250+ Last Names That Start With K

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From George Knightley in Jane Austen’s ‘Emma,’ to Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams’s ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,’ and Mr. Kurtz in Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness,’ it would be fair to say that their last names that start with K have made each of these fictional characters’ names unforgettable. From historical kings and knights to modern-day politicians, these surnames have been borne by many. This article lists impactful K surnames used worldwide, categorized by attributes, regions, and languages, making it effortless for you to delve into their significance and origins. Explore and discover more about these K last names.

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Popular Last Names That Start With K

These surnames beginning with K are passed down through generations, hold historical importance, and are well-known worldwide.

1. Kane

This surname is an Anglicized version of the surname Ó Catháin, meaning ‘descendant of Cathán..’ Cathán comes from the Old Irish term ‘cath’ meaning ‘battle.’ Kane is also a popular first name in the US, consistently ranking in the top 100 since 1993 (1).

2. Keller

An occupational surname of German origin that was used to indicate someone whose job involves managing food and drinks or a winemaker or a cellarer. In German, ‘keller’ means ‘cellar or basement.’ Additionally, it is also a surname of Irish origins and comes from Ó Ceilechair, a Gaelic surname meaning descendant of Céilechar.

3. Kelly

Originating from the Irish name Ó Ceallaigh, this last name with K means ‘descendant of Ceallach.’ Ceallach possibly means ‘bright-headed’ and comes from the Old Irish term ‘Cellach.’ It may also mean ‘strife or war,’ or ‘church.’ Kelley, a spelling variant, is also one of the popular surnames that start with K.

4. Kennedy

Kennedy comes from the Irish name Ó Cinnéidigh, which means ‘descendant of Cennétig.’ Cennétig in Old Irish means either ‘misshapen head’ or ‘armored head,’ with ‘cenn’ meaning ‘head’ and ‘étiud’ or ‘étig’ meaning ‘clothing or armor,’ or ‘ misshapen or ugly.’ As per another source, Kennedy possibly comes from ‘Ó Cinnéide,’ which means ‘grandson of Cinnédidh,’ or from Gaelic terms’ and ‘éidigh,’ which together mean ‘helmeted chief or leader.’ It is also considered a surname of Scottish origin.

5. King

Derived from the Old English term ‘king,’ this surname was originally used as a nickname for someone who acted like a king or had a job or connection to a king. It’s also used as an English version of Küng, a German surname that sounds similar to ‘king’ in many German dialects.

6. Kirby

Kirby originates from the Old Norse words ‘kirkja,’ which means ‘church,’ and ‘býr,’ meaning ‘settlement or farm.’ It’s speculated to be derived from the names of various towns in northern England called Kirby or Kirkby. In Irish, this surname is Anglicized from Ó Ciarmhaic. Jack Kirby, a famous American comic book artist, carried this surname.

7. Kirk

This surname comes from a Scottish and former Northern Middle English word ‘kirk’ meaning ‘church,’ which itself originated from the Old Norse word ‘kirkja.’ a cognate of the surname Church. One famous person with this surname was Tommy Kirk, an actor from the United States.

8. Klein

Klein’ means ‘small’ in Dutch, German, and Afrikaans and is often used as a surname. It comes from the German word ‘klein’ or the Yiddish word ‘kleyn,’ both meaning ‘small’ or ‘little.’ The well-known fashion designer Calvin Klein is a notable person with this surname. Kline, a form of Klein, is also considered a popular K last name.

9. Knight

The surname Knight originates from the Old English word ‘cniht,’ which means ‘knight,’ referring to a soldier on horseback or a mounted soldier. Jordan Nathaniel Marcel Knight, a famous American pop singer, is a well-known individual with this surname.

10. Kramer

A Jewish and Low German version of the name Krämer, which means ‘merchant or shopkeeper.’ It comes from ‘kram,’ an Old High German term meaning ‘trading post or tent.’

Common Last Names That Start With K

Spanning various cultures, regions, and languages, these are surnames that you often come across, that start with the letter K.

11. Keating

Spelled as Céitinn in Irish, this surname is of English and Irish origins. Variants include Kaitting, Keith, Keatings, and Caton. One notable individual with this surname is Ronan Patrick John Keating, an Irish singer.

12. Keith

A surname of multiple origins, it is speculated that it is derived from the name of a specific location in Scotland called Keith. Another theory suggests that it comes from a nickname that is derived from ‘kīt,’ a Middle High German term meaning ‘offspring or sprout.’ Additionally, it could also originate from a place name related to the Brythonic word for ‘wood.’ Many Scottish nobles have carried this surname over time.

13. Kemp

Of English origin, this surname comes from ‘kempe,’ a Middle English word meaning ‘ soldier, warrior, or champion.’ Gary James Kemp, a famous English musician, is someone who bears this surname.

14. Kendall

Meaning, ‘the Kent river valley,’ Kendall is a surname that is derived from the name of a town located in England named Kendal. Kendal, the town, got its name from the River Kent on which it is situated and the Old English term ‘ dæl,’ meaning ‘valley.’ The name Kent may come from a Brythonic word meaning ‘border’ or ‘coast.’ Another meaning associated with this name is ‘Church by Kent dale.’ Some sources also suggest that it can be traced back to Kyndelww, a Middle Welsh name.

15. Kendrick

Also used as a masculine given name, this surname may come from Cynwrig, a Welsh name that means ‘greatest champion,’ or Cyneric or Cenric, an Anglo-Saxon name, that combines the term ‘cyne,’ meaning ‘of a king or royal,’ or ‘cene,’ meaning ‘bold,’ with ‘rīks,’ meaning ‘ruler or king.’ Another possible origin is from Machendrie, a Scottish surname often changed to MacKendrick or Kendrick.

16. Kenney

Kenney is a variation of Kenny, which comes from the Gaelic names Ó Coinnigh, meaning ‘descendant of Coinneach,’ or Ó Cionaodha, meaning ‘descendant of Cionaodh.’ Coinneach originates from the Old Irish name Cainnech, which means ,’ beautiful, handsome, or good.’ Cionaodh is a Modern Irish form of Cináed, possibly a combination of the Old Irish words ‘cin,’ meaning ‘ affection, respect, or esteem,’ or ‘come into being or be born, ‘ with ‘áed,’ meaning ‘fire.’

