Have you noticed a trend in popular black boy names?
Are there some names that when you hear them, you instantly know that it belongs to a black male?
Read More: ghetto boy names
Right now, name some.
You can probably name five or more.
There’s a trend in popular black boy names and we’re here to countdown 27 of the most popular ones and their meanings.
Darnell Is An African American Boys Name
While it could be spelled with one “l,” the most common form of this popular African American boy name is spelled with two.
With its origins in English, Darnell can be seen as a unisex name but is predominantly seen as a male name.
Although the name was not common at the start of the 20th Century, it began to gain popularity in the 1950s.
The name’s popularity has declined steadily since its peak in the 1980s.
It is currently the 1,800-most popular name.
Another popular black guy name, Deshawn has Irish origins.
Meaning “God is gracious,” the name is an extension of the name “Shawn.”
The use of this name peaked in the late 1990s.
After a decline of close to 20 years the name returned to popularity in 2015.
DeShawn Stephenson, a Washington Wizards basketball player, is a notable person with this name.
Marquis is a unique name on this list for the usage of the letter “q.”
With English origins, the name marquis originally came from a title.
Meaning “a nobleman ranking below a duke and above an earl or a count,” the name became more popular in 1968.
The name reached its peak in the early 1990s after it had grown steadily through the 70s and 1980s.
Despite a steady decline over the years, it reached its peak in 2004. It then declined further before reaching a plateau.
If you’re looking for a strong male, Terrell is a great name.
Another name of this list that’s of English origin, Terrell means “strong-willed.”
Around since before the 20th century, the name has experienced increasing popularity before peaking during the late 1980s.
In 1998, the name saw a surge in popularity.
This might be due to Terrell Owens, a newcomer to the NFL, becoming a successful player for the San Francisco 49ers during 1997.
Few of the names on this list are like this one.
Treyvon is a combination between the names Treye and Devin.
Treyvon may not have an individual meaning but it could be interpreted as having multiple meanings.
The name “Trey” can have multiple meanings.
Coming from Old French or Latin, it means “the three.”
It could also be seen as coming from the modern French word for “very.”
The name Devin also means “divine.”
If looking at this from a religious perspective, the name Treyvon would mean “the three divine” signifying the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Tyrone Is Another Name For Black Men
Now we’ve probably all heard the name Tyrone because of the popular song by Erykah Badu.
The name comes from Greek origins and had two meanings – “land of Owen” and “young soldier.”
The use of Tyrone was very minimal at the beginning of the 20th century and began to grow in popularity during the 1940s.
It reached its peak in 1970, and has remained popular despite decreasing popularity between the 1980s and 2000s.
And no, I don’t mean William.
William is a well-known name but Willie, for black boys, is much more popular.
With Germanic origins, Willie means “resolute protector.”
The name has been on a steady decline since the beginning of the 2000s.
This name was still very popular at the beginning of the 1900s and the end of 19th century.
This name reached its peak in 1910.
A celebrity who shares this name is Willie Taylor, a singer from Diddy’s former band Day26.
Demetrius, A Famous Black Boy Name
Demetrius might be a popular name for black males but this name has feminine origins.
The name is of Greek origins and means “Goddess of fertility.”
Many might be inspired to use this name from a number of different places like Shakespearean plays A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Antony and Cleopatra.
There’s even the character Demetrius from the Disney animated film Hercules.
Perhaps you are most familiar with Demetrius Sr., the celebrity.
He was the star of Tupac’s 2017 biopic, All Eyez on Me.
Hakeem is a popular Arabic name that is often used for black boys.
It is an Arabic form of Akeem that means wise, healer, and physician.
This name enjoyed a tremendous rise in popularity in 1988.
This could be due to the variation of the name “Akeem” being used for Eddie Murphy’s character in the 1988 film Coming to America.
This could also be due to Hakeem Olajuwon, a NBA player.
Originating from Nigeria, the basketball player led Houston Rockets to the NBA championships in 1994-95.
Another name of Teutonic (German) origins, Reginald means “king.”
The name became prominent at the end of the 1800s.
Name popularity began to increase in 1947 and reached its peak of 1968.
Even though the name usage has decreased over time, there are still some famous people who use the name such as Reginald VelJohnson (or Reginald Lewis).
Jamal, Often Used For Baby Black Boys
Jamal is another name on this list that has Arabic origins.
With its meaning of “beauty,” is a great name to give baby boys.
While the name wasn’t used often before the 1960s, it began to rise during the late ‘70s before reaching its peak in 1994.
Jamal Woolard, an actor who played the role of the Notorious B.I.G. is one celebrity with this name. His biopic.
Jamal Crawford and Jamal Adams share the same name.
A name of Greek origin, Maurice means “dark-skinned.”
Over time, the name has experienced a good amount of popularity steadily increasing from the late 1800s to its peak in 1913.
The name gained more popularity in 1950, despite its declining usage.
The name isn’t as popular as it once was, but it did fall into the Top 1000 names at the time of writing.
Another fusion name on this list, Jalen comes from James and Lenore.
James is actually a form of the Hebrew name “Jacob” which means “one who follows.”
Lenore is of French origin and means “light.”
If that’s the case, then Jalen could be said to mean one who follows the light.
There isn’t much use of the name Jalen until the late 1980s, but the name greatly spiked in 2000 before decreasing in the years following.
Malik, An Arabic Originated Black Man Name
Another Arabic name on this list, Malik means “master” or “king.”
The name was rarely in use prior to the 1970s and greatly increased over the following years, spiking and peaking in 1996.
You might recognize Malik Yoba, an actor with this name.
