English Surnames

English names are used in English-speaking countries. See also about English names.
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NIELSON     English
Variant of NELSON.
NIGEL     English
From the given name NIGEL.
NILES     English
Means "son of NEIL".
NIXON     English
Means "son of NICHOLAS". A famous bearer was the American president Richard Nixon (1913-1994).
NOEL     French, English
Either from the given name NOËL, or else derived directly from Old French noel "Christmas" and given to a person who had a particular connection with the holiday.
NORMAN     English
Referred to a person who was originally from Scandinavia or Normandy. Even before the Norman Conquest, Scandinavians were settling the north and east of England. The Normans who participated in the Conquest were originally from Scandinavia, but had been living in Normandy, France for over a century and spoke French.
NORMANSON     English
Means "son of NORMAN".
NORRIS (1)     English, Scottish
Means "from the north" from Old French norreis. It either denoted someone who originated in the north or someone who lived in the northern part of a settlement.
NORRIS (2)     English, Scottish
Means "wet nurse, foster mother" from Old French nurise, norrice.
NORTH     English
Name for a person who lived to the north.
NORTHROP     English
From the name of a town in England meaning "north farm".
NORTON     English
Originally taken from a place name meaning "north town" in Old English.
NORWOOD     English
Originally taken from a place name meaning "north wood" in Old English.
NOWELL     English
Variant of NOEL.
NYE     English
Means "dweller at the river" from Middle English atten eye meaning "at the river".
OAKLEY     English
From a place name meaning "oak clearing" in Old English. It was borne by American sharpshooter Annie Oakley (1860-1926).
ODELL     English
Originally denoted a person who was from Odell (Bedfordshire), England.
OGDEN     English
Means "(dweller in the) oak valley" from Old English âc "oak" and denu "valley".
OLHOUSER     Norwegian, English
Means "(dweller by or near the) old house".
OLIVER     Catalan, English, French, German, Scottish
Derived from the given name OLIVER.
OLIVERSON     English
Means "son of OLIVER".
OSBORNE     English
Derived from the given name OSBORN.
OSBOURNE     English
Derived from the given name OSBORN.
OTIS     English
Means "son of ODE".
OTT     English, German
From the given name OTTO.
OUTLAW     English
Means simply "outlaw" from Middle English outlawe.
OUTTERRIDGE     English
Derived from the Old English given name Uhtric which was composed of the elements uht "dawn" and ric "power".
OVERTON     English
Denoted a person who hailed from one of the various places in England called Overton or Orton.
OWSTON     English
Denoted a person who came from any one of the places in Britain called Ouston or Owston.
PADDON     English
Variant of PATTON.
PADMORE     English
Originally indicated a person from Padmore, England.
PAGE     English, French
Occupational name meaning "servant, page". It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Italian) from Greek παιδιον (paidion) meaning "little boy".
PAGET     English, French
Diminutive of PAGE.
PAIGE     English
Variant of PAGE.
PALMER     English
Means "pilgrim", ultimately from Latin palma "palm tree", since pilgrims to the Holy Land often brought back palm fronds as proof of their journey.
PARENT     English, French
Derived from old French parent "notable".
PARIS     English, French
Variant of PARISH (1).
PARISH (1)     English
Originally denoted a person who came from the French city of Paris, which got its name from the ancient Celtic tribe known as the Parisii.
PARISH (2)     English
Derived from the rare medieval given name Paris, an Old French form of PATRICK.
PARK (2)     English
From Middle English parc, this was a name for someone who worked in or lived in a park.
PARK (3)     English
From the medieval name Perkin, a diminutive of PETER.
PARKER     English
Means "keeper of the park" in Middle English. It is an occupational name for a man who was the gamekeeper at the medieval park.
PARKS     English
Patronymic form of PARK (3).
PARRIS     English, French
Variant of PARISH (1).
PARRISH     English
Variant of PARISH (1) or PARISH (2).
PARSONS     English
Originally denoted a person who served as a parson.
PATERNOSTER     English, French, German, Italian
Occupational name for a maker of rosaries, also called paternosters. They are derived from the Latin phrase pater noster "our Father", the opening words of the Lord's Prayer.
PATERSON     English, Scottish
Means "son of PATRICK".
