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A Cool Last Names List for Character Creation

Updated on August 12, 2017
ControlledChaos1 profile image

All kinds of interests and the inability to make up my mind which one to focus on is how I came up with my screen name - ControlledChaos1.

Coming Up with Cool, Strange, Weird, Odd or Unique Last Names for a Character Can Really Make Them Stand Out

Coming up with a good last name for a fictional character can go a long way in making him or her seem a lot cooler in the eyes of your audience. While settling for some of the more popular last names paired with a good first name is one way to go, I've always liked to try to make every aspect of the name stand apart from the norm. A cool last name can let you explore your character's family history a little more easily.

The list of last names below will help you come up with a last name that can make your creation whole, especially when paired with a good first name. So, whether your looking for old-fashioned family names, Irish last names, last names that start with an M, Italian last names, or something else, you've come to the right place. I am constantly going through a lot of bad last names to find those perfect last names, so check back every once in a while if you need some suggestions. Hope you found this article useful, and thanks for paying a visit.

Photo courtesy of Chapendra on Flickr.

As an aside, I've been told this list has also been used as a source for nicknames. While you can certainly find some good ones, I've also made a Hub solely for those.

The Ever-Growing List of Cool Last Names

A

Abernathy

Abbott

Abner

Abrams

Acker

Acuff

Adair

Adara (Means "noble" in Hebrew.)

Adler

Agnew

Ainge

Albright

Alcott (An Anglo-Saxon derived name that means "he who lives in and old cottage".)

Algarotti

Allard

Allred

Alstott

Alvarez

Amherst

Andruzzi

Angle

Annenberg

Antrican

Apatow

Archeletta (a name of topographic origin meaning 'oak hollow')

Archer

Argento

Armani

Armstrong

Arrhenius

Arrington

Arrowood

Asola

Asterio

Atkinson

Attard

Atwater

Atwood

Austin

Averescu

Axworthy

Ayesa

Great Movie Characters Often Have Unforgettable Names Along with Unforgettable Personalities

Charles Darwin 1881
Charles Darwin 1881 | Source

B

Baldwin

Ballard

Banner

Banu (Means "lady" in Persian.)

Barks

Barrick

Bartley

Batch

Bauer

Beebe

Bender

Bennett

Benoit

Benson

Benton

Benwikere

Bernthal

Bersa

Best

Bester

Bettis

Bezos

Biddle

Binda

Binion

Bisley

Bixby

Blaustein

Blixt

Blood

Blow

Bobusic

Boldon

Bonanno (The name stems from medieval Italy and means 'good year'.)

Booth

Bosa

Bostwick

Boulder

Boulware

Bowden

Bowman

Bowser

Boyle

Bracco

Braddock (I have a friend with this last name and we've nicknamed him "MIA" after the Chuck Norris movie.)

Brager (Norwegian surname)

Brembilla

Brennan (Irish last name)

Breslin

Bright

Brinkmann

Bristow

Brooks

Brubaker

Brunt

Burris

Byrne

Tips for Coming Up with a Good Surname

  • A lot of times, last names can be used as a first name and vice versa.
  • A surname is a name added to your given name and is usually the family name (or last name). Don't get this confused with a nickname.
  • Coming up with a good first name or last name will make your character interesting and memorable. However, coming up with a good first and last name will make them unforgettable.
  • Using names where the first and last both begin with the same letter will give you a cutesy name (or at the very least a catchy one).
  • A character doesn't have to go by their first name. If you have a good one, they can be called by their last name all the time. Plus, you'll have a secret you can reveal at a later date if you wish.
  • Feel free to make the name hard to pronounce on purpose (and have other characters constantly mispronounce the name). This can introduce a comedic element into your story that can break up serious conversations. Sometimes the coolest last names are the strangest.

