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175+ Noteworthy Last Names That Start With N

These last names that start with N hold fascinating histories and heritages!

Let’s dive into the captivating world of last names that begin with N. These surnames have captivating stories, from the famous Nguyen, closely associated with Vietnamese heritage, to the enduring Nelson rooted in Scandinavia and the snappy Nash and Nix.

Join us on a journey through the diverse, meaningful, and sometimes surprising realm of surnames starting with N. We’ll uncover their cultural richness, historical ties, and intriguing tales, revealing how these N last names are more than just letters – they’re living legacies.

34 Common Last Names That Start With N

Get ready to uncover the most popular last names, starting with N, from across the globe!

  1. Nagai – a Japanese surname derived from “naga” (eternity) and “i” (well), signifying depth and longevity.
  2. Nagel – a German and Dutch surname meaning “nail,” often associated with carpenters.
  3. Nagy – the most common Hungarian surname meaning “big” or “great.”
  4. Naidu – derived from the Telugu word “nayudu” (leader, lord), Naidu is widely used in southern India.
  5. Nakamura – one of the most common last names that start with N in Japan.
  6. Nascimento – a common Portuguese surname meaning “birth,” referencing the birth of Jesus.
  7. Nash – a cool 4-letter surname of English origin, possibly meaning “at the ash tree.”
  8. Navarro – given to those from the coastal region of Navarre in northern Spain.
  9. Neal – represents someone who strives for greatness, Anglicized from the Irish name “Niall.”
  10. Neely – a variant of McNeilly meaning “son of a poet,” reflecting Scottish heritage.
  11. ​​Neil – derived from the Irish Niall, possibly meaning “passion,” “hero,” or “cloud.”
  12. Nelson – a familiar 7-letter English surname, meaning “son of Neil,” with famous bearers like Willie Nelson.
  13. Neumann – the German and Jewish variation of Newman, originally chosen for newcomers.
  14. Newell – an English variation of Neville, sharing its Norman-French origins.
  15. Newman – was initially given to newcomers in a community, symbolizing fresh arrivals and new beginnings.
  16. Newton – signifies innovation and discovery, associated with the famous physicist Sir Isaac Newton.
  17. Nguyen – suggests a Vietnamese family lineage, meaning “original” or “first.”
  18. Nicholas – derived from the Greek “Nikolaos,” meaning “victory of the people.”
  19. Nichols – a common English surname derived from “Nicholas” (victory of the people).
  20. Nicholson – of English and Scottish origin, linked to notable actor Jack Nicholson.
  21. Nicolov – derived from the Nikolay (Nicholas), Nicolov is primarily used in Bulgaria.
  22. Nielsen – meaning “son of Niels,” Nielsen is often associated with Danish and Norwegian heritage.
  23. Nix – is a German and Dutch variation of Nicholas or a variation of the Gaelic Mac Nioclais.
  24. Noble – a strong surname for a noble family who displays honor and integrity.
  25. Nolan – is of Irish origin, meaning “noble one,” reflecting honor and dignity.
  26. Norman – usually indicates someone with Viking or Scandinavian heritage, meaning “Northman.”
  27. Normand – the lovely French form of Normand, connected to Normandy, France.
  28. Norris – a 6-letter English surname meaning “northerner,” born by famous martial artist Chuck Norris.
  29. Norton – an English surname with origins in “north town,” shared by actor Edward Norton.
  30. Novak – this typical Czech and Slovak last name symbolizes new beginnings.
  31. Nowak – the most common surname in Poland, from Slavic “novy” (new).
  32. Nuez – a Spanish surname indicating a familial connection to nuts or nut trees.
  33. Nunez – a typical Hispanic surname, meaning “son of Nuno.”
  34. Nwafor – means “child of wealth” in Igbo, signifying prosperity and affluence in Nigeria.

77 Unique Last Names Starting With N

Let’s explore some one-of-a-kind N last names that are anything but ordinary.