An origin we have yet to see on this list, Darius is a name with Persian roots.
With the meaning “good,” it’s a great name to use for baby boys.
The name and its use have been increasing steadily since the 1970s.
Darius also experienced several spikes during 1990s.
Two celebrities you might recognize with the name are Darius McCrary from Family Matters and Darius Rucker, the lead singer of the band Hootie & the Blowfish.
Like most names, Xavier has Latin origins and biblical meanings.
Xavier means “savior.”
The name wasn’t very popular until a slow increase that began in the 1960s.
After the turn century, the popularity of the name began to increase steadily until 2007 when it reached its peak.
The popularity of the name has steadily declined over time.
If you’re looking for a name that is certain to have masculine connotations as a young boy grows, DeAndre is a good choice.
With Scottish origins, Deandre means “manly.”
The name was practically nonexistent in use prior to the 1960s but experienced a period of heavy use from 1989 to 2002.
DeAndre is a well-known name among athletes. This includes DeAndre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins.
Terrence is a great name for someone a bit more sensitive and caring.
Terrence Howard is an example of this.
Named after Terence, the name has Latin roots.
It means “tender,” “gracious,” or “good.”
Leading with Terrence Howard, Terrence J is also a celebrity who shares the name.
Between 1942 and 1994, the name was immensely popular for more than 50 year.
This name is of French origin and is a form of the name Andrew.
It means “manly.”
Since the 1950s, Andre has been a pretty popular name peaking around the late 1960s.
It was popular until 1996, when it started a slow decline.
Andre 3000 and NBA player Andre Iguodala are two examples of celebrities who have the same name.
Darryl Is A Famous One
While we’re used to seeing Darryl spelled with two r’s, it’s actually a form of “Daryl.”
The name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and means “dear” or “beloved.”
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Darryl’s usage began in the early 1900s with its first spike being in the late 1930s.
It continued to rise, increasing steadily in the 1960s and reaching its peak in 1965.
The name has gradually declined in popularity since then.
Darryl Strawberry and Darryl McDaniels, both from RunDMC, share this name.
While Dominique seems like a female name, many don’t know that it actually started out as a male name before it was adapted for female use as well.
The name Dominique has French origins and means “of the Lord.”
It had very little use prior to 1981 before soaring to one of the most popular names ten years later.
A famous male celebrity with this name would be NBA All Star Dominique Wilkins, and while this list is for male names, we can’t help but mention Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes.
Another name of Latin origin, Antoine is another popular name for black boys.
There are many different spellings of this name, such as Antwone and Antonne.
The meaning of this name is “priceless” or “flower.”
Antoine had a few peaks of usage during the 70s and 80s.
While there aren’t many celebrities who share this name, you might remember seeing its used in the 2002 film Antwone Fisher starring Denzel Washington.
Cornell isn’t just the name of an Ivy League school in New York.
It’s also a popular name for black boys.
Coming from the name Cornelius, the name is of Latin origins and means “horn-colored.”
Ever since it’s usage began in the 1800s, the name has experienced steady inclines and declines before and after its peak in 1962.
This name is another one of the list that is derived from another name.
A form of Marc, the name means “warlike.”
With Latin origins, it’s been around since before the 20th century.
Name and usage of the name have increased steadily since the 1950s. This trend continues into the 2010s.
Let’s be real.
Once you hear the name, you think of the restaurant Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles.
A different origin than most names on this list, Roscoe has Scandinavian roots and means “from the deer forest.”
The name was very popular prior to the 1900s.
Experiencing its peak very early on in 1888, the name’s use has steadily decreased since then.
Not only is Peter a popular name for black boys, but it’s popular for boys in general.
The name has Greek origins and means “a rock.”
It also has many biblical connotations due to Peter, one of Jesus’s 12 apostles and the pillar of the Catholic Church.
Peter was a popular name for baby boys up until the 1970s.
It has been a less popular name, but it is still a popular choice.
Jayden, Popular Black Man Name
Similar to Treyvon on this list, the name Jayden is also a fusion of two other names.
It is a combination of “Jay” and Jayden.”
The name Jay is of English origins and means “to rejoice.”
Hayden is a name that has both Old English and Welsh origins and means “fire.”
Hayden can also be said to be derived from the Celtic name “Aidan.”
The name Jaden seemed to be on a steady increase in popularity starting in the late 1990s.
It was even more popular in 2006, when it was introduced to Will Smith’s son Jaden.
This might have to do with the film introduction of Will Smith’s son Jaden in the film “Pursuit of Happyness.”
Jayden is in the Top 25 of most popular names at the time of writing this.
The History Of Black Boy Names
While there are a few stereotypes surrounding names for black boys, they’re nowhere near as prominent as the taboo of black girl names that we cover in our post on 28 popular black girl names.
There might be names that are classically thought of as black male names, but they don’t carry the same ugly or ghetto connotations that black girl names do.
Many of these popular black boys names are associated with dark-skinned men versus those with lighter skin tones. But there is no set pattern that dictates which names should be used based on skin colour.
While many of the names on this list are considered distinctively black, this wouldn’t have been the case at the beginning of the 20th century.
During the first half of the century, names like Ambrose, Booker, Elijah, Isaac, Isaiah and Presley were considered “black names.”
Clearly this has changed.
Booker is still a distinctively black name. However, this might not be true for the rest.
Popular Black Boy Names Conclusion
There are tons of great black names to use for baby boys upon their birth.
While some of them have meanings that don’t translate into modern day, many of them help signifying great qualities in black men from strong and kind to great titles like king.
What are your favorite black man names?
We would love to hear your suggestions!
And while you’re here, why not check our list of black women names and black last names.
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