Longer surname names for boys combine all the appeal of Top 100 favorites like Parker and Hendrix, but with a few more syllables and a little more sound.
Not so long ago, a name like Lincoln or Miller would only be considered if they were family names. Today, though, parents embrace last names as firsts because they’re just a little bit different, but still accessible. After all, even we’ve never met a person with the given name Campbell or Lennon, we immediately know how to spell and pronounce the name.
It’s a good way to make sure your child’s name stands out, without burdening your kid with something truly unfamiliar.
American parents tend to favor two-syllable choices for our sons. Name like Carter and Logan, Mason and Jackson, Hudson and Carson are go-to staples for this generation.
But we’re also embraced longer names for our boys. Sebastian and Elijah, Ezekiel and Leonardo all rank in the current US Top 100.
Longer surname names for boys combine the best of both approaches – the familiarity of last names like Sawyer or Brooks, the longer sound of Santiago or Dominic.
They’re very much on trend, and yet this entire category tends to feel more timeless than trendy.
Read on for some three-syllable or longer surname names for boys!
LONGER SURNAMES in the US TOP 1000
Television anchor Anderson Cooper – yes, that’s his real name – has put this longer surname possibility on the list for boys. For now, classic Andrew remains more popular.
Cameron has been so steadily popular that we tend to think of it as a given name. But no question this friendly, Scottish import started out as a surname, was pushed into the Top 100 by Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and has had a good run for girls, too. Today it’s a modern staple, and maybe even the forerunner of the longer surname names for boys trend.
Most parents probably spell it D’Angelo, as in son of Angelo.
An update for Donald, with the addition of that cool v sound.
Thomas Alva makes this name bright. It shorts to Ed, Eddie, or even Ned – though no nickname is required.
ELLIOT and ELLIOTT
Combined, the two spellings make this name even more common. And El- headlines some of the most popular names, for boys and girls alike. 80s pop culture gave the world Elliots in both E.T. the Extra Terrestrial and thirtysomething.
It’s more popular for our daughters, but not by much. Famous nineteenth century writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson keeps this surname equal opportunity.
Ultimately derived from the Old English words for “brave” and “boar,” Everett started out as a surname form of given name Everard – which is now extinct.
One of many Finn names, this one with a literary tie thanks to James Joyce.
Beatles alum George Harrison makes this a rock star surname pick. It helps that we’re wild about related name Henry, though Harry remains relatively uncommon in the US.
JAMESON and JAMISON
Combine the two spellings, and this James-derived surname is even more popular. The Irish whiskey brand is spelled with an E.
A young Pierce Brosnan answered to this name in 1980s television series Remington Steele – within the context of the show, it was meant as an over-the-top, hyper-masculine choice. It’s borrowed from Eliphalet Remington, who founded an American arms manufacturer in 1816. More than two centuries later, the name is trending for our children.
The furry blue Pixar creature is James P. Sullivan, but we know him as Sully. Could Monsters, Inc. and its prequel helped boost this name, but it also just fits the longer surname names for boys trend.
MORE 3-SYLLABLE and LONGER SURNAME NAMES
Atkinson means “son of Adam” via Adkin, which became Atkin. It’s seldom used as a given name, but could have potential.
There’s the historic Vermont town, of course, named for Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth. It’s an unexpected formal name option for Ben.
Romantic Italian Bonaventura or Bonaventure carries a great meaning: good fortune.
Either a Welsh or Norse import, made more wearable thanks to the ongoing popularity of Brody.
Rugged surname Calder is an underused gem. Calderon goes farther, a Spanish place name for someone living near a caldera – a crater or basin in the mountains.
There are some fabulous elaborations for the short form Cal, and some great Irish choices that pick up where Ryan left off. Callahan checks both boxes.
Another Cal option, but with connections to a French place name instead.
An occupational surname that’s still obvious today. (Compared to, say, Carter.) But it’s also potentially a spiritual reference, thanks to Jesus’ training as a carpenter, following in the foosteps of his foster father, Joseph.
The Dynasty clan’s surname, Carrington is sometimes respelled with a K.
A Spanish surname derived from the word castle, and originally given to someone who lived nearby one.
An Irish surname, Connelly ultimately comes from a given name meaning valiant.
It sounds Italian, but this name is actually the Anglicized form of a longer Gaelic name. It’s musical, too, thanks to the legendary Elvis Costello.
Tack -son on to almost anything, and it becomes a surname name. But Davison legitimately appears as a surname, just a little longer than Davis, and less expected than classic David.
It’s a Spanish surname, originally from the Latin delicatus – delicate. The original bearers of this surname might have been slim. It’s worth noting, though, that an older meaning of delicatus was delightful.
An elaboration of Dennis – and maybe an update to that traditional choice, too.
Another very Irish appellation, and possible refresh for Donald.
Originally a name for someone from Évreux, France, today it is an appealing way to get the nickname Dev.
The Latin verb durare means to endure. That makes Durante a solid choice for a son.
This surname was likely whispered down the alley from Hilary, which started out as masculine. It has a great meaning: cheerful.
As in jazz great Duke Ellington.
More popular for girls, but rich with potential for a son, too. Ellis is also heard.
Yes, another name with -son tacked on to a familiar first. Ericson, of course, brings to mind the Vikings.
This Irish and Scottish name might’ve been a great formal name option for Gus. However, the events and subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 might give parents pause.