17. Kent

This surname originally came from the name of a county in England named Kent. The county’s name might come from a word in Brythonic, an ancient Celtic language, meaning ‘coastal district.’

18. Kershaw

Of English origins, this surname comes from the northern dialect of Middle English. It’s made up of two parts, ‘kirk,’ which means ‘church,’ and ‘shaw,’ which means ‘grove.’

19. Key

A surname of multiple origins, it is considered a variation of the name Kay, which has various origins. It may be from the Roman name Gaius, possibly meaning ‘to rejoice,’ or from the Old French word ‘kay,’ meaning ‘quay or wharf.’ Additionally, it’s seen as a form of the Irish surname Mac Aodha, which means ‘son of Aodh.’ Aodh means ‘fire’ and originates from the Old Irish term ‘Áed.’ It is also considered a surname of English and Dutch origins.

20. Kidd

This surname originates from a Middle English nickname that means ‘kid or young goat,’ which has its roots in Old Norse. Sue Monk Kidd, an American author, is a well-known individual with this name.

21. Knapp

The name Knapp comes from the German word Knapp or Knappe, originally meaning ‘young unmarried man.’ Over time, it developed specialized meanings such as ‘servant,’ ‘apprentice,’ or ‘miner’ in the 15th century. In Franconia, it was used as a nickname for someone skilled or dexterous. It’s also used as a topographic name for someone who lived near a hillock, derived from Middle English ‘nappe’ or Old English ‘cnæpp.’ Additionally, it could be a habitational name associated with places like Knapp in Hampshire or Knepp in Sussex.

22. Knott

Knott is a surname of multiple origins. In English, it comes from the Middle English name Knut, similar to the Old Norse name Knútr, both meaning ‘knot.’Additionally, Knott is a slow spelling variant of Knoth, A german surname, which originates from the Middle High German terms ‘knode or knote,’ meaning ‘knot.’

23. Knox

A Scottish last name that comes from the name of different locations in Scotland and northern England. It stems from the Scottish Gaelic word ‘cnoc,’ which means ‘a small hill or mound,’ or from the Old English term ‘cnocc,’ which means ‘a rounded hilltop.’

Cool Last Names That Start With K

Whether it’s their spelling, pronunciation, or meaning, these K surnames possess qualities that make them trendy and stylish choices for last names.

24. Kaelas

Coming from the words ‘kael’ and ‘kaelus’ which mean ‘neck.’ Kaelas is a last name from Estonia.

25. Kaiser

Meaning ‘emperor,’ this German surname is indeed cool. It is derived from the Middle High German term ‘keiser.’ An American blues musician named Glenn Kaiser is a notable bearer.

26. Karlsson

Meaning ‘son of Karl,’ this spelling variant of Karlsen is used among Swedish-speaking communities. Karl itself means ‘army or man,’ and the doubled ‘s’ in this spelling makes the name catchy.

27. Kaspar

This last name, which originates from Germany, might remind you of the friendly ghost Casper from your childhood. It’s derived from the first name Kaspar, a variation of Jasper, which ultimately comes from the Hebrew term ‘gizbar,’ meaning ‘treasurer.’

28. Kingsley

Originating from Old English, this surname means ‘king’s clearing.’ It’s derived from ‘Cyningesleah’ in Old English, which means ‘meadow or from the king’s woodland clearing.’ It combines ‘Cyning’ meaning ‘King,’ and ‘leah’ meaning ‘woodland clearing.’

29. Kiss

Commonly used as a nickname, Kiss means ‘small’ in Hungarian.

30. Koenig

A German equivalent of the name King, this surname means ‘King.’ Walter Marvin Koenig, an American actor is a famous bearer of this surname.

31. Kool

Kool is a Dutch surname that comes from the diminutive of the name Nicholaas, a Dutch version of Nicholas meaning ‘victory of the people.’

32. Koopman

Koopman is a Dutch-origin occupational surname meaning ‘merchant.’

33. Kroon

Of Dutch and Estonian origin, this surname means ‘crown.’ Simon Kroon, a Swedish footballer, is a notable bearer of this surname.

34. Kuld

Meaning ‘gold,’ this surname is of Estonian origin.

35. Kull

Of Estonian origin, this surname means ‘hawk.’ Elle Kull, an Estonian actress, is a well-known individual with this surname.

Unique Last Names That Start With K

These are rare surnames beginning with K, that are perfect to add a touch of distinctiveness and may help one stand out from the crowd.

36. Kabayama

A rare Japanese surname that is a combination of characters ‘Kaba’ meaning ‘birch,’ and ‘yama,’ meaning ‘mountain.’

37. Kadokawa

Meaning ‘Gated River,’ this Japanese surname is made of ‘Kado’ meaning ‘Gate’ and ‘Kawa’ meaning ‘River.’

38. Kaisley

A spelling variant of Casley that is considered rare. Casley is a name of Old English origin that means ‘ clearing or woodland.’

39. Kaligayahan

A unique K last name that means ‘happiness’ in Tagalog.

40. Kamprad

Kamprad is an uncommon Swedish last name with roots in Germany. Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, a global furniture retailer, was a notable bearer of this surname. The initial ‘K’ in IKEA represents his surname.

41. Kathriner

A rare surname formed by combining ‘Kathrin’ with the suffix ‘-er,’ meaning ‘of’ or ‘from.’ Kathrin is a short form of the German name Katharina, which has Greek roots. It’s associated with various meanings like ‘each of two,’ ‘torture,’ ‘my consecration of your name,’ or ‘pure.’

42. Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele

A rare Hawaiian surname the meaning of which is not known. While it may be challenging for non-native speakers to pronounce or understand fully, it’s a part of Hawaiian heritage and identity.

43. Kenworthy

This English-origin surname comes from a so-called place in Cheshire, England. It comes from the Old English name ‘Cyna,’ which is a diminutive of names that start with ‘cyne’ meaning ‘royal,’ or ‘Cena,’ which means ‘bold. Augustus Richard Kenworthy, a British-American skier, is a prominent figure with this surname.

44. Kenwyn

An unusual last name of Cornish origin, that comes from the name of a river and town located in Cornwall, England. The name is believed to come from the Cornish term ‘keyn,’ meaning ‘keel, back, or ridge,’ and ‘gwynn,’ meaning ‘fair, white, or blessed.’