  1. Nabiyev – an Azerbaijani surname also used in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkey.
  2. Nacar – the Turkish variant of Najjar, meaning “carpenter,” representing craftsmanship and skilled woodworking.
  3. Naess – a cool Norwegian variation of Ness, meaning “headland.”
  4. Nagarkar – originating from the town of Nagar in Maharashtra, India, reflecting regional heritage.
  5. Naggi – originating from Lombardy, Italy, Naggi initially indicated a person from Naggio town.
  6. Naiman – a Mongolian surname indicating a person belonging to the Naiman tribe, highlighting their tribal affiliation.
  7. Nair – a unique 4-letter Indian surname, often associated with the Nair community of Kerala.
  8. Nairi – of Armenian origin, derived from an ancient tribal group.
  9. Naismith – means “nail-maker” or “knife-maker” in Old English, indicating a craftsman.
  10. Najjar – an Arabic surname meaning “carpenter,” linked to individuals skilled in woodworking.
  11. Naka – this simple last name starting with N means “middle” in Japanese.
  12. Nakano – this elegant Japanese surname means “middle field” or “wilderness in the middle.”
  13. Nakasone – a Japanese surname composed of kanji symbols meaning “middle root.”
  14. Nalder – is a German surname meaning “needle” or an English one meaning “at the alder(s).”
  15. Napton – a surname with possible English origins associated with a place name or local heritage.
  16. Naqvi – an Arabic surname derived from a Shi’ite clan in Iran, Iraq, and South Asia.
  17. Narayan – from the Sanskrit word “nārāyaṇa,” meaning “protector of all men.”
  18. Narroway – a distinctive English surname, possibly associated with individuals residing near narrow paths.
  19. Nason – an English surname from Nailstone, Leicestershire, for someone from a farmstead settlement.
  20. Nathanson – a Jewish option among our last names that starts with N, meaning “son of Nathan.”
  21. Nayar – this Indian last name means “leader lord,” often given to protectors of the land.
  22. Nebula – evokes images of space and the stars.
  23. Nectarine – symbolizes sweetness and vitality, like the juicy fruit.
  24. Needham – from the Old English “ned” (need) and “ham” (home), referring to a settlement.
  25. Neese – from the Gaelic MacNeis, meaning “son of Naos.”
  26. Nefarious – carries a sense of intrigue and dark charm.
  27. Neff – a German surname for a “nephew” or close relative of a notable person.
  28. Negrescu – a patronymic Romanian surname derived from “negru,” meaning “black.”
  29. Nelthropp – traces back to Kent in the 16th-century, possibly linked to Neithorpe in Oxfordshire.
  30. Németh – a unique option among our last names starting with N, meaning “German” in Hungarian.
  31. Nesbitt – of Scottish origin, derived from the Gaelic “nis” or “ness,” meaning “cape” or “headland.”
  32. Ness – an English and Norwegian name for someone living on a narrow strip of land (headland).
  33. Nettles – a British surname denoting someone from an area covered with nettles.
  34. Nettleton – a unique English surname, possibly derived from “nettle farm” or a tranquil locale.
  35. Neubauer – a German surname for new settlers.
  36. Nevins – is the Anglicized form of Mac Cnáimhín, meaning “bone” in Irish.
  37. New – initially a nickname for a newcomer, from the Middle English “newe.”
  38. Newark – of English origin, derived from places like Newark in Cambridgeshire or Nottinghamshire.
  39. Newcombe – a British surname of Brythonic origin, linked to “cwm,” meaning “valley in Welsh.”
  40. Newkirk – the Americanized form of the Dutch Nijkerk or Nieuwerkerk, meaning “new church.”
  41. Newland – an English topographic surname for a person living on newly cultivated land.
  42. Newnham – from several places named Newnham in England, meaning “new home” or “new settlement.”
  43. Newsome – an English 7-letter surname, possibly meaning “new home” or “new settlement.”
  44. Ngo – a surname of Vietnamese origin, often transliterated as “Wu” in Chinese.
  45. Nibhanupudi – originating from a village in Andhra Pradesh, India.
  46. Nickerson – means “son of Nicholas,” reflecting familial ties.
  47. Nickleby – an uncommon surname created by Charles Dickens for a character, likely derived from Nicholas.
  48. Nieves – a unique Spanish surname meaning “snows,” with connections to the Virgin Mary.
  49. Nighthawk – for a family known for their nighttime activities or vigilance.
  50. Nightshade – reminiscent of the poisonous plant.
  51. Nijhoff – this Dutch surname is often linked to beautiful landscapes and historic locales.
  52. Nikolov – a Bulgarian surname initially given to a “son of Nikolai.”
  53. Nimbkar – one of the rarest last names starting with N, primarily used in India.
  54. Nissinen – an elegant Finnish surname meaning “victory of the people.”
  55. Njoku – an Igbo surname inspired by a yam deity in southeastern Nigeria.
  56. Nock – a rare English name for someone who lived near an oak tree.
  57. Noe – the surname form of Noah, from the Hebrew “noach,” meaning “long-lived.”
  58. Noland – likely derived from the Irish Ó Nialláin, meaning “descendant of Niall.”
  59. Norcott – a softer variant of the English Northcutt, meaning “at the North cottage.”
  60. Nordberg – an adventurous Swedish and Norwegian surname meaning “north mountain.”
  61. Nordstrom – means “north stream” in Swedish, associated with the popular department store.
  62. Northman – a good English surname relating to Viking heritage and strength.
  63. Northrop – originally, this surname referred to someone from a town in England, meaning “north farm.”
  64. Norwak – from Old English, signifying someone from the Norse settlement of Norðwæc.
  65. Nostromo – a literary surname from Joseph Conrad’s novel Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard.
  66. Nota – means “field” or “rice paddy” in Japanese, highlighting agricultural heritage.
  67. Nowell – of English origin, often given to individuals with some connection to Christmas.
  68. Nowicki – this Polish surname means “new,” signifying new beginnings.
  69. Nucci – a lovely 5-letter surname used in Tuscany and central-southern Italy.
  70. Nugent – an Irish, English, and French surname related to several places in Northern France.
  71. Nulty – originating from the Gaelic “Mac an Ultaigh,” denoting someone from Ulster, Ireland.
  72. Nunley – a unique variation of the Old English Nunnerley, meaning “open woodland.”
  73. Nunn – is an occupational surname for a nun.
  74. Nurse – often related to individuals with nursing in their family history.
  75. Nutt – from the English “nutte,” signifying a round-headed person or someone living by a nut tree.
  76. Nutter – means “scribe, clerk” from the Latin “notārius” or “ox-keeper” from the Middle English “nowt.”
  77. Nygren – of Swedish origin, possibly linked to “ny” (new) and “gren” (branch or twig).

