In the past few years, we’ve seen a wave of last-name crossovers. These names appeal to creative mothers with their freshness, and their heritage and familiarity keep them down-to-earth. Besides, it’s also a lovely way to keep the family name alive.
But the trend that we’re noticing today is in no way new. In fact, it dates back to the turn of the last century, when American parents began using classic surnames of aristocratic English families in an attempt to get their children places in high society. But the image of the elegant and noble surnames faded when the actual aristocrats continued using Philip and John for their children. Even today, the new favorites lean on the British Isle heritage, but the only difference is that instead of nobility, parents are opting for hardy tradesman surnames. These names are rakish, rustic, rugged, and abundant with hard consonants. But most importantly, these names do not carry the gender baggage, which is something we need in today’s generation. Taking a cue from the US Census Bureau and the latest naming trends, we’ve rounded up 75 last names used as first names that you could use. Have a look!
Cool Last Names As First Names For Boys:
This German surname, meaning ‘eagle’ is high up on the list of surnames used as first names. One of the most significant bearers of this name is David Abraham Adler, the American author famous for his “Cam Jansen” series.
If we go by the records, Anderson is now used more as a first name than the surname. And we feel it would be an excellent twist on regular, and even slightly common name Andrew. Anderson means ‘son of Andrew’.
We love the sound of this surname. It’s is fresh, modern, and sounds stylish even today. Besides, it’s also associated with Samuel Beckett, the Irish playwright. Beckett, meaning ‘stream’, has been steadily climbing the charts since the year 1998 and is currently on the 244th position of Social Security Administration list.
[ Read: Hyphenated Baby Names ]
It’s no coincidence that this Irish surname became popular as a first name for boys in 1969, with the release of the television show “The Brady Bunch”.
Carson, a Scottish name, meaning ‘son of marsh dwellers’, began as a surname, but is now more popular as a given name. While Carson is an androgynous name, it hasn’t caught on with girls yet.
This mellow sounding name, meaning ‘cart driver’, will make a winning first name for your son. This name broke into the top 25 list last year, leaving several other upscale surnames behind.
Thanks to the Hollywood actor, British surname Channing, meaning ‘young wolf’, has now entered the top 1000 baby name list. Asian surname Chan is also an appealing option to use as a first name.
This short and sweet Jewish surname, meaning ‘priest’, has a gentle sound and will grow well with your child. Cohen as a first name gained popularity in the 2000s, all thanks to Seth Cohen in “The O.C.”, who was called by his last name.
Coleman, we feel, is an excellent twist on the commonly used name Cole. This moniker was one of the top 1000 names from the 1960s and 1970s but has been a mainstay even since. So it’s the right time to pick this name for your son. Coleman means ‘son of Nicholas’.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that out of all the last names crossed over to become given names, Cooper is one of the most attractive. This friendly and playful name, meaning ‘barrel maker’, is currently in the 77th spot.
[ Read: 1,2,3,5 Syllable Baby Boy Names ]
This has to be a unique surnames turned first names on the list. Copeland is an Old Norse surname and means ‘bought land’.
This common surname sounds way more unique when used as a first name. In fact, it’s beginning to be used as an alternative to David. Davis means ‘beloved’.
Scottish surname Dixon, meaning ‘son of Dick’, has a tough guy vibe to it, which we really like. It’s also an innovative way to honor your uncle or ancestor named Dick or Richard. And the ‘x’ form is a lot livelier than the traditional spelling Dickson.
It’s a shame that Duncan is not used as much as it was now a few decades ago. It’s confident, jaunty, has a Scottish appeal, and brims with folksy charm. Duncan means ‘dark warrior’.
With directional names taken off in the recent years (all thanks to Kim Kardashian), Easton would make a lovely name option for your son. Meaning ‘east facing place’, Easton is a unisex name but sounds better on boys than girls.
