What is the origin of the last name Phillips?

The surname Phillips originates from the given name Philip, derived from the Greek name Philippos, meaning "lover of horses." Introduced to England after the Norman Conquest in the 11th century, the name gained popularity due to its association with Saint Philip the Apostle. Over time, the patronymic surname Phillips emerged, denoting "son of Philip." With its rich history and wide distribution, the last name Phillips remains a prominent surname across several English-speaking countries today.

Countries of origin for the last name Phillips

The last name Phillips is of English origin and is derived from the given name Philip, which itself is derived from the Greek name Philippos. The name Philip is composed of the elements “philein,” meaning “to love,” and “hippos,” meaning “horse,” thus translating to “lover of horses.” The name was borne by several notable figures throughout history, including kings of Macedon and various saints.

The surname Phillips is primarily found in English-speaking countries, particularly in the United States. It is a patronymic surname, indicating that it was originally used to identify individuals as the “son of Philip.” This type of surname was commonly adopted during the medieval period, as a way to establish lineage and kinship ties.

The distribution of the Phillips surname in the United States is widespread, with concentrations in states such as Texas, California, and New York, among others. This can be attributed to various factors, including migration patterns, settlement patterns, and population movements throughout history.

Notable individuals with the surname Phillips have made significant contributions in various fields, including politics, sports, entertainment, and business. For example, Wendell Phillips was a prominent figure in the abolitionist movement in the 19th century, while Sam Phillips was a record producer who played a key role in the emergence of rock and roll music.

The etymology and history of the Phillips surname provide an intriguing glimpse into the evolution of personal names and their significance within different cultures. It serves as a testament to the enduring nature of family ties and the importance placed on lineage and heritage.

While the known facts about the Phillips surname provide a comprehensive understanding of its origins and usage, there are still lingering possibilities and unanswered questions. Further research and exploration may uncover additional insights into the name’s history and variations across different regions and time periods.

Interesting facts about the last name Phillips

  • The surname Phillips is derived from the Greek name Philippos, meaning “lover of horses” or “friend of horses.”
  • The name Phillips is of patronymic origin, indicating that it was originally used to identify someone as the “son of Philip.”
  • The surname Phillips is prevalent in various countries including England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and the United States.
  • The name is particularly common in Wales, where it is considered the anglicized form of the Welsh surname “Phillip.”
  • Phillips is among the top 100 most common surnames in the United States, with a significant concentration in southern states like Alabama and Mississippi.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Phillips include American entrepreneur and philanthropist Charles Franklin Phillips, British Olympic taekwondo champion Jade Louise Jones, and Welsh actor Jonathan Mark Phillips (better known as Jonny Phillips).
  • During the Middle Ages, Phillips was frequently spelled with a double “l” (Phillips), but over time, it evolved into its current single “l” form.
  • The Phillips family name has been associated with various coats of arms, often featuring elements such as a chevron, lions, or horse symbolism.
  • Several places around the world are named after individuals with the surname Phillips, including Phillips County in Arkansas, Phillipsburg in New Jersey, and Phillips Island in Australia.
  • The Phillips family has a long history associated with various industries and professions, including business, politics, sports, entertainment, and academia.

Name Rank


There are around 360802 people with the last name Phillips in the US

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