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240+ Cool Last Names From Around the World

Learn more about unique names from across the world and draw some inspiration for your next story.

What's in a name? A lot, as it turns out, particularly when it comes to a family name. These designations not only provide important information about where we're from and what culture we belong to, but they can also influence how others perceive us. While we can't choose our own names, there are places we can go to decide on someone else's—namely, a fictional universe. Whether you're a career writer or simply enjoy creating stories in your free time, it's always good to get some new ideas. Below, you'll find our original list of cool last names. Feel free to take from these picks the next time you put the pen to paper.

RELATED: 100+ Gender-Neutral Names (With Meanings) and Why It Matters.

How to Find the Perfect Last Name for Your Fantasy Character

We all have favorites, but you just can't use the same name over and over again. Different stories contain different settings, scenarios, and characters. Certain names can cater to these needs better than others. Of course, there are some other things to consider before naming your characters.

Consider the Plot

It's important to consider the context before you settle on a particular family name for your character. A name can evoke certain emotions, set expectations, or even serve as a clue for the reader—especially if there's a plot twist involved. It can also help create a more immersive and believable world.

So, if your story involves a villain, you might want to stick to a more foreboding option. If your main character is strong and resilient, you might choose a last name like "Steel" or "Ironwood." Funny surnames can also come in handy, particularly when writing for a younger audience.

Consider the Character's Age

Names go in and out of fashion over time. Try to align with what was in style when your characters were young, keeping timeline in mind. Modern picks like "Olivia" or "Harper" probably won't work for a woman in her 80s if you're writing a story set in the present day. Sticking to a name that fits the character's age will help establish them as part of a particular era or generation. Of course, you can always be creative, but you don't want to distract readers with anything too outside of the box.

Stick to the Location of the Story

The location of your story conveys important information about your character's heritage or cultural background. Naming them something specific to that region can further establish their connection to the area. This will also make it easier to pepper in certain symbols, titles, and traditions associated with the place.

Cool Last Names for Girls in a Romance Story

man and women posing as if they were in a romance drama
Velimir Zeland/Shutterstock
  1. Ambrose
  2. Cassidy
  3. Conrad
  4. Fitzgerald
  5. Fox
  6. Gable
  7. Harper
  8. Hart
  9. Hope
  10. Kingsley
  11. Luz
  12. Monroe
  13. Raven
  14. Rivera
  15. Sage
  16. Solace
  17. Strongblossom
  18. Summers
  19. Valentino
  20. Viotto

RELATED: 400+ Boy Names Inspired by History, Music, and Nature.

Cool Last Names for Boys in a Mystery or Thriller

Sad man alone walking along the alley in night foggy park.
Vladimir Mulder/Shutterstock
  1. Amos
  2. Ashford
  3. Cunningham
  4. Finch
  5. Fleet
  6. Garcia
  7. Huxley
  8. Jackson
  9. Ledger
  10. Lightfoot
  11. Lincoln
  12. Miller
  13. Pierce
  14. Terrarock
  15. Thatcher
  16. Vandenberg
  17. Whitlock
  18. Wyatt

Amazing Last Names for Assassins and Villains

Silhouette of a mysterious man in a vintage style wide brimmed hat
Sergii Gnatiuk/Shutterstock
  1. Ashbluff
  2. Bandello
  3. Bates
  4. Camonte
  5. Craven
  6. Crawford
  7. Cromwell
  8. Cross
  9. De Vil
  10. Dietrichson
  11. Gasper
  12. Gray
  13. Grendel
  14. Melville
  15. Mintz
  16. Otto
  17. Sharpe
  18. Snakelead
  19. Strode
  20. Thorne
  21. Vespertine
  22. Yarrow

RELATED: 300 Girl Names for Fierce & Independent Women.

Cool Last Names of Spanish Origin

flag of Spain
Jesus Noguera photography/Shutterstock
  1. Abarca: "Maker of leather shoes."
  2. Alegria: "Happiness."
  3. Colmenarejo: "Creativity."
  4. Cruz: "Cross." (Made famous by actor Penélope Cruz.)
  5. Gonzalez: "Son of Gonzolo" or "noble warrior"
  6. Huerta: "Garden."
  7. Lozano: "Splendid."
  8. Maldonado: "Ill-favored."
  9. Marín: "Sailor."
  10. Montana: "Wooded upland." (Featured in the 1983 hit Scarface.)
  11. Oleastro: "Wild olive."
  12. Sierra: "Saw."
  13. Suarez: "Someone who herds swine."
  14. Treviño: "'Person who lives on, or close to, the boundary of two farms or villages."
  15. Valiente: "Brave."
  16. Villareal: "Royal village."

Unique Last Names of French Origin

using phone in france
  1. Allard: "Noble friend."
  2. Arsenault: "Gunmaker."
  3. Auclair: "Clear."
  4. Beaufoy: "Fair," "Good faith."
  5. Beaumont: "Beautiful hill."
  6. Cellier: "Storeroom."
  7. Chevalier: Knight."
  8. Desrosiers: "People who live near roses."
  9. Escoffier: "To dress up."
  10. Heroux: "Wolf army."
  11. Gagneux: "Farmer."
  12. Laurier: "Bay Tree"
  13. Serrurier: "Locksmith"
  14. Vieux: "Old."

