First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Top

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Top mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Top

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International Interest
Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Top
  1. A child's toy, commonly in the form of a conoid or pear, made to spin on its point, usually by drawing off a string wound round its surface or stem, the motion being sometimes continued by means of a whip.
  2. [Rope Making] A plug, or conical block of wood, with longitudital grooves on its surface, in which the strands of the rope slide in the process of twisting.

Etymology: CF. OD. dop top, OHG., MNG., & dial. G. topf; perhaps akin to G. topf a pot

noun Top
  1. The highest part of anything; the upper end, edge, or extremity; the upper side or surface; summit; apex; vertex; cover; lid; as, the top of a spire; the top of a house; the top of a mountain; the top of the ground. "The star that bids the shepherd fold, Now the top of heaven doth hold." [Milton.]
  2. The utmost degree; the acme; the summit."The top of my ambition is to contribute to that work." [Pope.]
  3. The highest rank; the most honorable position; the utmost attainable place; as, to be at the top of one's class, or at the top of the school."And wears upon his baby brow the round And top of sovereignty." [Shak.]
  4. The chief person; the most prominent one."Other . . . aspired to be the top of zealots." [Milton.]
  5. The crown of the head, or the hair upon it; the head."From topto toe" [Spenser.]"All the stored vengeance of Heaven fall On her ungrateful top !" [Shak.]
  6. The head, or upper part, of a plant."The buds . . . are called heads, or tops, as cabbageheads." [I. Watts.]
  7. [Naut] A platform surrounding the head of the lower mast and projecting on all sudes. It serves to spead the topmast rigging, thus strengheningthe mast, and also furnishes a convenient standing place for the men aloft.
  8. [Wool Manuf] A bundle or ball of slivers of comkbed wool, from which the noils, or dust, have been taken out.
  9. Eve; verge; point.(R)"He was upon the topof his marriage with Magdaleine." [Knolles.]
  10. The part of a cut gem between the girdle, or circumference, and the table, or flat upper surface.
  11. pl.Top-boots.(Slang)
  12. [Golf]
    1. A stroke on the top of the ball.
    2. A forward spin given to the ball by hitting it on or near the top.

Note: Top is often used adjectively or as the first part of compound words, usually self-explaining; as, top stone, or topstone; top-boots, or top boots; top soil, or top-soil.

Etymology: AS. top; akin to OFries. top a tuft, D. top top, OHG. zopf end, tip, tuft of hair, G. zopf tuft of hair, pigtail, top of a tree, Icel. toppr a tuft of hair, crest, top, Dan. top, Sw. topp pinnacle, top; of uncertain origin. Cf. Tuft