45. Kerbel

Meaning ‘chervil’ in German, this rare surname is used amongst English, German, and Russian-speaking communities. Chervil is a herb that is related to parsley.

46. Keyn

A rare Norwegian last name that comes from the Norwegian term meaning ‘strong pillar.’

47. Khemson

Meaning ‘pine needle,’ this surname is considered rare in Thai.

48. Kile

A Norwegian surname that likely originates from any of thirteen specific farmsteads called Kile. Its roots trace back to Old Norse, where the term ‘kíll’ meant ‘wedge,’ but also referred to a ‘narrow bay inlet.’

49. Kix

A surname of English usage which is a place’s name originating from either of the two rivers in West Yorkshire known as Kex.

50. Kjellberg

A Scandinavian name that’s not very common. It comes from blending the words ‘kelda’ or ‘källa,’ which means ‘spring’ or ‘source of water’ in Old Norse or Swedish, respectively, and ‘berg,’ which means ‘mountain.’

51. Koshkov

Of Russian origins, this rare surname possibly comes from the Russian word ‘koshka,’ meaning ‘cat.’

Last Names That Start With K Koshkov

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52. Kporaro

A Nigerian name, meaning ‘progress’ in English. It translates to move forward’ or ‘go off front’ in its literal sense.

53. Krajewski

Of Polish origins, this surname originates from places in Poland that contain the Polish element ‘kraj,’ meaning ‘border area,’ in the names.

54. Krasa

A rare name of Thai origin that means ‘stork or heron.’

55. Kummerer

In upper German usage, this rare surname means ‘bearer of sadness.’

56. Kurikara

This rare Japanese surname means ‘chestnut larch,’ where ‘kuri’ means ‘ chestnut’ and ‘kara’ means ‘larch.’

57. Kurtsen

A Danish surname meaning ‘son of Kurt.’ Kurt, derived from Conrad, means ‘brave counsel,’ originating from the Old German elements ‘kuoni’ for ‘brave’ and ‘rat’ for ‘advice or counsel.’

American Last Names That Start With K

Below is a list of surnames found in the United States beginning with K, that showcases the diverse American identity and mix of cultures.

58. Kaplan

A surname of multiple origins, which means ‘tiger,’ in Turkish and ‘priest,’ in Jewish. It could also be from the Polish term ‘ kapłan,’ or the German name ‘Kaplan,’ meaning ‘curate or chaplain.’

59. Kern

This last name originates from ‘kern,’ a Middle High German term, meaning ‘kernel’ or ‘seed pip,’ and also from Middle Dutch, Yiddish, and German words for ‘grain.’ This name might have been given to a farmer or used as a nickname for someone small in stature. When used as a Jewish surname, it’s often a crafted name rather than one derived from ancestral occupations or characteristics.

60. Kerr

Originating from the Scots and northern Middle English word ‘kerr,’ this surname means ‘marsh or thicket.’ This term is ultimately derived from the Old Norse term ‘kjarr.’

61. Kessler

Originating from the Middle High German term ‘kezzel,’ meaning ‘cauldron or kettle,’ this surname was used to refer to a coppersmith or someone who crafted copper cooking pots and pans.

62. Kimball

A surname derived either from Cynbel, a Welsh name, or Cynebald, an Old English name. Where Cynbel is a Medieval Welsh name, the meaning of which is unknown and Cynebald comes from the Old English terms ‘cyne,’ meaning ‘royal’ and ‘beald’ meaning ‘ brave or bold.’

63. Kinney

A short form of the surname McKinney which originates from Mckenna. Mckenna, in turn, is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name Mac Cionaodha, which translates to ‘son of Cionaodh.’

64. Kinsey

Kinsey comes from the name Cynesige, which originates from Old English and is a combination of the terms ‘Cyne’ meaning ‘royal’ and ‘sige’ meaning ‘victory.’

65. Knowles

The surname ‘Knowles’ originates from the Middle English word ‘knoll’ and the Old English word ‘cnoll,’ both meaning ‘knoll or a small hill.’ Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, the American singer, is a well-known individual who bears this name.

66. Koch

A German equivalent of Cook, this surname originates from the Old English word ‘coc,’ meaning ‘cook.’ It is also associated with the meaning ‘chef.’ Christina Hammock Koch, a NASA astronaut is a famous bearer of this surname.

67. Koontz

Of Germanic origin, this surname comes from the Middle High German word ‘Kuntz,’ which is a short form of the name ‘Kuno,’ meaning ‘bold or courageous.’

68. Krause

Derived from ‘krus’ a Middle High German term meaning ‘curly,’ this surname was used as a nickname for someone who had curly hair.

Check out more American surnames.

English Last Names That Start With K

These surnames provide insight into the varied heritage and occupations of English-speaking communities.

69. Keen

A surname that originates from the Old English word ‘cene,’ which means ‘brave or bold.’ As per another source it is from the Middle English or Old English name Kene, which means ‘king.’ Malcolm Keen, a British actor, was a well-known individual with this surname.

70. Keighley

Originating from a location’s English name, this surname means ‘clearing owned by Cyhha.’ The meaning of the Old English name Cyhha is uncertain.

71. Kellogg

This surname suggests a profession as a pig butcher and comes from the Middle English terms ‘killen’ meaning ‘to kill’ and ‘hog’ referring to a pig or swine.

72. Kelsey

Originating from an English location’s name, this surname means ‘Cenel’s island,’ where ‘Cenel’ means ‘fierce’ in Old English, combined with ‘eg’ meaning ‘island.’

73. Kersey

Derived from an English location’s name, this surname combines the Old English terms ‘cærse,’ meaning ‘watercress’ and ‘ieg’ meaning ‘island.’

74. Killam

Killam indicates someone from Kilham, an English town, the meaning of which translates to ‘kiln homestead.’

75. Kipling

Kipling originates from a Yorkshire town’s name, with Old English roots, meaning ‘Cyppel’s people,’ from the name Cyppel. Rudyard Kipling, the author, was a notable bearer.

76. Kitchen

An occupational surname that was used to refer to someone who was employed in a kitchen setting, such as those within a monastery. The name originates from the Old English word ‘cycene,’ which comes from the Latin term ‘coquina.’

