting with R, maybe a French baby boy name, Spanish baby boy name, or a name from elsewhere across the globe, these international R letter names for a boy should help you get started.

71. Rahim. Rahim means “kind” and “compassionate” in Arabic. It’s also one of the 99 names of Allah.

72. Rafayel. This is the Armenian form of Raphael.

73. Ruslan. This is a form of the Russian name Yeruslan, which comes from the Tatar word meaning “lion.” Ruslan was used by Aleksandr Pushkin in his poem Ruslan and Ludmila, which was loosely inspired by Tatar folktales of Yeruslan Lazarevich.

74. Radovan. Radovan has its roots in the Slavic element rad meaning “happy” or “willing.” It’s a name commonly used in Slovak, Czech, Serbian, or Croatian-speaking countries.

75. René. This is the French form of Renatus. It was borne by French mathematician and philosopher René Descartes and Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte.

76. Rainer. Rainer is the German form of Rayner, which means “advice” and “army.” Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke is the most famous person with this name.

77. Ramiro. This name is the Spanish and Portuguese form of Ramirus, a Latinized form of a Visigoth name that means “advice” and “famous” in Old Germanic. Argentinian soccer player Ramiro Funes Mori is a notable example of this name.

78. Romeo. Romeo means “from Rome” in Late Latin and is best known for the romantic lover boy Romeo in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

79. Rahul. The name Rahul means “able” and “efficient” in Sanskrit. Gautama Buddha gave this name to his son, and it’s also a name that’s been used for several lead characters in Bollywood films, like Chennai Express, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham.

80. Ragnar. Ragnar is the Scandinavian form of Rayner, and is used in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Faro Islands, and Estonia.

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Cute Boy Names That Start With R

From diminutives to names with a sweet meaning or sound, these boys’ names beginning with R are bound to put a smile on your face. Have a look at these cute boy names that start with R for your adorable little boy.

91. Ralphie. This is a diminutive form of Ralph.

92. Radu. Radu is an old Romanian diminutive of Slavic names that begin with rad, like Radomir and Radovan. Radu was also the name of a thirteenth-century ruler of Wallachia.

93. Roald. Roald is a Norwegian name that comes from the Old Norse elements that mean “fame” and “ruler.” Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen and British children’s book author Roald Dahl are notable examples.

94. Rocky. Rocky is a diminutive of Rocco or similar names and can also be a nickname for a tough person. Of course, Rocky became well-known in popular culture thanks to the Rocky films starring Sylvester Stallone.

95. Robin. Robin comes from Robert but has become a standalone name these days. It’s also used for the red-breasted little bird as well. Of course, Robin is famous for the legendary Robin Hood from medieval legend. Actor Robin Williams was a famous example of this name.

96. Rodney. Rodney comes from an English surname derived from a place name meaning “Hroda’s island” in Old English. It first became used as a first name in honor of the British admiral Lord Rodney in the eighteenth century.

97. Rupert. Rupert is the German form of Robert. It came to England in the seventeenth century with Prince Rupert of the Rhine, who was the nephew of Charles I. Rupert made its way into popular culture with the children’s comic strip and TV series Rupert Bear. Famous Ruperts include British actors Rupert Everett and Harry Potter star Rupert Grint.

98. Rabbie. This is the Scottish diminutive for Robert, best known as the nickname for Robert Burns, Rabbie Burns.

99. Roddy. Roddy can be used as a diminutive for Roderick or Rodney.

100. Rangi. Rangi means “sky” in Maori. The name features in Maori and other Polynesian mythology as the god of the sky.

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Short Names That Start With R for Boys

Sometimes short is sweet, so if you’re looking for short baby names this is a great place to start. Have a look at these one-syllable R letter names for boys to see if you can find a good but short name for your baby.

111. Ra. Ra is the name for the Egyptian god of the sun and means “sun” or “day” in Ancient Egyptian.

112. Rafe. This is a form of Ralph and was a popular name in the seventeenth century.

113. Ray. This is a short form of Raymond and can also be used as a standalone name. It means “beam of light” in English. Musician Ray Charles is a notable bearer of this name.

