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Last Names for Boys: Cool and Fresh Choices

Last Names for Boys: Cool and Fresh Choices

Last names as first names for boys have boomed in recent years. 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.

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

Surnames are a also great way to update familiar names with a modern twist. Parents looking for something similar-yet-different to Jack might turn to Jackson; or they might use Davis to honor Grandpa David.

Last names are also a route to something many of us are looking for: a name that's familiar, easy to spell and pronounce, but not shared with too many people, especially older people.

Celebrities love them as much as the rest of us. Recent starbaby boys with last names as first names include Barrett (Shawn Johnson and Andrew East), Carson (Brenda Song and Macaulay Culkin), Ford (Claire Holt), Greyson (Marques Houston), Ledger (Sabrina Bryan), Lowry (Sam Hunt), Messer (Stassi Schroeder and Beau Clark), and Sullivan (Kate Chastain).

Yes, 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 use right now.

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

Popular Last Names for Boys

There's nothing wrong with popular names: they're cool, of-the-moment, and loved by many people. The surname-style boy names in the US Top 100 are:

Occupational Surnames

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

Alternative “sons”

Carson, Hudson, Jameson… we can’t get enough of those “son” baby 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.

Surname Names Ending in S

The newest trend in boy names that end in S, making for a fresh, streamlined sound. Brooks was the first to enter the US Top 100, in 2020, and we predict Hayes could join it in the next few years. Here are more great options in this style:

O-baby Surnames

Names ending in O are a huge trend, and within this there are some fun surname options. Some end in the letter O, others in an "oh" sound spelled differently. For example:

International Last Names as First Names

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

Heroic Surnames

Modern hero names 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. You'll have your own personal heroes, but here are some examples from reality and fiction:

Last Names With Cool Nicknames

If you love short nicknames 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

Also check out our post on Last Names for Girls and our giant list of Last Names as First Names.

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare Green

Clare Green has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from names peaking right now to feminist baby names, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. Her work has featured in publications such as The Independent and HuffPost. Clare has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and recently completed an MA dissertation researching names in multilingual families. She lives in England with her husband and son. You can reach her at clare@nameberry.com