The Most Fascinating Last Names and What They Mean

Last names reveal a lot. They tell you about your ethnicity and background. When you tell someone your name, they may assume certain things about you because of it.

The Most Fascinating Last Names and What They Mean
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Most last names mean something, even if most people don’t stop and consider those meanings. Maybe you never bothered looking up your last name’s meaning. Now might be the time to do that.

We’ll talk about some fascinating last names and what they mean right now.


You’ll find easy ways to look up popular last names if you spend time online. Sites exist now where you can type in a last name and find the meaning. You can also see what last names have lasting popularity.

You might have the last name Leblanc. Leblanc means white, and it comes from the French language. In olden times, the word meant a man with a pale complexion or light blond hair.

If you have this last name, see if you match the description. If you don’t have these physical characteristics, you’re an outlier.


Fritz remains a popular last name worldwide. This word has a Germanic origin. It comes from the word “frid,” and it means peace.

The Fritz last name might mean you come from peaceable people. Think about yourself and your family. Do you love peace, or do you have a few family members with temper problems? If so, this last name isn’t the best descriptive term for these individuals.


It’s fun saying Zuniga, but what does it mean? This word comes from the Basque language. The word describes a place in Navarre.

The Basque language also uses the word Zuniga when describing a cultivated field or an inclined slope. It’s a Spanish name, and you will find many living in traditionally Spanish communities who have it.


The last name Farrell also comes with some similar but slightly different spellings. The actor Colin Farrell is perhaps the most well-known Farrell in recent times.

The name comes from Ireland, and you will find many Farrells if you go there. Some have distant kinship, but others have no blood ties.

The name means “man of valor.” If that is your name, you might find it hard living up to the moniker. Of course, not everyone knows the meaning. If you’re one of the rare cowardly Farrells, probably no one will hold it against you.

Farrells also has some noble ties. They historically lived in County Longford. Several Annaly Princes had the Farrell last name.


Many remember the popular actress, Bea Arthur, though you may know some additional noteworthy ones. The last name Arthur comes from England and Wales, where you can still find many if you visit today.

It means “strong man.” Ar means man, while thor means strong. Like “man of valor,” it’s probably a little tough having this name unless you’re a physical specimen.

In the Welsh tradition, it can also mean hero or “bear man.” If you’re a large, hairy man, and your parents named you Arthur, that’s fortuitous.


The last name Pryor probably makes you remember the famous comedian Richard Prior. He lived a controversial life, and most people feel he died far too young.

Pryor has an ancient Norman origin. You can trace it back further than many last names, as the first Pryor appeared on English soil with the Norman Conquest in 1066.

The name means a monastic official. This title indicates a person immediately below or serving an abbot. It came from an Old English word that means superior.


This last name appears a lot in Spanish culture, and it has a traditionally Spanish origin. It means Hernan’s son, or sometimes Fernando or Hernando’s son.

This name first gained popularity in the 15th century. The baseball player Keith Hernandez who played for the New York Mets on their 1986 World Series Championship team might come to mind when you think about well-known individuals with this last name.


This is a Gaelic name, though some with Norman blood also had it. It means dark. The name also sometimes traces back to the word Arcy, a well-known place in La Manche, Normandy.

The Dorsey crest is particularly resplendent, with a blue and silver pattern. You can usually find Dorseys in France and England without much trouble.  

If you don’t know what your last name means, you might choose this moment to find out. Perhaps the meaning will surprise or even shock you.

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