C

Cabrera-Bello

Cagle

Cahill

Cain

Calaway

Callahan

Cannon

Capra

Carling

Carmichael

Carney

Carver

Cassidy

Castle

Cave

Cayce

Cena

Cents

Chadwick

Chalk

Challenger

Chambers

Chatwin

Cherry

Christie

Chung

Cirque

Clancy

Clay

Cleveland

Coates

Cobo

Coffey

Coffin

Coin

Colt

Coltrane

Conklin

Connelly

Conti (Italian last name)

Coolidge

Cooper

Copeland

Coppens

Cortese

Crabtree

Cranham

Crassus (Old Roman last name)

Creed

Creel

Crespo

Cross

Crowley (a good last name for a villain)

Crusher

Cugat

Cullen

Cunningham

Curio (old Roman surname)

Cutler

Anna Kendrick 2011
Anna Kendrick 2011 | Source

D

Dabney

Dallesandro

Dalton

Dandridge

Darby

Dark

Davenport

Dawkins

Decarlo

Decker

Delpy

Dempsey

Denton

Denver

Derbyshire

Devereaux

Devlin

Diamond

Dickerson

Dixon

Dobra (Romanian last name)

Dodge

Donahue

Donnelly

Donovan

Dooley

Draper

Driskel

Driver

Dubois (French surname)

Dukas

Dumont

Dunlop

Dwyer

E

 
 
 
Earp
Eberstark (German)
Egan
Elder
Eldridge
Ellenburg
Eslinger
England
Epps
Eubanks
Everhart
Evert
Eastwood
Elway
Eslinger

More Good Last Name Tips and Tricks

  • Time will play a big role in coming up with a good name. I've very rarely come up with a top-notch character name before a couple of hours have passed.
  • Sometimes what you really need for your character is a cool name that isn't really a name: a nickname.
  • Some family names can sound a lot more intimidating than others. The character's personality and demeanor can add to or take away from the name depending on how you want others to see them.
  • There are times when you may want to hide a name from the audience. Using quiet whispers, background noise, interruptions or a smudged name on some papers are a few ways you can do this.
  • Very plain and ordinary last (and first) names can be used when you want to portray an obvious alias or made-up name—one in which your character doesn't want his or her real name to be known.
  • Never be afraid to use your character's traits to come up with a last name. For example, say your hero is a very strong and successful arm wrestler. "Strong Arm" is the first thing that comes to mind, but reverse the order of the words and you get an excellent last name: Armstrong.

F

Fairbanks

Fairchild

Fangio

Farrell

Fassbinder

Fawcett

Fawzi (Egyptian surname)

Fenner

Ferber

Ferguson

Finch

Finchum

Fingermann (Jewish last name)

Finn

Fisk

Fitzgerald

Fitzpatrick

Flacco

Flair

Flagg

Flanagan

Fleetwood

Fleiss

Fletcher

Flood

Floquet (French origin)

Floris

Flynn

Foley

Fong (Chinese last name)

Foster

Freed

Freeman

Freeze

Frost

Fugger

Fullbright

Future

Edgar Allan Poe 1848
Edgar Allan Poe 1848 | Source

G

Gaither

Gallagher

Gannon

Gardel

Gillis

Glaser

Glass

Glick

Goddard

Golden

Gore

Goulding

Graber (Swedish family name)

Greenway

Greer

Grell

Grimes

Griffith

Grizzly

Grubbs

Guest

Gundlach

H

Hadwin

Hale

Halleck

Halliwell

Hamilton

Hammer

Hammond

Hardin

Hardy

Harker

Harper

Hart

Hartman

Harvick

Hawk

Head

Healy

Heller

Henn

Herrera (Spanish last name)

Hess

Hester

Hickey

Higgins

Hightower

Hilliard

Hindley

Hitchcock

Hitchens

Hoagland

Hobbs

Hobgood

Hodder

Hogan

Holiday

Holland

Hood

Horry

Hostetler

Huffman

Hull

Humber

Husher (British last name.)

Hutton

Huxley

Huxx

Hyde

Asia Argento 1993
Asia Argento 1993 | Source

I

Idelson

Inch

Ingram

Inoki

Irons

Irvin

Irwin

Ishikawa

Ivanenko

Ives

J

Jameson

Jammer

Jessup

Jett

Jishu

Jurado

K

Katts

Kaufman

Keating

Keats

Keene

Keller

Kellett

Kenny

Keogh

Kerrigan

Kersey

Kershaw

Kessler

Kestrel

Keys

Kicklighter

Kincaid

Kinder

King

Kitt

Klecko

Knox

Kobayashi

Koch

Koo

Kotek (Polish surname)

Koufax

Kubiak

Kuchar

Kulikov (Russian last name)

