Do you know what your last name means? Depending on where you’re from and your cultural background, the name may have been passed down for centuries. It could even have to do with the vocations that your family members had in the past. Or, it could be a last name that developed in more recent history or you took on after marriage. 

While some names are pretty unique, there will always be common first and last names. Depending on the country you live in, specific surnames are widespread, and naming trends for first names will also vary. When it comes to first names, there’s often more variation. 

Significance Of Last Names

While there are some common choices, parents and other caregivers are often creative in choosing a first name. Still, a surname in a family doesn’t change as often. Usually, people don’t come up with a completely new last name unless they have very specific reasons to do so. This makes looking at last name popularity rather fascinating, as it reveals much about the country and who lives there. 

If you’re curious about the most popular names in the United Kingdom, check out this list.

Most Popular Last Names In The United Kingdom

The last names on this list probably won’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone who’s spent any time in the U.K. In fact, you yourself might have one of these last names. If you do have one of these commonplace last names, don’t worry. Whether your name is unique or more common, you can always change your name if you wish. 

Now, let’s look at the country’s 15 most common last names.

  1. White
  2. Robinson
  3. Thompson
  4. Wright
  5. Walker
  6. Roberts
  7. Thomas
  8. Johnson
  9. Evans
  10. Davies
  11. Wilson
  12. Taylor
  13. Brown
  14. Jones
  15. Smith

It’s also interesting to note that the most common last names in the United States are pretty much the same. Their most common surname is also Smith, followed by Johnson and then Williams. 

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Then, there’s Scotland. The last names in Scotland are similar to those of the U.K. Still, there are a few changes and differences. The top 15 surnames in Scotland are:

  1. Mitchell
  2. Clark
  3. Taylor
  4. Murray
  5. Reid
  6. Scott
  7. Macdonald
  8. Anderson
  9. Stewart
  10. Campbell
  11. Robertson
  12. Thomson
  13. Wilson
  14. Brown
  15. Smith

It’s clear by comparing the data from these countries that Smith is the most common surname in the English language. The last name “Smith” goes back hundreds of years. 

Originally, it was from an Old English word, “Smid.” This means “to hit and strike.” So, it’s not sprucing. This was the word used to describe people who worked with metal. Over time, “Smid” evolved into “Smith,” and it was a common profession. While most people today aren’t smithies, the name has persisted for centuries.

Surname Changes Overtime

While linguists study how languages evolve with time, it’s not hard to see how many familiar names in the U.K. and the English-speaking countries came from Old English words that related to a person’s job. 

As time goes on, the last names in various countries may change. People are much more connected in this modern age, and people will move to new countries. In this global world, these trends in names may change over time. The last names that are most common today might not be the most common last names in 50 years. 

Only time will tell.

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