The Most Common British Surnames
The elements that define each culture are extremely varied because they are a historical construction that was created over the course of many years. These define both a people and a way of seeing the world. Names and surnames are no exception. That is why it is interesting to go a little deeper into this topic so that you can broaden your knowledge of English culture.
Have you ever wondered what the most common British surnames are? Well, this is such a frequent question that some universities have done different studies on this subject because, as we said, it is an element that makes up part of the history of a culture. Do not miss out on this article where we will tell you about several interesting facets of this cultural element.
Common English Surnames
English names, as well as surnames, are part of everyday life in Anglo-Saxon culture. In reality, we often pay little attention to them and rarely ask ourselves where they come from. But every name and surname has a linguistic and historical origin, ranging from the more uncommon surnames to the most well-known ones. English surnames are no exception, so, if we were to delve a little deeper into them, we would surely learn more about Anglo-Saxon culture.
In many cases, if we were to pay attention to some of the most common Anglo-Saxon surnames, we would discover that they have a patronymic origin, that is, that they come from the father’s name or from an ancestor. Such is the case of Robinson, which, when broken down, becomes the son of Robin.
In other cases, the surnames refer to an occupation and go back to Middle English, which was the form of English that was spoken in England during the Middle Ages. Such is the case of Wright, which was the term used for a craftsman, especially a carpenter.
As you can imagine, UK and US surnames are closely related. The English last names were inherited by the United States. But those were also influenced by the culture of the natives, such as the Navajos, Apaches, Eskimos, and also of the African Americans.
For example, the surnames Smith, Williams, and Johnson are the top three among the African American population in the United States, even though they are not exclusive to this community. For Native Americans and those in Alaska, the most common surnames are Begay, Yazzie, and Locklear. The last of these also has its origin in the term locksmith.
Below is our list of the 10 most common English surnames.
The Most Common UK Last Names
Perhaps you will be surprised to know that there are now approximately 45,000 English last names and, therefore, proposing a list of elegant English surnames is an arduous task. However, here we offer you some that, either because of how they sound or because of their origins, have a touch of elegance.
If you are interested in enriching your vocabulary and broadening your knowledge of the Anglo-Saxon culture at the same time, it is important to learn about subjects other than grammar. This will allow you to expand both your vocabulary and your command of the language. If you are interested in learning English in a natural and effective way, why not try our online English course? The ABA English course offers you 144 free video lessons and the same number of short films that will allow you to learn the culture, grammar, and communication skills you need to communicate on a day-to-day basis.