100 Interesting Last Names With Meanings For Your Characters | Kidadl


100 Interesting Last Names With Meanings For Your Characters

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Why Last Names For Your Characters?

If you are trying to write interesting and relatable characters, you probably want to find interesting last names and their meanings. The first surnames described where our ancestors lived, what they did for a living, and described physical or personality traits. It happened often that a head of the family would choose the word for their occupation as a surname, hence the plethora of people named Lawman/Lawson, Blacksmith, Smith, Blackwelder, Cooper, Cobbler, Fightmaster, Merchant, and Cook. They chose a last name that advertised how they made their living, knowing that they would likely have either a child who practiced the same career, or who would marry a person who did. You can pick last names for your characters to form a bond with them, give them a back story and flesh out their personality.

Interesting Last Names for Characters

1. Alastair (English Origin) meaning "individual who repels"

2. Beckett  (Irish Origin) meaning “stream”; evokes connection with the playwright Samuel Beckett

3. Bugscuffle (American Origin) meaning "a crossroads where two insects fight"; a place name in Texas, USA

4. Callisto (Italian Origin) meaning "most beautiful"

5. Canter/Kanter/Kantor  (German Origin) meaning “schoolmaster or a choirmaster”

6. Carson  (Scottish Origin) meaning “son of marsh dwellers”

7. Carter  (Scottish Origin) meaning “cart driver”; evokes connection with the former US President James “Jimmy” Carter

8. Cohen  (Jewish Origin) meaning “priest”

9. Copeland  (Old Norse Origin) meaning “bought land”

10. Duncan  (Scottish Origin) meaning “dark warrior”

11. Easton  (Scottish Origin) meaning “east facing place”

12. Finley  (Scottish Origin) meaning “fair-haired hero”

13. Gibbs  (Scottish Origin) meaning “son of Gibb”; evokes connection with football player Cory Gibbs, NCIS character Leroy Jethro Gibbs, and the members of The Bee Gees

14. Gibbethon (Latin Origin) meaning "a lofty place"

15. Gregorios (Latin Origin) meaning "to watch/awaken"

16. Griffin  (Scottish Origin) meaning “strong lord”; also, a mythological creature

17. Godfrey (English Origin) meaning "peace; good"; evokes the idea of actor/comedian Gilbert Godfrey

18. Hader  (German Origin) meaning “battle; discord; quarrel; discontentment”

19. Kittibun  (Thai Origin) meaning “famous fortune”

20. Lightfoot (Native American Origin) meaning "quick runner".

21. Nadir (Indian Origin) meaning "unusual; rare"

22. Priestley (English Origin) meaning "woodland priest"

23. Rattana  (Thai-Khmer Origin) meaning "gem jewel"

24. Ratanaporn  (Thai Origin) meaning “crystal blessing”

25. Rossi (Italian Origin) meaning "red-haired"; evokes the idea of character David Rossi from the television show NCIS

26. Sapphirus (Latin Origin) meaning "blue gem; blue stone"

27. Sethi (Hindi Origin) meaning “head of a guild or mercantile”

28. Silvius (Latin Origin) meaning "wood; forest"

29. Sierra (Spanish Origin) meaning "mountain range"; this is a surname that is also a word, used predominantly as the name of Sierra Leone in West Africa or the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Spain

30. Shufflebottom (English Origin) meaning "spring in which to wash sheep"; this surname is less common than many others on this list, making it perfect for your characters

