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English names are names used in, or originating in,
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
. In England as elsewhere in the
English-speaking world Speakers of English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the Wo ...
, a complete name usually consists of a
given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a quoted in that identifies a person, potentially with a as well, and differentiates that person from the other members of a group (typically a or ) who have a common . ...
, commonly referred to as a first name, and a (most commonly
patrilineal Patrilineality, also known as the male line, the spear side or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship system in which an individual's family membership derives from and is recorded through their father's lineage. It generally involves the inheritance ...
)
family name In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy as example. This shows a structure typical for the Anglosphere, a ...
or
surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy as example. This shows a structure typical for the Anglosphere, a ...
, also referred to as a last name. There can be several given names, some of these being often referred to as a second name, or middle name(s).


Given names

Most given names used in England do not have English derivation. Most traditional names are
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
(
Daniel Daniel is a masculine Masculinity (also called manhood or manliness) is a set of attributes, behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling d ...

Daniel
,
David David (; ) (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". is described in th ...
,
Elizabeth Elizabeth or Elisabeth may refer to: People * Elizabeth (given name), a female given name (including people with that name) * Elizabeth (biblical figure), mother of John the Baptist Ships * HMS Elizabeth, HMS ''Elizabeth'', several ships * Elisab ...
,
Susan Susan is a feminine given name, from Persian "lily flower", from Egyptian ''c:Lotus flower (hieroglyph), sšn'' and Coptic ''shoshen'' meaning "lotus flower", from Hebrew ''Shoshana'' meaning "lily" (in modern Hebrew this also means "rose" and a ...

Susan
),
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
(
Nicholas Nicholas, Nickolas, Nikolas, Nikolaus or Nicolas is a male given name; Nicholas is also used as a surname. The Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Anglicanism, Anglican Churches celebrate Saint Nicholas every year on Dec ...

Nicholas
, Dorothy,
GeorgeGeorge may refer to: People * George (given name) George (in English or in Romanian) is a masculine given name derived from the Greek language, Greek Georgios, Geōrgios (; ). The name gained popularity due to its association with the Christian ...
,
Helen Helen may refer to: People * Helen of Troy, in Greek mythology, the most beautiful woman in the world * Helen (actress) (born 1938), Indian actress * Helen (given name), a given name (including a list of people with the name) Places * Helen, Ge ...
),
Germanic namesGermanic given names are traditionally dithematic; that is, they are formed from two elements, by joining a prefix A prefix is an affix which is placed before the stem of a word. Adding it to the beginning of one word changes it into another wo ...
adopted via the transmission of
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spok ...
/
Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of Normandy, descended from ...
(
Robert The name Robert is an ancient Germanic given nameGermanic given names are traditionally dithematic; that is, they are formed from two elements, by joining a prefix A prefix is an affix which is placed before the stem of a word. Adding it ...

Robert
,
Richard The first or given name Richard originates, via Old French Old French (, , ; French language, Modern French: ) was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. Rather than a unified Dialect#Dialect or lan ...

Richard
, Gertrude,
Charlotte Charlotte ( ) is the List of municipalities in North Carolina, most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont (United States), Piedmont region, it is the county seat of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Meckle ...
), or
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...
(
Adrian Adrian is a form of the Latin language, Latin given name ''Adrianus (disambiguation), Adrianus'' or ''Hadrianus (disambiguation), Hadrianus''. Its ultimate origin is most likely via the former river Adria (river), Adria from the Venetic language, ...

Adrian
, Amelia, Patrick). There remains a limited set of given names which have an actual English derivation (see
Anglo-Saxon namesGermanic given names are traditionally dithematic; that is, they are formed from two elements, by joining a prefix A prefix is an affix which is placed before the stem of a word. Adding it to the beginning of one word changes it into another wo ...
); examples include
Alfred Alfred may refer to: Arts and entertainment *''Alfred J. Kwak'', Dutch-German-Japanese anime television series *Alfred (Arne opera), ''Alfred'' (Arne opera), a 1740 masque by Thomas Arne *Alfred (Dvořák opera), ''Alfred'' (Dvořák opera), an ...
, Ashley,
Edgar Edgar is a commonly used English given name English names are names used in, or originating in, England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its w ...