If Forrest is too outdoorsy – or too Gump – then Forrester takes it in a more occupational direction.
Years ago, a comedian called Gallagher smashed watermelons with a sledgehammer for laughs. Born Leo Anthony Gallagher, Jr., his fame during the 1980s probably made this name a non-starter. But all these years later, Gallagher has potential.
Originally a name for someone who worked in a garden, today it feels a little bit outdoorsy, a little bit buttoned-up.
An update to Gary, a successor to Garrett. Garrison is familiar as a first name thanks to Lake Wobegon comedian Keillor.
Another Irish import, this name was made famous by jazz trumpeter and composer Dizzy Gillespie.
If the runaway success of Broadway musical Hamilton didn’t launch this surname name, it might never catch on. While Ham isn’t the best short name, it’s possibly to choose Mills – or even retro Milt, maybe? – instead.
Doesn’t Hutch have a cool sound? It’s derived from Hugh. Like many entries on this list, Hutchinson transforms an overlooked medieval nickname into a cool surname name possibility.
A surname that originally meant “son of Jeffery,” and a nod to Founding Father Thomas Jefferson.
Take the appealing nickname Mac, mix it with Alasdair, and MacAllister is the result. It’s also the surname of Kevin in Christmas movie classic Home Alone.
Speaking of Home Alone, child actor Macaulay Culkin rose to fame in the 1990 hit movie and helped boost his unusual given name.
Looking for an update to Greg? MacGregor works, though fans of Beatrix Potter know that this name may go chasing rabbits.
Yet another Mack name, one that means “son of the craftsman.”
Another well-established Irish option.
A Scandi import, also spelled Magnusson.
Multiple spellings of this name all derive from classic Matthew.
This aristocratic French surname was worn by Hollywood’s Montgomery Clift.
Most often, Morrison comes from English names like Morris and Maurice – the latter a French form of a Latin name, typically softened to Morris in English pronunciation and spelling. The Doors’ Jim Morrison makes it a rock star possibility.
A surname for someone from Navarre, Spain. It’s possibly from a word for valley, or maybe for a word meaning brown. Either way, Navarro has an edgy but wearable sound.
If Harrison and Anderson rank in the Top 1000, why not Nicholson? Actor Jack lends it plenty of cool.
Invented for the Wizarding World, but perfectly plausible as an Oliver-Alexander style mash-up, too.
A surname update to classic, kelly green Patrick. Pattison – as in actor Robert – is another option.
Longer surname names for boys like Pennington often start out as place names, and that’s true for Pennington, too.
An upbeat Irish surname, made famous by Jude Law’s son Rafferty – now a model, and increasingly famous in his own right.
Classic Robert and old school Robin are both options for a son, but Robinson is another.
As in Jane Eyre, and maybe a formal name for Rocky, too.
A spinnaker is a sail, useful if you want to sail with the wind.
Sutherland completes the compass of Westley, Easton, and Kardashian baby North. Actors Donald and Kiefer lend this name some additional style.
A poetic surname name related to Dennison.
The English form of Italian surname Taliaferro, and maybe a substitute for mega-popular Oliver.
It might mean white field or wheat field, but his sound brings to mind quick wit.
With Willow so popular, Willoughby is worth a look, too.
Would you consider any of these longer surname names for boys for a son?
First published on September 6, 2013, this post was revised and updated on February 9, 2023.
If you asked me 10-12 years ago what surname name I liked and wanted to use for a future son, I would’ve told you: “Sullivan”! I knew someone with this last name and thought it was adorable. These days? It seems most of the names on my list are what some would consider as DEFINITELY “first names” and oddly enough, more recognizable than the teenager or younger version of myself would allow. Example: “Devin”!
Johanan is a Biblical name that has a similar sound to many on this list.
We nearly named our last son Edison.
If the current in utero is a boy, his name is also on this list. I never realized I liked so many surnames…
C in DC says
Edison also has a sports connection; it’s soccer superstar Pele’s given name (although without the I).
I know two Remingtons, but they are both girls! One goes by Remi, the other Remy.
Blue Juniper says
I love this naming style, especially the ones that come with great nicknames. One of my faves is Remington, with nickname Remy. Others I love on this list are Broderick, Callahan, Forrester, Sutherland and Whittaker.
Rochester would also be a great addition to this list, as in Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre 🙂
On a similar note, I think Darcy would work on this list as well.
I love Willoughby so much, especially with the nn Wills. This name is so masculine to me.
Ah, so close to having my surname, just one letter off… could Harrington work? Also gets you to Harry…
I have a little cousin Dennison, it works really well. Spinnaker though, the only one I know is a golden retriever!
I think Harrington works well – especially with a family connection! Spinnaker might be a stretch … but I just love the sound.
I didn’t realize how many of my top boy names are really surnames. Cameron, Harrison & Sullivan. I kind of love the idea of Devereaux as a middle name for a girl though. Might be a little too Golden Girls though.
C in DC says
I’m more likely to think Jude than Blanche when I hear this name.
I have a huge name crush on Navarro and similar Navarone.
I know a young Navarro who wears the name so well, I was going to mention it… but then I got to wondering if the name was too tied to Dave Navarro? He’s not exactly in the same level of hero-worship as Hendrix or Lennon.
(Nevertheless it’s a great guilty pleasure name.)
I think that Tolliver should be on this list.
It should be – great name!