200+ Unique Last Names That Start With W

Last names that start with W are already unique because ‘W’ is the only letter with three syllables when pronounced. W is the 23rd letter of the alphabet and is pronounced as ‘double-u.’ From German and Spanish to Japanese and Italian, each surname in our list carries a distinct lineage and an extensive history. Names such as Washington, Wilson, and Wang reflect diverse traditions and backgrounds. Not only do these surnames reflect an individual’s identity, they also tell us about ancestral occupations, locations, and personal traits. On the symbolic side, people who bear a name beginning with W are believed to be creative individuals with an artistic spirit. Discover how last names beginning with W came into existence and their stories.

In This Article

200+ Last Names That Start With W

You’ve seen last names like Walker, Watson, and Wentz, and you have been wondering where they come from. The names on this list will provide you with the answers you’ve been looking for.

German Last Names That Start With W

Discover the rich heritage behind German last names that start with the letter W. Each name tells a unique story rooted in history and tradition.

1. Wachs

A German and Jewish surname, Wachs is an occupational name for someone who dealt with beeswax. It originates from the Middle High German word ‘wahs’ and the German word ‘wachs,’ both meaning ‘wax.’

2. Wachsmann

Common in German and Jewish communities, Wachsmann, was referred to as someone who was a gatherer or seller of beeswax. It combines Middle Low German ‘was’ (wax) with ‘man.’

3. Wachter

Found in both German and Dutch regions, Wachter is an occupational surname for a watchman. It derives from the Middle High German ‘wachtære’ and Middle Dutch ‘wacht(e)re,’ meaning watchman.

4. Wachtmann

Wachtmann is a German occupational surname for a watchman. It directly translates to ‘watchman’ in English.

5. Wacker

This German surname stems from a nickname for someone bold or energetic. It comes from the Middle High German word ‘wacker,’ which means ‘fresh,’ ‘lively,’ ‘brave,’ or ‘valiant.’

6. Wackerman

An American English and German surname, Wackerman is derived from the Americanized spelling of the German word, Wackermann which is a variant of Wacker, with the addition of Middle High German ‘man,’ meaning ‘man.’

7. Wagenknecht

This German occupational name comes from the Middle High German ‘wagenknëht,’ meaning ‘hauler’s assistant.’ It combines ‘wagan’ (wagon) and ‘kneht’ (servant).

8. Wagenmann

A German occupational surname, Wagenmann translates from Middle High German as ‘hauler’ or ‘wagoner.’

9. Wager

This German occupational name refers to an official in charge of the city scales.

10. Wagmann

A German surname, possibly derived from the Swabian ‘Wegman,’ meaning ‘herb.’

11. Wahl

Common in German and Jewish communities, Wahl comes from the Middle High German ‘Walhe’ or ‘Walch,’ meaning ‘foreigner from a Romance country.’ It was used as a nickname for someone from Italy or France and was also established in Sweden.

12. Wahlberg

This surname is found in German, Swedish, and (rarely) Norwegian communities. It is composed of German ‘wal’ meaning ‘field’ or ‘meadow,’ or Swedish ‘vall’ which translates to ‘grassy bank’ and ‘berg’ meaning ‘mountain’ or ‘hill.’

13. Waidelich

A German surname variant of Weidlich. The exact meaning and origin of the name is uncertain.

14. Walch

This German surname originates from the personal name Walcho. The exact meaning and origin of the name is obscure.

15. Wald

A German and English topographic name for someone who lived in or near a forest. It derives from Old High German ‘wald’ and northern Middle English ‘wald.’

16. Waldorf

This German surname is a habitational name from any of at least three places called Waldorf, derived from Old High German ‘wald’ meaning ‘forest’ and ‘dorf’ meaning ‘village, settlement.’

17. Waldstein

A German and Jewish habitational surname, Waldstein refers to a person from a place in Bohemia called Waldstein, which is derived from Middle High German ‘walt’ meaning ‘forest’ and ‘stein’ meaning ‘stone.’

18. Wallbaum

Common in German and Jewish communities, Wallbaum is a topographic name from Low German ‘walbom’ meaning ‘walnut tree,’ derived from ‘wal’ meaning ‘walnut’ and ‘boum’ meaning ‘tree.’

19. Wallee

A German surname of French origin, Wallee denotes a person who lives in or is from a valley.

20. Wallenstein

This German and Jewish surname is a variant of Waldstein, a habitational name.

21. Waltrip

A German surname derived from the name of the father of the original bearer, indicating the ‘son of Waldrap.’ The Germanic personal name Waldrap is a short form of Walraven, a name used mostly among nobles, knights, and patricians.

22. Wanamaker

An Anglicized form of the German and Dutch surname Wannemacher, Wanamaker is known from the British-American actress Zöe Wanamaker and her father, actor, and director Sam Wanamaker.

23. Wannemacher

This German and Dutch occupational name is for a maker or seller of baskets, particularly winnowing baskets or fans. It is derived from the Middle High German ‘wanne’ meaning ‘winnowing basket’ and ‘macher’ meaning ‘maker.’ The wanne was a tub-shaped basket or trough used to separate the grain from the chaff.