114. Re. Re is an alternate spelling of Ra.

115. Red. This comes from the English word for the color, coming from the Old English word read. This was traditionally a nickname for someone with a ruddy or red complexion.

116. Rhys. Rhys comes from the Old Welsh word meaning “ardor” or “enthusiasm.” Several Welsh rulers bore this name, and it’s still a popular name in Wales. Welsh actor Rhys Ifans and Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers are notable figures with this name.

117. Rin. Rin means “dignified,” “severe,” or “cold” in Japanese.

118. Rolf. Rolf comes from the Germanic name Hrolf, which was the contracted form of Rudolf. It came to England with the Normans. Australian artist and TV personality Rolf Harris was a popular figure with this name.

119. Roy. Roy is the anglicized form of Ruadh, which means “red” in Scottish Gaelic. Scottish outlaw Rob Roy is an example of the name, with more contemporary examples being American pop artist Roy Liechtenstein, American singer-songwriter Roy Orbison, and Irish soccer manager Roy Keane.

120. Ruy. This is a medieval Spanish and Portuguese short form of Rodrigo and was another name for the eleventh-century Spanish military commander El Cid.

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Strong R Names for Boys

If strong and powerful are what you’re looking for, then this list of boy names that start with R could be a good place to start!

131. Richard. Richard means “brave ruler” from its Germanic elements ric, meaning “mighty” or “ruler” and hard, “brave” or “hardy.” It came to Britain with the Normans and became a common name since. The most notable example in medieval times is Richard I the Lionheart, one of the leaders of the Third Crusade in the twelfth century. Other notable Richards include German composers Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, American president Richard Nixon, American physicist Richard Feynman, British actor Richard Burton, and American musician Little Richard.

132. Rostam. Rostam most likely comes from the Avestan words raodha, meaning “to grow” and takhma, “strong,” “brave,” and “valiant.” The name Rostam appears in the tenth-century tale Shahnameh, by poet Ferdowsi, where Rostam is a warrior hero.

133. Raijin. Raijin means “thunder” and “god” in Japanese, and in Japanese mythology, it’s a name used for the god of thunder and storms.

134. Rajnish. Rajnish means “lord of the night” in Sanskrit and is also another name for the moon in Hindu texts.

135. Ralph. Ralph is the contracted form of an Old Norse name that was introduced by Scandinavian settlers to England before the Norman Conquest. Originally, it was spelled Ralf in the Middle Ages, then Rafe in the seventeenth century, and then Ralph from the eighteenth century. American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson is a famous example of someone with this name.

136. Ramsey. This name comes from a surname that had roots in a place name meaning “wild-garlic island” in Old English. British chef Gordon Ramsey is an example of someone using this as a surname. This name can also be spelled Ramsay, like with character Ramsay Bolton from the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.

137. Randolf. Randolf comes from the Germanic elements meaning “rim of a shield” and “wolf.” It came to England with the Normans, but fell out of fashion after the Middle Ages, but saw a revival in the eighteenth century.

138. Roderick. Roderick comes from the Germanic elements hrod, meaning “fame” and ric, meaning “ruler.” It was used by the Visigoths, whose last king bore this name. It came to England with the Romans and lost popularity after the Middle Ages until Walter Scott used it in his poem The Vision of Don Roderick in the nineteenth century.

139. Reynard. Reynard is a Germanic name meaning “advice” and “brave” or “hardy.” It was a name the Normans used, but it never took on as a popular name.

140. Rhydderch. This name means “king” and “exalted” in Old Welsh. The sixth-century king of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael was a bearer of this name.

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The Bottom Line

Keep the baby-naming party going with more names by letter with boy names that start with S. Or maybe you’re looking for inspiration in different countries? Then check out these Mexican baby names, Hawaiian boy names, or Italian boy names. Or how about some classic boy names ?

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