Scottish surname Finley, meaning ‘fair-haired hero’, has a playfulness to it, which makes it an excellent candidate to be used as a first name. You also get the option of shortening it to the ever popular and hip name Fin.
Not many may agree, but we find Gibbs incredibly cool as a first name. One of the notable bearers of this name is Cory Gibbs, the football player. Gibbs means ‘son of Gibb’.
This Celtic surname Griffin, meaning ‘strong lord’, is also the name of a mythological creature, which is a half lion and half eagle, making the moniker even more mysterious and attractive. And it has been climbing the charts since the year 1983.
Which kid wouldn’t want to share his name with the guitar legend Jimi Hendrix? Hendrix is basically a version of Hendrik but sounds way cooler than the former. Hendrix means ‘estate ruler’.
This attractive Scottish and northern English surname, meaning ‘enclosure’ or ‘settlement’, is the last name of multiple actors and model. And we feel it will make an excellent first name as well.
[ Read: Middle Names For Boys ]
Jennings may sound a bit too odd to some of our readers, but it could be a potential name for parents who like the name John, but want something more unique. Jennings means ‘Little John’.
We agree that Jones reminds us of one of the most common baby boy names John, but it packs a lot more punch than the former. And contrary to what most people think, Jones is not a version of John, but Jonah, which means ‘dove’.
If you’re an ardent fan of the Beatles, using the last name of one of the band members would be a nice baby name choice. Lennon is an Irish surname, meaning ‘small cloak or cape’.
Names ending with ‘x’ are becoming increasingly popular for their cool factor, which is what gives the Scottish surname Lennox its appeal. Lennox Claudius Lewis brought Lennox in the spotlight as a first name. Lennox means ‘elm grove’.
You can never go wrong with the last name of one of the most beloved American presidents as the first name for your son. Lincoln is a unisex name but would sound better on a baby boy than a girl. Lincoln means ‘town by the pool’.
This English occupational surname has nothing to do with martial or military. Instead, it stems from Norman French name for ‘someone caring for horses’.
Mason, another occupational surname turned baby name, owes its popularity to 60s and 70s American pop culture. Even today, it sits high at the third spot. Mason means ‘stone maker’.
This is one of the most obvious last names as a first name option. This stylish English occupational name is currently the 7th most common surname in America. Miller means ‘grinder of grain’.
The last name of Steve Nash, the basketball star, would be a great pick for parents looking for a strong, one syllable name for their baby boy. This English surname means ‘by the ash tree’.
Parker is also one of those of those surnames that can easily transition into a given name because of its boyish and easygoing charm. Besides, it’s also associated with children’s favorite superhero, Spiderman. Parker means ‘park keeper’.
[ Read: Eight Letter Names For Babies ]
This simple and elegant English surname, meaning ‘enclosure’, will appeal to everyone, from history buffs to writers and photographers. And it has some notable bearers as well, such as Penn Badgley and Penn Jillette.
The Sawyer, originating as a surname for the ‘woodcutters’, is also a good option for a first name. The moniker is considered unisex but is still used more for boys. It’s currently on the 110th spot of the most popular baby boy names in the US.
If you want something distinctive than Shawn, try Shaw, an English surname meaning ‘dweller by the wood’. It doesn’t sound like an ordinary, run-of-the-mill name, but a memorable and distinctive one.
Smith, one of the most common American last names, will look and sound fresh when used as a first name for your little one. This sophisticated English surname means ‘blacksmith’.
This last name, referring to both object and color, would make an excellent option for people who love gray in both names or color, but want something uncommon. Its famous bearer is Stone Philips, the TV newsman.
Sullivan, the macho Irish surname, was immortalized in the classic film “Sullivan’s Travel”. There are countless of distinguished bearers of this name as well, such as Sir Arthur Sullivan and Annie Sullivan. And you get the nickname option of Sulli. Could it get any more adorable than this?
