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Last Names as First Names: Welcome to the Next Wave

Last Names as First Names: Welcome to the Next Wave

The great thing is that the pool of surnames is so large — and ever more diverse — that there are always more to discover.

Sure, they don’t all make good first names. I know families called Beer, Small and Bumstead, but I doubt any babies will get those as honor names. Even so, surnames are a rich source of options that people will recognize and be able to spell, yet you won’t find on many other kids.

Whether you’d like to honor someone or are just searching for cool names that no one else has discovered yet, we’ve got inspiration for you. Here are fresh alternatives to six of the most popular last names.

Instead of Wyatt…

Parents love Wyatt both for its sounds, and its laid-back cowboy vibe. But it's been in the US Top 50 for a decade now, so here are less common last names that echo its style.

Instead of Jackson…

The “sons" are one of the most popular categories of surname names. For boys, as well as Jackson, there’s Hudson, Jameson, Grayson and Greyson, Carson – and that’s only in the Top 100. The biggest for girls are Madison, Addison and Emerson. Fortunately, there are plenty more for both genders that are familiar but super-popular.

Instead of Mason…

Occupational baby names are a huge trend of recent decades. Names that were once fresh, such Taylor and Tanner, have given way to others like Cooper, Sawyer, and of course Top 10 favorite Mason. So what’s next? Here are some unique names coming up.

Instead of Brooks...

Last names ending in S are a future trend that's just beginning: Brooks is now in the Top 100 boy names, and Hayes looks set to follow it. Here are more that fit the style but are less popular...for now.

Instead of Logan…

Every generation has its favorite Scottish and Irish surnames, from vintage Gordon and Keith to millennial Mackenzie and Cameron. Today, two-syllable-ending-in-n names, like Logan and Nolan, are especially hot for boys, while monosyllables Quinn and Sloane are among the most popular for girls. Here are some less discovered possibilities of Irish and Scottish origin.

Instead of Skyler…

With Dutch origins, Skylar (and its variant spellings) is a popular surname name that’s been imported from another language fairly recently. Here are more European surnames that could be international 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