L

Lacer

Lacroix

Lafferty

Laker

Lambert

Lawler

Laudermilk

Lazenby

Leary

Leaves (Old English last name)

Lecter

Ledger

Leibovitz

Leishman

LeMay

Lesnar

Lipman

Liston

Litvak

Lomax

Lombard

London

Londos

Longwood

Lords

Lott

Lovecraft

Lovejoy

Lynch

Salvador Dali 1965
Salvador Dali 1965 | Source

M

Mackey

Macklin

Maddox

Magnusson (Icelandic last name)

Maker

Malenko

Malfoy

Malik (Indian last name)

Mantooth

Manus

Marsh

Mason

Massey

Matisse

McCabe

McGee

McGillicutty

McKay

McNamara

Meer (Dutch family name)

Meilyr (A very old surname that can be traced back to at least 500 A.D.)

Mercer

Merchant

Metcalf

Metz

Minter

Moffett

Molinari

Moody

Mooney

Moreau (French last name)

Moses

Motter

Mudd

Mulder

Mullard

Munson

Murdock

Murillo

Murray

N

Naillon

Napier

Nash

Necessary

Nejem (Arabic last name)

Nicely

Nighy

Nolan (Irish last name)

Noonan

Norwood

Novak

Nunn

Cast Your Vote

Which part of a name do you consider the most important?

See results

O

Oakley

Oaks

O'Bannon

O'Brien

Odenkirk

O'Donnell

Oduya

Ogden

Ogle

Ogletree

O'Leary

October

Ollenrenshaw

Olson

Onassis

Opilio (old Roman family name)

O'Rourke

Orr

Ortega

Orton

Oswald

Ottinger

Overholt

Owusu

Ozu

Here is Why a Funny Last Name Can Work

P

Paladino

Palmer

Panera

Patnick

Patterson

Pavlov

Pawar (Indian name)

Paxton

Peck

Pell

Pepin

Perabo

Perrin

Pickering

Pinder

Pinzer

Piper

Pitcher

Pittman

Platt

Plunkett

Pollock

Post

Powell

Powers

Prado

Previn

Price

Prunk

Puller

Pulman

Punch

Putnam

Q

Quaice

Quaid

Quall

Quarters

Quick

Quimby

Quinn

Leonard da Vinci Studies of Embryos
Leonard da Vinci Studies of Embryos | Source

R

Race

Radiguet

Rafus

Rainwater

Ramos (Spanish surname)

Rand

Redgrave

Redman

Renfro

Renshaw

Rhodes

Richter

Riddle

Rifkin

Rigby

Riggs

Riker

Ripa

Ripley

Ripperton

Roland

Romirez

Romo

Root

Rosenberg

Rossi

Rowland

Rude

Rudd

Russo (Italian last name)

Ruster

Ryan

S

Sabanthia

Sands

Santos

Sarkis (Arabic surname)

Sasai

Sasaki

Savage

Savoy

Saxon

Scardino

Seagate

Sereno

Shea

Sheehan

Shields

Seibert

Shaver

Shippen

Shivers

Shock

Shute

Silver

Simerly

Sinclair

Skills

Skinner

Skirth

Sloane

Small

Smoker

Soo

Soria

Sorrow

Sotelo

Spacek

Spieth

Spinks

Stamper

Standifer

Stapleton

Steele

Stelly

Stepfan

Stiner

Stitchen

Stockton

Stoneking

Story

Strode

Stroud

Suggs

Sullivan

Surrett

Sutton

Swiatek

Sweeney

Swift

Sykes

Source

T

Tait

Tanaka

Tanner

Tapp

Taymor

Temple

Templeton

Tepper

Terrella

Thain

Theo

Thorisdottir (Old Norse name)

Tibbs

Tillerson

Tippett

Toller

Tooms

Tracy

Trapp

Trench

Tripper

Trumbald (Old English name meaning 'strongly bold')

Trumbo

Truth

Tucker

Tuco

Turpin

Tussac

Twigg

V

Vaccaro

Vader

Vasher

Vega (Hispanic last name)

Vegas

Vess

Vestine

Vickers

Voight

Volek

Vroman

U

Udder

Underhill

Unger

W

Wadd (British surname)

Wagner

Wainwright

Walcott

Wall

Wallace

Walsh

Warrick

Watson

Weaver

Webb

Weeks

Wells

Wexler

Whalen

Wheeler

Whesker

Wight

Whitner

Wilde

Winchell

Winchester

Winding

Winters

Winthrop

Wire

Witt

Wixx

Wolf

Wolfenstein

Wolownik

Wong (Chinese surname.)

