Every day, we see people go about their daily lives, yet the one thing that stands out at a glance is everyone’s name. Names distinguish us, and certain names of a certain type are often attention-grabbing. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the more uncommon last names out there.
History of Surnames
A surname is a name added to a given name and it is usually part of a person’s identity. In some parts of the world, these last names carry important meaning and tell us something about the family’s history, whether that be foreign, native, or even a mix of both.
Surnames have been in use for some time, first being used among royalty and eventually making its way to the common folk. It was not until a few centuries ago that surnames started being used all over the world, and even today, there are still some cultures that do not have established surname systems.
In the Western world, surnames are generally passed down from father to son or from mother to daughter. This is just one example of how surnames are kept in circulation and passed down through the generations.
Typical Last Names
When it comes to typical last names, a few come to mind. These last names include Smith, Johnson, Williams, Brown, and Jones. These last names are all fairly popular in the Western world and are among the most commonly found.
You could go anywhere in the United States and come across a Smith family, or a Brown family. It’s not that these names are necessarily boring, but they are, more or less, quite predictable and common.
Uncommon Last Names
Now let’s look at some of the more uncommon last names that the world has to offer. While the typical last names mentioned might be the most popular, there are those who are looking to stand out and make a statement.
From Italian to Japanese, we’re going to explore some of the less conventional last names that could help someone better express who they are and what makes them unique.
Archaic Last Names
There are particular last names from centuries past that have a unique ring to them. These are sometimes the last names of historical figures or just surnames that some have chosen to assume due to the intriguing sound. Examples of these archaic surnames include Abernathy, Benson, Chadwick, and Dalton.
Foreign Last Names
Foreign last names are far from uncommon, but in some countries, they are considered a bit more unique than they are in the United States.
In Japan, names such as Chiba, Matsumoto, and Otomo are actually quite conventional. They’re still far less common than the standard Smith or Johnson, but they’re definitely not anything out of the ordinary.
In Italy, the concept is quite similar. Names such as Rossi, Russo, and Caruso are fairly common and very distinct at the same time.
In some parts of Germany, names like Schubert, Maurer, and Müller are more traditional and recognized than they would be in other parts of Europe.
Chaotic Last Names
Some last names have been made from mixtures of letters and sounds that, when taken out of context, don’t necessarily make sense. Examples of these names are Dewsley, Iversley, and Pringle.
These last names have been popularized in literature, as well as daily life. They’re mostly seen as fun and silly, but also great for those seeking something more out of the ordinary.
Uncommon Last Names in Pop-Culture
Lastly, there are some extremely rare last names used predominately in pop culture. These names often draw large amounts of attention to themselves, either because of the name alone or because the bearer is a famous figure.
For example, names like Maeve in the HBO show Westworld has become widely used since its first airing, just as Luke Skywalker’s last name is one used for various fictional characters in the Star Wars franchise.
Others have also found success in naming characters after their own last names, like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter character “Neville Longbottom”, and George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones character “Tyrion Lannister”.
Uncommon last names are very much in existence, no matter which corner of the world you’re in. While the more typical last names often get the attention and respect, it’s nice to step away and find something a bit more exciting and distinct. Consider taking a deep look into your family’s ancestry and finding an uncommon name that reflects you and your story.
From foreign to chaotic and archaic, there’s something out there for everyone, and remember that everyone deserves to stand out and be heard.