24. Warmbier

A German metonymic occupational name for a brewer, Warmbier is derived from Middle Low German ‘warm’ meaning ‘warm’ and ‘ber’ meaning ‘beer.’

25. Warnecke

A North German surname, Warnecke is a pet form of the personal name Warner, the Low German form of Werner.

26. Warneke

A German variant spelling of Warnecke, a surname that comes from the given name Warner or Werner. It has Old German roots and it means ‘cautious’ or ‘aware.’

27. Warnke

A German variant of Warnecke, taken from the given names Warner or Werner. The last name has Old German origins and it means ‘cautious’ or ‘aware.’

28. Warns

A Dutch and German surname, Warns is a Dutch habitational name from places so named in Friesland and Overijssel. The one in Friesland was the site of a famous victory of Frisians over the Hollanders in the 14th century. It is also a German patronymic name from Warn.

29. Warthen

This German surname derives from a short form of the personal name Wartold, which comes from Old High German ‘wart’ meaning ‘guardian.’

30. Wäscher

A German occupational surname for a washer, Wäscher originates from the Middle High German ‘waschen’ or ‘weschen,’ which means ‘to wash.’

31. Wasser

Common in German and Jewish communities, Wasser is a topographic name from Middle High German ‘wazzer’ meaning ‘water.’

32. Wassermann

A German surname, Wassermann is the cognate of Waterman. It is an occupational name for a water carrier or a topographic name, derived from Middle High German ‘wazzar’ meaning ‘water’ and ‘man’ meaning ‘man.’ It also translates to ‘merman’ in German.

33. Waterhouse

This German surname is an old German and Dutch locational name meaning ‘a house by water.’

34. Wax

A German, Jewish, and English surname, Wax is a variant of Wachs in German and Jewish contexts and a cognate in English, derived from Middle English ‘wax.’ It was used as an occupational surname for someone who dealt with beeswax.

35. Waxman

An occupational surname found in English, German, and Jewish contexts, Waxman refers to a seller or gatherer of beeswax. It combines ‘wax’ with Middle English ‘man.’ Historically, a wax man was an officer of a trade guild who collected contributions for wax candles used in processions. It is also an Americanized and anglicized form of Wachsmann.

36. Wégner

A German, specifically Magyarized variant of Wagner. It was used as an occupational surname for someone who is a wagon maker.

37. Wehmann

This German surname comes from the Middle Low German ‘wede,’ meaning ‘wood forest,’ combined with ‘man,’ meaning ‘man.’

38. Weichmann

A German surname derived from the given name Wigman, which comes from ancient Germanic ‘wig’ meaning ‘battle’ and ‘man’ meaning ‘man.’

39. Weichselbraun

A German (Austrian) surname combining ‘Weichsel,’ meaning ‘sour cherry,’ and ‘Braun,’ meaning ‘brown.’

40. Weide

This German surname can either be a topographic name for someone who lived by a willow or a group of willow trees, from Middle High German ‘wide’ meaning ‘willow,’ or for someone who lived by a pasture or hunting ground, from Middle High German ‘weide.’ It is the German cognate of ‘Willow.’

Last names that start with W, Weide meaning ‘willow.’

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41. Weidemann

A medieval German, Austrian, and Norwegian surname. Weidemann originates from Middle High German terms for a hunter or a woad farmer.

42. Weidmann

A German surname that has a straightforward meaning of ‘hunter.’

43. Weigel

Derived from the given name Wigand, Weigel is a German surname with roots in personal nomenclature.

44. Weil

Weil, a South German and Jewish Ashkenazic surname, traces its origins to various places named in Baden, Bavaria, and Württemberg. It denotes a connection to country houses or settlements.

45. Weiland

In Germanic mythology, Weiland represents a variant spelling of Wieland, showcasing its roots in ancient legends.

46. Weiler

Weiler is both a German and Jewish surname associated with several places in southern Germany. For Ashkenazic Jews, it can also be a variant of Weil.

47. Wein

The surname Wein, prevalent in German, Yiddish, and Hungarian contexts, reflects the significance of grapes, vines, and wine in the cultural and agricultural landscapes of these regions.

48. Weinbach

Originating from a commune in Hesse, Germany, Weinbach serves as a surname marking ancestral ties to a specific geographical location.

49. Weinberg

Weinberg, a common German and Jewish surname, evokes images of vineyards and the rich tradition of winemaking.

50. Weinbrenner

Weinbrenner, an occupational surname, denotes a distiller of brandy. The literal translation of ‘wine burner’ encapsulates the craft involved in distillation.

51. Weindel

Weindel, a German-Austrian surname that comes from Weinel or Wino. It has Old High German origins and it means ‘battle friend.’

52. Weinel

Rooted in the personal name Wino, Weinel represents a familial lineage with ties to ancient Germanic naming practices. It means ‘battle friend.’

53. Weingartner

Derived from ‘weingärtner’ meaning ‘wine maker’ or ‘vintner,’ Weingartner highlights the historical importance of viticulture in German-speaking regions.

