100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

100 English Last Names That Make for Brilliant First Names

English last names are such attractive appellations that they work extremely well as given names. With Scottish, Welsh, Cornish, and a sprinkling of Irish tradition in the mix, there are plenty of English last names to love that offer variety in both sound and meaning. An excellent feature of choosing one of these English last names as a first name for your baby is that they’re extremely versatile. They work will with most other last names and many middle name options.

Further, most of these English last names sound gender-neutral and will work brilliantly for both boys and girls. For this reason, we decided to round up old English last names for expecting parents to consider. If you’re looking for well-rounded appellations with plenty of character and charm, these names are going to serve you well! Below, you will find English last names and their meanings.

Check Out These English Last Names That Make Excellent First Names!

English Last Names That Start with A

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

Let’s start at the beginning, a very good place to start! English last names that start with A are aplenty. Here are some of our favorites for both boys and girls.

  • Allen – A very popular Celtic name, meaning “handsome” and “cheerful”
  • Alder – An English surname and tree name, meaning “alder tree” and “old”
  • Ansel – An English last name with Germanic roots, meaning “divinely protected”
  • Austen – A perfect name for parents who love English literature, Austen is an English surname that is a form of the Latin, Augustus, meaning “venerable”
  • Axton – With a fashionable X, Axton could prove a handsome name with an edge, meaning “sword stone”

English Last Names That Start with B

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

Another letter with plenty of English last names starting with it is B. Let’s take a look at some of the best gender-neutral names from English surnames that start with B!

  • Baily – A very popular name in the US today, Bailey spelled with an E is a smart choice. We love the more traditional English variant without it! Baily is an occupational surname that means “bailiff”
  • Barton – Not just a name for Fink, Barton is an English habitational surname that means “from the barley settlement”
  • Blake – A hot name for girls today, Blake comes from English and some how means both “fair-haired” and “dark”
  • Baxter – An English occupational surname that offers the tempting nickname “Bax,” Baxter means “baker”
  • Beal – An attractive English last name from French origin, meaning “handsome”

English Last Names That Start with C

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

Some of the best English names out there start with C. Let’s take a look at some appellations that prove smart for babies today!

  • Cruse – A name with a hundred variants in England today including Cruise, Crews, Cruce, and Cruys, all from Anglo-Norman origin, meaning “fierce”
  • Clark – A perennial favorite for parents in the US, Clark is an English occupational name, meaning “clerk”
  • Cliff – One of the best English habitational names, Cliff means “from the ford” or “from the cliff”
  • Conley – Conley is one of best English last names that works as a first, last popular in the US in the 1940s, Conley is an Anglicized form of the Irish name, Conleth, meaning “chaste fire”
  • Carter – A mildly popular name for both boys and girls today, Carter is an English occupational name for a “cart maker”

English Last Names That Start with D

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

Let’s check out some dashing English last names that start with D. There are not many of them but we managed to pick five of our favorites to share with you.

  • Derwin – A handsome English name that was popular in the US in the 50s through the 70s, Derwin means “dear friend”
  • Davies – An attractive alternative to Davis, Davies is a Welsh name that means “son of David”
  • Dy – A surname you will find attached to those from Yorkshire, Dy is another form of Dye and English name that originated in the Middle Ages as a form of the name Dionysos which comes from Latin and refers to the Roman god of wine and revelry
  • Duke – A title and rank of nobility, Duke means “nobleman”
  • Dyson – An English surname and form of Dennison, not just for vacuum cleaners! Dyson means “son of Dennis”

English Last Names That Start with E

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

There are fewer established English last names that start with E than you may think! However, we did manage to find five excellent options for you to consider.

  • Every – An encompassing name, Every is the English name related to a Norman family who settled in the Southern England, it’s a place-name referring to Évreux in Normandy
  • Eidson – An alternative form of Eddison, meaning “son of Edward”
  • Eakin – A name derived from one of the tribes that once ruled Britain, coming from Ede-kin meaning “son of Edward”
  • Eton – A fancy boarding school in England, but also a habitational English surname, meaning “riverside”
  • Elwes – A popular surname and given name in the UK today, meaning “the son of Heloise” and also spelled Helwys and Helewise

English Last Names That Start with F

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

There are plenty of English last names that start with F to go around! Here are some options we think will appeal to many expecting parents today.