[ Read: Weird Baby Boy Names ]
If you’re still trying to figure out how to use your family name Tom for your son, you can safely go for Thompson. The meaning of Thompson is ‘son of Tom’.
The association of Chuck Norris with this name increases its style quotient manifolds. And it’s not the first time Walker is being used as a first name. It was extremely popular as a first name at the turn of the 20th century, reaching the 296th spot.
Wiley is a modern naming option for parents who want an alternative to the ever popular William. The ‘y’ ending makes it look rather boyish, as opposed to the intense and serious image of William. Wiley means ‘resolute protector’.
Here’s another potential last name as first name option. Wilson apparently, has been growing in popularity than its variation William. It also has an advantage of friendly nickname Will. Wilson means ‘son of William’.
Cool Last Names As First Names For Girls:
This beautiful, yet undiscovered English and Scottish surname has loads of flair. It was first used as a baby girl name in the 1980s in the drama “Search for Tomorrow”. Adair means ‘shallow place in a river near oaks’.
Although this surname means ‘son of Adam’, Addison is now used as a first name for girls. For the nickname, you can go with the cutesy and adorable Addy.
Arden, the English surname, meaning ‘valley of the eagle’, is expected to join the first name list with its robust and straightforward image.
This long-established surname, meaning ‘dweller near the ash tree meadow’, began as a boy’s name, but soon fell to the girl’s territory, partially because of Laura Ashley.
[ Read: Seven-Letter Names For Babies ]
The English surname Avery, meaning ‘ruler of elves’, has been around for decades for both the genders, but has been rising meteorically for females.
Bailey, the occupational surname meaning ‘bailiff’ or ‘law enforcer’, was used for the first time for a female character in the year 1974 in the show “WKRP in Cincinnati”. And it’s a favorite amongst celebrities as well, with Scot Baio and Stella Mc Cartney picking it for their children.
Bardot, the last name of the glamorous French film star Brigitte Bardot, would make an adorable name for your cute, little girl. But the meaning of this name, ‘hinny’, could be disturbing to a few parents.
Bellamy, meaning ‘fine friends’, is emerging as a first name for girls, probably because of the Bella series of names.
This Irish surname Blaine, meaning ‘slender’, sounds like a cousin of Blaire. And we feel it will rise through the ranks in the coming years.
Cameron Diaz single-handedly moved this elegant Scottish surname to the girl’s shore. And since then, this moniker never caught up with boys. Cameron means ‘crooked nose’.
[ Read: Middle Names For Girls ]
Campbell, the Scottish surname, meaning ‘crooked mouth’, has officially drifted to the female side now. Campbell Rose, the actress and Campbell Brown, the news reporter give a sense of authority and intelligence to this unisex moniker.
Kathie Lee Gifford, the tastemaker, was one of the first famous figures to use Cassidy as a first name for her son. And this was followed by thousands of little Cassidys. This Irish name means ‘curly haired’.
Delaney is an offbeat option when you look for surnames as first names. This Irish surname, meaning ‘dark challenger’, has a feminine feel to it along with buoyant enthusiasm.
Ellis is a popular Welsh surname used commonly for boys, but we believe it will sound better on girls, especially if mommies are looking for a name that’s not too feminine sounding. It has also featured in “Grey Anatomy” as the name of Dr. Meredith Grey’s mother. Ellis means ‘benevolent’.
Emerson is basically a unisex name, but we’ve picked it for girls as it’s a pretty alternative to the super-popular and common names Emily and Emma. This German surname, meaning ‘son of Emery’, comes with adorable nicknames such as Emery and Em.
What do you get by mixing a dash of Eva, a pinch of Emily, and a spoonful of Beverly? The English surname Everly. Meaning ‘Ever’s meadow’, Everly sounds classic and has a timeless appeal to it.
This Spanish last name, meaning ‘bear‘, will also double up as a girl’s first name. It’s funky, cool, and has the perfect ‘ia’ ending for a girl’s name.