54. Weinheimer

Weinheimer, a German surname associated with places named Weinheim, carries geographic connotations, reflecting ancestral ties to specific locales.

55. Weininger

Weininger, a surname with German-Swiss and Jewish roots, signifies both a geographical origin and an ornamental name linked to wine production.

56. Weinkauf

Weinkauf is a German surname that points to ancestral involvement in wine commerce, echoing historical economic activities.

57. Weinland

Reflecting geographical ties to wine-producing regions, Weinland signifies a familial connection to areas known for viticulture.

58. Weinmann

Weinmann is a German and Jewish Ashkenazic surname that honors the viticulturalists and wine merchants who contributed to the rich winemaking heritage.

59. Weinstock

Weinstock is an English variant of the German surname Weinstock. It underlines ancestral ties to wine production and trade.

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Spanish Last Names That Start With W

Spanish last names beginning with W are not too many, but that does not take away how unique and special they are.

60. Wenceslao

This Spanish surname is widely used in the Philippines. It comes from the given name with the same spelling and it means ‘greater glory.’ The root of the name can be found in the Slavic elements, ‘vęťĭjĭ’ and ‘slava.’

61. Wero

Wero is found as a last name in Spanish and Maori. In Spanish, Were is a spelling variant of Güero and the meaning of the name is uncertain. While in Maori, the name means ‘to cast a spear.’

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Japanese Last Names That Start With W

Japanese last names that start with W may carry similar meanings because of the shared root ‘waga,’ ‘waka,’ ‘wata,’ and more. However, these last names reflect the beauty of nature and Japan’s surroundings.

62. Wada

Wada is a Japanese last name that comes from two Japanese words ‘wa’ and ‘ta,’ meaning ‘harmony’ and ‘rice paddy,’ respectively.

63. Waga

Waga is also spelled as Waka in some cases. In Japanese, Waga means ‘young.’

64. Wagahara

This Japanese habitational surname comes from the Japanese words ‘waka,’ meaning ‘young,’ and ‘hara,’ meaning ‘plain.’ It can also be spelled as Wagabara or Wagawara.

65. Wagatoki

In Japanese, ‘waga’ means ‘young.’ Wagtoki is a Japanese surname that means ‘young time.’

66. Wagatsuma

A unique Japanese surname that can be spelled as WAkatsuma or Tsumawaka. The name carries the connotation of ‘young wife.’

67. Wajima

Wajima is a spelling variant of Washima. This surname is also borne by Japanese composer, vocalist, and guitarist, Shinji Wajima. The exact meaning of the name is unclear.

68. Wakabayashi

Pronounced as ‘WA-KA-BA-YA-SHEE,’ Wakabayashi is a Japanese surname that means ‘young forest.’

69. Wakagai

This last name is a variant of Wakatani, a Japanese surname that means ‘young valley.’

70. Wakagaya

Wakagaya is a locational surname that can be spelled as Wakatani, Wakaya, and Wakagai. Taking its meaning from the original name Wakatani, it means ‘young valley.’

71. Wakai

A locational Japanese surname that derives its meaning from the word ‘mean,’ meaning ‘young,’ and ‘i,’ meaning ‘well,’ ‘mineshaft,’ or ‘pit.’

72. Wakaizumi

Another Japanese surname that originated as a locational surname. Wakaizumi means ‘young spring’ or ‘young fountain.’

73. Wakaki

Manga illustrator and author, Tamiki Wakaki, is a notable bearer of the last name. Wakaki means ‘young wood’ or ‘young tree.’

74. Wakamatsu

Derived from the Japanese word ‘waka,’ meaning ‘young,’ and ‘matsu,’ meaning ‘pine tree’ or ‘fir tree.’ This last name evokes the evergreen surroundings of Japan.

75. Wakamiya

Wakamiya is a locational Japanese surname. It carries the connotation of ‘young shrine’ or ‘young temple.’

76. Wakamoto

Enunciated as ‘WAH-KAH-MO-TO,’ Wakamoto means ‘young root’ or ‘young origin.’

77. Wakao

Taken from the Japanese ‘waka,’ which means ‘young,’ and ‘o,’ translating to ‘tail,’ Wakao means ‘young tail.’

78. Wakasa

This Japanese last name comes from an old province in Japan. The surname can be pronounced as ‘WAH-KAH-SAH.’

79. Wakasugi

A name inspired by a tree, Wakasugi is a Japanese last name that means ‘young cedar.’

80. Wakata

Wakata is a Japanese surname that could either mean ‘young rice paddy’ or ‘many young.’ These are direct translations of the Japanese words ‘waka,’ ‘ta,’ and ‘da.’

81. Wakatani

This surname has many spelling variations such as Wakaya, Wakagai, and Wakagaya. It carries the connotation of ‘young valley.’

82. Wakatsuchi

Wakatsuchi is a Japanese last name that carries the connotations of ‘young earth’ or ‘young soil.’

Last names that start with W, Wakatsuchi meaning ‘young soil.’