  • Finch – Unlike Wren or Lark, Finch is a bird-name that’s gone unsung! Finch is an English surname that means “to swindle”
  • Finlay – A Scottish royal name, Finlay is a surname and popular given name across the UK today, meaning “fair hero”
  • Finn – A hugely popular name for boys in the US today, we would love to find Finn associated with many little girls as well. Finn has Irish origins as a surname, meaning “white”
  • Fletcher – A mildly popular name in the US today, Fletcher is an occupational name for an “arrow-maker”
  • Fox – An English last name and animal name that has emerged as a fashionable choice for babies today

English Last Names That Start with G

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

There are so many English last names that start with G! Some of the best of the best for babies’ first names you will find below.

  • Giffen – You will find identical names in Scottish and Irish with separate meanings. In Irish tradition, the surname means “black.” In Scotland, the name is considered a habitational one related to the parish of Beith, Ayrshire
  • Giles – A name that’s seemed to British for many American parents, Giles means “young goat”
  • Graeme – A Scottish name and form of Graham, meaning “gravelly homestead”
  • Gregg – A name from an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts, Gregg is a form of Gregory and means “vigilant”
  • Gerard – A prevalent surname in Lancashire, Gerard was brought to British shores by the Normans, meaning “spear strength”

English Last Names That Start with H

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

Again, we have plenty of English last names that start with H to tell you about. While the names that started with G did skew masculine, we will share some softer options with these H-names.

  • Hanson – An English surname, coming from Scandinavia, meaning “Hans’ son”
  • Halsey – An English occupational surname, meaning “hallowed island”
  • Holt – A blunt name that should be much more popular than it is today, Holt comes from Old English wold and means “son of unspoiled forests”
  • Huxley – A popular given name today, Huxley has English origins and means “from the inhospitable place”
  • Hawley – A surname that is derived from Old English, meaning “hedged meadow”
  • Hays – An English nature surname that means “hedged area”

English Last Names That Start with I

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

There are very few, established English surnames that start with I! However, we did find a couple of names we think work very well.

  • Irwin – Last popular as given in the 1960s in the US, Iriwn means “boar friend”
  • Isley – An English surname from a Germanic occupational name, Eisele, meaning “blacksmith” OR a surname from the Old English root hesli, meaning “hazel grove”
  • Ivens – Another name with two different meanings, one of which comes from Celtic origins and means “yew” OR “Iven’s son”

English Last Names That Start with J

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

We’re back in business with English last names that start with J as there are plenty of fashionable options for you to mull over. Here are some J-gems!

  • Jacklin – Contrary to popular belief, Jacklin is an English occupational name related to a village in Cambridgeshire, brought to Britain by the Normans
  • Jackson – A very popular given name and surname anywhere English is spoken, meaning “son of Jack”
  • Jemison – A name related to the Hebrew, James, meaning “supplanter” or “son of Jeremiah”
  • Jessop – Another English surname from Hebrew, Jessop is related to Joseph and means “Jehovah increases”
  • Joplin – An English surname related to the Hebrew, Job, meaning “persecuted”
  • Jones – One of the most common surnames in the UK, Jones is related to John and means “God is gracious”

English Last Names That Start with K

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

We have plenty of lovely K-names to share with you. These English last names offer some of the most variety!

  • Kane – Kane is a Celtic name that’s popular in Wales, meaning “warrior” or “beautiful”
  • Kay – Derived from the Breton and Old Welsh word Cai, and the Cornish word Key both of which meant “wharf” 
  • Keate – An English occupational surname from Old English cyte meaning “shed,” thus, this appellation means “worker from the shed”
  • Knight – A surname that originated in Middle English, meaning “knight” and often, this name went to servants of a knightly household
  • Kyle – A Scottish Gaelic name that’s a popular given one as well, Kyle means “narrow strait,” this would be an ultra-fresh pick for a little girl

English Last Names That Start with L

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

There are plenty of English last names that start with L to choose from. Here are some options that will work well for babies born today.

