I have many interests and an inability to make up my mind about which one to focus on. That's how I came up with my name: ControlledChaos1.
Cool and Unique Last Name Ideas That Can Make a Character Stand Out
Coming up with a good last name for a fictional character can make him or her seem a lot cooler in the eyes of your audience. While settling for a popular last name 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.
If you're looking to find the right last name for a character, the list of last names below is an excellent place to start. Hopefully, it will help you choose the perfect last name that—when paired with a good first name—will turn your character into an unforgettable person of interest. I have gone through (and am constantly going through) a lot of last names to find those that are cooler than all the rest, so check back every once in a while if you need some suggestions. I do hope you find this article useful, and thanks for paying a visit.
The Ever-Growing List of Cool Last Names
- A Mix of Cool Last Names
- Name Ideas From A–Z
- Magical Last Names
- Interesting Surnames
- Fancy Last Names
- Pretty Last Names
- Hyphenated Last Names
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 here, I've also made an article solely about nickname ideas.
A Mix of Cool Last Names
I don't know about you, but I'm not a huge fan of lists in alphabetical order when I'm doing research. To me, it just doesn't let the mind wonder like it should to inspire creativity. That's why I've created this initial "jumbled mess" of character last names; just for those people who feel the same way I do, but don't worry, the "last names in alphabetical order" lies a little further down.
Icelandic Last Names Explained
Tips for Coming Up With a Good Surname
- A lot of times, a last name 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 ones.
Curio (Old Roman)
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—just a nickname. If you're a real stickler for detail, it can come from the character's actual name.
- 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 a 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 an ancestral 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.
Most Common Last Names Around the World
Leaves (Old English)
Cool Spanish Last Names
Opilio (Old Roman)
Cool Chinese Last Names
Cool British Last Names
Thorisdottir (Old Norse)
Trumbald (Old English)
Wooten (Old English)
Magical Last Names
These evocative names have a magical or wizardly feel. They would fit well in a wide variety of stories that push the supernatural in even the slightest of ways.
A noun or adjective can make for an interesting surname that tells the reader a bit about your character. They can also be used ironically, like "Quick" as the last name of a lazy character.
Fancy Last Names
For a fancy-sounding name, aim for several syllables to create a grand feel. Using last names like these can help give your character an old-world or elevated feel. It's up to you to decide if you want to give them a similar personality.
Pretty Last Names
You can create a pretty surname by taking inspiration from nature or by choosing words with lovely vowel and consonant sounds. Though these would most often be used for female characters, male characters with last names like the ones below could be quite interesting.
Hyphenated Last Names
A hyphenated last name is most commonly used by new brides who want to keep their maiden name as well as use their new partner's last name. There are generally no set rules on which last name to use first. Pairing two names together creates an interesting last name that you don't see all that often.
Make Your Characters Unforgettable!
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.
Cast Your Vote
© 2013 Don
Do you know anyone with an interesting last name?
no❤️ on August 15, 2020:
I need a last name for Nessa, any ideas?
Don (author) from Tennessee on August 15, 2020:
How about using a last name like Atwood. It seems to sound pretty good when you say their whole name.
Someone on August 14, 2020:
I need a last name for twins named Everest and Hazel. Any ideas?
Kitty on August 10, 2020:
My last name is Elkins
Don (author) from Tennessee on August 10, 2020:
Why not choose a last name from Old World aristocracy?
Elly on August 09, 2020:
I need a last name that sounds really noble. Any ideas?
arsenic the loser on August 04, 2020:
Hey there! I just want to post a couple suggestions to add to this list
Thorne (not sure whether this one is an actual lastname or if I just made it up, but it was on my character list so hejehehejhehwhegg)
Karson on July 26, 2020:
Don (author) from Tennessee on July 26, 2020:
Really short last names are tough to come up with. You must really experiment to see how the whole name sounds when it rolls off the tongue. You could try looking at Asian last names as there are many that are quite short. Good luck.
Karson on July 25, 2020:
I have an oc named Kambrea/Kambria (can’t decide) I need a last name that is 2-3 letters
Don (author) from Tennessee on July 13, 2020:
It really is great when there's an active comments section, as you'll likely find great names that the list itself may have missed.
Harshita Raj on July 13, 2020:
Who else is scrolling the comments section in search of a good name?
Ash on July 06, 2020:
I need an awsome matching name for Shadow
edgy writer on July 03, 2020:
hi there, i’m not having trouble with any names, but could i have some feedback on these names i made up? It’s for a script I’m writing!
Don (author) from Tennessee on June 26, 2020:
Your observation about your last name is correct, and would be the perfect thing for a little kid to say in a story.
Kate Roberts on June 26, 2020:
My name sounds like a rober with a tazer gun!
Liv on June 22, 2020:
I need two different last names, one for Alexander and one for Roman. Would be great if I could get some suggestions?
