35 Last Names That Make Really Cute First Names for Girls

One of my college roommates is a professional genealogist. Knowing my interest in baby names, she sent me a list of names she’d run across in her research that used to be solely last names but, over the years, have morphed into first names for girls.

As someone with a last name for a first name myself (Janssen – the vice-president of Sears and Roebuck the year I was born), I love seeing other last names that have taken on new life as first names.

I know someone with almost every one of the names on this list as a first name!

  1. Addison – means “son of Adam” (which makes it a bit surprising that it’s now such a popular name for girls, rather than boys).
  2. Allison – this French name shot into popularity in the 1950s and hasn’t dipped below the top 100 mark in the last 40 years. 
  3. Ashley – it first made the jump from last name to first name for boys, then changed over to girls in the second half of the 20th century. 
  4. Avery – Although this name is more popular for girls (currently it’s 13th most popular), it is also common for boys. 
  5. Bailey – Since 1983, this name has jumped from 954 to 79. That’s some serious ground gained!
  6. Bentley – This extremely popular boy name is just starting to make an appearance for girls too. 
  7. Berkley – Another name that is just starting to gain popularity. I love this name. 
  8. Casey – it can also be spelled “Kasey” or “Casee.” 
  9. Courtney – This name has lost ground in the last decade (I can’t think of the last baby I heard of named Courtney). 
  10. Emery – means “brave.” 
  11. Gale – Usually the male version is spelled “Gale,” while the feminine version is “Gail.” 
  12. Lacy – This name seems so undeniably feminine in my mind, that I was shocked to see it was a popular boy’s name until the late 1960s (when it abruptly disappeared from the top 1000 boy names)
  13. Lindsay – This name hit its peak in 1984 and has been falling since then, currently down at 708 on the Social Security Baby Name list.  
  14. Kelsey – A decade after “Lindsay,” this name peaked in the early nineties, but is still holding its own in the 200s. 
  15. Kendall – a Celtic name meaning “from the bright valley.” 
  16. Kennedy – Whether you’re thinking of JFK or Jackie O, this is a name with a lot of glamour attached. 
  17. Macy – If you’re looking for a name that’s neither too popular or too obscure, Macy is a great choice. It’s been holding steady in the high 200s and low 300s since the mid-nineties. 
  18. Madison – Another presidential name on this list!
  19. Malory – means “the unlucky one” but that’s no reason to ignore this lovely name. 
  20. McKenzie – This name has been very stable, currently hanging at #152
  21. McKinley – McKinley might not be the most well-known president, but his name is living on and getting increasingly popular!  
  22. Morgan – This name’s been in the top 100 for girls since 1987 and still going strong. 
  23. Payton – alternatively, you can spell it “Peyton.”
  24. Reagan – This name is climbing fast and shows no signs of slowing down. 
  25. Riley – This hugely popular name goes for both girls and boys. 
  26. Shelby – although it is slowly losing popularity, it’s a name that has a lot of staying power. 
  27. Tatum – This name made the jump straight from a last name to a girl’s name without making a stop as a boy’s name. 
  28. Taylor – First a profession, then a surname, then a boy’s name, it now is equally at home as a girl’s name. 
  29. Tracy – After its heyday in the 60s, this one was never quite regained its luster, currently barely squeezing onto the top 1000 list at 951
  30. Whitney – This name peaked in the nineties and now is clocking in around the 500s. 
  31. Aubrey – Climbing fast, this name is currently #15. 
  32. Hillary – means “cheerful” 
  33. Mallory – consistently popular since the early eighties, this one doesn’t look like its going anywhere. 
  34. Kelly – means “warrior.” 
  35. Kerry – this one has a lot of alternate spellings, including “Keri” and “Cari.” 
Which ones are your favorite? (I think mine is Macy). 
Image Source: Getty
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