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Updated May 1, 2024

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Boy name origins & meanings

What does Arlo mean and stand for?


  • English: Fortified hill
  • Germanic: Army, warrior, famous throughout the land

Gender: Male

Syllables: 2

Pronunciation: The name Arlo is pronounced AHR-loh

Arlo, while relatively rare a few generations ago, has origins that suggest strength and protection, traits that have made it a compelling choice for parents seeking a strong yet unique name for their child. The English meaning points to a strategic position of safety and defense, whereas the Germanic interpretation aligns with the qualities of a warrior, offering a blend of resilience and leadership. 

How Popular Is The Name Arlo

Famous people who gave their babies this name

Arlo in Pop Culture

Do you know these fictional characters that share this first name?

  • Arlo from The Good Dinosaur - A young, friendly Apatosaurus who goes on a life-changing adventure.
  • Arlo Givens from Justified - The troublesome father of main character Raylan Givens, known for his criminal activities and complex relationship with his son.
  • Arlo Pear from Moving - A stressed engineer who moves his family cross-country, only to face a series of comedic misadventures.
  • Arlo Glass from 24 (Season 8) - An intelligence analyst at CTU with a penchant for overstepping boundaries.
  • Arlo Guthrie from Alice's Restaurant - Although a real person, Arlo's portrayal of himself in this semi-biographical film blends reality with fiction, showcasing his anti-war sentiments and musical talents.

Popularity of the Name Arlo

According to Social Security Administration data, Arlo has seen a dramatic increase in popularity over the last decade. Although not traditionally common, it has surged into the top 300 names for newborn boys in the United States, reflecting a growing trend for unique and historically lesser-used names. The name has not only gained recognition through historical figures and contemporary celebrities but also through its presence in the arts, being both a favorite for authors creating new characters and filmmakers looking for a distinctive name for their protagonists. 

Arlo was originally used as a place name, first appearing into Edmund Spencer's epic poem The Faerie Queene. Though it has just recently regained popularity in the US, Arlo has remained popular in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

Fictional characters bearing the name have made appearances in films such as Arlo the Alligator Boy and have been celebrated in songs and on television, adding to the name's modern appeal and recognizability.

Where Is the Name Arlo Popular?

This name is most popular across certain states in the U.S., including those highlighted on the map below.

Nicknames for Arlo

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby.

  • Ari
  • Lo
  • Arly
  • Rolo
  • Lolo

Pairs Well with These Middle Names

Appears On

Browse these related baby name lists that feature this name and many, many more!

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