English Surnames

English names are used in English-speaking countries. See also about English names.
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MORRIS English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Derived from the given name MAURICE.
MORRISON English
Means "son of MORRIS".
MORRISS English
Derived from the given name MORRIS.
MORSE English
Variant of MORRISS.
MOSES Jewish, English
Derived from the given name MOSES.
MOTTERSHEAD English
From the name of a lost place in Cheshire, derived from the Old English byname Motere meaning "speaker" and heafod meaning "headland".
MOULD English
From the given name Mauld, a medieval form of MATILDA.
MULLINS (1) English
Derived from Norman French molin "mill".
MUNSON English
Patronymic formed from the Norman French nickname moun meaning "monk".
MURGATROYD English
From a place name meaning "MARGARET's road".
MUTTON English
Referred to a shepherd or else someone who in some way resembled a sheep, derived from Norman French mouton "sheep".
MYERS English
Patronymic form of MAYER (3).
MYLES English
From the given name MILES.
MYNATT English
Variant of MINETT.
NASH English
Derived from the Middle English phrase atten ash "at the ash tree". A famous bearer was the mathematician John Nash (1928-2015).
NEAL English
Derived from the given name NEIL.
NEIL Irish, Scottish, English
Derived from the given name NEIL.
NELSON English
Means "son of NEIL". This name was borne by the British admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805).
NESS English, Scottish, Norwegian
From English ness and Norwegian nes meaning "headland, promontory", of Old Norse origin, originally referring to a person who lived there.
NEVILLE English, Irish
From the names of towns in Normandy, variously Neuville or Néville, meaning "new town" in French.
NEWMAN English
English cognate of NEUMANN.
NEWPORT English
Given to one who came from the town of Newport (which means simply "new port"), which was the name of several English towns.
NEWTON English
From the name of one of many English towns meaning "new town". A famous bearer was the English physicist Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727).
NICHOLS English
Derived from the given name NICHOL.
NICHOLSON English
Means "son of NICHOLAS". A famous bearer of this surname is the American actor Jack Nicholson (1937-).
NIGEL English
Derived from the given name NEIL.
NILES English
Means "son of NEIL".
NIXON English
Means "son of NICK". 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.
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
Means "wet nurse, foster mother" from Old French norrice, from Latin nutricius.
NORTH English
Name for a person who lived to the north.
NORTHROP English
Originally denoted one who came from a town of this name England, meaning "north farm".
NORTON English
From the name of various towns in England 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
Originally indicated a person who lived near a 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 in Bedfordshire, derived from Old English wad "woad" (a plant that produces a blue dye) and hyll "hill".
OGDEN English
From a place name derived from Old English ac "oak" and denu "valley".
OLIVER English, Catalan, German, French
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.
OVERTON English
Denoted a person who hailed from one of the various places in England called Overton, meaning "upper settlement" or "riverbank settlement" in Old English.
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 in England, derived from Old English padde "toad" and mor "moor, marsh".
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.
PAIN English
Variant of PAYNE.
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 meaning either "notable" (from Latin pārēre meaning "to be apparent") or "parent" (from Latin parere meaning "to produce, to give birth").
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 medieval given name Paris, an Old French diminutive form of PATRICK.
PARK (2) English
From Middle English park, from Latin parricus, of Germanic origin. 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 person who was a gamekeeper at a medieval park.
PARKS English
Patronymic form of PARK (3).
PARSONS English
Originally denoted a son of a parson, a derivative of Latin persona "person".
PATERNOSTER English, 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.
PATRICK English
From the given name PATRICK.
PATRICKSON English
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".
PAXTON English
From an English place name meaning "Pœcc's town". Pœcc is an Old English name of unknown meaning.
PAYNE English
From a medieval given name or nickname derived from Latin paganus meaning "heathen, pagan" (from an earlier sense "rural, rustic"), which was given to children whose baptism had been postponed or adults who were not overly religious.
PAYTON English
From the name of the town of Peyton in Sussex. It means "PÆGA's town".
PEACOCK English
From Middle English pecok meaning "peacock". It was originally a nickname for a proud or haughty person.
PEAK English
Originally indicated a dweller by a pointed hill, from Old English peac "peak". It could also denote a person from the Peak District in Derbyshire, England.
PEARCE English
From the given name PIERS.
PECK (1) English
Variant of PEAK.
PECK (2) English
Occupational name for a maker of pecks (vessels used as peck measures), derived from Middle English pekke.
PEEL English
Nickname for a thin person, derived from Old French pel, Latin palus meaning "stake, post" (related to English pole).