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83. Wakatsuki

Another Japanese surname that is inspired by nature, Wakatsuki means ‘young zelkova tree.’ One important bearer of the name was Japanese Prime Minister Wakatsuki Reijirō.

84. Wakaya

Also spelled as Wakagai or Wakagaya, Wakaya is a spelling variant of Wakatani, a Japanese last name that means ‘young valley.’

85. Wakayama

Taking in the beauty of Japan’s surroundings, Wakayam means ‘young mountain.’

86. Wakazu

A spelling variant of Wakatsu, Wakazu does not have a definite meaning.

87. Wakazuki

Wakazuki is a spelling alternative to Wakatsuki, a name that was borne by a Japanese Prime Minister. The name means ‘young Zelkova tree.’

88. Wakebe

Pronounced as ‘BA-KEH-BEH,’ Wakebe is a rare surname and is a variant reading of Beppu, a locative Japanese surname that comes from several Japanese towns and divisions.

89. Waki

A lovely Japanese surname derived from ‘wa,’ meaning ‘harmony,’ and ‘ki,’ meaning ‘tree’ or ‘wood.’

90. Wakida

Wakida is also spelled as Wakita in some instances. This last name carries the connotation of ‘side field’ or ‘side rice paddy.’

91. Wakiyama

A Japanese surname that is inspired by location, Wakiyama comes from ‘waki,’ meaning ‘armpit’ or ‘the other way,’ combined with ‘yama,’ meaning ‘mountain.’

92. Wakuni

Wakuni is a rare Japanese surname that can also be used as a feminine given name. The meaning of the name depends on the kanji combinations. A few possible meanings are ‘harmony country,’ ‘Japanese country,’ and ‘peace country.’

93. Warabi

Warabi is a locative surname that has many origins. It could be taken from the Warabi village in the former district of Namegata, or it could refer to an area with the same name in the city of Yotsukaido. It could also be taken from a division in the area of Tsunogaraori, in Hashikami town, or it was the former name of the area of Mitani.

94. Warisaya

Pronounced as ‘BA-RYEE-SA-YA,’ this Japanese surname is a variation of Warizaya. It carries the connotations of ‘breakage into separate pieces’ and ‘sheath.’

95. Washi

This occupational Japanese surname was used for a paper worker. It is derived from ‘wa,’ meaning ‘sum,’ and ‘shi,’ meaning ‘paper.’

96. Watabe

A form of Watanabe, Watabe comes from the Japanese word ‘wata,’ meaning ‘ferry’ or ‘cross,’ and ‘be,’ meaning ‘part’ or ‘section.’

97. Watabohshi

This rare and ornamental Japanese surname is an alternate transcription of Watabōshi, a surname that means ‘bridal hood.’

98. Watanabe

Watanabe comes from two Japanese words ‘wata’ and ‘nabe,’ meaning ‘cross’ and ‘area’ or ‘place,’ respectively.

99. Watari

A rare Japanese surname that can be spelled as Wataru. Watari is also used as a place name and a personal name. It carries the connotations of ‘ferry,’ ‘import,’ or ‘deliver.’

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Italian Last Names Starting With W

Given their rarity, Italian surnames hold a special place in the list of last names starting with W.

100. Wichy

Wichy is an Italian surname with no distinct origins or clear meanings. It is assumed to have been derived from a given name.

101. Wilhelm

Wilhelm is not just an Italian last name, it is also used as a German surname. Although the meaning of the name is not clear in Italian, it means ‘will-helmet’ in German.

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English Last Names That Start With W

Explore the origins and meanings of English last names starting with W. Each name offers a glimpse into the lives and times of its original bearers.

102. Waddington

This English surname is a habitational name from various places called Waddington. One is near Clitheroe in Lancashire, and another in Lincolnshire. These places were originally named in Old English as the ‘settlement’ associated with Wada.

103. Wadley

An English surname derived from a place in England named with Old English ‘wad’ meaning ‘woad’ or the given name Wada, combined with Old English ‘leah’ meaning ‘woodland clearing.’

104. Wadlow

Wadlow is an English and habitational surname that originates from a lost place named Wadlow in Toddington.

105. Wadsworth

An English locative name from Yorkshire, meaning ‘Wæddi’s enclosure or settlement.’ Wæddi is an old English personal name of unknown meaning, combined with the location element ‘-worth.’ A notable bearer is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for whom the middle name was his mother’s maiden name.

106. Wainscott

The meaning of this English surname is unknown. It derives from the Middle English ‘Waynescot.’ The surname presumably arose from a nickname for someone who imported or used oak timber.

107. Wainwright

An English occupational name for a maker or repairer of wagons.

108. Wait

An English surname that is a variant spelling of Waite.

109. Waite

Waite is an English occupational surname for a watchman, derived from Anglo-Norman French ‘waite’.

110. Waitman

Possibly from Middle English ‘hwæt,’ meaning ‘active, bold, brave,’ combined with ‘mann’ meaning ‘man.’ The interpretation of the last name is ‘brave man.’

111. Wake

An English and Scottish surname derived from the Old Norse byname ‘Vakr,’ meaning ‘wakeful’ or ‘vigilant.’ It could also originate from the Old English cognate ‘Waca,’ found in place names like Wakeford, Wakeham, and Wakeley.

