Ready to look way, way beyond Mason and Carter? Look to the past.
Hunter, Harper, Cooper, Carter.
Mason, Grayson, Addison, Madison.
Kinsley, Presley, Bentley, Brantley.
From Easton to Weston, parents are embracing surnames as baby names—within limits. Today’s popular surnames fit certain molds, like energetic “doer” names or breezily preppy names. They’re flexible forms that can carry different images, from the jazz of Ellington to the cowboy of Colton. But they still only scratch the surface of the possibilities.
Once upon a time, surnames were bold not only in style but in sound. What mattered was the person who inspired the name, and if the name itself sounded like Spurgeon or Wadsworth, so be it. In fact, the cumbersome heft of the names may even have added to their appeal. They were substantial and impressive, so weighty with consonants that they couldn’t be trifled with.
I’ve identified 60 of these substantial surnames: 8+ letters long, packed with consonants, and many generations past their fashion peaks. You may find that what sounded impressive a century ago now sounds pompous or puzzling. Or you just might find yourself falling for the names’ ultra-old-school charm. All of the names on the list were given to boys in their time, but it’s easy to imagine some as girls’ names today.
|Name||Peak Popularity Year|