  • Lainson – An English surname that’s meaning is disputed, but likely “son of Lane”
  • Lane – A habitational name found throughout the UK today, meaning “from the narrow road”
  • Liston – A popular first name choice in the US in the 19th century, Liston is a habitational name for a place in Essex and means “settlement” and “square”
  • Lucey – A Gaelic last name, from Ó Luasaigh, meaning “son of Cluasach”
  • Lyle – A Scottish surname and once-popular given name for boys, Lyle means “from an island”

English Last Names That Start with M

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

There are a ton of marvelous M-surnames to tell you about! Here are some of our favorites that make great first names.

  • Miller – A very common surname in the UK and the US, meaning “worker at the mill”
  • Mackenzie – A Scottish surname that’s emerged as a great unisex option for parents today, meaning “son of Kenneth”
  • Marris – An English name that was brought by the Normans, from Old French marais, meaning “from the marsh” OR a habitational name in Normandy associated with Marais in Calvados
  • Maxwell – A habitational name associated with Melrose, in Roxburghshire, Scotland, meaning “Mack’s spring”
  • Melton – A Scottish surname from Old English, meaning “middle town” or “settlement between two places”

English Last Names That Start with N

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

We have some charming English last names that start with N for you to ponder. Would you choose any of these awesome surnames as a given name for your baby?

  • Niel – A Gaelic name of Irish origin, meaning “champion”
  • Nelson – Another Gaelic charmer, Nelson means “son of Nell”
  • Nicol – A name that was popularized by the Crusaders, Nicol came to England from the Normans, meaning “people of victory” or “conqueror”
  • Nance – A Medieval Cornish surname, a habitational name associated with the Parish of Illogan, meaning “valley”
  • Nash – An Anglo-Saxon habitational name, meaning “from the ash trees”
  • Noe – In the Middle Ages, Noah became a hugely popular name around Europe, Noe and Noy emerged as English variants of the appellation, meaning “rest”

English Last Names That Start with O

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

We found some treasured English last names that start with O to share with you next.

  • Oakley – A name that’s been on the rise for boys in recent years that also should be true for girls, meaning “from an oak clearing”
  • Odell – An English name that reached Ireland in 17th century and stuck, Odell means “hill” or “of the valley” OR a habitational name associated with  Odell, Bedfordshire
  • Orton – A habitational name that refers to a number of places, one of the first being in Cumberland
  • Ottley – Another habitational name referring to the forested areas of West Yorkshire and Suffolk

English Last Names That Start with P

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

There are a whole bunch of English last names starting with P. Here are some perfect options for your baby on the way!

  • Parker – An English occupational name from French, meaning “keeper of the park”
  • Phillips – Phillip is a Greek given name, meaning “lover of horses,” and the English surname Phillips means “son of Phillip”
  • Pippen – The English surname Pippen is likely unrelated to the French name Pippin, instead, the name translates to “seed of fruit” as an occupational name for a gardner
  • Poe – An English surname from Old French, meaning “peacock”
  • Paget – Actor Paget Brewster makes this one a distinct possibility, an occupational name, meaning “page boy”
  • Paxton – An English surname that makes for a handsome given name, meaning “peace town”

English Last Names That Start with Q

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

There are a few English last names that start with Q but they are not in good supply! Here are some possibilities for your baby!

  • Qualls – A habitational surname for someone from Quarles (circles), in Norfolk, can be taken to means “from the quarry”
  • Queely – A surname from many Irish names that mean “descendant of Cadhla”
  • Quinn – Another Irish name, meaning “descending from Conn” or “head”
  • Quintrell – An English surname that landed in Cornwall from France as Cointerel, meaning “skilled” or “attractive”

English Last Names That Start with R

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

There are a great many English last names that start with R. Here are some of the best of the best for first names.

  • Randel – An English surname from German, Rand, meaning “shield” or “wolf”
  • Reed – A name belonging to the Reeds of Troughend (Northumberland), meaning “from a clearing” or “redhead”
  • Rex – A habitational name from Somerset, meaning “dweller by the rushes”
  • Rutherford – A Scottish and Northern English habitational surname from a place in the Scottish borders region near Roxburgh, meaning “cattle ford”
  • Reilley – An Anglicized Irish name and one of the most common Irish surname, meaning “grandson of Raghallach”

English Last Names That Start with S

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

Smith is the most common surname in the UK (and the US) today. Let’s look at other English last names that start with S and make for great first names.