PATRICK     English
From the given name PATRICK.
PATRICKSON     English
Means "son of PATRICK".
PATTERSON     English, Scottish
Means "son of PATRICK".
PATTON     English, Scottish
Diminutive of the medieval name Pate, a short form of PATRICK.
PAUL     English, French, German, Dutch
From the given name PAUL.
PAULSON     English
Means "son of PAUL".
PAYNE     Irish, Scottish, English
Means "villager, rustic" and later "heathen" from Middle English Payn, Old French Paien which was often given to children whose baptism had been postponed or adults whose religious zeal was lacking.
PAYTON     English
From the name of the town of Peyton in Sussex. It means "PÆGA's town".
PEACOCK     English
From the Middle English words pecok and pocok which mean "peacock". It was originally a nickname for a proud or haughty person.
PEAK     English
Means "dweller by the pointed hill" from Old English peac. It could also denote a person from the Peak District in Derbyshire, England.
PEARCE     English
From the given name PIERS.
PEARSON     English
Variant of PIERSON.
PECK (1)     English
Variant of PEAK.
PECK (2)     English
Occupational name for a maker of pecks (vessels used as peck measures) from Middle English pekke.
PELLEY     English
Means "bald" from Modern French pelé.
PEMBERTON     English
From a place name composed of elements meaning "hill", "barley" and "town".
PENDER (1)     English
From Middle English pind "to pen up". This was an occupational name for someone who penned animals.
PENNY     English
Means "penny (the coin)" from Old English pening, penig.
PERKINS     English
Means "son of Perkin", a medieval diminutive of PETER.
PERRY (1)     English
Derived from Middle English perrie, Old English pyrige meaning "pear tree". A famous bearer was Matthew Perry (1794-1858), the American naval officer who opened Japan to the West.
PETER     English, German, Dutch
Derived from the given name PETER.
PETERS     English, German
Derived from the given name PETER.
PETERSON     English
Means "son of PETER".
PETIT     Catalan, English, French
Means "small, little" derived from Old French petit. It was perhaps used for a short, small person or to denote the younger of two individuals.
PETTIGREW     English, French
Derived from French petit "small" and cru "growth".
PEYTON     English
Variant of PAYTON.
PHELPS     English
Means "son of PHILIP".
PHILIPS     English, Dutch
Means "son of PHILIP". Famous bearers of this surname are Frederick Philips and his son Gerard, the Dutch founders of the company Philips.
PHILLIPS     English
Means "son of PHILIP".
PICKERING     English
From the name of a town in Yorkshire, derived from Old English Piceringas, the name of a tribe.
PICKLE     English
Derived from Middle English pighel "field".
PIERCE     English
From the given name PIERS.
PIERSON     English
Means "son of PIERS".
PIPER     English
Originally given to a person who played on a pipe (a flute).
PITTS     English
Means "dweller by the pit, hollow" from Old English pytt. It could also indicate a person from Pitt (Hants) or Pett (East Sussex) in England.
PLANK     German, English
Means "plank" from Latin plancus. This could have referred to a person who lived by a plank bridge over a stream, someone who was as thin as a board, or a carpenter.
PLASKETT     English
Means "dweller by the swampy meadow" from Old French plasquet.
PLATT     English
Habitational name from Platt or Platt Bridge in Lancashire, named in Middle English with Old French plat "flat, thin", in the dialect sense "plank bridge".
POCOCK     English
Variant of PEACOCK.
POINDEXTER     English
From the Jèrriais surname Poingdestre, possibly meaning "spur steed".
POLLEY     English
From Old French poli "polite".
POND     English
Referred to one who dwelt near a pond.
POOLE     English
From Old English pol meaning "pool". It referred to a person who lived by a small body of water.
POPE     English
From a nickname which originally designated a person who played the part of the pope in a play or pageant. Otherwise the name could be used as a nickname for a man with a solemn, austere, or ascetic appearance.
PORCHER     English, French
Means "swineherd" from the Old French and Middle English word porchier.
PORTER     English
Occupational surname meaning "doorkeeper", ultimately from Old French porte "door", from Latin porta.
POTTER     English
Occupational name for a potter, one who makes earthen vessels.
POUND     English
Occupational name for a person who kept animals, from Old English pund "animal enclosure".
