Talk about fancy locations, historical places, beautiful architecture and mesmerizing tone of language; we all love those beautiful English things! Few of you might even think of TV shows and movies, which indeed have more charm than others. It is safe to say that we love everything English, and these British surnames are no exception. They give out the feel of royalty, nobility and wit; after all, who doesn’t want to choose British surnames?!

Today, we have something very exciting to check out – the English surnames. We have compiled a list of the most popular and mesmerizing meaningful British last names that impressed our hearts. Continue reading to know more.

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The Best and Most Popular English Last Names

Why wait? Let us now get going and check out the beautiful, meaningful, lovely list of English surnames. While you may have come across quite a few of them, others are equally mesmerizing and deserve all the attention. Isn’t it exciting? We can’t wait to share them to you! Here we go!

Most Popular Surnames in Great Britain:

According to research done by a few British universities, a list of the most common and popular surnames has been found. So let’s get started with them first.

1. Smith:

Smith is among the most popular and common surnames in British lands. It comes from the Middle English period and is an occupational surname for those working with metals. Blacksmiths, goldsmiths, et cetera are a few examples.

2. Jones:

Jones surname comes from English and Welsh origins. It is widely present and is among the most popular surname too.

3. Brown:

Brown has origins in England and Scotland. Although the name denotes a colour, it also comes out as surnames for those with a brown complexion or brown hair.

4. Roberts:

Roberts is a surname most of us have already come across. It is a variant of to name Robert and has Norman origins.

5. Taylor:

As one may guess, Taylor is the last name given to the occupations of tailors. However, it has English origins too.

6. Wilson:

Wilson means ‘Son of Will.’ It is an English surname and is also popular as an alternative to William’s name choice.

7. Harris:

Harris, a variant of Harry, is an English surname idea. It is also a common alternative to Henry.

8. Williams:

William, although an English surname, is adapted from German. It means ‘desire’ and ‘protection.’ It has been present since ancient times.

9. Thomas:

How about the name Thomas? This English and Welsh name is made famous through New Testament and Christ’s disciple Saint Thomas.

10. Wood:

Wood is a surname given to those who live in the woods or countryside. It is a middle English surname idea.

11. Walker:

Walker is an occupational surname in English and Scottish. It is given to those who beat the cloth to make it denser.

12. Edwards:

Edwards name is a variant of Edward. It is prevalent and is now found across the globe.

13. Evans:

Evans is the Welsh name for ‘John.’ It is another very popular surname choice in British lands.

14. Johnson:

Johnson means ‘son of John.’ It is originated in Hebrew and is a famous last name in British too.

15. Hughes:

Hughes is a variant of the name Hugh and has English and Welsh origins. It also has been derived from the Geerman name, Hugo.

16. Wright:

Wright is another very popular surname, usually given to craftspeople like carpenters or jointers. It is an English and Scottish name.

17. Davies:

Davies is a Welsh surname. It originated initially from Father.

18. Lewis:

Lewis, also called Louis, or Lewies, is an ancient name and surname. Many believe it to be derived from old French.

19. Robinson:

Robinson typically means ‘Son of Robin.’ It is another common English surname.

20. White:

White is a name given to those who have pale or fair colour and complexion.

21. Clarke:

Clarke is an occupational surname. It is given to writers or clerics.

22. Green:

Green is simply a name given to those who live by the greenery or village side.

23. Martin:

Martin is adapted from the Medieval Latin word, Martinus. It is a very popular last name too.

24. Thomson:

Thomson, also known as Thompson, means ‘son of Tom.’ It is a Scottish last name and a classic common name too.

25. Jackson:

Jackson technically implies ‘Son of Jack.’ It is also another variant of John. It is a common last name and surname too.

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Classy and Beautiful English Surnames with Meanings:

Let us also check out a few other beautiful and old popular English surnames. While few may be typical or usual and popular, other English surnames may be unique and cool, something you may not be aware of!

26. Adams:

Adams means ‘son of Adam’ or a ‘man’ in Hebrew. It is among ancient and old English surnames.

27. Armstrong:

Armstrong’s name has origins in Scottish. It usually means ‘someone with strong arms.’ However, it is now among common and popular English surnames and last names.

28. Bailey:

Bailey is an occupational surname. It implies an official Ballis.

