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75 Last Names That Make Great First Names If You Want To Mix It Up A Little

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I will be the first to admit that I completely cheated when it came to naming my children — I went the easy route and used family names. Granted, they were family names I liked, unlike my Uncle Erasthamus or cousin John Bobby, so it wasn't a hardship or a nuisance, but it was convenient. When it comes to naming kids, millennials want the names to mean something and want them to stand out. Coming from a generation where every class had three Ashleys, it's understandable. Which is why I found these last names that make great first names, because sometimes something as simple as a flip in the order can make the difference.

From names of past presidents to great aunts, last names can be both distinguished and have a long line of history behind them. Not to mention the fact that many of them are fairly gender neutral, so if you're planning on not finding out your baby's gender, or if you want a name naturally more fluid, these can be the perfect fit. Names like Kennedy, Kresley, and Delaney come to mind as great, gender neutral first names that started out as someone's surname. Also, if you're a person who's taken your spouse's last name, using your maiden name as your child's first name can be a great way to honor your own history. The options are limitless.

The Presidents

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These names can be tricky, given the nature of partisan politics, but a lot of them are so old that unless you're a historian, it's not going to mean a lot. But if you are, you should probably dip into each name's history at least a little.

  • Kennedy
  • McKinley
  • Washington
  • Carter
  • Clinton
  • Reagan
  • Ford
  • Truman
  • Harrison
  • Hayes
  • Pierce
  • Grant
  • Taylor
  • Tyler
  • Madison
  • Monroe
  • Lincoln

Authors

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I am a huge book nerd. You can't find me more than 10 feet from reading material at any given time. I own thousands upon thousands of books, and therefore it should come as no surprise that all of my pets are named for literary characters. I also know many people who've named their kids after their favorite authors, and those names are instantly memorable and wonderful. If you want to turn the uniqueness up a notch, try your favorite author's last name.

  • Rowling
  • Austen
  • King
  • Fitzgerald
  • Joyce
  • Chekhov
  • Chopin
  • Woolf
  • Bronte
  • Lee
  • Morrison
  • Munro
  • Greer
  • Atwood
  • Walker
  • Salinger
  • Golding
  • Hemingway
  • Sinclair
  • Huxley
  • Faulkner
  • Haley
  • Doyle
  • Lewis
  • London

Characters

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Sometimes you want to name your kid after your favorite television, book, or movie character, but "Darth" or "Leia" feels a little too on the nose for your taste. However, "Organa" seems pretty OK. That's where these names come in. They're recognizable, but take a minute.

  • Scott
  • Finch
  • Oswald
  • Brady
  • Geller
  • Holmes
  • Chase
  • Flyte
  • Pan
  • Graham
  • Ryder
  • Radley
  • Archer
  • Cooper
  • Locke
  • Miles
  • Fletcher
  • Malone

Musicians

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You can't exactly name your kid Aerosmith if you don't want them to get made fun of, but you can name them "Tyler" or "Perry." Musician names are tons of fun, and maybe some of that talent will rub off on your little one.

  • Perry
  • Beethoven
  • Dylan
  • Hendrix
  • Rose
  • Franklin
  • Carey
  • Joel
  • Lennon
  • Santana
  • Turner
  • Davis
  • Mayfield
  • Smith
  • Osborne