I love cute unique baby names, especially ones that work for either gender. But what about last names being used as a first name? I know. Adorable, right? And super unique. I know some super cute last names that would make even more endearing first names, so I've curated a list of 52 last names as baby names, along with their origin and meaning. While some of the names on this list are timeless and super traditional, others are more recent and popular or have become increasingly more adaptable for the opposite gender — yay for gender neutral names!
Using a family surname as a given name for your newborn is such a sweet way to honor relatives or ancestors of either gender, too. I mean, Jameson to honor a grandpa James or an aunt Jamie? How cute is that? What about Smith for a baby boy? Or how about my favorite, Reilly, for a girl. Love that.
Another reason why I love a good surname turned first name is because while they can be unique and modern, they can also be classic and conventional. And to be honest, I can't think of a better way to honor family, heritage, and tradition.
Remember in Sex and the City when Samantha starts to date that dreamy Smith Jerrod? It was a whole thing that he used a last name as his first name and it totally worked. So, what does Smith mean? According to ancestry.com, Smith is an English name and was used as an "occupational name for a worker in metal". So think of a medieval sword manufacturer. Pretty cool right?
I've always loved this as a last name and it's super cute as a first name, too. It can stem from Old English, Old French, Old Norse or even Celtic, and according to ancestry.com it is another occupational name for someone who transports (or carts) goods.
I love this Gaelic name meaning spirited. Brady is a great unisex name that can be super cute for a boy or a girl.
According to ancestry.com, this German name also has roots in Italian and Portuguese. The name Bruno means brown and refers to coloring characteristics such as hair, skin, eyes. Whenever I hear this name, I can't help but remember good old Bruno from the movie The Witches, probably one of the best '90s movies of all time.
Another great traditional name. This Hebrew name means, 'beloved' or 'friend,' according to Behind the Name.
I absolutely love this name and it can be great for either a boy or a girl. This Old English name means, 'bee-hive' or 'bee-cottage'. It's great if you're looking for a unique name that hasn't been heavily used yet, but hurry, this name is gaining popularity with celebs like Conan O'Brien naming their children Beckett.
I've seen this name spelled different ways such as Jaxon or Jacksen. This name originates in Scotland and England and can hold two meanings — the Scottish meaning is 'God has been gracious, has shown favor,' and the English meaning holds a patronymic meaning of 'son of Jack'. Either way, it has gained in popularity and ranked at #12 in 2018 according to Baby Center. Go Jackson!
Another great English occupational name meaning 'tailor'. I have personally always loved this name for both boys and girls. Who doesn't love a good gender neutral name?
This English name means 'one who keeps the forest' according to She Knows. While it's more commonly used as a boy's name, I personally think it makes a super adorable baby girls' name.
This Greek name means 'defender of men'. While it seems as though this name has been around since the beginning of time, it is going still going strong at #14 according to Baby Center.
I absolutely love this name for both a baby boy or girl. Bennett is a Latin name and means 'blessed'. How sweet is that?
Kelly is an Irish name that means 'warrior or fighter'. I've personally known both male and female Kellys and I think it works nicely for both.
A traditional boy name that is also used as a surname, it has Hebrew roots and is a derivative of Jacob. James means 'one who follows' according to Baby Center.
I love this name for both boy and girls. Cooper is another English occupational name, and refers to a "repairer of wooden vessels," noted ancestry.com.
Another great gender neutral name, Bailey means 'able' and originates in Old English according to Baby Center.
I've always loved this name. It works well for a baby girl or boy. Morgan is of Welsh decent and means 'sea-born'. How beautiful is that?
So many gender neutral names on this list and this is another favorite of mine. Parker is of English origin and means 'game keeper'. According to Baby Center, this name originated during medieval times, so you can channel your inner nobility with this cute baby name.
Mostly used as a girl's name but can be gender neutral, Mackenzie has Scottish roots and means 'comely', 'child of the wise leader,' or 'born of fire,' noted Baby Center.
Another Scottish name that can work well for either a baby boy or girl, Cameron means 'crooked nose' or 'crooked river'.
Another one of my favorite names. Ryan is a "classic Irish last name. It means 'descendant of the king' or even 'little king,'" according to Baby Center.
A name with roots in both English and French royalty, Henry also has roots in Germany. Henry means 'rules his household,' according to the baby name website She Knows.
Wade is an English or Scandinavian name meaning 'moving' or 'water crossing'.
Harris is an English or Welsh name that can be used as a patronymic name to honor a Henry or Harry, according to ancestry.com.
An English name meaning 'wood clearing or meadow,' Lee can be used for a baby girl or boy.
An English name that also has roots in Greece, Cole means 'victory to the people'. How cool is that?
This Latin name is so pretty. Grace means 'goodness and generosity' or 'God's grace'.
The name Curtis has roots in both England and France and means, "polite, courteous or well-bred".
This Irish name with Gaelic roots means 'wealthy'. I love this name for both a baby boy or girl.
Hudson originates in England and Scotland and means 'heart, mind, spirit'. Hudson has become increasingly more popular over recent years and currently holds the #52 spot for popular boy names.
A Scottish and English name meaning 'great' or 'grand,' I always associate Grant with class and sophistication, and I think it makes a super cute baby boy name.
This Irish name can also be spelled Dylan and means 'like a lion'.
This classic Scottish name means 'red' and can be used as a endearing nickname for someone with red hair or a pink or reddish complexion.
This name has roots in Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, and England. Martin is derived from the Roman name Martinus, which refers to the Roman God Mars. Martin means 'war like' and is currently at the #330 spot in overall popularity for baby boy names.
Rhea is a Greek name referring to the mother of the Greek God Zeus, but according to Baby Center, Rhea can also mean 'rivers'.
Typically an Irish surname, Quinn means 'wisdom, reason, intelligence,' making it a great name for either a baby girl or boy.
Bradley is an English name meaning 'broad clearing in the wood.'