52 Last Names As Baby Names, Because It's An Easy Way To Honor Your Roots


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.

1. Smith


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?

2. Carter

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.

3. Thomas

This Biblical name holds the meaning 'twin'. It has roots in "English, French, German, Dutch, Danish and South Indian," according to ancestry.com. Fun fact, we pronounce Thomas with a T- sound as opposed to our normal Th- because of the French influence on our language.

4. Wilson

With its roots in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, this is a patronymic name which means it is used to honor ancestors named William. Wilson (son of Will) would be a great way to honor a father or grandfather named William.

5. Madison

This English name is another great way to honor a family member, Madison means "son of Maud" and can be used for either a boy or a girl. In fact, according to Behind the Name, Madison was used mostly as a boy's name until the movie Splash adopted it as a female name.

6. Brady

I love this Gaelic name meaning spirited. Brady is a great unisex name that can be super cute for a boy or a girl.

7. Bruno


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.

8. David

Another great traditional name. This Hebrew name means, 'beloved' or 'friend,' according to Behind the Name.

9. Beckett

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.

10. Anderson

Another great patronymic name meaning 'son of Andrew'. This Scottish, northern English or Nordic name is a unique way to honor a loved one named Andrew.

11. Jackson

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!

12. Allen

The name Allen is a Celtic name meaning fair or handsome. It can also mean harmony or noble, and has become increasingly rare, falling 75 places since 2017 and is now ranked #571 according to Baby Center.

13. Taylor


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?

14. Griffin

This English, Welsh, or Irish name is used to describe a "fierce or dangerous person," according to ancestry.com. It's become increasingly popular over the last year, landing it at #272 according to Baby Center. It's a pretty interesting and unique name.

15. Foster

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.

16. Alexander

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.

17. Perry

Meaning 'pear tree' or 'son of Harry,' this English or Welsh name is an adorable modern gender neutral name and it's super unique. According to Baby Center, Perry currently holds the #2,019 spot for popular baby names in 2018.

18. Coleman

I think this makes a super cute name for a baby boy. Coleman is an Old English occupational name meaning, you guessed it, a coal worker or 'charcoal burner'. Baby Center ranks it at #1,404, making it pretty uncommon and unique.

19. Bennett


I absolutely love this name for both a baby boy or girl. Bennett is a Latin name and means 'blessed'. How sweet is that?

20. Kelly

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.

21. James

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.

22. Cooper

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.

23. Bailey

Another great gender neutral name, Bailey means 'able' and originates in Old English according to Baby Center.

24. Morgan

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?

25. Parker


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.

26. Jameson

Jameson means 'son of James' and has Hebrew roots. The name James means 'one who follows'. Jameson is a unique way to honor a loved one named James, too (or maybe a Jamie?).

27. Mackenzie

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.

28. Cameron

Another Scottish name that can work well for either a baby boy or girl, Cameron means 'crooked nose' or 'crooked river'.

29. Casey

I love the meaning of this one. Casey is a gender neutral Gaelic name meaning 'brave' that has roots in both Ireland and England. According to Baby Center, Casey is becoming increasingly more unique, falling 160 places since 2017.

30. Ryan


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.

31. Henry

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.

32. Daniel

According to Behind the Name, Daniel is a Hebrew name meaning 'God is my judge'. This super traditional masculine name gives you lots of options for nicknames and is quite popular at the #21 spot for baby boy names, according to Baby Center.

33. Reilly

Reilly (can also be spelled Riley) is one of my favorite names of all time. It's an Irish surname meaning 'courageous or valiant'. Reilly works for both a baby boy or girl and is becoming increasingly popular, bumping up 877 spots for boys and 365 for girls.

34. Wade

Wade is an English or Scandinavian name meaning 'moving' or 'water crossing'.

35. Harris

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.

36. Lee

An English name meaning 'wood clearing or meadow,' Lee can be used for a baby girl or boy.

37. Clark


Clark is an English occupational name used to describe a secretary or scholar.

38. Cole

An English name that also has roots in Greece, Cole means 'victory to the people'. How cool is that?

39. Grace

This Latin name is so pretty. Grace means 'goodness and generosity' or 'God's grace'.

40. Curtis

41. Cody

This Irish name with Gaelic roots means 'wealthy'. I love this name for both a baby boy or girl.

42. Hudson

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.

43. Grant


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.

44. Dillon

This Irish name can also be spelled Dylan and means 'like a lion'.

45. Reid

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.

46. Martin

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.

48. Hansen


Hansen is a Scandinavian name meaning 'son of Hans'. This name can also be spelled Hanson (who remembers "MmmBop"? #FanGirlMode), which is the English spelling and means 'son of Hann,' while the Jewish version is a metronymic name for Hanna.

50. Quinn

Typically an Irish surname, Quinn means 'wisdom, reason, intelligence,' making it a great name for either a baby girl or boy.

52. Bradley

Bradley is an English name meaning 'broad clearing in the wood.'