World building games are made more appealing by the ability to name your characters and choose characteristics you could only dream for yourself.
Choose a medieval name for your character's surname so you can inspire a sense of honor, protection, and family. Medieval English, German, Roman, and Norse names are all possibilities that have long been known for their hard work, weaponry, and loyalty to those they love.
Surnames from the fifth century through 15 centuries have long provided great character names to provide our fantasy worlds with a rich history and royal touch. Why not choose popular surnames like Hill or consider movies and TV shows for your last name inspiration?
Popular Medieval Surnames
Some of the most popular surnames to utilize are the oldest names in England, Germany, and similar countries from the times of the middle ages.
1.Beckett (Old English Origin) meaning "stream"
2.Brewer (English Origin) meaning "to brew"
3.Browne (English Origin) "dark-haired"
4.Carey (Celtic Origin) meaning "near the castle"
5.Ead (Old English Origin) surname for "abundant riches"
6.Fischer (German Origin) "one who fishes"
7.Geoffrey (Anglo-Norman Origin) meaning "God's peace"
8.Haynes (English Origin) meaning "enclosure"
9.Hill (English Origin) means "lives on a hill"
10.Hughes (Irish Origin) means "son of Hugh"
11.Kimball (Welsh Origin) for a "warrior chief"
12.Klein (German Origin) meaning "small"
13.Koch (German Origin) means "cook"
14.Kruger (German Origin) means "potter"
15.Maddock (Celtic Origin) means "beneficent"
16.Norman (English Origin) translates to "north man"
17.Nuemann (German Origin) means "new man"
18.Payne (English Origin) means "Pagan"
19.Schafer (German Origin) meaning "shepherd"
20.Schneider (German Origin) for someone "who cuts" or "tailors"
21.Taylor (English Origin) "to tailor", "to cut"
22.Turner (English Origin) someone who works a lathe/works with wood and bone
23.Wood (Middle English Origin) "lives in the woods"
24.Wright (England Origin) meaning "wood worker"
25.Zimmerman (German Origin) represents a "carpenter"
Unique Medieval Surnames
Medieval English, German, Roman, and Norse names with unique personality are some of the best choices to consider for your medieval names.
26.Aaberg (Scandinavian Origin) meaning "river hill"
27.Adalbert (German Origin) meaning "noble", "bright"
28.Albrecht (German Origin) meaning "noble", "famous"
29.Alwyn (Teutonic Origin) meaning "loved by all"
30.Annora (Latin Origin)for "honor"
31.Arvel (Welsh Origin) meaning "cried over"
32.Ashdown (English Origin) meaning "lives on ash tree hill"
33.Audovera (German Origin) "battle warrior"
34.Badden (Welsh Origin) "boar"
35.Bartholomew (English Origin) "son of Talmai"
36.Burchard (Anglo-Saxon Origin) represents a "strong fortress"
37.Cosimo (Greek Origin) for "beauty"
38.Enegram (Greek Origin) for "nine"
39.Frithswith (Anglo-Saxon Origin) meaning "strong peace"
40.Grimald (German Origin) means "grim ruler"
41.Hankin (Medieval Origin ) diminutive of Hann
42.Hilith (British Origin) means "battle"
43.Isolda (Welsh Origin) meaning "fair"
44.Kaiser (German Origin) meaning "emperor"
45.Louthy (Old English Origin) "of the loud river"
46.MacQuoid (Scottish Origin) means "son of fire"
47.Mannering (Anglo-Norman Origin) meaning "manly"
48.Merek (Polish Origin) this first name means "strong ruler", but can be used for surnames
49.Nesta (Welsh Origin) meaning "pure", another surname possibility from a first name
50.Olbrecht (German Origin) "of famed heritage"
51.Pernelle (French Origin) meaning "rock"
52.Pythias (Greek Origin) meaning "to rot"
53.Rainilda (Dutch Origin) meaning "rain warrior"
54.Rolfe (German Origin) "renowned wolf"
55.Sallow (Middle English Origin) one of the nature surnames meaning "of the sallow tree"
56.Squire (French Origin) ranked below a knight
57.Terrowin (English Origin) a strategic genius
58.Theano (Greek Origin) meaning "divine"
59.Tonis (Greek Origin) meaning "flower"
60.Umfrey (Welsh Origin) form of Humphrey
61.Veit (German Origin) representing a Saint against fire
62.Wymarc (Anglo-Saxon Origin) "mouth of the River Wey"
Royal Medieval Surnames
Medieval English names and those from other countries during the middle ages have provided royal names that you could use in your world building. Using these names of royals as surnames in your fantasy world could elevate your character's status.
63.Edward (English Origin) name of several Kings of England, meaning "wealth protector"
64.Elizabeth (Hebrew Origin) after Queen Elizabeth, represents "my God is abundance"
65.Fastrada (German Origin) Queen Consort of the Franks
66.Henry - (English Origin) after King Henry, means "home ruler"
67.Macbeth (Scottish Origin) King of Scots, derived from "son of life"
68.Matilda (English Origin) name of an empress and a princess, meaning "strong battle"
Medieval Surnames Inspired By Braveheart
This 1995 film featuring Mel Gibson depicted a war against King Edward that led a Scottish colony to freedom.
