What is the origin of the last name King?

The last name King derives from the Old English word "cyning," which means ruler or leader. It was originally an occupational surname given to someone who held a position of power or authority, such as a king or a regional governor. The name has been widely adopted by various cultures and is now found worldwide, often indicating descent from ancestors who were leaders or held positions of influence.

Countries of origin for the last name King

The last name King has a rich and fascinating history. Here are the facts that are known about this surname:

The surname King is of English and Scottish origin. It is derived from the Old English word “cyning,” which means “king.” The name was originally a title given to someone who held the position of a king or had a regal rank.

The use of surnames became more common in England during the 14th century, with King being one of the surnames that emerged during this time. It was likely initially used as a nickname for someone who had regal qualities or behaved in a kingly manner.

The surname King can be found throughout the English-speaking world, particularly in countries with historical ties to England, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It is also a common surname in other parts of the world, including Ireland and Scotland.

Within the United States, the surname King is quite prevalent. According to the 2000 US Census, it ranked as the 42nd most common surname in the country, with over 333,000 individuals bearing the name. The highest concentration of individuals with the surname King can be found in the states of Texas, California, Florida, and Georgia.

In terms of etymology, the surname King is a metonymic occupational name, which means it was derived from the occupation or title of the person. In this case, it refers to someone who held the position of a king or had a regal rank.

While the name King may be relatively common, it carries with it a sense of power, authority, and prestige. The association with royalty and leadership adds a touch of grandeur to this surname.

However, it is important to note that not all individuals with the surname King are directly related to royalty or have noble lineage. Surnames can often be adopted or assigned for various reasons, including geographic locations, occupations, or personal characteristics.

The surname King may also have variations and derivations, both in spelling and pronunciation, such as Kings, O’King, and Kingman. These variations may have emerged over time due to factors such as regional accents, linguistic changes, or individual preferences.

Overall, the surname King carries a sense of history, power, and authority. It is a name that has been passed down through generations, symbolizing a connection to the past. While the specific origins and meanings may vary for each individual, the surname King represents a piece of our collective genealogical tapestry.

In exploring the meaning behind the last name King, we uncover a lineage that reaches back centuries, tying individuals with this surname to the grandeur and power associated with royalty. Whether rooted in occupational ties or adopted as a prestigious name, the surname King has become a symbol of authority and leadership. As we delve into the history and significance of this name, we begin to unravel the stories of countless individuals who have carried the name, leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.

Interesting facts about the last name King

  • The surname King is of English origin and is derived from the word “cyning,” which means “king” or “ruler” in Old English.
  • King is one of the most common surnames in the English-speaking world, ranking among the top 20 surnames in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • There are various notable individuals with the surname King, including Martin Luther King Jr., the prominent civil rights leader, and Stephen King, the renowned author of horror novels.
  • In some cases, the surname King may have been used as an occupational name for someone who worked in a royal household or had a position of authority.
  • The surname King has variations in different languages, such as German (König), Dutch (Koning), and Scandinavian languages (Konge, Kung).
  • During medieval times, surnames like King were often adopted by commoners who wished to associate themselves with nobility or royalty.
  • The surname King has been used as a given name in some instances, with famous examples including singer-songwriter Carole King and tennis player Billie Jean King.
  • King is a surname that is found in various cultures and countries around the world, including China, Korea, and Vietnam.
  • There are several cities and towns named King, such as King City in California and King’s Lynn in England, which reflect the historical significance of the surname.
  • The surname King is often associated with qualities such as leadership, power, and authority.

Name Rank


There are around 465422 people with the last name King in the US

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