POWER (1)     English, Irish
Indicated a person who came from Pois (Picardy), France.
POWER (2)     English
Means "poor" from the Middle English and Old French word povre, poure. Could be used as a nickname for a miser as well.
POWERS     English, Irish
Variant of POWER (1).
PRATT     English
Means "cunning, trick" from Old English prætt. This was a nickname for a trickster.
PRESCOTT     English
From an English place name meaning "priest's cottage".
PRESLEY     English
Variant of PRIESTLEY. This name was borne by musician Elvis Presley (1935-1977).
PRESSLEY     English
Variant of PRIESTLEY.
PRESTON     English
Originally derived from a place name meaning "priest town" in Old English.
PRIESTLEY     English
From a place name meaning "priest clearing", from Old English preost and leah.
PROUDFOOT     English
Means "one with a proud step", a nickname for a proud person.
PRYOR     English
Belonged to one who was a prior (a religious official), or one who worked fro a prior.
PURCELL     English
Means "swineherd" or perhaps just "piglet" from Old French pourcel.
PUTNAM     English
Means "from Putnam (Herts, Surrey), England". The place name means "Putta's homestead".
QUEEN     English, Irish
Means "woman" from Old English cwen which was sometimes used as a given name. In some occurrences the meaning could simply have been "queen" derived from Old English cwene. Occasionally it could be a shortened form of MACQUEEN.
QUESHIRE     English
Probably an unusual variant of CHESHIRE.
QUICK     English
Derived from Middle English quik or Old English cwic, which both mean "lively".
QUICKLEY (1)     English
Derived from Middle English quiklich or Old English cwiclic, which both mean "lively".
QUINCEY     English
Variant of QUINCY.
QUINCY     English
Originally from various place names in Normandy which were derived from the given name QUINTUS.
RADCLIFF     English
From various place names in England which mean "red cliff" in Old English.
RADCLYFFE     English
Variant of RADCLIFF.
RAINES     English
Originally denoted a person from Rayne (Essex), England or from Rennes, France.
RAINS     English
Variant of RAINES.
RAKE     English
Means "dweller on a narrow pass or hillside" from Old English hraca.
RAKES     English
Variant of RAKE.
RAMSEY     Scottish, English
Means "garlic island", derived from Old English hramsa "garlic" and eg "island". The surname was brought to Scotland by the Norman baron Simundus de Ramsay.
RANDAL     English
Variant of RANDALL.
RANDALL     English
Derived from the given name RANDEL.
RANDELL     English
Variant of RANDALL.
RAY     English
Variant of REY (1), REY (2), RYE (1), RYE (2) or WRAY.
RAYNE     English
Derived from a Germanic name which was short for longer names beginning with the element ragin meaning "advice, counsel".
RAYNERSON     English
Means "son of RAYNER".
READ (1)     English
Means "red" from Middle English read, probably denoting a person with red hair or complexion.
READ (2)     English
Means "dweller in a clearing in woodland" from Old English ried. It is also derived from various English place names with various meanings, including "roe headland", "reeds" and "brushwood".
READDIE     English
Variant of READY (1).
READY (1)     English
Means "prepared, prompt" from Middle English readi.
REED     English
Variant of READ (1) or READ (2).
REEVE     English
Occupational name for a sheriff, from Middle English reeve.
REIER     English, German
Variant of ROYER.
RENNELL     English
Variant of REYNOLDS.
RENNOLD     English
Variant of REYNOLDS.
RENNOLL     English
Variant of REYNOLDS.
REVIE     English
Variant of REEVE.
REY (1)     English, Spanish, French, Catalan
Means "king" from Latin rex, regis, perhaps originally denoting someone who acted like a king.
REY (2)     English
Means "female roe deer" from Old English rœge, probably denoting someone of a nervous temperament.
REYNELL     English
Variant of REYNOLDS.
REYNOLDS     English
Derived from the given name REYNOLD.
RHODES     English
Either a topographical name derived from Old English rod meaning "a clearing in woodland", or a locational name from any of the locations named with this word.
RICHARD     English, French, German, Dutch
From the given name RICHARD.
RICHARDS     English
Derived from the given name RICHARD.
RICHARDSON     English
Means "son of RICHARD".
