English Last Names

English Last Names

Many English last names are commonly used as first names in America, but other English-speaking cultures — including the UK — have not taken to this trend as readily.

The most common surname in the US and UK is Smith, which is currently rising as a given name in the States. Other popular English last names that are used as first names include Sawyer, Brooks, Harrison, and Everly — a very fashionable choice for girls.

Celebrities especially love English last names as first names. Hilary Duff's oldest daughter is named Banks, and Kieran Culkin recently had a son named Wilder.

Some of the English surnames found here are well-established as first names, such as Oliver, Cooper, and Taylor. Others are yet to be discovered but have great potential, including Groves, Catesby, and Westcott.

Our extensive compilation of English last names is below, ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

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English Names

Last Names as First Names

Top 100 American Surnames

  1. Oliver
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "olive tree or elf army"
    • Description:

      Oliver is an international star, ranking near the top of the charts in the US and throughout the English-speaking world, along with a host of European and Latin American countries, from Norway to Chile, Slovenia to Switzerland.
  2. James
    • Origin:

      English variation of Jacob, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "supplanter"
    • Description:

      James is one of the classic Anglo-Saxon names, a stalwart through the ages that is more popular—and yes, stylish—than ever today. It recently came out Number 1 in a poll of America's favorite boys' baby names, and is the most common male name, counting people of all ages, in the US.
  3. Everett
    • Origin:

      English variation of the German Eberhard
    • Meaning:

      "brave as a wild boar"
    • Description:

      Everett is a preppy but outdoorsy name, with wintery New England vibes. In the last decade, it’s had a leap in popularity, perhaps because of its similarity to trendy girls’ names like Ava and Scarlett, or perhaps because it offers a fresh alternative to 90’s style Evan and Brett.
  4. Archer
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "bowman"
    • Description:

      Archer is an Anglo-Saxon surname that feels more modern than most because of its on-target occupational and Hunger Games associations. And it's a nice way to bypass the clunky Archibald to get to the cool nickname Archie.
  5. Arden
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "valley of the eagle; high"
    • Description:

      Arden, the name of the magical forest in Shakespeare's As You Like It, is a stylish A name with a strong, straightforward image. Another reason to love Arden: its similarity to "ardent." Arden is solidly unisex, with the current gender distribution running about 60 percent girls and 40 percent boys.
  6. Beckett
    • Origin:

      English and Irish
    • Meaning:

      "bee hive, little brook or bee cottage"
    • Description:

      Beckett is one of the big baby name hits of the decade.
  7. Sawyer
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "woodcutter"
    • Description:

      Sawyer is a surname with a more relaxed and friendly feel than many others, and is one of the hottest occupational names right now, with the Nameberry seal of approval. Sawyer is becoming one of the top unisex names. Both Sara Gilbert and Diane Farr used Sawyer for their daughters, while it was given a boost as a boys' name by the character Sawyer on Lost, an alias for the character really named James Ford.
  8. Hayes
    • Origin:

      English surname and nature name
    • Meaning:

      "hedged area"
    • Description:

      One of those simple, straightforward English surnames -- and with a presidential pedigree -- that's easy to translate into a first. It was recently chosen by both Kevin Costner and Jessica Alba for their sons, which can likely be credited for its spike in popularity in the past few years. Surname names and nature names like Hayes, which qualifies on both counts, along with occupational names all make up the new generation of stylish English names for boys that go far beyond Harry and Edward.
  9. Bennett
    • Origin:

      English, medieval form of Benedict
    • Meaning:

      "blessed"
    • Description:

      Bennett is Ben with a bow tie, kind of a cross between Benjamin and Beckett. It's been trending up on the popularity charts in recent years, and its choice by The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's Jane Krakowski could shoot it even higher.
  10. Harvey
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "battle worthy"
    • Description:



      Harvey, which was brought to England by the Normans and is a version of the French name Herve, is a genial, old-timey name that has been much more popular across the pond. It has been a Top 100 choice in England & Wales since 1997.
  11. Brooks
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "of the brook"
    • Description:

      A nature name, a word name, and a surname name, Brooks has plenty of cool factor. It gives off cowboy vibes and a sporty feel, while also maintaining a smart, collected image.
  12. Cole
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "swarthy, coal black"
    • Description:

      Cole -- a short name that embodies a lot of richness and depth -- has long been associated with the great songwriter Cole Porter. It's quite popular in Scotland.
  13. Avery
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "ruler of the elves"
    • Description:

      Avery is a hugely popular name in the US, especially for girls. But while nearly four times as many girls as boys are named Avery today Avery's popularity is starting to soften for girls while it continues to strengthen for boys.
  14. Hudson
    • Origin:

      English place-name and surname
    • Meaning:

      "Hugh's son"
    • Description:

      Hudson has risen quickly up the charts over the past 30 years, getting a lot of its style value from New York's Hudson River. That makes it a nature name and a place name that's also got the fashion gloss of New York City.
  15. Blake
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "fair-haired, dark"
    • Description:

      Blake -- an early unisex option -- dropped out of the Top 100 in 2017 for the first time since 1988, but remains a sophisticated choice. And yes, both conflicting meanings of Blake are accurate. It originated as a surname in England derived from a nickname. Much of its masculine image was influenced by the wealthy, silver-haired character Blake Carrington in the massively popular 80s TV series Dynasty. Rosie O'Donnell has a son named Blake.
  16. Harrison
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Harry"
    • Description:

      Harrison, a name made viable by Harrison Ford, is increasingly popular with parents who want an H name that's more formal than Harry or Hank but doesn't veer into the stiff Huntington-Harrington territory.
  17. Riley
    • Origin:

      English, Irish
    • Meaning:

      "rye clearing; courageous"
    • Description:

      Riley—an upbeat, friendly surname name—is red hot for girls and still going strong for boys. If you haven't been spending much time around babies recently, you may be surprised to learn that Riley is the most popular girls' name starting with R and also the Number 1 Irish name for girls in the US.
  18. Everly
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "wild boar in woodland clearing"
    • Description:

      Sweet and stylish, with a sporty, energetic undertone, Everly is a name that ticks lots of boxes.
  19. Cooper
    • Origin:

      English occupational name
    • Meaning:

      "barrel maker"
    • Description:

      The genial yet upscale and preppy Cooper was one of the first occupational last names to catch on -- and Cooper remains a pleasing option.
  20. Wilder
    • Origin:

      Surname or word name
    • Description:

      New to the US Top 1000 in 2015, Wilder is on many parents' possibility lists, one of the new generation of bad boy names growing in popularity. Wilder got a big boost in interest through Goldie Hawn's grandson, born in 2007, via son Oliver.