31. Xander (German Origin) meaning “defender of mankind.”

32. Zibia (Fantasy Origin) meaning "doe"

Interesting German Last Name Suggestions

33. Abel  (German Origin) meaning “noble one”

34. Aber  (German Origin) meaning “illustrious”

35. Altmann  (German Origin) meaning “old man”

36. Aldman  (German Origin) meaning “old man”

37. Bahn  (German Origin) meaning “open area”

38. Bartel  (German Origin) meaning “bright rule”

39. Candler/Kandler  (German Origin) meaning “potter”

40. Decker  (German Origin) meaning “ceiling; roof; a carpenter or builder”

41. Denhart  (German Origin) meaning “young, strong warrior”

42. Eberhardt  (German Origin) meaning “tough boar”

43. Eichmann  (German Origin) meaning “oak man”; one who lives near oaks

44. Eidman  (German Origin) meaning “oath”

45. Eisenhauer  (German Origin) meaning “iron cut”; used as an occupational name for a blacksmith

46. Fackler  (German Origin) meaning “torch maker; torchbearer”

47. Fassbender  (German Origin) meaning “barrel binder” used as an occupational name for a cooper

48. Faust  (German Origin) meaning “fist; luck”

49. Gehr  (German Origin) meaning “spear”

50. Geiss  (German Origin) meaning “goat”; an occupational name for goat herder

51. Gerwig  (German Origin) meaning “spear (with) battle”

52. Haber  (German Origin) meaning “oats”; an occupational name for oat grower or oats seller

53. Hager  (German Origin) meaning “gaunt; very thin person; a hedge; a fence”

54. Hardt  (German Origin) meaning “one who lives in the woods; strong; hard”

55. Haubert/Hubert  (German Origin) meaning “bright-spirited; bright-hearted”

56. Heffner/Hafner  (German Origin) meaning “earthen pot”; an occupational name for a potter

57. Hiegel/Hugo  (German Origin) meaning “bright-hearted; bright soul”

58. Horch  (German Origin) meaning "mud; swampy land"

59. Ingman/Engmann  (German Origin) meaning “narrow"; an individual living in a narrow place such as a valley

60. Jachim  (German Origin) meaning “God’s judgment”

61. Jacobsohn  (German Origin) meaning “God-protected”

62. Jachim  (German Origin) meaning “God’s judgment”

63. Jacobsohn  (German Origin) meaning “God-protected”

64. Kant  (German Origin) meaning “corner; edge”; an individual who lives on the border of a town or region

65. Kaufmann  (German Origin) meaning “businessman; merchant”

66. Lachmann  (German Origin) meaning “lake (with) man”; typically, a person who lives on the shore of a lake or other body of water

67. Landt  (German Origin) meaning “land”; also, "a person famous in a region"

68. Last  (German Origin) meaning “load; burden”; an occupational name for a porter

69. Lauer  (German Origin) meaning “lower”; an occupational name for a tanner

70. Liebe  (German Origin) meaning “beloved; dear”

71. Loder  (German Origin) meaning “an occupational name for a wool or cloth weaver”

72. Lux  (German Origin) meaning “one with keen sight”

73. Nacht  (German Origin) meaning “night”; an occupational name for a security guard or night watchman

74. Neuer  (German Origin) meaning “newcomer in an area”

75. Nipp  (German Origin) meaning “good hearing and sight; an alert individual"

76. Nix  (German Origin) meaning “water sprite”

Interesting English Last Name Suggestions

77. Avery  (English Origin) meaning “ruler of elves”

78. Cadwell (English Origin) meaning "lover of men"

79. Channing  (English Origin) meaning “young wolf”

80. Cooper  (English Origin) meaning “barrel maker”

81. Davis  (English Origin) meaning “beloved”

82. Halifax (English Origin) meaning from the place name of the town of Halifax

83. Wolf (English/Germanic Origin) meaning “wolf” 

Interesting Italian Last Names

last names that are amazing

84. Parrino (Sicilian Origin) meaning "a crossroads where two insects fight"; a place name in Texas, USA

85. Caputo (Latin Origin) meaning "unwavering" or "determined"

86. Nespoli (Italian Origin) meaning "medlar tree"; a place name in Italy

87. Marchesi (Italian Origin) meaning "marquis"

88. Ribisi (Italian Origin) meaning is unknown, but fraternal twin actor Giovanni Ribisi and Marissa Ribisi made it famous

89. Romano (Italian Origin) meaning "from Rome, Italy"; also a tasty cheese

90. Rustici (Italian Origin) meaning "rural, rustic"

91. Sabbadin (Italian Origin) meaning "Saturday"

Indian Family Name Suggestions

92. Anand (English Origin) meaning “joy”

93. Bhongam  (Sanskrit Origin) meaning “lovely enlightenment tree”

94. Boonya  (Sanskrit Origin) meaning “virtue”

95. Subdee  (Sanskrit Origin) meaning “treasure good”

96. Gupta (Sanskrit Origin) means 'one who is bound by duty to protect or govern', implying a King.

97. Iyer (Sanskrit Origin) has its roots in the Tamil word 'ayya' which comes from 'Arya' ultimately meaning 'a royal title'.

