Nameberry's Favorite Last Names as First Names

Nameberry's Favorite Last Names as First Names

Nameberry's favorite last names as first names are not your typical Madison, Sawyer, and Tatum. All of the names on this list are popular on Nameberry but do not rank in the US Top 1000.

Berries are paving the way for a new wave of last names as first names that are fresh and fashionable. Our viewers love offbeat occupational names like Booker and Mercer and soft unisex surnames like Adair and Marlow.

Surnames of writers and artists are particularly loved by Berries as well, including Calder, Hawthorne, Bronte, and Auden.

Our favorite last names as first names listed here are ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

RELATED:

Last Names That Are Adorable First Names

Nameberry's Favorite Names

Popular Names on Nameberry

  1. 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.
  2. Roscoe
    • Origin:

      Norse
    • Meaning:

      "deer forest"
    • Description:

      Fairly popular a hundred years ago but out of sight now, the quirky Roscoe deserves a place on every adventurous baby-namer's long list. It joins Rufus, Roman, Remy, Romulus, and Ray as one of the R names that sound fresh again after too many years of Robert, Richard, and Ronald.
  3. Darcy
    • Origin:

      Irish or French
    • Meaning:

      "dark one, or from Arcy, or from the fortress"
    • Description:

      Delicate ballerina name with grace, charm, and heft courtesy of Jane Austen's Mr.
  4. Wolf
    • Origin:

      Animal name or diminutive of Wolfgang, German
    • Meaning:

      " traveling wolf"
    • Description:

      Wolf is a name with a split personality. It can be seen as one of the fierce animal names, like Fox and Bear and Puma, with a touch of the werewolf, or it can be viewed as a quieter, Wolf Blitzer kind of name, fairly common in German (where is pronounced Vulf) and Jewish families, sometimes as a short form of Wolfgang, or even Wolfram or Wolfhart.
  5. Sheridan
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "searcher"
    • Description:

      Upper crust-y surname Sheridan gains some energy when used for a girl.
  6. Auden
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "old friend"
    • Description:

      The poetic, soft-spoken Auden has recently started to be considered as a first name option, used for both sexes, appreciated for its pleasing sound as well as its link to the distinguished modern Anglo-American poet W.H. Auden.
  7. Arden
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "valley of the eagle; high"
    • Description:

      Arden is a gender-neutral name that's sleek and stylish but always seems to bob just below the surface of popularity, despite ticking all the boxes with its fashionable two-syllable, N-ending shape and its awesome nature-inspired meanings. In the 2021 US statistics, 41 percent of the babies named Arden were boys to 59 percent girls.
  8. Roan
    • Origin:

      Spelling variation of Rowan
    • Meaning:

      "little redhead"
    • Description:

      Warm-hued spelling spin on Rowan that was chosen by Sharon Stone for one of her three young sons.
  9. Dashiell
    • Origin:

      Anglicization of French surname de Chiel, meaning unknown
    • Description:

      Dashiell, though missing from many other name sources, is among the hottest new names, chosen by such celebs as Cate Blanchett and author Helen (Bridget Jones) Fielding. With its great dash and panache, Dashiell is associated with detective writer Dashiell Hammett (born Samuel, as in Sam Spade, Dashiell being his mother's maiden name). Alice Cooper was ahead of the game: He named his son Dashiell in 1985.
  10. Mercer
    • Origin:

      French occupational name
    • Meaning:

      "a merchant"
    • Description:

      Mercer is an attractive possibility which is an occupational name that doesn't sound like one. Mercer and its cool, sophisticated short form Merce project a super creative image via their artistic namesakes.
  11. Linden
    • Origin:

      Variation of Lyndon
    • Meaning:

      "linden tree hill"
    • Description:

      The graceful, natural image of the verdant shade tree transcends any connection with President Johnson.
  12. Harris
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Harry"
    • Description:

      When Harrison is too much, but Harry isn't enough, try this stylish surname name with a touch of British flair. It briefly reentered the US Top 1000 for the first time since 1988 in 2016, but has since dropped just below the radar again.
  13. Greer
    • Origin:

      Scottish, contraction of surname Gregor; Latin
    • Meaning:

      "alert, watchful"
    • Description:

      This attractive Scottish surname choice, has a certain amount of glamour thanks to feisty British-born red-haired forties Academy Award winner Greer Garson, who was born Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson--Greer was her Irish mother's maiden name). Greer was chosen much more recently by Kelsey Grammer for his daughter and by Brooke Shields in the Grier form. As a surname, it's associated with feminist writer/activist Germaine Greer.
  14. Calder
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "rocky water"
    • Description:

      Artistic associations with the sculptor who invented the mobile make this one of the more creative surname choices.
  15. Hart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "stag"
    • Description:

      Hart could be the hero of a romantic novel, but on the other hand, it's short, straightforward, and strong sounding. The most famous bearer of the name was tragic poet Hart (born Harold) Crane, but it also has musical cred via Lorenz Hart, of the classic Rodgers & Hart songwriting duo and a literary tie to playwright Moss Hart.
  16. Merrick
    • Origin:

      Anglo-Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "fame, power"
    • Description:

      A strong, attractive surname name with a mix of possible origins: either from the Welsh first name Meuric,which is a form of Maurice, and contains Germanic elements meaning fame and power, or from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning a fork in a river or a road, which led to the name of several places named Merrick in Scotland. The Supreme Court saga of Justice Merrick Garland almost certainly caused the bump in popularity that propelled Merrick to its US Top 1000 debut in 2016.

      Despite its ancient history, Merrick these days sounds more modern than the somewhat tired Derek.

  17. Poe
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "peacock"
    • Description:

      An evocative unisex one-syllable name, Poe is most distinguished by its literary reference. Edgar Allan Poe was an influential American author and poet, credited with inventing the genres of detective and science fiction, which might provide inspiration for parents who are fans. And now its choice as the name of the hero played by Oscar Isaac in the new Star Wars movie is sure to catapult it from literary choice to major favorite.
  18. Darcy
    • Origin:

      English from French, d'Arcy
    • Meaning:

      " from Arcy"
    • Description:

      Though Darcy is the ultimate Jane Austen hero name, it is rarely used for boys today though it's on the upswing for girls. A shame as it's a handsome, roguish kind of appellation that combines elements of French flair, aristocratic savoir faire, and a soft Irish brogue. And in terms of image, it's one of the quintessential English names for boys.
  19. Hollis
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "dweller at the holly trees"
    • Description:

      Hollis is a surname-name used quietly for both genders. At last count, it was given to over 200 baby boys and 160 baby girls in the US. Now a Top 1000 name for boys, it could well break into the charts for girls too in the coming years.
  20. Howard
    • Origin:

      German or English
    • Meaning:

      "high guardian or brave heart"
    • Description:

      Howard, once hugely popular -- in the Top 50 from the 1870s to early 1950s, hitting Number 24 in 1920 -- has been stuck in Dad-Grandad limbo for decades, but is showing some signs of stirring back to life. Along with such formerly-fusty names as George and Harold, Howard may soon feel baby-appropriate, perhaps with the short form Ward.