69.MacAulish (Scottish Origin ), meaning "son of Wallace"
70.Wallace (Scottish Origin) after William Wallace, for a "Welshman"
Medieval Surnames Inspired By Game of Thrones
Use a family name from the television show Game of Thrones as your character inspiration.
71.Baratheon (Greek Origin) after Joffrey, means "son of Theon"
72.Drogo (Old Norse Origin) after Khal, meaning "to drag"
73.Lannister (French Origin) after Tyrion, similar to a name for "master"
74.Stark (Middle English Origin) after Arya, Sansa, Eddard, Bran, and Robb, means "unyielding"
Medieval Surnames Inspired By Reign
The television show, Reign, also offers some good surname inspiration for these times.
75.Castleroy (Irish Origin) after Greer, a suburb in Ireland
76.De Valois (French Origin) after Francis, means "valley"
77.Narcisse (French Origin) after Stephane, form of Narcissus
78.Tudor (Welsh Origin) after Elizabeth, for king of the people
Medieval Surnames Inspired By Monty Python And The Holy Grail
This 1975 film is a classic comedy adaptation that many people still enjoy. Why not use it to find surnames for your characters?
79.Bedevere (Welsh Origin) "birch man"
80.Bors (German Origin) from the Medieval English name, Liborious
81.Galahad (English Origin) meaning "noble", "pure"
82.Launcelot (French Origin) means "servant"
83.Maynard (Old English Origin) representing "strength"
Medieval Surnames Inspired By Black Death
This 2010 film has inspired a few surnames.
84.Averill (Old English Origin) means "boar battle"
85.Langiva (Old Norse Origin) representing a "long life"
86.Osmund (Greek Origin) the monk, means "God of protection"
87.Ulric (English Origin) the knight, means "wolf ruler"
Medieval Surnames Inspired By Merlin
This British show depicted the story of Prince Arthur and Merlin.
88.Arthur (Gaelic Origin) meaning "bearer of the stone"
89.Gaius (Latin Origin) meaning "person of Earth"
90.Gwaine (Latin Origin) a nephew of King Arthur
91.Leon (Greek Origin) for "lion"
92.Merlin (Welsh Origin) meaning "sea fortress"
93.Morgana (Welsh Origin) meaning "great circle"
Medieval First Names As Surnames
You can choose your own first name and simply turn a medieval first name into a surname to go with it. It will give it the sound you're looking for. Adding in an 'Mc' in front of these names can drastically convert them to middle age surnames as well - McWilliam, for example, or even McWilliams.
94.Ada (German Origin) meaning "nobility". Example of a boy name pairing, Elias Ada. Example of a girl name pairing, Elizabeth Ada.
95.Adam (Hebrew Origin) "comes from the earth". Example of a boy name pairing, Johannes Adam. Example of a girl name pairing, Bethany Adam.
96.Agnes (Roman Origin) means "holy". Example of a girl name pairing, Barbara Agnes. Example of a male name pairing, Nicholas Agnes.
97.Cecily (English Origin) for someone who is blind of their own beauty. Example of a male name pairing, Peter Cecily. Example of a female name pairing, Isolda Cecily.
98.Joan (Hebrew Origin) for "gracious God". Example of a male name pairing, Timothy Joan. Example of a girl name pairing, Sabina Joan.
99.John (Hebrew Origin) meaning "gracious Yahweh". Example of a girl name pairing, Elbany John. Example of a boy name pairing, Robert John.
100.Katherine (Greek Origin) meaning "pure". Example of a male name pairing, Stuart Katherine. Example of a female name pairing, Eva Katherine.
101.Nicola (Greek Origin) for "victory". Example of a boy name pairing, James Nikola. Example of a girl name pairing, Emma Nikola.
102.Penn (German Origin) for "commander". Example of female name pairing, Treasa Penn. Example of a male name pairing, Roger Penn.
103.Richard (German Origin) represents a "brave leader". Example of a boy name pairing, Myles Richard. Example of a girl name pairing, Margaret Richard.
104.Rowan (Irish Origin) means "little red one". Example of a female name pairing, Blanchard Rowan. Example of a male name pairing Thomas Rowan.
105.William (German Origin) represents "protection". Example of a boy name pairing, Henry William. Example of a girl name pairing Beatrice William. This is one of the surnames that would work well with an 's' added to the end.
Medieval Words That Work As Surnames
You don't have to use true names for your characters. Your game world can be filled with medieval word inspiration using Sir, Madam, King, Queen, Knight, Scribe, or a similar option to start. You can add real first names to these as well rather than using the royal terms.
106.Constable - a noble's main officer
107.Crusader - a member fighting during the Crusades (religious wars)
108.King Borough - a self-governed town
109.King Dagger - a small sword
110.Knight Penny - a coin
111.Madam Noble - someone of high royalty
112.Madam Swordsmith - referring to a blade maker
113.Melee - a word that refers to combat between knights
114.Scribe Buckler - a small shield
115.Sir Armor - representing a knight's protective cover
116.Sir Chainmail - depicting metal-ringed armor
117.Sir Morrow - Morrow is a way to say good day
Kidadl has lots of great names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for medieval last names then why not take a look at these old man inspired baby names, or for something different take a look at these vintage girl names.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.