  • Spencer – An occupational name, meaning “house steward”
  • Sawrey – Likely too close to “sorry” in sound than most will like but a great name nevertheless, a habitational appellations from a hamlet called Far Sawrey near Hawkshead, on the west shore of Lake Windermere
  • Swan – An Old English name that was adopted as a surname, meaning “herdsman”
  • Sydney – An Anglo-Saxon name that means “water-meadow” or “wide island”
  • Stern – A surname from a Medieval nickname for someone who is austere

English Last Names That Start with T

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

There are tons and tons of English last names that start with T. Check out some fun options below!

  • Tate – An English surname and form of Tata from Norse, meaning “cheerful”
  • Tinnin – The Gaelic form of this name is Mac Toimin but Tininn is the English form that’s popular in Ireland now, meaning “son of the fox” OR related Thomas, meaning “twin”
  • Tinsley – A habitational name from South Yorkshire near Rotherham (and Ulster), meaning “hill barrow,” a great option for a girl!
  • Tonra – This surname is an Anglicised form of the Irish Ó Tomhnra, meaning “descendant of Arailt” and “descendant of Tomhrar”
  • Towry – A name associated with family that settled in Lancashire, also spelled Towery, meaning “from the castle” or “from the tower”
  • Tuckey – An occupational name for a fuller, a person who would thicken raw cloth in water
  • Tyson – A name brought to England by the Normans, meaning “fire-brand”

English Last Names That Start with U

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

There are not very many English last names that start with U, but let’s take a look at some that will function as proper first names. Check them out!

  • Ultan – A habitational Irish name, meaning “from Ulster”
  • Upton – A habitational name for many, many places, meaning “upper town”
  • Urie – A Socttish name that means “son of Urry,” also spelled Urey

English Last Names That Start with V

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

Again, there’s not a huge stock of established English last names that start with V but there are some truly vibrant options here.

  • Vachell – An English surname from Old French, meaning “a cow,” likely an occupational name
  • Vail – An English surname from Old French origins, meaning “valley”
  • Verey – Yet another English surname that came with the Normans, meaning “true alder”
  • Vince – An English occupational name that is derived from “finch” as an occupational name for a person who bought, sold, or raised finches
  • Virgo – An English surname from Latin and French origins, meaning “virgin” or “maiden” and relating to Medieval clergy

English Last Names That Start with W

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

We’re back to a letter with a bunch of English last names attributed to it! Let’s look at some warm W-names for babies!

  • Ward – An English occupational name referencing a “civil guard” OR a topographical name, meaning “marsh”
  • Warren – An English topographic name for someone who lives or works near a game park
  • Warnock – A Scottish name originated by the Mac-Gille-Warnocks clan, meaning Ne oublie or “do not forget”
  • Wallis – An English name from French, meaning “Welshman” or “foreign”
  • Washington – A topographical surname from Old English, meaning “hunting ground”
  • Whitney – A habitational name for a dweller of “White Island,” meaning “white water”
  • Whittaker – An English habitational name, meaning “white acre”
  • Wilde – An English name that has many potential meanings but most agree on “leader” and “high spirited”
  • Wilk – A diminutive form of Wilkin, a Norman name, meaning “armed resolution”
  • Windle –  A habitational name from Windhill in West Yorkshire or Windle in Lancashire, meaning “windy hill”
  • Wix – Another habitational name, meaning “from an outlying settlement”
  • Willard – An English name from Germanic origins, meaning “strong desire”

English Last Names That Start with Y or Z

100 english last names that make for brilliant first names

There are few English last names that start with Y or Z and almost none that start with X! Here’s what we discovered.

  • Yeo – A habitational surname form a person who lives near a river, specifically the River Yeo in South Somerset
  • Yung – This English surname is very old despite it meaning “young,” coming from Old English this name was first recorded as a surname in the 7th century
  • Zeal – An English surname that can be considered an occupational name for a “seal maker” OR a topographical name meaning “willow”

There you go! What did you think of all of these English last names? Do any of them seem like contenders for your baby? We sure hope you found something to consider or at least feel inspired to discover the perfect appellation for your child. English names are storied and tell the history of the people that have inhabited the island and beyond! Happy baby name hunting!

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