I absolutely love when people use last names as first names for their babies. It’s a great way to give your baby a name that is classic, yet unique. For example, if you were to name your baby “Smith” (which is one of the most common last names there is), it still sounds totally fresh when being used as a first name — but it doesn’t venture too far out there in the uniqueness category, since it’s still a name people are used to hearing.
I checked out a list of the most common last names in the U.S. (based on census data) and got so many great baby name ideas in the process. In addition, I added a few last names of famous actors, writers and the like to round out my list.
Here are 40 of my favorite last names that make great first names!
The German word for “eagle” and also a last name that is high up on my list of favorites. It was actually on my list for a boy’s name when I was pregnant myself.
I’ve known many an Anderson in my day and think it would be a unique twist on the more commonly used “Andrew.”
The name of the famous French film star Brigitte Bardot, I think this would be a cute name for a little girl.
Beck would make a great nickname for this last name.
The name of writer Samual Beckett, this name is cool, strong and artsy all at the same time.
A common Jewish surname and the Hebrew word for priest. I think this would make a good name for a little boy.
A cool twist on the more commonly use name “Cole.”
This is one of my absolute favorites on the list. Truly unique.
A common last name is infinitely more unique when used as a first name
A less off the beaten path option when looking at last names as first names. So cute for a little girl!
A good unisex last name as first name option.
This name has a cool “tough guy” vibe to it, which I really like.
Duncan is one of those cute, but often forgotten baby name options that I think is quite cute.
A surname of English and Welsch decent. A lovely name for a little girl (or a boy!). Ellie would make a cute nickname for a little girl though.
A Scottish surname that has long been on my short list of favorites. Equally great as a boy’s or a girl’s name.
I kind of love this name, although I know many won’t share the sentiment. It reminds me of a slightly cooler version of the name “Gilbert.”
Griffin, Griff for short – both are such cool kid names.
Who wouldn’t love to share a name that is synonymous with guitar legend Jimi Hendrix?
I am completely smitten with this one and like it for a boy or a girl. I’ve always been a lover of Audrey Hepburn so using her last name as a first name for a child seems like a perfect little nod
The last name of multiple actors and a lovely model, I think Hutton makes for a lovely first name as well.
Perhaps a little too “odd”, but maybe this a good compromise for someone who likes the name Jennifer, but is looking for something a little bit more unique?
Jones is reminiscent of one of the most common boy’s names there is: “John,” but way more unexpected.
Obviously this name calls to mind connotations of political royalty from a lovely era gone by. I think it really is a fantastic name.
Langley is a common English surname, but far less common as a first name.
If you’re a music lover, using the last name of the late Beatles member could be a nice baby name choice.
You can’t go wrong in using the last name of a beloved president as your little one’s moniker. This could work for a boy or a girl, but I prefer it as a boy’s name.
An obvious last name as a first name choice, but I had honestly never thought about what a cool name this would be. I love it!
The last name of Marilyn, would make a great name for a boy or a girl.
The last name of basketball start Steve Nash and a cool alternative to those looking for a strong single syllabic name for a boy.
Granted, this was the last name of a former president who had a bit of a ding on his record, I think it can be easily redeemed as a modern baby name.
The English have some pretty great surnames and Penn is one of them that I find particularly great.
The most common of American last names, but it feels so fresh when used as a first name.
A last name as well as a color and an object. This name is versatile and perhaps a good alternative for those who love the name “Grey,” but are looking for something a little less popular.
The idea of using the last name Sullivan as a first name makes me want to go have another baby rightthisverysecond. I mean…the nickname Sulli? Doesn’t get any more adorable than that.
Another of the English surnames – Sutton is on my list of my unisex baby name favorites.
For those trying to figure out how to use their family name of “Tom”, but looking for something a bit more unique Thompson could be the perfect solution.
Perhaps it is the image of “Walker Texas Ranger” and the coolness of Chuck Norris that draw me to this name, but whatever the case, it’s a unique option.
I kind of love this name for a little girl, but it works just as well for a boy. Makes me think of Mae West.
Perhaps a more modern option for those who like the name William.
Another potential option for those looking for a unique twist on the name “William.”