English names | Learn English | EF

English names

Whether you are trying to choose an English name for yourself to use in English class or you're deciding what to name your characters in a story set in England, picking a good English name is important. For non-native English speakers, it's best to stick with the classic names. More unusual names are trickier to choose, and may end up attracting unwanted attention. The lists below give you the most popular English first names for boys and girls in different countries, both for babies born today and for the entire last century. The last table gives you the most common English family names in different countries based on recent census data from those countries. Using one of these English names, you can't go wrong, because they are all very common.

The most common boys' first names in English

rank England 2015 England past 100 years USA 2014 USA past 100 years
1 Oliver Jake Noah James
2 Jack Connor Liam John
3 Harry Callum Mason Robert
4 Jacob Jacob Jacob Michael
5 Charlie Kyle William William
6 Thomas Joe Ethan David
7 George Reece Michael Richard
8 Oscar Rhys Alexander Joseph
9 James Charlie James Charles
10 William Damian Daniel Thomas


The most common girls' first names in English

rank England 2015 England past 100 years USA 2014 USA past 100 years
1 Amelia Margaret Emma Mary
2 Olivia Samantha Olivia Patricia
3 Isla Bethany Sophia Jennifer
4 Emily Elizabeth Isabella Elizabeth
5 Poppy Joanne Ava Linda
6 Ava Megan Mia Barbara
7 Isabella Victoria Emily Susan
8 Jessica Lauren Abigail Margaret
9 Lily Michelle Madison Jessica
10 Sophie Tracy Charlotte Sarah


The most common family names in English

rank England Ireland USA Canada Australia New Zealand
1 Smith Murphy Smith Li Smith Smith
2 Jones O'Kelly Johnson Smith Jones Wilson
3 Williams O'Sullivan Williams Lam Williams Williams
4 Brown Walsh Brown Martin Brown Brown
5 Taylor Smith Jones Gelbero Wilson Taylor
6 Davies O'Brien Miller Roy Taylor Jones
7 Wilson Byrne Davis Tremblay Morton Singh
8 Evans O'Ryan Garcia Lee White Wang
9 Thomas O'Connor Rodriguez Gagnon Martin Anderson
10 Roberts O'Neill Wilson Wilson Anderson Li