Woodard

Woodson

Wooster

Wooten (Old English name.)

Source

X

Xavier

Ximinez

Xu

Y

Yadao

Yaeger

Yale

Yamaguchi

Yanetta

Yankovich

Yarborough

Yates

Yearwood

Yellen

Youngblood

Z

Zabik

Zabinkski

Zade

Zader

Zahn

Zale

Zant

Zapf

Zasso

Zavaroni

Zeagler

Zeck

Zedillo

Zimmerman

Zipser

Zook

Zuckerberg

Creating good characters for your world is so important to its success. Picking out a name is only the beginning. My hope is that this list has helped you do that in some way. Good luck coming up with an unforgettable person of interest. Thanks for visiting.

© 2013 Don

Do you know anyone with an interesting last name?

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    • GoodnewsBassey profile image

      Goodnews Edet Bassey 2 days ago from Nigeria

      Nice article

    • Deborah Minter profile image

      Deborah Minter 4 weeks ago from U.S, California

      Good article....

    • Casey White profile image

      Mike and Dorothy McKenney 2 months ago from United States

      I knew a girl in high school named Candy Cane. Your article was very cute and makes me want to write children's stories just so I can make up a cool name. Kudos.

    • profile image

      The Ello 2 months ago

      I am a german and i can asure you that "eberstark" is not a german surname! It would mean "as strong as a male wild boar" but i do like this list a lot.

    • GalaxyRat profile image

      GalaxyRat 3 months ago from The Crazy Rat Lady's House

      Hi Summer,

      It doesn't care what your character's name is, if it copies or not! I've seen books with my name. I'm not bothered.

      But, how about Penelope Risen, Penelope Hastieu, etc. I make up last names by jumbling up letters. Example: Getusj. Doesn't make sense? That's fine! Change it later.

      Ask other people as well.

    • profile image

      CM Porter 5 months ago from Northern California

      Great list! I grabbed a couple for possible use in my work.

      Also might make my own name Hub. I hadn't considered it before.

    • profile image

      Summer 8 months ago

      this is a good list. i was looking for a surname for a character i am developing. her first name is Penelope. when coming up with a surname for her i would google her full name to see if anything comes up, and usually something does, there are TONS of people by the same name! could i still use it? i initially wanted to go with Penelope Hazelwood (not on this list) but there are people by that name. then i found the name Weaver here and figured that would fit even better since Penelope actually means weaver. but there are a lot of people by that name too. but maybe i could go with either one? its so hard to find a name that absolutely no one has so maybe its ok if my character has a name others have?

    • profile image

      Marvel Lover 8 months ago

      What kind of last name would you recommend for the name Alicia?

    • profile image

      Cam 10 months ago

      I feel like you just watched Bones...

      But really, I love these names I'm using them!

    • profile image

      Solstice 11 months ago

      My last name is Archeletta but everything always says, no I don't know that so I think it is Archetypal.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 12 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great read.

    • sophiaaranna profile image

      Sophia Aranna 18 months ago

      Name, Rude???

      That's so weird. :P

    • Maggalynn Grace profile image

      Maggalynn Grace 18 months ago from Michigan

      This is fantastic! Wixx, Vestine, Unger love it. I am a "name person." As a sci-fi writer I create characters, and just like the character their name also has to be interesting. I am definitely bookmarking this as an easy resource. Good Job!!

    • profile image

      Yo 18 months ago

      Crowley!!!!!

    • profile image

      David Bel 18 months ago

      Knew a girl named Heather Seabolt.....cool last name I thought as a kid

    • chuckandus6 profile image

      Nichol marie 2 years ago from The Country-Side

      another great gaming name

      Dejerick

      Valastormtor

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      As a writer, this is an interesting and useful guide. I tend to use a variety of sources for my character naming: high school alumni book, phone book, atlas/maps, baby name book and WD's 2nd Edition Character Naming book, including a couple of websites. Great hub!