77. Knaggs

Knaggs traces back to the Middle English term ‘knagg,’ meaning ‘projection or a small mound.’ It’s predominantly found in Yorkshire, particularly in the north of England.

Check out more English surnames.

French Last Names That Start With K

Below are several surnames beginning with K that either originate from France or are widely used in the country.

78. Kapleau

A French origin surname, the meaning of which is unknown. Philip Kapleau, a teacher of Zen Buddhism from America, was a notable bearer of this surname.

79. Kellner

A surname that is used in France, this is derived from the Middle Low German ‘kelner,’ Middle High German ‘kelnære,’ and German ‘kellner,’ all referring to a ‘cellarman.’ Over time, it evolved to denote various roles, including a steward or overseer in castles, monasteries, or similar establishments, and in contemporary times, it commonly refers to a waiter, especially one serving wine.

80. Kerbow

This surname is speculated to be from ‘corbeau,’ a French term meaning ‘raven.’

81. Kergoat

A surname of Breton origin, that is derived from Breton terms ‘ker’ meaning ‘Area or village’ and ‘koad,’ meaning ‘woods.’

82. Kerouac

This surname is a variation of Kirouac, originating from a place name in Brittany, France. It stems from the Breton words kaer, ker, and caer signifying a ‘fortified settlement,’ combined with an unspecified personal name. Jack Kerouac, the American novelist and poet, was a carrier of this surname.

83. Kippenberger

Meaning ‘Shepard,’ this surname is used amongst French, German, and Scottish-speaking communities.

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German Last Names That Start With K

German last names starting with K often show family jobs, places, or traits, showing Germany’s diverse culture.

84. Kahler

Kahler originates from a German nickname that comes from the German term ‘kahl,’ meaning ‘bald.’ George Kahler, an American baseball player, was a prominent figure with this surname.

85. Kalb

Meaning ‘calf or animal,’ this is considered an occupational surname. Marvin Kalb, an American journalist, is a well-known individual who carries this surname.

86. Kalbfleisch

A surname used to indicate a profession related to butchery, particularly specializing in veal. It originates from the German term ‘kalb,’ meaning ‘calf,’ and ‘fleisch,’ meaning ‘meat.’

87. Kappel

This surname originated from ‘cappella,’ a Late Latin term derived from ‘cappa,’ meaning ‘cape.’ This term stemmed from Saint Martin’s torn cape, a holy relic that was housed in small churches. It likely referred to someone who resided close to or was associated with a chapel.

88. Karl

The surname Karl comes from the Germanic given name Karl, which comes from a word meaning ‘man.’ Another theory suggests that it comes from ‘harjaz,’ a Germanic name element, meaning ‘army.’

89. Kästner

Originating from the Middle High German term ‘kaste’ meaning ‘box,’ this surname means ‘cabinet maker.’

90. Kaub

This surname is derived from the German town Kaub’s name.

91. Kaufer

Meaning ‘trader’ in German, this surname has been borne by several noteworthy people, including Jonathan Kaufer, an acclaimed American filmmaker.

92. Keil

Used to refer to someone who possessed a plot of land in the shape of a wedge, this surname means ‘wedge-shaped.’

93. Kerner

Kerner originates from the Old High German word ‘kerno,’ meaning ‘seed.’ It was often used as an occupational surname for someone involved in selling or planting seeds.

94. Kiefer

Meaning ‘pine tree’ in German, this surname is also associated with the occupation of barrel making, coming from the Old High German word ‘kuofa,’ which means ‘barrel.’

95. Kistler

A surname derived from the Middle High German term ‘kiste,’ denoting someone who crafts chests or cabinets as their occupation.

96. Klossner

Meaning ‘hermit,’ this surname originates from the German name Klausner, which comes from the Middle High German term ‘klosenære.’

97. Kolbe

Meaning ‘club,’ this surname comes from ‘kolbe,’ a Middle High German term.

98. Krebs

Meaning ‘crab,’ this surname might have originated as a nickname for someone who walked like a crab.

Last Names That Start With K Krebs

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Check out more German surnames.

Russian Last Names That Start With K

Ranging from noble lineages to commoners’ names, these surnames reflect the enduring spirit of the Russian people.

99. Kalashnikov

Kalashnikov comes from the Russian word ‘kalashnik,’ meaning a maker of kalaches, a type of bread. It’s a surname indicating ‘son of the kalach-maker,’ with the suffix -ov added to it.

100. Kalev

This Russian surname originates from ‘Kal’ and ‘-ev,’ literally translating to ‘of Kal.’ ‘Kal’ could possibly be a shortened form of a Russian name or a place.

101. Kalinin

Derived from the Russian word ‘kalina,’ this surname means ‘guelder rose,’ a type of plant.

102. Kamchatsky

A surname that is linked to the Kamchatka region in Eastern Russia.

103. Kapustin

Kapustin originates from the Russian word ‘kapusta,’ meaning ‘cabbage.’

104. Karpov

This surname means ‘son of Karp,’ where ‘Karp’ traces back to the Greek name ‘Karpos,’ signifying ‘profits or fruits.’

105. Kashevarov

Originating from the word ‘kashevar,’ this surname was used to refer to a cook within a team of workers or a military unit.

106. Kashkov

Meaning ‘bald,’ this Rusian surname comes from the term ‘kashka.’

107. Kasimov

This surname is derived from the name of the city of Kasimov, situated in the Ryazan district of Russia.

108. Konstantinov

This surname means ‘son of Konstantin,’ where Konstantin is a given name and a variant of Constantine. Constantine comes from Constantinus, a Latin name, that originates from Constans, a late Latin name meaning ‘steadfast or constant.’

109. Kovalchuk

Meaning ‘blacksmith,’ this surname originates from the Russian and Ukrainian term ‘koval’ meaning ‘forge or blacksmith.’ Andrey Kovalchuk, a Russian sculptor, is a well-known individual with this surname.

110. Kovalev

Kovalev is another form of the Russian surname Kovalyov, which is derived from the term ‘koval,’ meaning ‘blacksmith.’

111. Kozlov

Kozlov comes from the Russian word ‘kozyol,’ which means ‘male goat.’ It’s likely that this name was originally used to identify someone who worked as a goatherd.

112. Krupin

Originating from the Russian term ‘krupa,’ this surname means ‘grain.’