RELATED: 118 Muslim Girl Names (With Meanings!).

Common Surnames of Greek Origin

ancient statues human heads
ded pixto/Shutterstock
  1. Aetos: "Eagle."
  2. Andino: "Mainly and brave."
  3. Bakirtzis: "Coppersmith."
  4. Castellanos: "Castle."
  5. Chrysalis: "Butterfly."
  6. Cirillo: "Lord."
  7. Cyprus: "Fairness."
  8. Damaris: "Calf."
  9. Diakos: "Deacon."
  10. Fotos: "Light."
  11. Gataki: "Kitten."
  12. Omega: "The end."
  13. Onasis: "Lover."

Intriguing Last Names of English Origin

phone booth in london with big ben
Deyan Georgiev/Shutterstock
  1. Ashley/Ashleigh: "Ash tree."
  2. Barlowe: "One who lives on a bare hill."
  3. Burton: "Fort settlement."
  4. Channing: "Young wolf."
  5. Chapman: "Merchant."
  6. Corbyn: "Raven."
  7. Dumbledore: "Bumblebee." (Made famous by the Harry Potter series.)
  8. Ford: "Lives by a shallow place in the river."
  9. Fox: "Cunning like a fox."Or, "a red-haired person."
  10. Gentry: "Born of high status."
  11. Holmes: "Island."
  12. Lennon: "Lover." (Made popular by the musical artist John Lennon.)
  13. Owen: "Well-born."
  14. Payne: "Countryman."
  15. Smith: An occupational name derived from the Old English word smith, or "metal-worker."
  16. Stanton: "From the village on stony ground."
  17. Tuffin: "To appear."

German Origin Surname Ideas

german flag against a clear blue sky
AR Pictures/Shutterstock
  1. Bardin: "Battle ax."
  2. Bierhals: "Beer-throat."
  3. Durchdenwald: "Through the forest."
  4. Eierkuchen: Refers to a filled pastry or German pancake.
  5. Handschuh: "Glove."
  6. Kitzler: "Tickler."
  7. Landry: "Powerful ruler."
  8. Leichenberg: "Pile of corpses."
  9. Nachtnebel: "Night fog."
  10. op de Weeg: "On the road."
  11. Schoonmaker: "Cleaner."
  12. ten Brink: "At the village green."
  13. Trinkenschuh: "Drink-shoe."
  14. Vormelker: "Pre-milker."

RELATED: 114 Hawaiian Names Your Baby Will Thank You For

Cool Last Names of Italian Origin

Colosseum in Rome and morning sun, Italy
  1. Amato: "Beloved."
  2. Bellagamba: "Beautiful leg."
  3. Bertelli: "Intelligent."
  4. Conti: "Companion."
  5. D'Angelo: "Messenger."
  6. Giordano: "One who descends."
  7. Luna: "Moon."
  8. Pesci: "Fisherman."
  9. Russo: "Red-haired."
  10. Sanna: "Lily."
  11. Satorre: "Tailor."
  12. Segreto: "Confident."
  13. Vero: "True."
  14. Zappa: "Laborer."

Powerful Last Names of Scottish Origin

Scottish bagpiper standing against wall
  1. Abernathy: "Mouth of the river Nathy."
  2. Balfour: "Village pasture."
  3. Lennox: "Elm grove."
  4. MacCrimmon: "Guardian."
  5. MacNicol: "Son of the conquering people."
  6. McDonald: "Ruler of the world."
  7. Ritchie: "Brave ruler."
  8. Shaw: "Wolf."
  9. Sweeney: "Young warrior from another land."
  10. Toohey: "Descendant of the chief."
  11. Wallace: "Foreigner."
  12. Watt: "Ruler of the army."

Uncommon Last Names of Welsh Origin

A herd of goats take advantage of quiet streets near Trinity Square, in Llandudno, north Wales
PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
  1. Baughan: "Little."
  2. Beddoe: "Sea lord."
  3. Cadogan: "Glory in battle."
  4. Craddock: "Love."
  5. Edris: "Lord."
  6. Gethin: "Ugly."
  7. Gwalchmai: "Hawk."
  8. Hanmer: "Pond."
  9. Hier: "Tall."
  10. Nest: "Holy."
  11. Prothero: Refers to someone with reddish brown hair or complexion.

RELATED:  57 Flower Names for Girls (With Meanings!)

Cool Surnames of Irish Origin

ireland on map
  1. Ahearne: "House lord."
  2. Braniff: "Black raven."
  3. Byrne: "Brook."
  4. Doyle: "Dark stranger."
  5. Gohery: "God peace."
  6. Golightly: "Lightfoot."
  7. Magee: "Wind."
  8. McBirney: "Son of Biorna."
  9. McNamara: "Warrior of the sea."
  10. Teahan: "Fugitive."
  11. Rinne: "Star."
  12. O'Sioda: "Silk."
  13. O'Tuathail: Of the O'Tuathails royal family.
  14. Tormey: "Thunder spirit."