29. Baker:

Baker is a surname given to a baker. As common and usual as it may sound, it is also among well-known famous surnames.

30. Carter:

Carter has Scottish and Irish origins. It is given initially to those who transport goods by cart or wagon. It is an occupational surname.

31. Collins:

Collins means ‘son of colin.’ It has British and Irish origins and is a common surname too.

32. Dawson:

The name Dawson has Anglo-Saxian origins. It means ‘Son of David.’ Interesting, isn’t it?

33. Fisher:

As you may guess, Fisher means a man who lives by fishing. It is an occupational surname too.

34. Fox:

Fox has no special meaning; the name is taken after the animal Fox. It originates from England and Ireland and is an old English surname.

35. Graham:

Do you know, Graham surname refers to ‘Gray Home.’ Yes, you heard us right! Isn’t it amusing?! It is an old English surname.

36. Gray:

As common as the name Gray sounds, it is initially given to those with grey hair.

37. Hill:

Hill is given to those who live by a hill. It is an English surname and has origins in Greek and Latin.

38. Jenkins:

Jenkins refers to ‘God has graced me with a son.’ It is derived from England and is a lesser-known name.

39. Kelley:

The last name Kelly has origins in Irish. It actually means ‘Troublesome’ or ‘Bright Headed.’

40. King:

Well, this is a known and popular name. It is usually given to royal households or leaders. It is a common and famous last name in England, Ireland and Scotland.

41. Lawrence:

Lawrence is the last name which means ‘someone from Laurentium’, a town surrounding Italy. Well, we definitely did not know this fact. However, we all know Lawrence is a famous last name. Interesting, isn’t it?

42. Lee:

Lee, also known as Leigh or Lea, means ‘forest’ or a ‘meadow.’

43. Lloyd:

Lloyd is both a name and surname. The names Lloyd means ‘Grey.’ It is a Welsh and English surname.

44. Mason:

Mason surname is usually given to those who do the masonry work. It has origins in English, French, Italian and Irish.

45. McDonald:

The Scottish surname refers to a world ruler. It also means ‘son of Donald.’

46. Murphy:

Murphy usually means ‘sea warrior.’ It has Irish origins, and we love this both as a last name and name idea.

47. Nightingale:

As you may guess, Nightingale means a person with a sweet voice. It has Anglo-Saxian origins.

48. Owen:

Owen means the noble person or someone who is wellborn. It has welsh origins. It is also among the funny English surnames list!

49. Page:

Although Page refers to the attendant, it is an increasingly common last name nowadays. This is because it has Scottish and French origins.

50. Palmer:

Palmer is originally an occupational surname given to palm bearers.

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51. Peterson:

Peterson technically refers to the ‘Son of Peter.’However, it also originates from the Greek word, rock or stone.

52. Quill:

Quill, also called Coill/O’coill, refers to the forest. It has Irish origins. What do you think of it?

53. Ramsey:

Ramsey is a surname derived from a toponymic name with Anglo-Saxian origins. We definitely did not know this, is it?

54. Scott:

Scott is among the old and ancient surnames. It means a person who lives in Scotland. It is a common surname, isn’t it?

55. Stewart:

Stewart refers to ‘warden’ or ‘wall guardian.’ It is an old English last name idea. What do you think of this choice?

56. Turner:

Turner is an English and Scottish last name, which means ‘making objects turn from wood or metal.’ Interesting, isn’t it?

57. Walsh:

Walsh simply means ‘Welshman.’ It also can refer to a foreigner. The name has Irish and Welsh origins.

58. Ward:

Ward means a guardian. It is an old English surname and is also among the most common and ancient name ideas.

59. West:

As much as most of us assume West is from the United States, it is also an English name. It means a person who lives west of a settlement/community. It has german origins and is a topographical surname.

60. Young:

Young means ‘a young one.’ It is belonging to the Anglo-Saxian era.

So, what do you think of this list of British surnames and English last names? Aren’t they interesting? Let us know if any last name interests you. We hope you enjoyed exploring and gaining knowledge about these surnames. We love to hear your thoughts.


This is exclusively a guide to learning about British surnames. These given name lists are for informative purposes only. The content provided in this article is purely from research through various sources across the web. The author does not guarantee or promise any accuracy of the facts provided in this article.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.