113. Kuznetsov

Meaning ‘blacksmith,’ this surname is a Patronymic version of the Russian term ‘kuznets.’

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Irish Last Names That Start With K

These surnames deeply rooted in Irish culture reflect the country’s Gaelic connections and historical significances.

114. Kavanagh

Originating from ‘Caomhánach,’ an Irish Gaelic name, this Gaelic surname means ‘a student of saint Caomhán,’ where Caomhán means ‘gentle, dear or beloved.’ It was notably used by Domhnall Caomhánach, a 12th-century king of Leinster and the eldest son of the renowned Irish king Diarmait Mac Murchada.

115. Kean

An adaptation of the surname Ó Catháin, this surname means ‘descendant of Cathán.’ Cathán originates from the Old Irish term ‘cath’ which means ‘battle,’ with the addition of a diminutive suffix.

116. Kearney

This surname is derived from Ó Ceithearnaigh, an Irish name, which means ‘descendant of Ceithearnach.’ Ceithearnach is a given name signifying ‘warrior.’

117. Keefe

It is an Anglicized version of the Irish name Ó Caoimh, which indicates ‘descendant of Caomh.’ Caomh translates to ‘ beloved, dear, or gentle’ in Irish.

118. Keegan

The surname Keegan originates from the Irish ‘Mac Aodhagáin,’ meaning ‘descendant of Aodhagán.’ Aodhagán is a diminutive form of the Old Irish name Aodh, which means ‘fire.’

119. Keeley

Keeley is the Anglicized version of the Irish surname ‘Ó Caolaidhe,’ meaning ‘descendant of Caoladhe.’ Caoladhe is derived from the Irish word ‘caol,’ meaning ‘slender.’

120. Kermit

Kermit is derived from the Irish Mac Diarmada, meaning ‘son of Diarmaid.’ The meaning of Diarmaid remains uncertain, though it’s been suggested to mean ‘without envy’ in Irish.

121. Kilduff

Meaning ‘son of the black-haired man,’ this surname originates from the Irish name Mac Giolla Dhuibh.

122. Killough

Refers to someone hailing from either Killough in County Down, Northern Ireland, or Killough in Wicklow, Ireland. The name Killough means ‘church on the lake,’ composed of the Irish terms ‘cill’ for ‘church’ and ‘loch’ for ‘lake.’

123. Kilpatrick

Meaning ‘son of the servant of Saint Patrick,’ this name comes from Mac Giolla Phádraig in Irish.

124. Kyle

Of Scottish origin, this surname comes from the Scottish Gaelic word ‘caol,’ which signifies ‘channel, narrows, or strait.’ It was initially used to describe someone who resided near a strait or narrow passage of water.

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Greek Last Names That Start With K

Often derived from ancient Greek words, these K surnames highlight the historical and linguistic diversity of Greece.

125. Kallergis

This surname combines the Greek words ‘kalon,’ meaning beautiful, with ‘ergon,’ signifying, task, work, accomplishment, deed, or purpose.

126. Kalogeras

Derived from the Greek word ‘kalogeros,’ this surname means ‘monk.’

127. Kalogeropoulos

Meaning ‘son of the monk’ in Greek, this surname originates from ‘kalógeros’ which means ‘friar or monk.’

128. Kampos

Originating from Greek, this surname denotes ‘lowlands or plain.’ Many villages in Greece are known by this name.

129. Kangelaris

Etymologically rooted in the Latin ‘cancellarius,’ this surname means ‘chancellor or chief secretary.’

130. Karagiannis

Meaning ‘black John’ in Greek, this surname is formed from the Turkish term ‘kara’ meaning ‘black’ and the given name Giannis, a Greek form of John.

131. Karasevdas

This surname is possibly derived from the Turkish ‘kara’ meaning ‘dark or black’ and the Turkish given name Sevda, which means ‘strong love or passion.’

132. Karras

A feminine form of Karra, this Greek surname means ‘dark.’ Vasilis Karras, a Greek singer, was a notable bearer of this surname.

133. Katsaros

Meaning ‘curly’ in Greek, this surname was used to refer to someone whose hair was curly. Giorgos Katsaros, a Greek musician, is a well-known bearer of this surname.

134. Kefalas

A surname often associated with someone who might be called big-headed or stubborn, coming from the Greek word ‘kefali’ which simply means ‘head.’

135. Kokkinos

This surname is derived from a nickname that means ‘red,’ in Greek. Dionysios Kokkinos, a Greek historian and academic, was a provincial figure who carried this surname.

136. Kontos

Kontos means ‘short’ in Greek. George Nicholas Kontos, an American baseball player, is a well-known individual with this surname.

137. Kritikos

This surname means ‘Cretan’ in Greek, directly linked to the island of Crete, referred to as ‘Kriti’ in Greek.

138. Kurian

Derived from various origins, including the name Quriaqos or the Greek kurios or Kyrios, this surname means ‘master, Lord, authority, or power. It’s notably common among Kerala Christians, serving as both a first name and a surname.

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Polish Last Names That Start With K

These surnames, some influenced by Slavic roots and historical events, show family ties, jobs, or where someone’s from, reflecting Poland’s rich culture.

139. Kaczka

In Polish, this surname means ‘duck.’ Guido Kaczka, an Argentine TV host and actor is a notable bearer of this surname.

140. Kaczmarek

Coming from the Polish word ‘karczma,’ meaning ‘inn,’ this surname was used as an occupational name for someone who ran or worked at an inn as an innkeeper.

141. Kałuża

Meaning ‘puddle,’ in Polish, a notable bearer of this surname include Józef Ignacy Kałuża, a Polish footballer.

142. Kamiński

Meaning ‘stone,’ this surname comes from the Polish term ‘kamień.’ It describes a stonecutter or someone residing in a place with the same name.

143. Kijek

This surname means ‘small stick’ in Polish, originating from the word ‘kij’ which means ‘stick.’ Bronislaus ‘Fred’ Kijek, a Canadian footballer, is known for carrying this surname.

144. Kosmatka

Derived from the Polish word ‘kosmaty,’ this surname means ‘hairy or shaggy.’

145. Kowalczyk

Common in Poland, this surname is a Patronymic derived from ‘kowal,’ meaning ‘blacksmith.’ August Marian Kowalczyk, a Polish actor, was a well-known individual with this surname.