Sapphirezzz on June 21, 2020:
Thanks. Really helped!
Don (author) from Tennessee on June 21, 2020:
Since Lorenzo is a Spanish-Italian type of name, why not go with a similar last name like... Costa.
Sapphirezz on June 20, 2020:
Aha, we meet again. I need a last name for Lorenzo (aka Frisk). Help is needed
Unknown on June 07, 2020:
Annabel on June 06, 2020:
I really have trouble having a last name for my OC named Moonlight, is it ok if I may ask help over here?
Don (author) from Tennessee on June 06, 2020:
How about the last name "Wells"? Ethan Wells sounds pretty good to me.
Unknown on June 06, 2020:
I need help trying to find the perfect last name for a male character named Ethan...I would really appreciate some suggestions
Unknown on June 06, 2020:
I am having trouble finding the perfect last name for a character named Ethan...I want it to have one syllable...but i'm seriously stuck
cordelia on May 30, 2020:
i need a scary sounding french last name for an OC named dixie... any ideas?
Don (author) from Tennessee on May 22, 2020:
You seem to have a well thought out list of unique names. The first and last names seem to roll off the tongue quite nicely. Good job.
Kamila on May 21, 2020:
My last name is Armani.... So yeah i thinks cool?..whatever
bookworm on May 21, 2020:
any names for characters in books for a girl? only need one. Also can I get feedback on these names please?
Esme Ashley Adair
Edward De La Moreau
William De La Moreau
Sasi on May 18, 2020:
I think Fauna Evelyn-North or Fauna Chanslo-North sounds cool....
Ash on May 15, 2020:
I can't find a short surname for Ash that meshes well.
Harlow Zakurra on May 13, 2020:
I don't think I've ever seen a site with my first, or last name.
And I continue to not see one.
Jade on May 06, 2020:
Okay, so my OC Fauna North, and I want her to end up with a guy named Tommy (also an OC), but I want her name to be hyphenated when the do end up together, any suggestion on a last name that would work his first name and also sound nice with her hyphenated last name???
lexi on May 06, 2020:
what last name goes well with Amy?
Madeleine on May 06, 2020:
I need a last name that goes well with Kristin.
Philip on May 05, 2020:
I'm having a hard time getting a good last name for a Hector
Don (author) from Tennessee on May 05, 2020:
You've put a lot of thought into these names. Good job!
Me on May 04, 2020:
I am writing a story can anyone give me feedback on these names?Theodora Serena Scarlet
Ivy Autumn Black
Layla Isobelle Ashwood
Phoenix Evangeline Garcia
Niko Elijah Levi
Orion Gabriel May
Adrian Diego Rodriguez
Apollo Octavius Reagan
Callie on May 02, 2020:
I know someone who's last name is Song.
Susie on May 02, 2020:
What goes well with Kristin? Her nickname's Kris. I really like her and I can't think of a last name!
Anonymous on April 30, 2020:
So, any suggestions for a character named Lagos or Lucio?
Nu on April 27, 2020:
Ive read a lot of the last names and the only one I really like is Opilio. I might go with it
Don (author) from Tennessee on April 27, 2020:
With a somewhat normal first name like "Mathew", you could go with a really unusual and unique last name like "Bullard".
Nu on April 26, 2020:
Also I'm having a lot of trouble with a charater,s last name his name is Matthew.
Nu on April 26, 2020:
My last name is Van Winkle, and it's not on the list
Winnie on April 24, 2020:
Wow! I Absolutely love this. In the book i'm writing, all the characters have unusual names, like Farren or Kinsley. So this page gave the perfect unusual last names.
Don (author) from Tennessee on April 24, 2020:
Xerin is such an unusual first name that you might be better off going with a somewhat normal last name like "Thomas or Summers".
Skyellar on April 23, 2020:
Some of these surnames are rally cool. Although it is not on here my characters name is Ally Barrnet.
Unknown Mysteries on April 23, 2020:
I'm having some difficulties finding the last name for a character named Xerin in my novel. Any ideas, anyone?
Don (author) from Tennessee on April 23, 2020:
That's a really unusual last name... I love it!
:o on April 22, 2020:
My OC’s last name is Autumn Cherriton. Is this a good name??
Nanniebee on April 21, 2020:
My last name is cheif
Don (author) from Tennessee on April 14, 2020:
Fennec is a great last name and it meshes well with the character's first name.
Kat on April 13, 2020:
My last name is Nyamute (Nee-Moo-Tay)
Sapphirezzz on April 13, 2020:
Ah, so we meet once again, Don! My character is a transfer student from the U.S., and his name is Todd Fennec. Does that sound decent?
Don (author) from Tennessee on April 10, 2020:
Memphis would make a great last name for someone.
