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Surnames for Boys Bring New Inspiration

Surnames for Boys Bring New Inspiration

Surname names have boomed in recent years, especially for boys. If you’re looking for new options beyond popular Mason and Jackson, we have lots of fresh ideas.

Long gone are the days when last names as first names had to be from your family tree, or from people you admire — although those can still be great places to look for a meaningful name.

But beyond personal connections, the last few decades have seen a boom in parents using surname names for their style. Or rather, styles, because there’s wide variety within this group of names. They can be friendly and down-to-earth (Cooper), cowboyish (Easton), grand (Montague), rock-and-roll (Cash). They can be classics (Wesley) or modern inventions that sound like they should be surnames (Daxton).

Surnames are a great way to update familiar names with a modern twist: Jack becomes Jackson, Jason gives way to Mason. They’re also one way to get what so many of us seek: a name that’s well-known, easy to spell and pronounce, but not shared (as a first name) with many people. Sure, there are more boys named Parker than Peter in schools today, but in the whole population and the whole of history, Peter is by far more common.

Celebrities love them as much as the rest of us. Recent stars who gave their sons last names as first names include Emma Roberts (Rhodes), Sasha Pieterse (Hendrix), Billie Lourd (Kingston), and Mindy Kaling (Spencer).

We know they’re not just for boys! Some are currently pretty gender-balanced, and others — Harper, Madison, Emery — lean firmly female. But if you’re looking for a surname name for a boy, all the names below are more male in usage right now.

Whatever vibe you’re going for, we’ve rounded up new and rising ideas to inspire you.

Popular surnames for boys

First, let’s recap. The surname-style boy names in the US Top 100 are:

  • Mason

  • Logan

  • Jackson (and Jaxon and Jaxson)

  • Wyatt

  • Carter

  • Grayson

  • Lincoln

  • Hudson

  • Colton

  • Landon

  • Nolan

  • Hunter

  • Cameron

  • Easton

  • Jameson

  • Greyson

  • Cooper

  • Carson

  • Everett

  • Parker

  • Wesley

Alternative occupational surnames

Love occupation names, but know too many Masons and Carters? Here are some with the same feel, but a little less popular.

  • Archer

  • Baxter

  • Booker

  • Brewster

  • Collier

  • Deacon

  • Falkner

  • Fisher

  • Foster

  • Granger

  • Latimer

  • Marshall

  • Miller

  • Padget

  • Porter

  • Potter

  • Quiller

  • Reeve

  • Rider

  • Smith

  • Thayer

  • Wainwright

  • Weaver

  • Webster

Alternative “sons”

Carson, Hudson, Jameson… we can’t get enough of those “son” names at the moment. Whether you love the sound or are using it as an actual patronymic (like Prince Harry’s son, Archie Harrison), here are some less-discovered options.

  • Benson

  • Bronson

  • Dawson

  • Iverson

  • Jenson

  • Johnson

  • Judson

  • Larson

  • Mackson

  • Nelson

  • Nicholson

  • Pierson

  • Robinson

  • Tayson

  • Vinson

  • Wilson

Surname names ending in S

The newest trend in boy surnames is an -s ending, making for a fresh, streamlined sound. We predict it’s only a matter of time before one makes the Top 100 — probably Brooks. Some more possibilities:

  • Banks

  • Davies

  • Evans

  • Forbes

  • Harris

  • Hayes

  • Holmes

  • Jones

  • Keats

  • Mills

  • Noakes

  • Parsons

  • Reynolds

  • Rhodes

  • Sanders

  • Stokes

  • Watts

  • Wells

  • Wilkes

Oh baby surnames

Names ending in an “O” sound are hot generally, and within this there are some fun surname options. For example:

  • Barlow

  • Crusoe

  • Deveraux

  • Marlow

  • Munro

  • Pascoe

  • Poe

  • Rowe

  • Thoreau

  • Thurloe

International surnames

The elephant in the room is that a lot of stylish family names are Anglo-centric. Beyond the British canon, there’s a world of other possibilities. To name but a few:

  • Bauer

  • Bosco

  • Caruso

  • Chan

  • Chevalier

  • Demir

  • Estes

  • Joshi

  • Khan

  • Kiefer

  • Leroux

  • Nilsson

  • Park

  • Ramirez

  • Russo

  • Schuyler

Heroic surnames

Modern hero surnames can be unmistakable, like Bowie, or subtle like Franklin. (Rosalind? Benjamin? Someone else, or no one specific?) Either way, these honor names have both substance and style. Some examples from reality and fiction:

  • Austen

  • Baker

  • Bryant

  • Cobain

  • Crosby

  • Dior

  • Edison

  • Finch

  • Hamilton

  • Hendrix

  • Jeter

  • Kahlo

  • Keller

  • King

  • Lennon

  • Morrison

  • Parks

  • Porter

  • Tennyson

  • Washington

  • Woolf

Surnames with cool nicknames

If you love short, nickname-style names and want them to be short for something, there’s probably a surname that fits the bill. You can have lots of fun with this — here are some ideas:

Barrington > Bear

Beaumont > Beau

Chancellor > Chance

Dexter > Dex

Finnegan > Finn

Foxton > Fox

Grady > Gray

Hawkins > Hawk

Huxley > Hux

Kaiser > Kai

Larkin > Lark

Mackey > Mack

Montgomery > Monty

Nixon > Nix, Nico

Remington > Remy

Saunders > Sonny

Sullivan > Sully

Truett > Tru

Wellington > Wells

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from the next high-rising names to how to choose a multilingual name, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. She has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and lives in England with her husband and toddler. You can follow everything she reads about names on Twitter or Scoop.it, or reach her at clare@nameberry.com