RICKARD     English
Variant of RICHARD.
RIDER     English
Variant of RYDER.
RIDLEY     English
Denoted a person who hailed from one of the various places in England with that name.
RIER     English, German
Variant of ROYER.
RIGBY     English
Originally derived from a place name meaning "ridge farm" in Old Norse.
RILEY (1)     English
Originally derived from a place name meaning "rye clearing" in Old English.
RIMMER     English
Means "poet" from Middle English rime(n).
ROACH     English
Means "dweller by the rocks" from the Middle English and Old French roche. Some instances of this surname could denote a person coming from Les Roches (Seine-Maritime), France.
ROBBINS     English
Derived from the given name ROBIN.
ROBERT     English, French, Dutch
From the given name ROBERT.
ROBERTS     English
Means "son of ROBERT".
ROBERTSON     English
Means "son of ROBERT".
ROBINSON     English
Means "son of ROBIN".
ROBSON     English
Means "son of ROB".
RODERICK     English
Derived from the given name RODERICK.
RODGERS     English
Derived from the given name RODGER.
ROGERS     English
Derived from the given name ROGER.
ROGERSON     English
Means "son of ROGER".
ROLLINS     English
From a diminutive of the given name ROLAND.
ROME     French, English
English and French form of ROMA (2).
ROMILLY     English, French
Originally denoted a person who came from any of the various places in northern France called Romilly or Remilly, or from Romiley in England.
ROSCOE     English
From a place name meaning "doe wood" in Old Norse.
ROSE (1)     English, French, German, Scottish, Jewish
Means "rose" from the Middle English, Old French and Middle High German rose. All denote a person of a rosy complexion or a person who lived in an area abundant with roses. It is also found derived from the Yiddish royz, which always referred to the flower.
ROSE (2)     English
Derived from the given name ROSE.
ROSS     English, Scottish
From various place names (such as the region of Ross in northern Scotland) which are derived from Scottish Gaelic ros meaning "promontory, headland".
ROUNDS     English
Means "son of the fat person" from the Middle English and Old French rond, rund.
ROWBOTTOM     English
Means "dweller in the overgrown valley" from Old English ruh "rough, overgrown" and boðm "valley".
ROWE     English, Scottish, Irish
Means "dweller by a row of hedges or houses" from Middle English row. Some examples of the name are derived from the medieval name Row, which is either a variant of ROLLO or ROLAND.
ROWLAND     English
Derived from the given name ROLAND.
ROWNTREE     English
Given to a person who lived near a rowan tree or mountain ash.
ROY (1)     French, English
Variant of REY (1) or REY (2).
ROYCE     English
Originally derived from the medieval given name Royse, a variant of ROSE.
ROYCESTON     English
Variant of ROYSTON.
ROYDON     English
Originally derived from a place name meaning "rye hill" from Old English ryge "rye" and dun "hill".
ROYLE     English
Originally derived from a place name meaning "rye hill" from Old English ryge "rye" and hyll "hill".
ROYSTON     English
Originally taken from an Old English place name meaning "town of Royse". The given name Royse was a medieval variant of ROSE.
RUGGLES     English
From a medieval diminutive of the given name ROGER.
RUPERTSON     English (Rare)
Means "son of RUPERT".
RUSH     English
Refers to a rush, the grasslike plant that grows in a marsh.
RUSKIN (2)     English
Means "little Rose" from the medieval given name ROSE.
RUSSEL     English
Variant of RUSSELL.
RUSSELL     English
From a Norman French nickname which meant "little red one", perhaps originally describing a person with red hair.
RYDER     English
Occupational surname for a mounted forest officer, from Old English ridere meaning "rider".
RYE (1)     English
Means "dweller on an island, dry land in marsh" from Middle English atter ye.
RYE (2)     English
Means "dweller by a stream" from Middle English atter eye.
RYE (3)     English
Means "dweller where rye was grown" from Old English ryge.
RYER     English
Variant of ROYER.
RYERS     English
Variant of ROYER.
RYLEY     English
Variant of RILEY (1).
SACKVILLE     English
From the name of the Norman French town of Saqueneville.
SADLER     English
Means "saddle-maker" from Old English sadol.