146. Kozioł

In Polish, this surname signifies ‘male goat,’ often linked with goatherds.

147. Kozłowski

Originating as a name for individuals from places like Kozłowo or Kozłów, this surname comes from the Polish word ‘kozioł,’ meaning ‘male goat.’

148. Krawiec

This surname, meaning ‘tailor’ in Polish, is related to names like Kravets, Kravitz, and Kravec. Ed Krawiec, a motorcycle racer, is a notable bearer.

149. Król

Signifying ‘king’ in Polish, this surname referred to someone who displayed kingly traits or had connections with royalty.

150. Krupa

Translating to ‘groats, grain’ in Polish or ‘barley’ in Slavic languages, Joanna Krupa, a Polish-American actress, is a notable bearer of this surname.

Last Names That Start With K Krupa

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151. Kumięga

Possibly derived from the Polish term ‘kum’ meaning ‘friend or godfather’ or ‘komięga’ meaning ‘barge or raft.’

152. Kwiatkowski

This surname, indicating a habitation from places named Kwiatkowo, Kwiatków, or Kwiatkowice, comes from the Polish word ‘kwiat,’ meaning ‘flower.’

Check out more Polish surnames.

Other European Last Names That Start With K

These surnames hail from various corners of Europe, highlighting the continent’s richness in varied languages, cultures, and histories.

153. Kádár

This Hungarian surname means ‘barrel maker or cooper.’ Flóra Kádá, a Hungarian actress, was a well-known individual with this surname.

154. Kadlec

Originating from the Czech word ‘tkadlec,’ this surname means ‘weaver.’ Michal Kadlec, a Czech footballer, is a notable bearer.

155. Kafka

Of Czech origin, this surname comes from the Czech term ‘ kavka,’ meaning ‘jackdaw.’ Franz Kafka, a renowned novelist from Prague, is a well-known individual associated with this surname.

156. Kail

Meaning ‘wild rosemary,’ this surname is of Estonian origin.

157. Kajupank

Of Estonian origin, this surname comes from the terms ‘kalju’ meaning ‘rock’ and ‘pank’ meaning ‘cliff or bank.’

158. Kalmár

An occupational surname that means ‘shopkeeper or merchant in Hungarian. Even though the name is of German origin, it is prominently used in Hungary.

159. Kalniņš

A surname of Latvian origin that is derived from the Latvian term ‘kalns,’ meaning ‘hill or mountain.’

160. Kardos

This Hungarian surname might have been given to sword crafters, soldiers, or those displaying a combative disposition. It is derived from the Hungarian term ‘kard’ meaning ‘sword.’

161. Karjalainen

Karjalainen comes from the Finnish word ‘Karjala,’ which refers to Karelia, a region located on the border of Finland and Russia.

162. Karlsen

Meaning ‘son of Karl,’ this surname is used in Norwegian and Danish-speaking countries. Karl is a gErmanic name that either means ‘man,’ or ‘army.’

163. Karppinen

A surname of Germanic origin that is used prominently in Finland. This surname comes from the Finnish term ‘karppi,’ meaning ‘carp.’

164. Kask

Of Estonian origin, this surname means ‘bird.’ Teet Kask, an Estonian choreographer, is a notable bearer of this surname.

165. Kasun

A surname of Croatian origin, it is speculated that this surname comes from ‘kazati,’ an Old Slavic term meaning ‘ to command or to order.’

166. Katona

A Hungarian surname meaning ‘soldier.’ Klári Katona, a Hungarian pop singer, is a notable bearer of this surname.

167. Kedves

A Hungarian surname meaning ‘kind or nice.’

168. Kikkert

Meaning ‘frog,’ this surname comes from the Dutch term ‘ kikker.’

169. Kinnunen

A Finnish surname that may have originated from the Finnish term ‘kinni,’ which refers to animal skin or fur. This word is believed to have been borrowed from the Swedish word ‘skinn.’

170. Kladivo

A surname of Czech origin, meaning ‘hammer,’ that is used to refer to a blacksmith.

171. Kocsis

Meaning ‘coachman,’ this surname is of Hungarian origin.

172. Kos

Of Slovenian origin, this surname means ‘blackbird.’

173. Kövér

A Hungarian surname meaning ‘fat.’

Japanese Last Names That Start With K

Showing the complexity of kanji characters, these Japanese surnames beginning with K might look alike in writing but may sound different.

174. Kaki

A concise Japanese surname meaning ‘persimmon,’ an edible fruit.

175. Kamiya

A surname formed by the combination of the Japanese terms ‘kami’ meaning ‘god’ and ‘ya’ meaning ‘valley.’

176. Kanda

Kanda combines ‘kan’ meaning ‘god,’ and ‘ta’ meaning ‘rice paddy or field.’ Sayaka Kanda, a Japanese actress, was a notable bearer of this surname.

177. Kaneko

A Japanese surname derived from the kanji characters ‘kane’ which means ‘gold, money, or metal,’ and ‘ko’ which translates to ‘child.’

178. Kanemaru

This surname is made up of Kanji characters ‘kane’ meaning ‘gold, money, or metal’ and ‘maru’ meaning ’round, circle, or whole.’ A Japanese wrestler named Yoshinobu Kanemaru is a prominent figure with this surname.

179. Kanzaki

Formed by combining Japanese ‘kan’ meaning ‘god’ and ‘saki’ meaning ‘peninsula or cape.’

180. Katō

The Katō surname in Japanese comes from the words ‘ka’ which translates to ‘ increase or add’ and ‘tō’ meaning ‘wisteria.’ The latter part may suggest a link to the Fujiwara clan.

181. Kawaguchi

A Japanese surname meaning ‘mouth of the river.’ It’s derived from ‘kawa’ meaning ‘stream or river’ and ‘kuchi’ meaning ‘entrance or mouth.’

182. Kawakami

This surname consists of two kanji characters; ‘kawa’ meaning ‘stream or river’ and ‘kami’ meaning ‘ top, above, or upper.’

183. Kawasaki

Kawasaki originates from ‘kawa’ meaning ‘stream or river’ and ‘saki’ meaning ‘peninsula or cape.’

184. Kazama

A Japanese surname formed by combining ‘kaza’ meaning ‘wind or style’ with ‘ma’ meaning ‘between or among.’