Random on April 09, 2020:
OC: Memphis is strong, pushy, kind of ignorant, but a very classy boi, he works at a diner, and he’s not shy at all, any suggestion?
random on April 02, 2020:
Cool Aid Man on March 23, 2020:
I guess you have a point. Thank you for the advice!
Don (author) from Tennessee on March 23, 2020:
The type of last name you pick depends on how strong your character's background is. If not very strong, you could choose something like "Holmes". If you have a strong and well thought out character history and if that history is interesting, then almost any last name would do. Right?
Cool Aid Man on March 22, 2020:
The character is a detective and Krueger reminds me too much of Freddy Krueger. Lol. Thanks tho!
Don (author) from Tennessee on March 22, 2020:
How about Joseph Kreuger?
Cool Aid Man on March 21, 2020:
What’s a good last name for Jospeh?
Lizzie on March 18, 2020:
I’m trying to find Gould options for my book character Robin. She is a girl in a book I’m planning to write. Trying these out
Bill on March 18, 2020:
Amber..."Smith" goes with everything
amber on March 08, 2020:
does anyone have any last names that go with Remi?
Gemma on February 26, 2020:
I'll definitely use the S options as a fierce and scary last name when writing my first novel for my classroom and I am in 5th grade, so I will use these no doubt!!! Thanks for the last names!
kawaiionnonaka @gmail.com on February 25, 2020:
am I the only one who noticed Call of Duty preferences hahahaha
i really like Price btw
KATE on February 24, 2020:
my last name is Seven
hjkfhjghjg on February 24, 2020:
my last name is Eickelberg
Hello on February 22, 2020:
My last name is Bone (which is pretty cool) but I also know to even cooler names: Powers and Lyons-Hart (pronounced Lions-Heart)
AAHAN on February 17, 2020:
My last name is Jain
Iris on February 12, 2020:
My last name is Baadsvik And my name is Iris
Munro on February 08, 2020:
My last name is McLaren
a person on February 06, 2020:
i love all the names keep up the good work
someone not u on February 06, 2020:
it was cool
Don (author) from Tennessee on February 01, 2020:
The comment section is always a good source of additional information especially if they have to be approved first (to weed out any nonsense). It's also a good way for the reader to ad to the usefulness of the article.
Montana on January 29, 2020:
I actually found more interesting last names just reading all the comments. Thanks you guys have helped a lot.
Joy on January 22, 2020:
My youth paster’s wife’s maiden name is Sandhopper. I am suprised Winchester is on the list. The name reminds me of Supernatural, though. Also my grandparent’s last name is Hayman.
someone on January 12, 2020:
My last name was on the list. The name I like most however, is: Zelo.
Don (author) from Tennessee on January 06, 2020:
Porter is a great last name, and while I don't always add last names to the list immediately, I have added yours since is sounds so cool. Thanks for the heads up.
Niyangel on January 05, 2020:
My last name is porter but it wasn’t on the list
Uni Passi on January 04, 2020:
I have a friend who has a middle name like this. Hwa-sun.
Hi on January 01, 2020:
My last name is Zelo its kinda cool
The Kraken on December 14, 2019:
Good job man! My last name is on the list... kind of. It's Nowak and your list had a v replacing the w. But eh, still an amazing find, especially for people who like to write stories like me. Keep up the good work.
Joe on December 13, 2019:
Simor Riley would be nice
Abby on November 26, 2019:
My name was on this list lol
Amaly on November 18, 2019:
My last name is Koroshec. It's Slovenian
AHSAN ZAFFAR from MULTAN on November 17, 2019:
my last name is raza
yoyoma on October 28, 2019:
my last name is Bohn.
Don (author) from Tennessee on October 23, 2019:
It's amazing to me that in some cases one letter changed in a last name can be much more common in one country over another; sometimes it even changes the meaning of the last name as well.
Don (author) from Tennessee on October 23, 2019:
Uncommon last names make for great last names when coming up with characters for a story.
Ms. Sous on October 21, 2019:
Sorry for the complaint but Nejem is actually Hungarian. It's very similar to Arabic though
Ya Ya Ya Yeet Girl on October 21, 2019:
How about Tylender. Might not be the best but it's uncommon!
Chris on October 21, 2019:
Sloss is a sweet last name
Someone on September 24, 2019:
Sterling is a good last name
Don (author) from Tennessee on August 12, 2019:
Your suggestions are good ones, and I will likely incorporate them into the article at some point, especially hyphenated last names. Thanks.
A writer on August 10, 2019:
I love writing, and I will spend so much time coming up with names for my books. This article is super helpful. I was kind of overwhelmed by the number of names. Would you consider making a shorter list for people who aren't willing to spend that much time on a name?
Also, do you do hyphenated last names?
Aspiring writer on July 20, 2019:
Thanks for all the name suggestions! I'm terrible at coming up with names and this really helped.
Candice Bueno on July 16, 2019:
Lovecraft, it's so awesome