SALOMON     English, French, Italian, German, Danish, Norwegian, Polish, Jewish, Hungarian
Derived from the given name SALOMON.
SALVAGE     English, French
Variant of SAVAGE.
SAMPSON     English
Derived from a medieval form of the given name SAMSON.
SAMS     English
Derived from the given name SAMUEL.
SAMSON     English, French, Jewish, Dutch
Derived from the given name SAMSON.
SAMUEL     English, French, German, Jewish
Derived from the given name SAMUEL.
SAMUELS     English
Derived from the given name SAMUEL.
SAMUELSON     English
Means "son of SAMUEL".
SANDERS     English
Patronymic of the given name Sander, a medieval form of ALEXANDER.
SANDERSON     English
Means "son of ALEXANDER".
SANDFORD     English
Indicated a person from Sandford, England, which means simply "sand ford".
SANDS     English
From the English word, meaning the person lived near or on a beach.
SANFORD     English
Variant of SANDFORD.
SANGSTER     English, Scottish
Occupational surname meaning "song-maker or singer" from Old English.
SAPPINGTON     English
From the city of Sapperton, England, from Old English sapere meaning "soap maker" and ton meaning "town, farm, settlement".
SARGENT     English, French
Variant of SERGEANT.
SAUNDERS     English, Scottish
Variant of SANDERS.
SAUVAGE     English, French
Variant of SAVAGE.
SAVAGE     English
English nickname meaning "wild, uncouth", derived from a Middle English form of Old French salvage or sauvage meaning "untamed".
SAVEGE     English
Variant of SAVAGE.
SAVIDGE     English
Variant of SAVAGE.
SAWYER     English
Occupational name meaning "sawer of wood" in Middle English. Mark Twain used it for the main character in his novel 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' (1876).
SAYLOR     English
Occupational name for a leaper, acrobat, or dancer, from Old French sailleor.
SCARLETT     English
Denoted a person who sold or made clothes made of scarlet, a kind of cloth, ultimately derived from Persian سقرلاط (saghrilat).
SCHOOL     Scottish, English
Derived from either the Old Norse given name Skúli, the Old Danish Skuli or the Old Swedish Skule which probably all mean "to protect".
SCOTT     English, Scottish
Originally given to a person from Scotland or a person who spoke Scottish Gaelic.
SCRIVEN     English
Means "writer, clerk" in Old French.
SCRIVENER     English
Variant of SCRIVEN.
SCRIVENOR     English
Variant of SCRIVEN.
SCRIVENS     English
Variant of SCRIVEN.
SEABROOKE     English
Denoted a person from Seabrook (Bucks), England.
SEAVER     English
From the given name SEVERUS.
SELBY     English
From the name of a village which meant "willow farm" in Old English.
SEMPERS     English
From the name of the city of Saint PIERRE in France.
SENIOR     English
Originally a name for the elder of two brothers.
SERGEANT     English, French
Occupational name derived from Middle English sergent "servant".
SESSIONS     English
Anglicized form of Soissons (a city outside of Paris).
SEWARD (1)     English
Derived from the given name SIGEWEARD.
SEWARD (2)     English
Means "swineherd" from Old English su "pig" and hierde "herdsman".
SEXTON     English
Occupational name for a sexton (Middle English sexteyn), a person who is a caretaker for a church or graveyard.
SEYMOUR (1)     English
From Saint Maur, a French place name, which commemorates Saint MAURUS.
SEYMOUR (2)     English
From an English place name, derived from Old English "sea" and mere "lake".
SHAKESHEAVE     English
Means "shake shaft" from Old English shake "shake" and sceaft "shaft".
SHARMAN     English
Variant of SHERMAN (1).
SHARROW     English
Originally a name for someone from Sharrow, England.
SHAW     English
Originally given to a person who lived near a sceaga, Old English meaning "thicket".
SHELBY     English
Variant of SELBY.
SHELTON     English
From the name of various English towns, meaning "shelf wood".
SHEPARD     English
Occupational name meaning "shepherd, sheep herder".
SHEPHERD     English
Variant of SHEPARD.
SHEPPARD     English
Variant of SHEPARD.
SHERBURNE     English
Denoted a person hailing from any of the various places called Sherborne or Sherburn in England.