98. Joshi (Sanskrit Origin) stems from Hindu surnames derived from Jyotish, meaning 'one who leads us into the light'.

99. Kumar (Sanskrit Origin) is one of many names of Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva. It means 'prince'.

100. Jha (Sanskrit Origin) is common to India and Nepal. It means 'teacher' or 'reciter'.

101. Pandey (Sanskrit Origin) is derived from 'Pandit' meaning 'an intellectual'.

102. Mehta (Sanskrit Origin) a term of respect for officials. It can also denote Guru or account keeper.

103. Naidu (Telugu-Sanskrit Origin) conjunction of 'Nayak + du' meaning 'chieftain or head of a village'.

104. Saxena (Sanskrit Origin)is the anglicized version of 'sakhisena' meaning 'supporters of the army'.

105. Sharma (Sanskrit Origin)stems from 'sarman' meaning 'joy, mirth, or poise'.

106. Singh, (Sanskrit Origin) the most common Indian surname, is Sanskrit for 'Lion-hearted'.

107. Varma (Sanskrit Origin) means 'armor' implying a community committed to protecting a place, its people and culture.

108. Acharya (Sanskrit Origin) denotes an enlightened person, a spiritual guru or teacher.

109. Agnihotri (Sanskrit Origin) Indian Brahmin surnames, a community responsible for keeping the sacred fire (Agni) aflame during sacred rituals.

110. Bal (Sanskrit origin) literally translates to 'strength or power'.

111. Bhandari(Sanskrit origin) is the 'guardian of the treasury' or simply 'treasurer'.

112. Dave(Sanskrit origin) family name common to Gujarat. It means 'one who has knowledge of two Vedas'.

113. Balakrishna (Sanskrit origin) refers to Lord Krishna in a child's avatar.

Suggested Japanese Surnames

114. Kido  (Japanese Origin) meaning “wooden door; castle door”

115. Ohara  (Japanese Origin) meaning 'great plain

116. Okamoto  (Japanese Origin) meaning 'one who resides at the bottom of a hill’

117. Omori  (Japanese Origin) meaning 'large grove'

118. Noguchi  (Japanese Origin) meaning 'entrance of the field’

119. Hayashi (Japanese Origin) meaning "forest"

120. Inoue (Japanese Origin) means "above the well"

121. Ito (Japanese Origin) means "this wisteria"

122. Sasaki (Japanese Origin) means "wise"

123. Chiba (Japanese Origin) means "thousand leaves"

124. Kimura (Japanese Origin) means "tree village"

125. Kobayashi (Japanese Origin) means "small forest"

126. Makino (Japanese Origin) means "pasture field"

127. Miura (Japanese Origin) means "three bays"

128. Nakamura (Japanese Origin) means "person from middle village"

129. Oba (Japanese Origin) means "large garden"

130. Sasaki (Japanese Origin) means "wren"

131. Sato (Japanese Origin) Sa means "to assist" and is a reference to the Fujiwara clan from the Heian Period

132. Shimizu (Japanese Origin) means "pure water"

133. Sone (Japanese Origin) means "root"

134. Suzuki (Japanese Origin) Suzu means "bell" and ki means "tree, wood"

135. Takahashi (Japanese Origin) means "tall, high bridge"

136. Tanaka (Japanese Origin) means "rice field"

137. Watanabe (Japanese Origin) means "to cross over a river"

138. Yamada (Japanese Origin) means "mountain rice paddy"

139. Yamamoto (Japanese Origin) means "one who lives at the foot of the mountains"

140. Mori (Japanese Origin) means "forest"

141. Nishikawa (Japanese Origin) means "western river"

142. Ohara (Japanese Origin) means "great plain"

143. Okamoto (Japanese Origin) means "one who lives at the bottom of the hill"

144. Omori (Japanese Origin) means "large grove"

145. Sakai (Japanese Origin) means "border or territory"

146. Shima (Japanese Origin) means "island"

147. Himura (Japanese Origin) means "scarlet village"

148. Ishioka (Japanese Origin) means "stone hill"

149. Kido (Japanese Origin) means "wooden castle door"

150. Kikuchi (Japanese Origin) means "chrysanthemum pond"

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Written By
Georgia Stone

<p>Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.</p>

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