185. Kimura

This surname is formed by combining ‘ki’ meaning ‘wood or tree’ and ‘mura’ meaning ‘ village or town.’

186. Kishimoto

A combination of kanji characters ‘kishi’ meaning ‘shore, beach, or bank’ and ‘moto’ meaning ‘root, base, or origin.’

187. Kita

Originating from the Japanese term ‘kita,’ this surname means ‘north.’

188. Kobayashi

Derived from ‘ko’ meaning ‘small’ and ‘hayashi’ meaning ‘forest.’

189. Koizumi

Meaning ‘small spring’ from ‘ko’ and ‘izumi.’ Junichiro Koizumi, the former Prime Minister of Japan, is a notable bearer of this surname.

190. Konishi

Combination of ‘ko’ meaning ‘small’ and ‘nishi’ meaning ‘west.’

191. Kubo

Derived from ‘ku’ meaning ‘long time ago’ and ‘ho’ meaning ‘protect.’

192. Kumagai

Meaning ‘bear valley,’ this surname comes from ‘kuma’ and ‘gai.’

193. Kumamoto

Signifying ‘bear base’ from ‘kuma’ and ‘moto’ meaning ‘ root, base, origin.’

194. Kurata

Originates from ‘kura,’ meaning ‘storehouse or granary,’ and ‘ta’ meaning ‘ rice paddy or field.’

195. Kuroda

Signifying ‘black field,’ this surname comes from ‘kuro’ and ‘ta.’

196. Kuroiwa

This surname is derived from ‘kuro’ meaning ‘black’ and ‘iwa’ meaning ‘rocks or cliff.’

197. Kuroki

Meaning ‘black tree,’ this surname comes from ‘kuro’ and ‘ki.’ Haru Kuroki, a Japanese actress, is a notable bearer of this surname.

198. Kurosawa

Originating from ‘kuro’ meaning ‘black’ and ‘sawa’ meaning ‘marsh.’ Akira Kurosawa, a renowned Japanese film director, bore this surname.

199. Kusumoto

Kusumoto comes from ‘kusu’ meaning ‘camphor tree’ and ‘moto’ meaning ‘ root, base, or origin.’

Check out more Japanese surnames.

Jewish Last Names That Start With K

These surnames, predominantly of Hebrew origin, often derive from words, places, or notable figures in Jewish history.

200. Kasher

This Hebrew surname means ‘fit.’ Timothy J. Kasher, an American musician is a notable bearer of this surname.

201. Katsav

A Hebrew surname meaning ‘butcher.’ Moshe Katsav, an Israeli politician, is a well-known individual with this surname.

202. Keren

Meaning ‘ray or of light,’ in Hebrew, this name is used both as a given and a surname. Hanan Keren, a former Israeli basketball player, is a prominent figure with this surname.

203. Kimche

A Jewish surname of unknown meaning, this has been carried by many notable individuals. One of them was Jon Kimche, a British journalist.

204. Kimhi

A Hebrew surname the meaning of which is uncertain. Alona Kimhi, an Israeli actress, is a famous personality who carries this surname.

205. Kishon

A Hebrew surname that is also the name of a river in Northern Israel. Ephraim Kishon, an Israeli satirist, was a well-known individual who carried this surname.

206. Kleid

It’s an occupational name, indicating a tailor. ‘Kleid’ in Old High German means ‘garment’ or ‘clothing.’

207. Kranz

Derived from the Old High German word ‘kranz,’ this surname means ‘wreath.’ It was often given to those who crafted wreaths or could have been adopted as an ornamental Jewish surname.

Last Names That Start With K Kranz

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208. Kravitz

This occupational surname comes from the Polish term ‘krawiec,’ which means ‘tailor.’

Check out more Jewish surnames.

Hawaiian Last Names That Start With K

Rooted in the Polynesian language and cultural traditions, these surnames are often linked to nature, ancestry, or historical events.

209. Kahale

Meaning ‘the house,’ this surname is derived from ‘ka’ meaning ‘the’ and ‘hale’ meaning ‘house.’

210. Kahananui

Originates from the given name Kahananui, which means ‘the hard job or the great work.’ It is derived from the Hawaiian terms ‘ka’ meaning ‘the,’ ‘hana’ meaning ‘work’ and ‘nui’ meaning ‘big.’

211. Kahue

Inspired by the Hawaiian given name Kahue which means ‘the water calabash or the gourd.’ It comes from the Hawaiian articles ‘ka’ and ‘hue’ meaning ‘ water calabash or gourd.’

212. Kaʻanāʻanā

Meaning ‘The black magic,’ this surname comes from ‘Ka’ meaning ‘The’ and ‘anāʻanā’ meaning ‘black magic.’

213. Kainoa

Also used as a given name, this surname possibly means ‘sea of freedom.’ It is formed by combining the terms ‘ka’ meaning ‘sea water or sea,’ with ‘ noa’ meaning ‘the namesake or freedom.’

214. Kalani

Derived from the same given name, this surname means ‘the heavens,’ and comes from Hawaiian terms ‘ka’ meaning ‘the’ and ‘lani’ meaning ‘sky, heaven, royal, or majesty.’

215. Kalawaiʻa

Derived from the Hawaiian terms ‘ka’ meaning ‘the’ and ‘lawaiʻa’ meaning ‘fisherman,’ this surname originates from the same given name.

216. Kamaka

Comes from the given name Kamaka which comes from the Hawaiian words ‘ ka’ meaning ‘the’ and ‘maka’ meaning ‘bud or eye’ or ‘child or beloved one.’

217. Kamakawiwo’ole

Meaning ‘the bold face or the fearless eye,’ in Hawaiian, this surname was borne by Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole, a renowned Hawaiian musician.

218. Kamalani

Meaning ‘royal child’ or ‘heavenly child’ this surname formed from a given name comes from the Hawaiian terms ‘kama’ meaning ‘child’ and ‘lani’ meaning ‘sky, heaven, royal, or majesty.’

219. Kauhane

Meaning ‘the spirit,’ this comes from the Hawaiian words ‘ Ka’ meaning ‘the’ and ‘Uhane’ meaning ‘spirit.’

220. Keahi

Another Hawaiian surname that is derived from the same given name. This surname means ‘the fire’ and comes from Hawaiian terms ‘ke,’ an article, and ‘ahi’ meaning ‘fire.’