English surname Harlow, meaning ‘army’, will always be associated with Jean Harlow, the 1930s glamor queen. And we believe that Joel Madden, Patricia Arquette, and Nicole Richie had the same in mind when they were naming their daughters. Harlow means ‘army’.
It looks like it’s a trend to bestow on girl’s names that are surnames used typically for boys. Harper means, yes, you guessed it right ‘harp player’.
[ Read: Five-Letter Baby Names ]
We’re totally smitten by this surname even since we heard it on Audrey Hepburn. So if you’re also a fan of this name, using this surname for your little girl will make complete sense. Hepburn means ‘high’.
The surname Kennedy, meaning ‘misshapen head’, has managed to stay trendy and classic at the same time. This Irish moniker is commonly associated with late President John F. Kennedy but is now the 54th most popular name for girls.
The coolest name of the 60s was popularized by Kim Novak and is today maintained by rapper Lil Kim. Meaning ‘bold family’, Kim is short, sweet, and impactful.
Langley is a common English surname but is a lot less common as a first name. It appeared on the first name map when American actress Mariel Hemingway picked it for her daughter. Langley means ‘long meadow’.
What’s more surprising is that this shimmery and strong name is popular more as a surname than a first name. Luna means ‘moon’.
Now this is one name that we love. Not just because it’s uncommon and a lovely substitute for Madison, but also because it shares a connection with Elvira Madigan, the Danish tightrope walker, who was also the subject of a Swedish film. Madigan means ‘little dog’.
If you’re looking for something that is familiar, but not uncommon, Marley would fit the bill. It has a lovely meaning as well, ‘pleasant seaside meadow’.
McKenna, or Mackena, is an Irish and Scottish surname, meaning ‘child of the handsome one’. Mc may signify ‘son of’, but McKenna has always been used only for girls. Another plus point is the nickname Mac.
While Marilyn Monroe is the most notable bearer of this name, it was Mariah Carey who made it famous when she named one of her daughters Monroe. This feminine name with unique sound is currently in the 787th spot on the list of most popular baby girl name list. Monroe means ‘mouth of the Roe river’.
A name with a distinctive Irish lilt, Quinn sounds like a smart first name option in more ways than one. The popularity of Quinn for girls rose in the mid-1990s, due to the television series “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”. Quinn means ‘wise’.
[ Read: 1,2,3,5 Syllable Baby Girl Names ]
This upbeat and friendly Irish surname/name, meaning ‘courageous’, is super popular for girls, in all its spelling variations. And it’s used for boys as well.
Yes, even Rose is used as both first and last names for baby girls. As a first name, Rose reached the pinnacle of its popularity in 1896 to 1921. But as a surname, it’s been in use for centuries.
Nature loving parents will find Rowan appealing, which is derived from the Rowan tree. Meaning ‘little redhead’ in Gaelic, Rowan comes from an Irish surname. It reached its name fame when Brooke Shields picked this name for her daughter.
This swanky sounding English surname, meaning ‘from the southern homestead’, is our favorite last name as the first name for baby girls. Its notable bearer is Sutton Foster, the Tony-winning actress.
Thanks to Taylor Swift, this English occupational surname is now beginning to be used as a first name, especially for girls. Being one of the top 10 names during the 20th century, Taylor has 90s feel to it, which makes it even more charming. And for the nickname, you can pick the uber stylish Tay.
All thanks to the former footballer Peyton Manning as he brought the trend of using the English surname Peyton as a first name. But today, the name ranks higher for females. Peyton means ‘royal or farm of Paega’.
[ Read: Popular Vowel Baby Names ]
This directional surname, which was recently chosen by Tea Leoni for her daughter, is straightforward yet romantic. And with the rise of the directional names, people won’t even raise eyebrows hearing this name.
So why wait? The trend of using last names for first names is hot now, so get on board with it right away. Which of these last names would you select as a given name for your son or daughter? Let us know by commenting below!
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