What are some alternatives to using a baby name with “Junior” for a boy?

Are you trying to steer clear of a baby name with “Junior,” but still want to use a family name for your little guy? Here are some ideas for you!


Many expectant parents want to honor family members, but do not want to deal with the complications of using the suffixes Jr., III, etc. So if you want to name your son after his dad, but do not want to have to deal with the confusion that can come with “Jr.” What can you do?

“Junior” is a very old generational suffix, used to help separate male family members with the same name. (It’s traditionally only used for boys and men.)

The term has been traced back to the 1200s, and comes from the Latin words iunior and iuvenis, meaning “young man.” (The abbreviation Jr. was first seen about 400 years ago — coincidentally right around when the Pilgrims arrived in America.)

But if you’re pretty sure that “Dad’s Name, Jr.” is a no-go, there are several other ways to you can still include traditional family names when naming your son. Here are a few.

What are some alternatives to using a baby name with Junior for a boy

GO ABROAD FOR A FAMILY BABY NAME WITHOUT JUNIOR

Nothing says you have to use the exact name as dad… but you can get close by using foreign versions of his father’s name instead of the exact same name. There are thousands of possibilities in this vein that will keep you from needing to simply go with a baby name with junior! For example:

  • Alessandro is an Italian version of Alexander
  • Andrei is a Russian version of Andrew
  • Antonio is a Spanish & Portuguese version of Anthony
  • Carlos is Spanish for Charles
  • Jakob is a German form of Jacob
  • Johann is a German variant of John
  • Josef is a Czech form of Joseph
  • Kristofer is a Dutch version of Christopher
  • Liam is an Irish variation of William
  • Matteo is an Italian version of Matthew
  • Miguel is a Spanish variant of Michael
  • Nikolaos is a Greek version of Nicholas
  • Roberto is an Italian form of Robert
  • Séamus is a Gaelic/Irish form of James
  • Étienne is the French form of Steven/Stephen

DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT IN THE MIDDLE

One way to avoid using “Junior” is to use a different middle name than the father. For example, if dad is named Anthony James Finnegan, you can name your son Anthony Mark Finnegan without using “Jr.”

For the record, to use Jr., III, and other suffixes of this type, the first, middle and last names need to be exactly the same. Therefore, changing the middle name avoids the use of the “Junior” suffix.

INSTEAD OF A BABY NAME WITH JUNIOR, SWAP MIDDLE & FIRST NAMES

Another idea is to use the father’s first name as your child’s middle name. Using the example before, your son could be named Jackson Anthony Finnegan. Alternatively, could also use the dad’s initials for your son’s name — so using the example of a father named Anthony James Finnegan, the son could be named Aidan James Finnegan.

MORE: 100 one-syllable boy baby names

If the father is deceased, then you can use the same name without using Junior. The other guideline for using Jr., III, IV and on is that all the parties need to be living. For example, if Joe Senior (Sr.) dies, then Junior traditionally stops using the Jr. suffix.

Yes, this can be confusing, and many people (especially celebrities) continue using Jr. throughout their careers, regardless of whether or not Senior has passed.

Remember, though, that how you choose to use Junior, Senior, III, Third, etc. are guidelines, not laws. The law will only come into play when you formalize your child’s legal name, regardless of the configuration and modifiers you choose.

IGNORE THE JUNIOR IN YOUR BABY’S NAME

Still, remember that there are plenty of Juniors out there — some just don’t use that part of their name. For instance, actors Robert Redford, Will Smith and Robert De Niro were all born as Juniors. So just because the birth certificate shows a baby name with junior at the end does not mean he’s stuck with it in his day-to-day life.

LETTING JUNIOR STAY

And on the subject of celebrities, here are eight stars — actors, political figures and athletes — who have kept that last part of their moniker for their famous names.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
John F. Kennedy, Jr.
Louis Gossett, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Robert Downey, Jr.
Sammy Davis, Jr.

So if you ultimately do go the Junior route, it’s really not bad company to keep.

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