221. Keala

Meaning ‘path,’ the name Keala is formed by combining the Hawaiian terms ‘ke,’ and ‘ala’ meaning ‘path.’

222. Kealoha

Formed from the Hawaiian terms ‘ ke,’ and ‘aloha’ meaning ‘love,’ this surname means ‘the loved one.’

223. Kekoa

Derived from the given name Kekoa, which means ‘the warrior.’ Koa signifies either the Koa tree or a warrior in Hawaiian.

224. Kelekolio

A Hawaiian form of the name Gregory, which ultimately comes from the Greek name Gregorios meaning ‘watchful or alert.’

Check out more Hawaiian surnames.

Indian Last Names That Start With K

These surnames, starting with K, reflect India’s diverse cultures and languages, often indicating caste, region, or ancestral professions.

225. Kabaria

This Indian surname means ‘greengrocer.’Additionally, a Muslim group residing in Uttar Pradesh, India, is also known by this name.

226. Kabir

A surname derived from the given name Kabir, meaning ‘leader, great or powerful,’ in Arabic.

227. Kadam

Originating from the name of the renowned Kadamba dynasty, which ruled over regions of northern India in the 4th and 5th centuries.

228. Kaimal

A surname used In ancient Kerala, that was bestowed upon leaders hailing from the Nair community, signifying their noble status. Across numerous historical records, they are mentioned as Emirate Kings or Princes.

229. Kajal

A surname that traces its roots to the Sanskrit word ‘kajjala,’ meaning ‘lotion or collyrium’ or ‘soot or ink.’ This term is also linked to ‘kohl,’ a dark powder utilized for eye makeup.

230. Kakkar

According to the Dictionary of American Family Names, this surname originated from the Sanskrit term ‘karalagni,’ symbolizing the Sun and meaning ‘one who holds fire in its hands.’ However, as per a few scholars, it is an alternative derivation from ‘Karkar,’ connoting strength or power.

231. Kale

Meaning ‘black,’ this surname comes from the Sanskrit term ‘kala.’

232. Kalhorh

Originating from the Sindhi word ‘kalhoro,’ which is from the term ‘kalho,’ meaning ‘alone,’ this name was used to refer to individuals associated with the Kalhora community in Sindh, Pakistan.

233. Kalita

A surname with an uncertain meaning. Some believe it originates from Sanskrit, where ‘kula’ means ‘caste or family,’ and ‘lupta’ means ‘gone or lost.’

234. Kalla

This Indian surname used in Tamilnadu means ‘priest,’ in Tamil. Kallan is a spelling variant of this name.

235. Kamat

This surname originates from the term ‘kām,’ signifying ‘labor or work,’ and ‘miṭṭī,’ meaning ‘earth or soil.’ It signifies ‘people who work in the soil.’

236. Kamble

Derived from the Sanskrit term ‘kambala,’ meaning ‘blanket,’ this surname was used to denote an individual who wove blankets or was known for carrying them around.

237. Kanwar

Originating from the Sanskrit term ‘kumara,’ this surname means ‘prince.’

238. Kapadia

This surname stems from Gujarati, where ‘kāpaḍ’ signifies ‘cloth, fabric,’ often denoting a family involved in cloth making.

239. Kapoor

Derived from the Sanskrit term ‘karpura,’ Kapoor translates to ‘camphor,’ a substance with aromatic properties.

240. Kapu

Of Telugu origin, ‘Kapu’ is used to refer to an ‘agricultural worker’ in the community.

241. Karmakar

This Indian surname means ‘blacksmith’ in Assamese and Bengali.

242. Kaul

Derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Kula,’ which indicates a family or clan, the name Kaul means ‘well-born.’

243. Kaur

Meaning ‘princess,’ this Indian surname comes from the Sanskrit term ‘kumari,’ meaning ‘girl.’

244. Khan

Used in many languages, this surname is speculated to be of Mongolian origins. It is derived from a title meaning ‘ruler or king.’

245. Khandakar

Meaning ‘scholar or teacher,’ literally translating to ‘one who reads,’ this surname originates from Persian, where ‘khandan’ means ‘to study or to read,’ combined with the suffix ‘kar’ denoting an occupation.

246. Khare

This surname means ‘pure’ or ‘true’ in both Hindi and Marathi languages.

247. Khatri

Indicates a member of the Kshatriya caste, which comprises kings, soldiers, and warriors, in Hinduism. Comes from the Sanskrit ‘kshatriya,’ denoting the caste, ultimately derived from ‘kshatra’ meaning ‘power, dominion, or might.’

248. Komati

A Telugu surname indicating a ‘trader’ or someone involved in the trade.

249. Konda

In Telugu, this surname means ‘hill,’ and is associated with the Hindu religion.

250. Korrapati

Of Indian Telugu origin, this surname derives from the locality known as Korra or Korrapalem, coupled with the Telugu word ‘pati,’ meaning ‘belongs to.’

251. Kulkarni

This Indian surname means ‘revenue collector or village clerk’ in Marathi. It is formed by combining the terms ‘Kula’ meaning ‘family,’ and ‘Karanika’ meaning ‘archivist.’

252. Kumar

Of Sanskrit origins, this name means ‘prince, son, boy, or chaste.’ In addition to being a surname, it is also used as a given and middle name. Kishore Kumar, an Indian playback singer, was a notable bearer of this surname.

253. Kutty

Derived from Malayalam and Tamil, this surname means ‘child’ in both languages.

Check out more Indian surnames.

Discover More Names

When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.

The surname you choose for yourself or your children can have a big impact. This can be seen in figures like John Keats, John F. Kennedy, and Rudyard Kipling, whose last names that start with K have become synonymous with their legacies. Nowadays, people often select surnames for their children based on personal resonance rather than family tradition, so it’s important to think about what message that name sends. Choosing a surname wisely can reflect who you are and what you stand for, leaving a strong legacy for the future.

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Kane.
    https://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/
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Benidamika holds a masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Assam Don Bosco University and another masters degree in English Literature from North Eastern Hill University. At MomJunction, Benidamika writes on human psychology and relationships. Her academic experience in counseling psychology helps her guide readers with useful and well-researched information. The former school teacher is a poet, with her work published...read full bio