PEMBERTON English
From the name of a town near Manchester, derived from Celtic penn meaning "hill" combined with Old English bere meaning "barley" and tun meaning "enclosure, yard, town".
PENDER (1) English
From Middle English pind "to pen up". This was an occupational name for someone who penned animals.
PENN (1) English
Derived from various place names that were named using the Brythonic word penn meaning "hilltop, head".
PENN (2) English
Occupational name for a person who kept penned animals, from Old English penn.
PENNY English
Nickname meaning "penny, coin" from Old English penning.
PERKINS English
Means "son of Perkin", a medieval diminutive of PETER.
PERRY (1) English
From Old English pirige meaning "pear tree", a derivative of peru meaning "pear", itself from Latin pirum. 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, Dutch
Means "son of PETER".
PETERSON English
Means "son of PETER".
PETIT French, Catalan, English
Means "small, little" derived from Old French and Catalan petit. It was perhaps used for a short, small person or to denote the younger of two individuals.
PETTIGREW English
Derived from Norman 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 were Frederick Philips (1830-1900) and his son Gerard (1858-1942), 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 meaning "small field".
PIERCE English
From the given name PIERS.
PIERSON English
Means "son of PIERS".
PILGRIM English
Nickname for a person who was a pilgrim, ultimately from Latin peregrinus.
PIPER English
Originally given to a person who played on a pipe (a flute).
PITTS English
Indicated a person who lived by a pit or 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 Old French, itself from Late Latin planca. This could have referred to a person who lived by a plank bridge over a stream, someone who was thin, or a carpenter.
PLASKETT English
Originally denoted a dweller by a swampy meadow, from Old French plascq meaning "wet meadow".
PLATT English
From Old French plat meaning "flat, thin", from Late Latin plattus, from Greek πλατυς (platys) meaning "wide, broad, flat". This may have been a nickname or a topographic name for someone who lived near a flat feature.
POINDEXTER English
From the Jèrriais surname Poingdestre meaning "right fist".
POLLEY English
From Old French poli meaning "polite, courteous".
POND English
Originally referred to one who lived near a pond.
POOLE English
From Old English pol meaning "pool", referring to a person who lived by a small body of water.
POPE English
From a nickname that 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 pious appearance. It is derived from Latin papa, ultimately from Greek παππας (pappas) meaning "father".
PORCHER English, French
Means "swineherd" from Old French and Middle English porchier, from Latin porcus "pig".
PORTER English
Occupational name meaning "doorkeeper", ultimately from Old French porte "door", from Latin porta.
POTTER English
Occupational name for a potter, one who makes earthen vessels.
POTTINGER English
Occupational name, either for an apothecary, from Old French potecaire, or a seller of stew, from Old French potagier.
POUND English
Occupational name for a person who kept animals, from Old English pund "animal enclosure".
POWER (1) English, Irish
From Old French Poier, indicating a person who came from the town of Poix in Picardy, France.
POWER (2) English
From Middle English povre meaning "poor", via Old French from Latin pauper. It could have been a nickname for someone who had no money or a miser.
PRATT English
From Old English prætt meaning "trick, prank". This was a nickname for a trickster.
PRESCOTT English
From the name of various English places meaning "priest's cottage" in Old English.
PRESLEY English
Variant of PRIESTLEY. This name was borne by musician Elvis Presley (1935-1977).
PRESTON English
Originally derived from various place names meaning "priest town" in Old English.
PRIESTLEY English
From a place name meaning "priest clearing", from Old English preost and leah.
PROUDFOOT English
Nickname for a person with a proud step.
PRYOR English
Originally belonged to one who was a prior (a religious official), or one who worked for a prior.
PURCELL English
From Old French pourcel "piglet", from Latin porcellus, a derivative of porcus "pig". This was a nickname or an occupational name for a swineherd.
PUTNAM English
From Puttenham, the name of towns in Hertfordshire and Surrey in England, which mean "Putta's homestead".
QUEEN English
From a given name that was derived from Old English cwen meaning "queen, woman". In some occurrences it may have been a nickname.
QUICK English
Nickname for a quick or agile person, ultimately from Old English cwic meaning "alive".
QUINCY English
Originally from various place names in Normandy that were derived from the given name QUINTUS.
RADCLIFF English
From various place names in England that mean "red cliff" in Old English.
RAINES English
Originally denoted a person from Rayne, Essex, England (possibly from an Old English word meaning "shelter") or from Rennes, Brittany, France (from the name of the Gaulish tribe of the Redones).
RAINS English
Variant of RAINES.
