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117 Medieval Last Names For Your World Building

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Building your game world is made easier when you have an assortment of medieval last names at your disposal to create your characters.

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?

Real Medieval Surnames

Have you ever been curious about the origins of your surname? Or when and why did individuals start using surnames?

Surnames originated to categorize people based on their occupations, places of origin, clan allegiance, patronage, paternity, adoption, and even physical traits (like red hair). In medieval England, surnames became more common after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The majority of surnames are inherited from a male ancestor's surname. Surnames formed from an ancestor's profession are also widespread, with Smith being most prevalent in the United Kingdom.

Surnames with topographical origins can be derived from landscape elements (Hill, Ford) or place names (London, Aston). White and Good are examples of descriptive surnames that have survived well when derived from positive or neutral attributes. Matronymic surnames are uncommon in most regions of the globe and are derived from the name of a female ancestor (typically the mother).

For more naming inspiration take a look at this list of the best old English boys' names or this list of the best old English girls' names.

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) means 'stream.'

2. Brewer (English Origin) means 'to brew.'

3. Browne (English Origin) 'dark-haired.'

4. Carey (Celtic Origin) means 'near the castle.'

5. Ead (Old English Origin) surname for 'abundant riches.'

6. Fischer (German Origin) 'one who fishes.'

7. Geoffrey (Anglo-Norman Origin) means 'God's peace.'

8. Haynes (English Origin) means '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) means '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 person.'

18. Payne (English Origin) means 'Pagan.'

19. Schafer (German Origin) meaning 'shepherd.'

20. Schneider (German Origin) for someone 'who cuts.'

21. Taylor (English Origin) 'to tailor.'

22. Turner (English Origin) means 'someone who works a lathe.'

23. Wood (Middle English Origin) 'lives in the woods.'

24. Wright (England Origin) means 'woodworker.'

25. Zimmerman (German Origin) represents a 'carpenter.'

Unique Medieval Surnames

Medieval English, German, Roman, and Norse names with unique personalities are some of the best choices to consider for your medieval names.

26. Aaberg (Scandinavian Origin) meaning 'river hill.'

27. Adalbert (German Origin)meansg "noble."

28. Albrecht (German Origin) means 'famous.'

29. Alwyn (Teutonic Origin) means 'loved by all.'

30. Annora (Latin Origin) for 'honor.'

31. Arvel (Welsh Origin) means 'cried over.'

32. Ashdown (English Origin) means 'lives on ash tree hill.'

33. Audovera (German Origin) 'battle warrior.'

34. Badden (Welsh Origin) means '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) means '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) means 'fair.'

44. Kaiser (German Origin) means 'emperor.'

45. Louthy (Old English Origin) 'of the loud river.'

46. MacQuoid (Scottish Origin) means 'son of fire.'

47. Mannering (Anglo-Norman Origin) means 'manly.'

48. Merek (Polish Origin) means 'strong ruler.'

49. Nesta (Welsh Origin) means 'pure.'

50. Olbrecht (German Origin) 'of famed heritage.'

51. Pernelle (French Origin) means 'rock.'

52. Pythias (Greek Origin) means 'to rot.'

53. Rainilda (Dutch Origin) means 'rain warrior.'

54. Rolfe (German Origin) means 'renowned wolf.'

55. Sallow (Middle English Origin) means 'of the sallow tree.'

56. Squire (French Origin) ranked below a knight.

57. Terrowin (English Origin) means 'a strategic genius.'

58. Theano (Greek Origin) means 'divine.'

59. Tonis (Greek Origin) means 'flower.'

60. Umfrey (Welsh Origin) form of Humphrey.

61. Veit (German Origin) represents a Saint against fire.

62. Wymarc (Anglo-Saxon Origin) means 'mouth of the River Wey.'

Royal Medieval Surnames

Royal medieval warriors wearing the armour and carrying swords in their hands are looking at each other

Medieval English names and those from other countries during the Middle Ages provided royal names that you could use in your world building. Using these royals' names as surnames in your fantasy world could elevate your character's status.

63. Edward (English Origin) is the 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) is the 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 ) means '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, means '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 the 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) means 'birch man.'

80. Bors (German Origin) from the Medieval English name, 'Liborious.'

81. Galahad (English Origin) means 'noble.'

82. Launcelot (French Origin) means 'servant.'

83. Maynard (Old English Origin) represents 'strength.'

Medieval Surnames Inspired By Black Death

This 2010 film has inspired a few surnames. If you liked these 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.

84. Averill (Old English Origin) means 'boar battle.'

85. Langiva (Old Norse Origin) represents a 'long life.'

86. Osmund (Greek Origin) means 'God of protection.'

87. Ulric (English Origin) means 'wolf ruler.'

Medieval Surnames Inspired By Merlin

This British show depicted the story of Prince Arthur and Merlin.

88. Arthur (Gaelic Origin) means 'bearer of the stone.'

89. Gaius (Latin Origin) means 'person of Earth.'

90. Gwaine (Latin Origin), a nephew of King Arthur.

91. Leon (Greek Origin) for 'lion.'

92. Merlin (Welsh Origin) means 'sea fortress.'

93. Morgana (Welsh Origin) means 'great circle.'

Medieval First Names As Surnames

A medieval soldier riding his chariot in front of pyramids of Giza in Egypt

You can choose your 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 - McWilliam, for example, or even McWilliams.

94. Ada (German Origin) means 'nobility.' An example of a boy name pairing is 'Elias Ada.' An example of a girl name pairing is 'Elizabeth Ada.'

95. Adam (Hebrew Origin) 'comes from the earth.' An example of a boy name pairing is 'Johannes Adam.' An example of a girl name pairing is 'Bethany Adam.'

96. Agnes (Roman Origin) means 'holy.' An example of a girl name pairing is 'Barbara Agnes.'

97. Cecily (English Origin) for someone 'who is blind to their beauty.' An example of a male name pairing is 'Peter Cecily.' An example of a female name pairing is 'Isolda Cecily.'

98. Joan (Hebrew Origin) for 'gracious God.' An example of a male name pairing is 'Timothy Joan.' An example of a girl name pairing is 'Sabina Joan.'

99. John (Hebrew Origin) means 'gracious Yahweh.' An example of a boy name pairing is 'Robert John.'

100. Katherine (Greek Origin) means 'pure.' An example of a female name pairing is 'Eva Katherine.'

101. Nicola (Greek Origin) for 'victory.' An example of a boy name pairing, James Nikola. An example of a girl name pairing is 'Emma Nikola.'

102. Penn (German Origin) for 'commander.' An example of female name pairing is 'Treasa Penn.' An example of a male name pairing is 'Roger Penn.'

103. Richard (German Origin) represents a 'brave leader.' An example of a boy name pairing is 'Myles Richard.'

104. Rowan (Irish Origin) means 'little red one.' An example of a female name pairing is 'Blanchard Rowan.' Example of a male name pairing Thomas Rowan.

105. William (German Origin) represents 'protection.' An example of a boy name pairing is Henry William. An example of a girl name pairing is 'Beatrice William.'

Medieval Words That Work As Surnames

You don't have to use real 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 rather than using the royal terms.

106. Constable - a noble's principal 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.

 

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