112. Wakeham

An English and Cornish locational surname for someone who lived in one of three places called Wakeham in various parts of England, including Cornwall and Devon.

113. Wakeley

An English habitational name from Wakeley in Hertfordshire, named from the Old English byname ‘Waca,’ meaning ‘watchful’ and ‘leah’ meaning ‘woodland clearing.’

114. Wakelin

This English surname comes from the Anglo-Norman male personal name Walquelin, meaning ‘little Walho,’ a Germanic nickname that means ‘foreigner.’

115. Walbridge

An English habitational name, probably from Wool Bridge in East Stoke, Dorset.

116. Walcott

Walcott is an English habitational name taken from any place called Walcott, Walcot, or Walcote in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, and Wiltshire. These names are derived from Old English ‘wealh’ meaning ‘foreigner and the Briton word, ‘serf’ and ‘cot’ meaning ‘cottage, hut, shelter.’ The entire meaning of the surname can be interpreted as ‘the cottage where the Britons lived.’

117. Wald

This surname is both German and English. It is a topographic name for someone who lived in or near a forest, derived from Old High German ‘wald’ and northern Middle English ‘wald.’

118. Waldrip

This English and Scottish surname is derived from the Old Norman ‘warderobe,’ referring to an official of the wardrobe. It was most likely first borne by someone who held this distinguished position.

119. Waldron

A surname with multiple origins, Waldron is derived from the German compound ‘wala-hran,’ meaning ‘wall raven’ or ‘strong bird.’ It also comes from the Gaelic ‘wealdærn,’ meaning ‘forest-dwelling,’ and is thought to be derived from the Sussex village of Waldron.

Last names that start with W, Waldron meaning ‘strong bird.’

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120. Waldroop

An English and Scottish variant of the surname Wardrop, an occupational surname that means  ‘to guard garments.’

121. Wales

A modern English and Scottish patronymic surname derived from the name Wale. The exact meaning of the name is unclear.

122. Walin

An Americanized form of the Swedish surname Wallin, this English or American surname has Scandinavian roots.

123. Walkington

This English surname is a habitational name from a place in East Yorkshire named Walkington. It originates from an unattested Old English personal name ‘Walca’ combined with ‘-ing-’ denoting association with, and ‘tūn’ meaning ‘settlement.’

124. Wallen

An English surname that originated from the Old English words ‘waellan’ or ‘weallan,’ meaning ‘to boil’ or ‘to bubble.’ It likely described someone who lived near a boiling spring or a bubbling brook.

125. Wallwork

An Anglo-Saxon name originating from Lancashire, first recorded in Worsley in 1278. It may originate from the Old Warke area in Worsley, shown as ‘Le Wallwerke’ in old documents. The surname Walworth may be related.

126. Walmer

An English habitational name from Walmer in Kent, derived from Old English ‘wala’ (plural of ‘walh’ meaning ‘Briton’) and ‘mere’ meaning ‘pool,’ or from Walmore Common in Gloucestershire.

127. Walpole

This English surname originally indicated a person from either of two places named Walpole in Norfolk and Suffolk.

128. Walshingham

Walshingham is an English surname that is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words ‘ham,’ meaning ‘house.’

129. Walworth

This English habitational name comes from Walworth in Heighington and Walworth in Newington. Both names are derived from Old English ‘wealh,’ meaning ‘foreigner, combined with the Briton word ‘serf’ and ‘worþ’ meaning ‘enclosure.’

130. Walwyn

An English surname with two possible origins, either from the Old English personal name Wealdwine, meaning ‘power-friend,’ or from the medieval personal name Walwain, the Anglo-Norman form of Old French Gauvain.

131. Wanderlust

An English ornamental surname derived from Artemis G.J. Wanderlust in 2021. It represents his desire to explore the earth physically and the never-ending desire to wonder within thought, always questioning everything and being open to new ideas.

132. Wanless

This English surname comes from a medieval nickname for an ineffectual person, derived from Middle English ‘wanles’ meaning ‘hopeless, luckless.’

133. Wannell

An English surname derived from a medieval nickname, from Middle English ‘wann’ meaning ‘wan, pale’ and a diminutive suffix.

134. Wanton

This surname is found in both English and Scottish contexts, originating from Middle English ‘wanton,’ meaning ‘unruly,’ ‘thoughtless,’ or ‘promiscuous.’

135. Warburton

An English surname derived from the village and civil parish of Warburton in Greater Manchester, England. The name combines the Old English feminine given name Werburg and ‘tun’ meaning ‘enclosure, yard, town.’

136. Warden

An English occupational name used for a watchman or guard, derived from Old French ‘wardein’ meaning ‘protector’ or ‘guard.’ It can also be a habitational name for someone from any of the various locations in England named Warden. Alternatively, it may come from Old English ‘weard’ meaning ‘guard, watch’ and ‘dun’ meaning ‘hill, mountain.’

137. Warder

This English surname originates from the place name ‘Weard ora’ in Wiltshire, which became Wardour and eventually Warder.