73 Beautiful Surnames Starting With N

Prepare to be charmed by a selection of stunning surnames, starting with N.

  1. Nadeau – a unique French form of Noel, possibly from an Occitan word meaning “Christmas.”
  2. Naderi – an elegant Persian surname originally given to embroiderers or tailors.
  3. Naeem – from the Arabic given name Na’im, meaning “tranquil” or “at ease.”
  4. Nagasawa – this elegant 8-letter Japanese surname means “long marsh.”
  5. Nagpal – a rare choice among our surnames starting with N, meaning “savior of serpents” in Sanskrit.
  6. Nairn – a wholesome Scottish surname for those from Nairn, a Highland region.
  7. Nance – a Medieval Cornish surname derived from the Celtic “nans” (valley).
  8. Nanji – of Gujarati origin, associated with people from Gujarat in western India.
  9. Napier – an English and Scottish surname linked to record keepers and accountants.
  10. Napolitano – an elegant Italian surname associated with the beautiful city of Naples.
  11. Naranjo – the Spanish word for “orange,” given to someone residing by an orange grove.
  12. Nasim – means “breeze” or “gentle wind,” symbolizing tranquility and calmness in Arabic and Persian cultures.
  13. Nasir – means “helper” in Arabic, representing familial or community support.
  14. Natale – a lovely Italian surname from the given name Natale.
  15. Nathan – derived from the personal name, meaning “he gave” in Hebrew.
  16. Nation – a powerful variant of Nathan, likely influenced by the English word.
  17. Nauta – an adventurous Dutch surname meaning “boatman.”
  18. Nava – this 4-letter Catalonian surname means “treeless plateau” or “plain next to the mountains.”
  19. Navarrete – has roots in the historic Navarre region of Spain.
  20. Naveed – from a Persian personal name meaning “good news.”
  21. Naz – a fancy Persian surname meaning “comfort” or “luxury.”
  22. Neary – a beautiful, 5-letter Irish surname, meaning “noble” or “modest.”
  23. Neave – a lovely English and Scottish surname, possibly from an ancestral location.
  24. Necchi – likely originating from the Italian “neccio,” a type of flat bread.
  25. Nellis – one of the coolest Irish surnames starting with N, derived from Mac Niallghuis.
  26. Nelms – originating from the Middle English “atten elmes,” meaning “at the elms.”
  27. Neri – derived from the Italian word “nero” (black), originally for dark-complexioned or black-haired individuals.
  28. Netherfield – initially bestowed upon landholders in Yorkshire, meaning “low-lying land.”
  29. Nevar – an ancient Asturian surname with noble lineage, meaning “to snow.”
  30. Nevarez – derived from Nabarra in France or Navarres in northern Spanish.
  31. Neville – means “new town” in French, derived from Normandy towns like Neuville or Néville.
  32. Newberry – from Middle English, denoting “new borough or settlement,” inspired by Newbury, England.
  33. Newey – derived from Middle English “newe” (new) and “haga” (enclosure).
  34. Newhouse – an English surname denoting a new residence or dwelling place.
  35. Newport – denoting individuals from various English towns named Newport, giving off an aristocratic vibe.
  36. Newstead – an English surname referring to a newly founded settlement, denoting fresh beginnings and a pioneering spirit.
  37. Newbury – one of the most charming last names starting with N, associated with Newbury, Massachusetts.
  38. Newby – a blend of the Middle English “newe” with the Old Norse “býr,” meaning “new settlement.”
  39. Nicchi – an Italian surname from “nicchio” (shell), given to those with a connection to the sea.
  40. Nickel – a Dutch and German surname derived from Nicholas, meaning “victory of the people.”
  41. Nighthaven – a family known for providing shelter and solace during the night.
  42. Nightingale – one of the loveliest surnames beginning with N, related to the songbird and Florence Nightingale.
  43. Niles – a cool surname meaning “son of Neil.”
  44. Nino – derived from Spanish “niño,” meaning “boy,” used as a surname and nickname.
  45. Nishimura – of Japanese origin, meaning “west village.”
  46. Nivalis – this poetic Latin-inspired surname means “of the snow.”