Edgar
,
Edmund Edmund is a masculine given name or surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community. Practices vary by culture. The family name may be pl ...

Edmund
,
Edward Edward is an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World ...

Edward
,
Edwin The name Edwin means "rich friend". It comes from the Old English elements "ead" (rich, blessed) and "wine" (friend). The original Anglo-Saxon form is Eadwine, which is also found for Anglo-Saxon figures. Edwin may refer to: People * Edwin of ...

Edwin
, Harold and
OswaldOswald may refer to: People *Oswald (given name), including a list of people with the name *Oswald (surname), including a list of people with the name Fictional characters *Oswald the Reeve, who tells a tale in Geoffrey Chaucer's ''The Canterbury ...
. A distinctive feature of Anglophone names is the surnames of important families used as given names, originally to indicate political support or patronage. Many examples have now become normal names chosen because parents like them, and any political sense lost. Most are male names like Cecil, Gerald, Howard, Percy, Montague, Stanley or Gordon, though some have female versions like Cecilia or Geraldine. Other languages have few equivalents, although the saint's surname Xavier is often used by Roman Catholics. During most of the 19th century, the most popular given names were
Mary Mary may refer to: People * Mary (name) Mary is a feminine Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women and girls. Although femininity is socially constru ...
and either
John John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) * John (surname), including a list of people who have the name John John may also refer to: New Testament Works ...
or
William William is a male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male cannot sexual reproduction, reproduce sexually ...
for girls and boys, respectively. Throughout the Early Modern period, the variation of given names was comparatively small; the three most frequent male given names accounted for close to 50% of male population throughout this period. For example, of the boys born in London in the year 1510, 24.4% were named
John John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) * John (surname), including a list of people who have the name John John may also refer to: New Testament Works ...
, 13.3% were named
Thomas Thomas may refer to: People * List of people with given name Thomas * Thomas (name) * Thomas (surname) * Saint Thomas (disambiguation) * Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, and Doctor of the Church * Thomas the Apo ...
and 11.7% were named William. A trend towards more diversity in given names began in the mid-19th century, and by 1900, 22.9% of the newborn boys, and 16.2% of the newborn girls in the UK shared the top three given names. The trend continued during the 20th century, and by 1994, these figures had fallen to 11% and 8.6%, respectively. This trend is a result of a combination of greater
individualism Individualism is the Ethics, moral stance, political philosophy, ideology and social outlook that emphasizes the intrinsic worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and to value independence and self- ...
in the choice of names, and the increasing ethnic heterogeneity of UK population, which led to a wider range of frequent given names from non-European traditions. Oliver and Olivia were the most popular baby names in England and Wales in 2018


Translations


Surnames

According to Christopher Daniell, in ''From Norman Conquest to Magna Carta'', 1140 marked what might be the first recorded use of a modern surname, inherited by multiple generations. The sons of a Norman named Robert used a modern inheritable surname, ''
FitzGerald The FitzGerald/FitzMaurice Dynasty is a Cambro-Norman Cambro-Normans ( la, Cambria; "Wales", cy, Normaniaid Cymreig) were Normans who settled in southern Wales, and Welsh Marches, after the Norman invasion of Wales The Norman invasion ...
'', in honour of an earlier relative, named ''Gerald''. The introduction of parish registers in 1538 contributed significantly to the stabilization of the surname system, but it was not until the late 17th century that fixed surnames were introduced throughout England. According to the
Office for National Statistics The Office for National Statistics (ONS; cy, Swyddfa Ystadegau Gwladol) is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority cy, Y Bwrdd Ystadegau , seal = , logo = UK Statistics Authority logo.svg , formed = , jurisdiction = United Ki ...
, the top ten most frequent surnames in England during the 1990s were: #
Smith Smith or Smithing is a craft A craft or trade is a pastime or an occupation that requires particular skills and knowledge of skilled work. In a historical sense, particularly the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Age ...
#
Jones Jones may refer to: People * Jones (surname), a common Welsh and English surname * List of people with surname Jones * Jones (singer), a British singer-songwriter Arts and entertainment * Jones (Animal Farm), Jones (''Animal Farm''), a human chara ...
#
Williams Williams may refer to: People * Williams (surname), a surname English in origin, but popular in Wales, 3rd most common in the United Kingdom Places Astronomy * Williams (lunar crater) * Williams (Martian crater) Australia *Williams, Western A ...
#
Taylor Taylor, Taylors or Taylor's may refer to: People * Taylor (surname) Taylor is a surname used in the British Isles of French name, French origin which came from the Normans, Norman occupational surname (meaning ''tailor'') in France. derived fr ...
#
Brown Brown is a composite color Color (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United State ...
#
Davies Davies is a patronymic Welsh language, Welsh surname. There are two main theories concerning its origin, neither of which has been definitively proven. The first theory contends that it may be a corruption of Kingdom of Dyfed, Dyfed, the name of ...