138. Wardlow

An English and Scottish habitational name from Wardlow in Derbyshire, derived from Old English ‘weard’ meaning ‘watch’ and ‘hlaw’ meaning ‘hill.’

139. Warington

An English variant of the surname Warrington. It is a habitational surname for someone who lives near a dam farmstead.

140. Warrington

Taken from Warrington in Lancashire, Warrington is a habitational name derived from Old English ‘wering’ or ‘wæring’ meaning ‘dam’ and ‘tun’ meaning ‘farmstead’ or ‘estate.’

141. Warrior

This English surname comes from the given name ‘warrior,’ derived from the Old French ‘werreieor’ or ‘werrieur,’ meaning ‘warrior.’

142. Washburn

A Northern English topographic name for someone living on the banks of the Washburn river in West Yorkshire. The name derives from the Old English personal name Walc and ‘burna,’ meaning ‘stream.’

143. Wastie

This English surname is derived from ‘gehaeg,’ meaning ‘hedge’ in Old English. The name later evolved to ‘Weysthagh’ and eventually to ‘Wastie.’

144. Waterfield

An English surname derived from a town named Vatierville.

145. Waterford

A rare English surname originating from a place name derived from the Old Norse words ‘veðra’ meaning ‘ram’ and ‘fjord,’ meaning ‘fjord.’

146. Waterson

This English surname is a patronymic form of the male given name Water or Walter.

147. Waverly

An English surname meaning ‘from Waverley’ or ‘from the brushwood meadow.’ It comes from either ‘waever,’ meaning ‘brushwood’ or ‘waefre,’ meaning ‘flickering,’ ‘unstable,’ ‘restless,’ or ‘wandering,’ combined with ‘leah’ meaning ‘meadow, clearing.’

148. Waycaster

Though primarily used in English contexts, the surname Waycaster is actually of German origin. It means ‘roll-eater’ and was likely derived from a derisive nickname for a baker.

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Irish Last Names That Start With W

Many of these Irish last names are anglicized forms of original Irish surnames. This highlights how deep-rooted Irish names are.

149. Walch

Walch is not only a German surname but it is also a popular Irish last name. It is a spelling variant of Walsh and can be spelled as Welch or Welsh. It carries the connotation of ‘foreigner,’ ‘stranger,’ or ‘Celt.’

150. Wall

Used as a Swedish and Irish last name. In Irish, Waldon is the anglicized form of de Bhál or Devall and it means ‘of the valley.’ However, as a Swedish surname, it means ‘pasture.’

151. Wallace

Taken from the Norman French word ‘waleis,’ Wallace means ‘foreigner,’ ‘stranger,’ or ‘Celt.’ It is used as a Scottish, Irish, and English last name. Scottish hero William Wallace was a famous bearer.

152. Walsch

A locative surname that is a spelling variant of Walsh. It carries the connotations of ‘foreigner,’ ‘stranger,’ or ‘Celt.’

153. Walsh

Used as an Irish and English last name, Walsh has Old English origins and it comes from the word ‘wælisc,’ meaning ‘foreigner,’ ‘stranger,’ or ‘Celt.’

154. Walshe

Walshe is another spelling variant of Walsh in Irish. It could either mean ‘foreigner,’ ‘stranger,’ or ‘Celt.’

155. Ward

Ward is an Irish surname that is anglicized from Mac an Bhaird, a title that means ‘son of the bard.’

156. Warnick

Warnick is a spelling variant of MacGilvernock, an anglicized Irish surname. It has its roots in the Irish surname Mac Gille Mhearnoch, and it means ‘son of the servant of Mernoch.’

157. Warnock

Another variant of MacGilvernock or Mac Gille Mhearnoch, Warnock is an Irish surname that means  ‘son of the servant of Mernoch.’

158. Wathers

This Irish surname had its origin from Donegal, Ireland. Originally found as MacConuisce, the anglicized form of o’hUisce, whereby, ‘uisce,’ means ‘water’ in English. It is considered to be a rare surname.

159. Weir

In Irish, Weir has two distinct connotations. The first is the anglicized version of the Gaelic Mac an Mhaoir, meaning ‘son of the steward or keeper.’ While the second meaning of the name is based on an erroneous translation of Gaelic names such as Ó Corra and Ó Comhraidhe.

160. Welsh

Welsh is a Scottish and Irish last name. As an Irish family name, it is an alternative spelling to Walsh and it means ‘foreigner,’ ‘stranger,’ or ‘Celt.’

161. Whalen

Whalen comes from a given name and it is a spelling variant of Whelan. It is the anglicized spelling of the Irish name Ó Faoláin, meaning ‘descendant of Faolán.’

162. Whalin

This Irish surname has no exact origins or meanings, but it is borne by Justin Garrett Whalin, an American teacher and former actor. He is known for his roles in Child’s Play 3, Dungeons & Dragons, and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

163. Whelan

The anglicized form of  Ó Faoláin. Whelan means ‘descendant of Faolán.’