    • B D Cavet profile image

      B D Cavet 2 years ago

      I'm going to be using some of these names. woohoo!

    • Joe Fiduccia profile image

      Joe Fiduccia 2 years ago from Monroe County, PA

      We've been toying with the idea of coming up with a fake character (e.g. mascot) for our business but we're having trouble coming up with a catchy name. I will definitely be printing your list of names above and will share it with our team to see if we can brainstorm and get some ideas from it. Thank you!

    • profile image

      Marcella pollock 2 years ago

      My sisters last name is Sweet

    • Doris Dancy profile image

      Doris H. Dancy 2 years ago from Yorktown, Virginia

      As a writer, I always struggle with my characters' names. I tend to let their names sound like their position in life. The last name of one of my characters is Wellington. I think that speaks of his wealth, education, and strong character.

      Thanks for your list. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through it, and I know I will refer to it again soon.

    • MommaStu profile image

      Mindy Studer 2 years ago from Sunny South Florida

      Love this! I usually ask my son (he's 4) to come up with the names... but he's 4, so sometimes they are a little silly - his current favorite character in made up bedtime stories is Prince Buggyfan.

    • Calypso02 profile image

      Loretta Giacopelli 2 years ago from New York

      What a unique idea for a hub! Making up names is fun.

    • Laura335 profile image

      Laura Smith 2 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      The first names of characters usually just come to me, but I have such a hard time with last names. Thanks for the list!

    • jlpark profile image

      Jacqui 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for this list, and the information you provided along with it - much food for thought. Thanks!

    • profile image

      River 2 years ago

      I found this helpful. I have so many characters in need of a last name. ^^;

      Don't know anyone with an odd last name but here are some: Undereig (under-rage), Nitch, Libber, Hillsin, and Fleetwood.

    • profile image

      Anon 2 years ago

      Lol! Sykes is the last name of the lead singer in bring me the horizon! Oliver Sykes!

    • profile image

      Snow Leixia Raynes 2 years ago

      I don't like my name but I'd like to change it! But then again, I think it's different and I'm 100% different or unique so my mum. I love this list though! =D

    • profile image

      Sara 2 years ago

      My last name is terkawi it's Arabic and people find it somewhat difficult to pronouns at first but it also seems interesting to them

    • profile image

      shiahlen12 3 years ago

      Machado (muh-shah-doe) is a Portuguese name... I also like Wade, Leigh, Weston, and Lindell

    • profile image

      kamakazikitten 3 years ago

      My last name is Matzek (pronounced Mat-sick) and many people I know think this is an interesting last name

    • profile image

      DoodleNinja 3 years ago

      Winchester, ha!

      Okay I've got Swan, Starr, Herold, Ramey, Lester, Shepherley, Kipke, Sessions, Horowitz, Rise, Blackledge, Sikora, Krynski, Stirling, Queen, Noble, Dever

      I probably spelled a lot of those wrong but there you go

    • blestman lm profile image

      blestman lm 3 years ago

      Not a last name but I know someone who's first name is Aurelius. I though that was so regal -- and it fit his personna.

    • ControlledChaos1 profile image
      Author

      Don 3 years ago from Tennessee

      @SusanDeppner: Some writers don't really think about a last name until they need one, but what they don't realize is that if you come up with a good one you can build up character history and connections with other people -giving your creation more depth.

      When I think about great character names like Clubber Lang, Peter Parker, Frank Castle, Tony Stark, etc. I often wonder just how much thought was put into coming up with a good name. I betting those names weren't just created out of the blue on the spur of the moment.

    • profile image

      Shank28 3 years ago

      My last name is shank

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Such a great list!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Drycin (Dray-kon)

    • ControlledChaos1 profile image
      Author

      Don 4 years ago from Tennessee

      @anonymous: What a wonderful last name. Thanks for sharing it with everyone.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Merickel--- pronounced Miracle

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Got a Japanese friend of mine whose last name is Kazuhiko. I just love saying it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This article would be a little more interesting if you had the origins of the name, but it suited my needs just fine. My last name is Mean.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Carboni

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I really enjoyed reading through the list of names. I've never had to create a character name, at least not a last name, but now I really want to!