Davies
# Evans #
Wilson Wilson may refer to: Name *Wilson (name) ** List of people with surname Wilson ** List of people with given name Wilson Places Australia *Wilson, South Australia * Wilson, Western Australia * Wilson Inlet, Western Australia * Wilson Reef, ...
#
Thomas Thomas may refer to: People * List of people with given name Thomas * Thomas (name) * Thomas (surname) * Saint Thomas (disambiguation) * Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, and Doctor of the Church * Thomas the Apo ...
#
Johnson Johnson is a surname of English name, English and Scottish name, Scottish origin.. The name itself is a patronym of the given name ''John (first name), John'', literally meaning "son of John". The name ''John'' derives from Latin ''Johannes'', whi ...

Johnson
While it is normal for a child to be given one of his or her parents' surnames, traditionally the father's (or increasingly some combination of the two), there is nothing in UK law that explicitly requires this. Under English common law, a person may use any name as a legal name, though most people use their birth name (as registered on the Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, regulated by th
Registration of Births and Deaths Regulations 1987
which allows only characters that are used in English or Welsh), often using a spouse's surname (proved with a marriage certificate), or (if an adult) a name formally declared by
deed poll#REDIRECT Deed poll A deed poll (plural: deeds poll or deed polls) is a legal document binding only to a single person or several persons acting jointly to express an active intention. It is, strictly speaking, not a contract A contract is a leg ...
. No regulations include any specific provisions regarding what names are acceptable. Nonetheless, the
General Register Office General Register Office or General Registry Office (GRO) is the name given to the civil registry Civil registration is the system by which a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, ge ...
and various organizations that help with creating and enrolling deed polls will reject anything that is unreasonable (racist, offensive, fraudulent, implying a title of nobility not held, unpronounceable, not in the Latin script, etc.).


Compound surnames

Double-barrelled names may be formed for a variety of reasons, including combining of spouses' surnames upon marriage or, more commonly in the past, adding another family's surname as a condition of inheritance. Compound surnames in English feature two words, often joined by a hyphen or hyphens, For example Henry Hepburne-Scott, with some families having as many as four words making up their surname, such as
Charles Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis, 21st Baron Clinton Charles John Robert Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis, 21st Baron Clinton (18 January 1863 – 5 July 1957) was a United Kingdom, British Peerage, peer. Trefusis was the eldest son of the Charles Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis, 20th Baron Clinton ...
and Alexander Charles Robert Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 9th Marquess of Londonderry. However, it is not unusual for compound surnames to be composed of separate words not linked by a hyphen, for example
Iain Duncan Smith Sir George Iain Duncan Smith (born George Ian Duncan Smith; 9 April 1954), often referred to by his initials IDS, is a British politician who served as Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition The Leader of the Opposition ...
, a former leader of the
Conservative Party Conservative Party may refer to: Europe Current *Croatian Conservative Party, *Conservative Party (Czech Republic) *Conservative People's Party (Denmark) *Conservative Party of Georgia *Conservative Party (Norway) *Conservative Party (UK) Histor ...
, whose surname is "Duncan Smith".


See also

*


References


External links


English Surnames
(about.com)
Seven Types of English SurnamesBaby names in England and Wales: 2018 Most popular first names for baby boys and girls in 2018 using birth registration data
(Office of National Statistics) {{Names in world cultures Names by culture