Unique Last Names of Persian Origin

view of morning sunlight reflected through colorful stained glass windows on the wall and the floor of prayer hall at the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque
  1. Agha: "Military officer."
  2. Amouzgar: "Teacher."
  3. Azimi: "Glory."
  4. Elaheh: Goddess."
  5. Fereshteh: "Angel."
  6. Gharagozlou: "Black eyes."
  7. Gul: "Rose."
  8. Kabiri: "The Great."
  9. Morad: "Wish."
  10. Saadat: "Good fortune."
  11. Tabatabaei: "Cloak."
  12. Tayyebi: "Good."
  13. Xatun: "Woman."

Unusual Last Names of Japanese Origin

japanese characters symybolizing the word "name"
  1. Akiyama: "Autumn mountain."
  2. Aoki: "Green tree."
  3. Fukumoto: "Blessed."
  4. Himura: "Scarlett village."
  5. Hirano: "Peaceful wilderness."
  6. Mochizuki: "Full moon."
  7. Nishikawa: Refers to the "western river" located in the Ryukyu Islands of western Japan
  8. Oba: "Large garden."
  9. Tachibana: "Tangerine."
  10. Watanabe: "To cross over a river."
  11. Yamamoto: "One who lives at the foot of the mountains."

RELATED: 165 Popular Boy Dog Names for Your New Furry Family Member

Cool Last Names of Hebrew Origin

close-up of hebrew text
Volodymyr Zakharov/Shutterstock
  1. Aarons: "Shining light."
  2. Abate: "Decedent from a high priest."
  3. Abeles: "Noble one."
  4. Camhi: "Wheat."
  5. Canaan: "The promised land."
  6. Chodosh: "New."
  7. Dagon: "Coin."
  8. Harari: "Mountaineer."
  9. Isaac: "Laughter."
  10. Kalman: "Lovely."
  11. Lachman: "Consoler."

Beautiful Last Names of Latin American Origin

wooden map of central and south america
Olena Ilchenko/Shutterstock
  1. Aquino: Water."
  2. Amador: "Lover of God."
  3. Bermudez: "Protection."
  4. Cardoso: "Thorny."
  5. Domingo: "Of the Lord."
  6. Esperanza: "To hope."
  7. Felix: "Lucky."
  8. Lovato: "Like a wolf."
  9. Salvador: "Savior."
  10. Sanche: "Saintly."
  11. Urbano: "City dweller."
  12. Vidales: "Life."

Fancy Surnames of Arabic Origin

Arabic writing on plaque
  1. Anouar: "Light."
  2. Aziz: "Strong, powerful."
  3. Habib: "Beloved."
  4. Hussain: "Beautiful; handsome."
  5. Idrissi: "Studious."
  6. Irfan: "Knowledge."
  7. Jalal: "Glory."
  8. Jazairi: "Independence."
  9. Malik: "King."
  10. Mukhtar: "Chosen."
  11. Naciri: "Helper."

RELATED: 85 Adorable Grandma Names for Your Family Matriarch

Cool Last Names of Dutch Origin

The Danish-style village of Solvang, California. Shot of the main street with windmill in background.
  1. Alderliesten: "Dearest."
  2. Bakker: "Baker."
  3. de Boer: "Farmer."
  4. Heer: "Hero."
  5. Houtkooper: "Wood merchant."
  6. Kikkert: "Frog."
  7. Schrijnemakers: "Container."
  8. Slootmaekers: "Lock; locksmith."
  9. TerAvest: "At the edge."
  10. Verhoeven: "Farm."
  11. Van Aggteren: "From behind"
  12. Visser: "Fisherman."

Richest Last Names in the World

Hands grabbing for dollar bills on a table

The world of fiction can be rife with symbolism. If you're looking to write about some very wealthy fantasy characters, you can draw some inspiration from the real-life moguls listed below. Of course, there are legal considerations to keep in mind. We suggest sticking to variations in place of specific names.

Walton: The Walton family is worth an estimated $224.5 billion, making them the wealthiest family in America. Their wealth is generated from the family's massive stake in Walmart.

Mars: While the Mars family is responsible for coming out with the famous Mars Chocolate Bar, the company is probably best known for producing M&M's. In total, the family is worth about $160 billion.

Koch: The Koch brothers made their fortune through the oil industry, though they're also well known for their conservative lobbying efforts. Today, the duo is worth an estimated $128 billion.

Al Saud: The Saudi Royal family has maintained their monarchy for almost a century. They have also enjoyed significant gains from the oil business. Today, they are worth around $105 billion.

Hermès: You may recognize this name for the signature fashions and luxury goods that bear it. The family, who helped introduce the infamous Birkin bag to the world, is now worth around 94.6 billion.

Wrapping Up

That's it for our list of cool last names, but be sure to check back in with us soon! You can also sign up for our newsletter to enjoy the latest in health, entertainment, and travel.

Carrie Weisman
Carrie Weisman oversees all SEO efforts at Best Life. She specializes in content optimization and editorial marketing. Read more
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