164. Whyte

You may have guessed it, Whyte is a spelling variant of White, an English last name that was used as a nickname for someone who had white hair or a pale complexion.

Last names that start with W, Whyte meaning ‘white hair.’

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165. Wilde

This Irish, English, German, Dutch, and Jewish surname is a spelling variant of Wild. With roots in Old English, the name can mean ‘wild,’ ‘untamed,’ or ‘uncontrolled.’

166. Wilgar

This ancient Irish last name carries Old English and Scottish beginnings. It was used as an occupational surname for a textile fuller.

167. Windham

Also spelled as Wyndham, Wyndam, and Windam, this last name is commonly used as a habitational surname. Windham could possibly mean ‘water meadow.’

168. Wogan

Inspired by Old Welsh given names Gwgan or Gwgon, Wogan could possibly mean ‘little scowler.’ The name was used originally as a nickname.

169. Woodlock

Woodlock is used as an Irish, English, and Scottish last name. It comes from the Old English name Wudlac that means ‘wood sport.’

170. Woulfe

Woulfe is an Irish as well as an English surname. As an English name, it is a spelling vairnat of the surname Wolf. However, as an Irish last name, it is the anglicized spelling of Ó Faoláin or Whelan and it means ‘descendant of Faolán.’

171. Wrinn

Taken from the Irish Gaelic name Ó Rinn, Wrinn can also be spelled as Wren. It carries the connotation of ‘descendant of Rinn.’

172. Wynd

The exact origin of the last name is unsure with debates leaning towards Scotland or Ireland. The assumption for the origin of the name is based on royal child Wynd who slayed a dragon-like or worm-like creature. Another possibility is based on the mercenary, Henery Wynd who fought in the Battle of North Inch in Scotland.

Check out more Irish last names

French Last Names That Start With W

French last names beginning with W have an air of romanticism and vintage beauty about them. Read more about them here.

173. Waleff

This French surname does not have specific origins or meanings. However, it was borne by Maxime René Waleff, a French rower who won a silver medal during the Summer Olympics in 1900.

174. Waydelich

Waydelich is not only a French surname but it is also used by German-speaking countries. The exact origin and meaning are uncertain, but the name was borne by French croquet player and Olympic champion, Chrétien André Waydelich.

175. Wegelin

The exact origin and meaning of Wegelin is unsure. Émile Robert Wegelin is another French rower who won a silver medal during the Summer Olympics held in 1900.

176. Wellspeak

Wellspeak is the Anglicized spelling of the French last name, Beauparlant. It is assumed to have been used initially as a nickname.

177. Wembanyama

Wembanyama is a French surname with ambiguous meaning and origins. The surname is borne by French professional basketball player, Victor Wembanyama.

178. Woodlock

Woodlock is used as an English, Irish, and French surname that is derived from the Old English personal name, Wudlac. It carries a simple connotation of ‘wood sport.’

179. Wright

This is the anglicized and Americanized spelling of Droit, a French surname that means ‘right’ or ‘straight.’

180. Wryta

Also found as Wryta, Wrighte, and Wright., Wryta comes from an Old Norse group of brothers who fought William The Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.

Check out more French last names

Famous Last Names That Start With W

Discover the fascinating origins and meanings behind the surnames of some of the most well-known celebrities with last names starting with W. Each name boasts a unique history that will leave you mesmerized and in awe.

181. Wade

Derived from the Old English place name ‘wæd,’ meaning ‘a ford,’ and from the Old English given name Wada, a derivative of the word ‘wadan,’ meaning ‘to go.’ Dwayne Wade, an American former professional basketball player and one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history, is a notable bearer of this surname.

182. Wahlberg

This surname is used in German, Swedish, and Norwegian contexts. It is composed of German ‘wal,’ meaning ‘field, meadow,’ or Swedish ‘vall,’ meaning ‘grassy bank,’ and ‘berg,’ meaning ‘mountain, hill.’ Mark Wahlberg, an American actor, producer, businessman, and former rapper, is a famous bearer of this surname, known for his roles in films like ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘The Departed,’ and ‘The Fighter.’

183. Walker

The surname Walker is occupational, referring to a person who walked on damp raw cloth to thicken it. It derives from Middle English ‘walkere’ and Old English ‘wealcan,’ meaning ‘to move.’ The late American actor, Paul Walker known for his role as Brian O’Conner in the Fast & Furious film series was a prominent bearer of this surname.

184. Wang

A surname with multiple origins. Taken from the Chinese word ‘wáng,’ meaning ‘king’ or ‘monarch.’ It also comes from Middle High German and Middle Dutch ‘wange,’ meaning ‘cheek,’ used as a nickname for someone with rosy cheeks.  Also taken from Old High German ‘wang’ or Old Norse ‘vangr,’ meaning ‘grassy slope, meadow.’ Vera Wang, an American fashion designer renowned for her bridal wear, is a prominent bearer of this surname.

185. Washington

The surname Washington comes from a place name meaning ‘settlement belonging to Wassa’s people,’ derived from the given name Wassa and Old English ‘tun,’ meaning ‘enclosure, yard, town.’ George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father, is the most notable bearer of this surname.