RAKE English
Originally a name for a dweller on a narrow pass or hillside, from Old English hrace meaning "throat".
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
Derived from the given name RANDEL.
RANDALL English
Derived from the given name RANDEL.
RANDELL English
Derived from the given name RANDEL.
RAY English
Variant of REY (1), REY (2), RYE or WRAY.
RAYNE English, French
Derived from a Germanic name that was short for longer names beginning with the element ragin meaning "advice, counsel".
READ (1) English
Means "red" from Middle English read, probably denoting a person with red hair or complexion.
READ (2) English
From Old English ryd, an unattested form of rod meaning "cleared land". It is also derived from various English place names with various meanings, including "roe headland", "reeds" and "brushwood".
READY (1) English
From Middle English redi meaning "prepared, prompt".
REED English
Variant of READ (1).
REEVE English
Occupational name derived from Middle English reeve, Old English (ge)refa meaning "sheriff, prefect, local official".
REEVES English
Variant of REEVE.
REMINGTON English
From the name of the town of Rimington in Lancashire, derived from the name of the stream Riming combined with Old English tun meaning "enclosure, town".
REVIE English
Variant of REEVE.
REY (1) English, Spanish, French, Catalan
Means "king" in Old French, Spanish and Catalan, ultimately from Latin rex (genitive regis), perhaps originally denoting someone who acted like a king.
REY (2) English
Means "female roe deer" from Old English ræge, probably denoting someone of a nervous temperament.
REYNOLDS English
Derived from the given name REYNOLD.
RHODES English
Topographic name derived from Old English rod meaning "cleared land", 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
From the given name RICHARD.
RIDER English
Variant of RYDER.
RIDGE English
Denoted a person who lived near a ridge, from Old English hrycg.
RIDLEY English
Denoted a person who hailed from one of the various places of this name in England. The places are derived from Old English geryd "channel" or hreod "reed" combined with leah "woodland, clearing".
RIGBY English
Originally derived from a the name of a town in Lancashire, itself from Old Norse hryggr "ridge" and býr "farm".
RILEY (1) English
From the name of the town of Ryley in Lancashire, derived from Old English ryge "rye" and leah "clearing".
RIMMER English
Occupational name meaning "poet", from Middle English rime meaning "rhyme".
RIVERS English
Denoted a person who lived near a river, from Middle English, from Old French riviere meaning "river", from Latin riparius meaning "riverbank".
ROACH English
From Middle English and Old French roche meaning "rock", from Late Latin rocca, a word that may be of Celtic origin. It indicated a person who lived near a prominent rock, or who came from a town by this name (such as Les Roches in Normandy).
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 ROMANO (2).
ROMILLY English, French
Originally denoted a person who came from any of the various places in northern France called ROMILLY or from ROMILEY in England.
ROSCOE English
From the name of a town in Lancashire, derived from Old Norse "roebuck" and skógr "wood, forest".
ROSE (1) English, French, German, Jewish
Means "rose" from Middle English, Old French and Middle High German rose, all from Latin rosa. All denote a person of a rosy complexion or a person who lived in an area abundant with roses. As a Jewish surname it is ornamental, from Yiddish רויז (roiz).
ROSE (2) English
Derived from the feminine 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
Patronymic derived from Middle English rond meaning "round, plump", ultimately from Latin rotundus.
ROWBOTTOM English
Originally indicated a person who lived in an overgrown valley, from Old English ruh "rough, overgrown" and boðm "valley".
ROWE (1) English
Means "row" in Middle English, indicating a dweller by a row of hedges or houses.
ROWE (2) English
From the medieval name Row, which is either a variant of ROUL or short form of ROLAND.
ROWLAND English
Derived from the given name ROLAND.
ROWNTREE English
Originally given to a person who lived near a rowan tree or mountain ash.
ROYCE English
Originally derived from the medieval given name Royse, a variant of ROSE.
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 "Royse's town". The given name Royse was a medieval variant of ROSE.
RUGGLES English
From a medieval diminutive of the given name ROGER.
RUSH English
Indicated a person who lived near rushes, the grasslike plant that grows in a marsh, from Old English rysc.
RUSKIN (2) English
From a diminutive of the feminine given name ROSE.
RUSSELL English
From a Norman French nickname that meant "little red one", perhaps originally describing a person with red hair.
RYDER English
Occupational name for a mounted warrior, from Old English ridere meaning "rider".
RYE English
Topographic name. It could be a misdivision of the Middle English phrases atter ye meaning "at the island" or atter eye meaning "at the river". In some cases it merely indicated a person who lived where rye was grown or worked with rye (from Old English ryge).