SHERMAN (1)     English
Literally "shear man", referring to someone who used shears in his line of work, such as a sheep-shearer.
SHINE (1)     English
Means "beautiful, attractive" from Old English sciene.
SHORT     English
From a nickname for a short person, from Middle English schort.
SIDDALL     English
From the name of various English towns, derived from Old English sid "wide" and halh "nook, recess".
SIDNEY     English
Originally derived from various place names in England meaning "wide island", from Old English sid "wide" and eg "island". Another theory holds that it comes from the name of a town in Normandy called "Saint DENIS", though evidence for this is lacking.
SIMMONS     English
Derived from the given name SIMON.
SIMMS     English
Derived from the medieval given name Sim, a short form of SIMON.
SIMON     Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Jewish
Derived from the Hebrew given name SIMON.
SIMONS     English, German
Derived from the given name SIMON.
SIMONSON     English
Means "son of SIMON".
SIMPKIN     English
From a diminutive of the given name SIMON. It was first found in the county of Suffolk where the family was established.
SIMPSON     English
Means "son of Sim", Sim being a medieval short form of SIMON.
SIMS     English
Variant of SIMMS.
SINCLAIR     English
Derived from a Norman French town called "Saint CLAIR".
SKINNER     English
Means "skinner" from Old Norse skinn.
SLATER     English
Occupational surname indicating that an early member worked as a person who covered roofs with slate.
SMALL     English
From a nickname for a small person, from Middle English smal.
SMALLS     English
Variant of SMALL.
SMEDLEY     English
From an unidentified place name probably meaning "smooth clearing" in Old English.
SMITH     English
Means "metal worker, blacksmith" from Old English smiþ, related to smitan "to smite, to hit". It is the most common surname in most of the English-speaking world. A famous bearer was the Scottish economist Adam Smith (1723-1790).
SMYTHE     English
Variant of SMITH.
SNELLING     English
Variant of SNELL.
SNIDER     English
Variant of SNYDER.
SNIDERS     English
Variant of SNYDER.
SNYDER     English
Means "tailor" from Middle English snithen "to cut", an occupational name for a person who stitched coats and clothing.
SNYDERS     English
Variant of SNYDER.
SOUTHERS     English
Means "from the south".
SOUTHGATE     English
Means "dweller by the south gate".
SOWARDS     English
Variant of SEWARD (1).
SPALDING     English, Scottish
From the place Spalding in Lincolnshire.
SPARKS     English
Derived from the Old Norse nickname sparkr meaning "vivacious".
SPEAR     English
From Middle English spere "spear", possibly an occupational name for a hunter or a maker of spears.
SPEARING     English
Patronymic of SPEAR.
SPEARS     English
Patronymic of SPEAR.
SPEIGHT     English
English form of SPECHT.
SPENCE     English
Variant of SPENCER.
SPENCER     English
Occupational surname for the person at the manor who dispensed the Lord's provisions to those who lived on his land and worked at his estate.
SPOONER     English
Means "maker of spoons" from Middle English spoon or "maker of shingles" from Old English spon.
SPURLING     English
Means "little sparrow" from Middle English sparewe plus the diminutive suffix -(l)ing.
STACEY     English
Variant of STACY.
STACK     English
Means "big" from Middle English stack meaning "haystack".
STACKS     English
Variant of STACK.
STACY     English
Derived from Stace, a medieval form of EUSTACE.
STAFFORD     English
From the English place name Staffordshire, which was adopted by the man who lived near a river or creek at a crossing point, which was called a ford. The particular crossing point was a "stony ford", or "ford by a landing place".
STAINTHORPE     English
Originally indicated a person from Staindrop (Durham), England, which means "valley with stony ground" from Old English stæner meaning "stony ground" and hop meaning "valley".
STAMP     English
Originally denoted a person from Etampes (Seine-et-Oise), France.
STANFORD     English
Derived from a place name meaning "stone ford" in Old English.
STANLEY     English
From a place name meaning "stone clearing" in Old English. A notable bearer was the British-American explorer and journalist Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904).
STANTON     English
Means from one of the many places named Stanton, Staunton in Britain. The place name means "farmstead on stony ground".
STARK     English, German
From a nickname meaning "strong, brave" in Old German and Old English.
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