186. Watson

An English and Scottish surname, Watson is a patronymic derived from the Middle English given name Wat or Watt, a diminutive of the name Walter. Emma Watson, a British actress and activist, is a well-known bearer of this surname, best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the ‘Harry Potter’ film series.

187. Watts

The English surname Watts is a patronymic derived from the Middle English given name Wat or Watt, a diminutive of the name Walter. Naomi Watts, a British actress known for her performances in films such as ‘Mulholland Drive,’ ‘The Ring,’ and ‘King Kong,’ is a notable bearer of this surname.

188. Weiss

The Hungarian spelling of Weiss, taken from the Middle High German ‘wiz’ or Yiddish, vais, meaning ‘white.’ This was originally a nickname for a person with white hair or skin. Rachel Weiss, better known as Rachel Weisz, is an English actress known for her roles in films like ‘The Mummy,’ ‘The Constant Gardener,’ and ‘The Favourite.’

189. Wentz

Originally a pet form of the given names Werner and Wenceslaw, meaning ‘guard’ or ‘army.’ Pete Wentz, an American musician and songwriter, is best known as the bassist and lyricist for the rock band Fall Out Boy, making him a well-known bearer of this surname.

190. Wesley

A variant of Westley, this surname comes from the name of various English towns, derived from Old English ‘west,’ meaning ‘west,’ and ‘leah,’ meaning ‘woodland, clearing.’ Paul Wesley, an American actor, director, and producer, is known for his role as Stefan Salvatore on the television series ‘The Vampire Diaries.’

191. West

An English and German surname, West denoted a person who lived to the west of something, or who came from the west. Kanye West, an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and fashion designer is a famous bearer of this surname, known for his influential music and his impact on popular culture.

192. Whitaker

Whitaker is derived from a place name composed of Old English ‘hwit,’ meaning ‘white,’ and ‘æcer,’ meaning ‘field.’ Forest Whitaker, an American actor, producer, and director acclaimed for his performances in films such as ‘The Last King of Scotland,’ for which he won an Academy Award, is a notable bearer of this surname.

193. Willis

An English surname, Willis is derived from the given name William. Bruce Willis, widely recognized for his roles in action films, particularly the ‘Die Hard’ series, as well as his versatility in dramatic and comedic roles, is a prominent bearer of this surname.

194. Wilson

The English surname Wilson means ‘son of Will.’ Owen Wilson, an American actor, producer, and screenwriter known for his roles in films like ‘Wedding Crashers,’ ‘The Royal Tenenbaums,’ and ‘Midnight in Paris,’ is a well-known bearer of this surname.

195. Winehouse

A Jewish and German surname, Winehouse is an anglicized variant of the German and Yiddish ‘Weinhaus.’ Taken from the German ‘wein,’ meaning ‘vine, grapevine,’ and ‘haus,’ meaning ‘house,’ ‘building,’ ‘home,’ likely indicating a house with a vineyard. The late Amy Winehouse, a British singer and songwriter was a famous bearer of this surname.

196. Winfrey

An English surname, Winfrey comes from the Old English personal name Winfrith, which means ‘friend-peace.’ Oprah Winfrey, an American talk show host renowned for her influential talk show ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show,’ is a well-known bearer of this surname.

197. Winslet

The origin of the surname Winslet is not entirely clear. Award-winning English actress, Kate Winslet, known for her roles in films such as ‘Titanic,’ ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,’ and ‘The Reader,’ is a prominent bearer of this surname.

198. Winter

An English, German, and Swedish surname, Winter is derived from Old English ‘winter’ or Old High German ‘wintar,’ meaning ‘winter.’ This was a nickname for a person with a cold personality. Ariel Winter, an American actress and voice actress best known for her role as Alex Dunphy on the television series ‘Modern Family,’ is a well-known bearer of this surname.

199. Witherspoon

An English surname originally given to a person who lived near a sheep enclosure, from Middle English ‘wether,’ meaning ‘sheep,’ and ‘spong,’ meaning ‘strip of land.’ Reese Witherspoon, an American actress and producer known for her roles in films such as ‘Legally Blonde,’ ‘Walk the Line,’ and ‘Wild,’ is a notable bearer of this surname.

200. Woods

An English and Scottish variant of Wood, originally denoting someone who lived in or worked in a forest, derived from Old English ‘wudu,’ meaning ‘wood.’ Tiger Woods, an American professional golfer widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time, is a prominent bearer of this surname.

Last names that start with W, Woods meaning ‘wood.’

Image: Momjunction Design Team

201. Wright

The surname Wright is derived from Old English ‘wyrhta,’ meaning ‘wright’ or ‘maker,’ an occupational name for a craftsman. Famous bearers were Orville and Wilbur Wright, the inventors of the first successful airplane.

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.

Every last name that starts with W has a story to tell. Names like Wahlberg and West demonstrate just how diverse last names can get. Who would have thought that last names from remote corners of Germany would make their way into mainstream Hollywood? Whether you are looking for a regal last name or a fun one, our exhaustive list of last names beginning with W has a surname for everyone.

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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