SACKVILLE English
From the name of the Norman French town of Saqueneville.
SADLER English
Occupational name for a make of saddles, from Old English sadol "saddle".
SALMON English, French
Derived from the given name SOLOMON.
SAMPSON English
Derived from a medieval form of the given name SAMSON.
SAMS English
Derived from the given name SAMUEL.
SAMSON English, French
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 Old English, indicated the original nearer lived on sandy ground.
SANGSTER English, Scottish
Occupational name or nickname for a singer, from Old English singan "to sing, to chant".
SAPPINGTON English
Possibly from the city of Sapperton, England, derived from Old English sapere meaning "soap maker" and tun meaning "enclosure, yard, town".
SAVAGE English
English nickname meaning "wild, uncouth", derived from Old French salvage or sauvage meaning "untamed", ultimately from Latin silvaticus meaning "wild, from the woods".
SAWYER English
Occupational name meaning "sawer of wood, woodcutter" in Middle English, ultimately from Old English sagu meaning "saw". Mark Twain used it for the main character in his novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).
SAYLOR English
Occupational name meaning "acrobat, dancer", derived from Old French sailleor, from Latin sallitor.
SCARLETT English
Denoted a person who sold or made clothes made of scarlet, a kind of cloth, possibly derived from Persian سقرلاط (saghrilat).
SCOTT English, Scottish
Originally given to a person from Scotland or a person who spoke Scottish Gaelic.
SCRIVEN English
Occupational name meaning "writer, clerk, scribe" in Old French, derived from Latin scriba.
SEABROOK English
Denoted a person from a town by this name in Buckinghamshire, England. It is derived from that of a river combined with Old English broc "stream".
SEAVER English
From the unattested Old English given name Sæfaru, derived from the Old English elements "sea, ocean" and faru "journey".
SELBY English
From the name of a village that meant "willow farm" in Old English.
SEMPERS English
From the name of various towns named Saint Pierre in Normandy, all of which commemorate Saint PETER.
SENIOR English
Originally a name for the elder of two brothers.
SERGEANT English, French
Occupational name derived from Old French sergent meaning "servant", ultimately from Latin servire "to serve".
SESSIONS English
From the name of the city of Soissons in northern France, itself derived from the name of the Celtic tribe of the Suessiones.
SEWARD (1) English
Derived from the given name SIGEWEARD.
SEWARD (2) English
Means "swineherd" from Old English su "sow, female pig" and hierde "herdsman, guardian".
SEXTON English
Occupational name for a sexton (Middle English sexteyn), 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".
SHAKESPEARE English
From a nickname for a warlike person, from Old English scacan "to shake" and spere "spear". A famous bearer was the English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare (1564-1616).
SHARP English
Nickname for a keen person, from Old English scearp "sharp".
SHARROW English
Originally a name for someone from Sharrow, England, derived from Old English scearu "boundary" and hoh "point of land, heel".
SHAW (1) English
Originally given to a person who lived near a prominent thicket, from Old English sceaga meaning "thicket, copse".
SHEARER English
English cognate of SCHERER.
SHELBY English
Variant of SELBY.
SHELTON English
From the name of various English towns, meaning "shelf town" in Old English.
SHEPARD English
Occupational name meaning "shepherd, sheep herder", from Old English sceaphyrde.
SHERBURN English
Denoted a person hailing from any of the various places called Sherborne or Sherburn in England, derived from Old English scir "bright" and burna "spring, fountain, stream".
SHERMAN (1) English
Means "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.
SILVER English
From a nickname for a person with grey hair, from Old English seolfor "silver".
SIMEN English (Rare)
From the given name SIMON (1).
SIMMONS English
Derived from the given name SIMON (1).
SIMMS English
Derived from the medieval given name Sim, a short form of SIMON (1).
SIMON English, French, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Jewish
Derived from the given name SIMON (1).
SIMONS English, German
Derived from the given name SIMON (1).
SIMONSON English
Means "son of SIMON (1)".
SIMPKIN English
From a diminutive of the given name SIMON (1).
SIMPSON English
Means "son of Sim", Sim being a medieval short form of SIMON (1).
SIMS English
Variant of SIMMS.
SINCLAIR English
Derived from a Norman French town called "Saint CLAIR".
SKEATES English
From the Old Norse nickname or byname skjótr meaning "swift".
SKINNER English
Occupational name for a person who skinned animals, from Old Norse skinn.
SLATER English
Occupational name indicating that an early member worked covering roofs with slate, from Old French esclat "shard", of Germanic origin.