  47. Nkosimeans “king” or “leader” in Zulu, signifying royal ancestry.
  48. Nobleheart – a unique English surname reflecting qualities of nobility and a kind heart.
  49. Nocentini – a pretty Italian surname, possibly related to the Latin “innocent,” signifying purity.
  50. Nocturne – carries an artistic and creative vibe linked to the night and nocturnal inspiration.
  51. Nogueira – a Portuguese and Galician surname from “nogueira” (a walnut tree).
  52. Noir – a sophisticated French surname meaning “black.”
  53. Nolasco – of Spanish and Portuguese origin, derived from Saint Peter Nolasco.
  54. Noll – originally a short form of Germanic names like Arnold, meaning “rule.”
  55. Nolte – a German surname meaning “foolhardy,” possibly reflecting ancestral traits or temperament.
  56. Noonan – means “descendant of Ionmhaineán” in Irish, signifying beloved ancestry.
  57. Norcliffe – a poetic name of Middle English origin meaning “northern cliff.”
  58. Nordqvist – this exotic Swedish surname means “north branch” or “north twig.”
  59. Norén – has Swedish roots, possibly derived from “north” or “small strait” and the suffix “-én.”
  60. North – an English surname for someone who lived in the northern part of the country.
  61. Northcote – of Old English origin, conjuring images of a tranquil hillside cottage.
  62. Northcutt – an Old English surname meaning “north cottage” or “north shelter.”
  63. Northstar – related to guidance and direction, like the bright star in the northern sky.
  64. Northward – an inspiring English surname hinting at a journey to the northern regions.
  65. Norwood – a beautiful English surname suggesting a picturesque woodland setting.
  66. Nott – of English origin, potentially linked to night or darkness.
  67. Nottingham – a sophisticated choice among N last names related to the historic city of Nottingham, England.
  68. Novotny – a Czech surname meaning “new,” indicating a newcomer or fresh start.
  69. Noyes – an English surname from French “de la Noyers,” denoting noble ancestry.
  70. Nwankwo – an Igbo surname from Nigeria, meaning “born on market day.”
  71. Nye – derived from the Middle English “atten eye,” meaning “at the river.”
  72. Nystrom – of Swedish origin, meaning “new stream,” reflecting natural beauty.
  73. Nyx – this rare 3-letter English surname is linked to the Greek goddess of night.

Last Names That Start With N FAQs

What Is the Most Common Last Name Starting With N?

Nguyen is one of the most common last names that start with N, especially in Vietnam, where about 40% of the population bears it. This widespread surname owes its popularity to historical practices and the various Vietnamese communities worldwide. Globally, Nguyen is a highly recognizable name, particularly in areas with a significant Vietnamese presence.

What Last Names Starting With N Are Common in the U.S.?

In the United States, several last names starting with N are relatively common. Nelson is one of the most prevalent, with Scandinavian origins. Nguyen, of Vietnamese origin, is also common due to the growing Vietnamese-American population. Newman is another frequently encountered surname, along with Norton and Nichols. These names have diverse origins, reflecting the cultural diversity and immigration history of the United States.

Which Are the Shortest Surnames Starting With N?

Some of the shortest surnames starting with N are Nix, which has Germanic origins; Nyx, inspired by Greek mythology; Nash, of Middle English origin; and Neal, which has Irish and Scottish roots. They’re super short, easy to remember, and often just one syllable. Short and snappy N names can be found across the globe, reflecting their bearer’s unique cultural identities.

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About the Author

Chelsea Nelthropp

Chelsea Nelthropp previously worked with special needs children before transitioning to her current passion, freelance writing. She's written on a plethora of topics and enjoys the diversity of her work. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys hiking, creating artwork, reading about true crime, and spending time with her husband and their adorable French Bulldog, Stella.