Boy Names Starting with K: Koa, Kindred, King

Boy names starting with K tend towards the trending.

There’s Kevin, of course, a name that helped define a generation, from classic Christmas movie Home Alone to Kevinism, a term for the German (and elsewhere in Europe) dislike of so-called American names.

More recently, Kayden (and Kaiden and Kaden) have risen to the top, dominating the list of popular boy names starting with K.

And now Kai is following, a brief and breezy name with Hawaiian roots and an international vibe.

But it’s also the letter of classic choices from another era or language, like the Scottish Kenneth or the Persian Kian.

It’s the seventh most popular letter for boy names, behind J, A, L, C, M, and E. That means a big percentage of our sons answer to boy names starting with K.

Let’s dive in!


KAYDEN (#97)

Irish surname Caden inspired all of the spellings of this name, at least in part. Kayden’s rise owes much to the runaway popularity of Aiden and company, too.

KAI (#100)

Brief and breezy, Kai means ocean in Hawaiian.


The capital of Jamaica, regal Kingston caught parents’ attention after Gwen Stefani named her firstborn Kingston in 2006.

KAIDEN (#143)

Another possible spelling of this popular name.

KEVIN (#149)

In the US, Kevin has transitioned to a dad name. (After all, Home Alone came out in 1990. That means Kevin is turning 40.) Back in the 1920s and 30s, it was leaping up the US popularity charts, only to become a staple from the 1950s well into the early 2000s. No wonder many Europeans view it as a quintessentially American choice.

KING (#158)

Some will see King as regal and grand. Others might think of it as spiritual – a reference to Christ the King – or a hero name, as in Martin Luther King, Jr. Parents’ reasons aside, the baby name King has been a Top 200 staple since 2013.

KARTER (#164)

Preppy and presidential surname name Carter is sometimes spelled with a K.

KALEB (#213)

Old Testament Caleb, too, is occasionally re-spelled.

KENNETH (#233)

Ken is hanging with Barbie in her Dream House, but Kenneth sounds nicely distinguished. It’s as Scottish as Malcolm, a name popularized by Sir Walter Scott’s 1825 novel The Talisman.

KYLER (#236)

A Kyle-Tyler mash-up, Kyler fits right in with so many surname choices for our sons.

KNOX (#241)

As in Fort Knox, the home of the US Bullion Repository – where we keep all the gold. Knox simply means “hill,” from an Old English word.

KADEN (#244)

One more entry in the Kayden/Kaiden contest!


KEATON (#580)

A tailored surname name with unclear roots, Keaton will make fans of 80s television think of one thing: Family Ties. The sitcom launched Michael J. Fox’s career.

KEATS (unranked)

A poetic pick, thanks to English Romantic writer John Keats.

KEEGAN (#429)

A Irish surname name, and distant cousin to the wildly popular Aiden.

KEENAN (#946)

Another Irish import, surname name Keenan comes from the saintly Cian. Comedian Keenan Ivory Wayans made it a household name.

KENZO (#722)

A Japanese import, Kenzo is familiar to many thanks to Japanese designer Kenzo Takada.

KHALIL (#302)

An accessible Arabic choice, Khalil means friend. Author Khalil Gibran makes it even more familiar.

KIERAN (#496)

Another Irish option, Kieran means – roughly – little dark one.

KILLIAN (#310)

Spelled Cillian in Ireland, the K version is the Anglicized form – and the only one that ranks in the US Top 1000.

KOA (#740)

Following Kai, Koa is a Hawaiian tree name meaning warrior.

KURT (unranked)

This brief German given name is a cousin to Conrad, and was a favorite in the US during the 1960s.



The name of a Hawaiian island, and a possible successor Koa and Kai.


Another Irish surname, possibly meaning battle.


Brief, brisk, and effortlessly Scottish.


This German surname might’ve signified low social status – a peasant. But in 2021, Kemper sounds friendly and approachable.


A surname name of uncertain origin, Kendry sounds like a mix between the Ken- names of an earlier era, and surname names parents love now.


Kenyatta honors the first president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta. The surname might mean musician.


A place name with a bright sound, Kincaid is also a Scottish clan.


Kindred is a word name. It can refer to relatives – like the word kin. Or it might mean similar in spirit. Science fiction writer Philip K. Dick’s middle initial stands for Kindred.


Another English place name turned surname, Kipling was also made famous by an author. Rudyard Kipling is remembered for The Jungle Book, The Man Who Would Be King, and Kim.


An Alaskan place name, Kodiak is also the name of a bear native to the region.

What are your favorite boy names starting with K? What would you add to this list?

rare K names for boys overlooked K boy names


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