verb Top
  1. To rise aloft; to be eminent; to tower; as, lofty ridges and topping mountains.
  2. To predominate; as, topping passions."Influenced by toppinguneasiness." [Locke.]
  3. To excel; to rise above others."But write thy, and top." [Dryden.]
  4. [Golf] To strike a ball above the center.
  5. [Naut] To rise at one end, as a yard; -- usually with up.
verb Top
  1. To cover on the top; to tip; to cap; -- chiefly used in the past participle."Like moving mountains topped with snow." [Waller.]"A mount Of alabaster, topped with golden spires." [Milton.]
  2. To rise above; to excel; to outgo; to surpass." Topping all others in boasting." [Shak.]"Edmund the base shall top the legitimate." [Shak.]
  3. To rise to the top of; to go over the top of."But wind about till thou hast topped the hill." [Denham.]
  4. To take off the or upper part of; to crop." Top your rose trees a little with your knife." [Evelyn.]
  5. To perform eminently, or better than before."From endeavoring universally to top their parts, they will go universally beyond them." [Jeffrey.]
  6. [Naut] To raise one end of, as a yard, so that that end becomes higher than the other.
  7. [Dyeing] To cover with another dye; as, to top aniline black with methyl violet to prevent greening and crocking.
  8. To put a stiffening piece or back on (a saw blade).
  9. To arrange, as fruit, with the best on top.(Cant)
  10. To strike the top of, as a wall, with the hind feet, in jumping, so as to gain new impetus; -- said of a horse.
  11. To improve (domestic animals, esp. sheep) by crossing certain individuals or breeds with other superior.
  12. [Naut] To raise one end of, as a yard, so that that end becomes higher than the other.
  13. To cut, break, or otherwise take off the top of (a steel ingot) to remove unsound metal.
  14. [Golf] To strike (the ball) above the center; also, to make (as a stroke) by hitting the ball in this way.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A canvas tent to house the audience at a circus performance ("they had the big top up in less than an hour")
  2. A garment (especially for women) that extends from the shoulders to the waist or hips ("he stared as she buttoned her top")
  3. Covering for a hole (especially a hole in the top of a container) ("he removed the top of the carton" and "he couldn't get the top off of the bottle")
  4. A conical child's plaything tapering to a steel point on which it can be made to spin ("he got a bright red top and string for his birthday")
  5. Platform surrounding the head of a lower mast
  6. The greatest possible intensity ("he screamed at the top of his lungs")
  7. The top or extreme point of something (usually a mountain or hill)
  8. The highest or uppermost side of anything ("put your books on top of the desk" and "only the top side of the box was painted")
  9. The upper part of anything ("the mower cuts off the tops of the grass" and "the title should be written at the top of the first page")
  10. The highest level or degree attainable; the highest stage of development ("at the top of his profession")
  11. The first half of an inning; while the visiting team is at bat ("a relief pitcher took over in the top of the fifth")
  12. Finish up or conclude ("They topped off their dinner with a cognac" and "top the evening with champagne")
  13. Be the culminating event
  14. Cut the top off ("top trees and bushes")
  15. Strike (the top part of a ball in golf, baseball, or pool) giving it a forward spin
  16. Reach or ascend the top of ("The hikers topped the mountain just before noon")
  17. Pass by, over, or under without making contact ("the balloon cleared the tree tops")
  18. Provide with a top or finish the top (of a structure) ("the towers were topped with conical roofs")
  19. Be superior or better than some standard ("She topped her performance of last year")
  20. Be ahead of others; be the first ("she topped her class every year")
  21. Be at the top of or constitute the top or highest point ("A star tops the Christmas Tree")
  22. Situated at the top or highest position ("the top shelf")

From Old Frisian top, topp, from Proto-Germanic *tuppaz. More at top.

  1. top; summit; peak
  2. tuft

Notable Persons Named Top

Top is a comics character.


Top Topham is a blues and blues rock musician. He plays Guitar. His career lasted from 1963 to 1970. Top was given the name Anthony Topham on July 3rd, 1947 in Southall. Top is also known as Sanderson Topham.


Top Dogg is a hip hop music musician. He was most active from 1995 to 1995. Top was given the name Dashawn Jamal Yates on December 22nd, 1976. Top is also known as D-O and Big Kahuna.


Top Quality is a hip hop music rapping. His career lasted from 1992 to 1998.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Top

Carrot Top is a prop comedy and sophomoric humor comedian. Carrot was given the name Scott Thompson on February 25th, 1965 in Rockledge, Florida.


Top is a comics character.


The Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top is a Government Chief Whip of the House of Commons, Minister of State for Local Government, for Durham North West, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister for Social Exclusion, Government Chief Whipof theHouse of Commons. The was born on November 30th, 1945 in Sunderland, United Kingdom.


Damien was born on July 13th, 1963 in Rouen.


Emmanuel Top is a dream trance, acid techno, and chill-out music composer, record producer, musician, and disc jockey. His ongoing career started in 1993. Emmanuel was born on October 25th, 1971.


Noordin Mohammad Top is a financier, alleged trainer of the splinter group of jemaah islamiyah, and jemaah islamiyah.


Where is the name Top popular?

International Interest for Top

Interest is based how many people viewed this name from each country and is scaled based on the total views by each country so that large countries do not always show the most interest. Darker blue on the map indicates that people in the country are more likely to search for this name.

Longer bars in the bar graph indicate that people in the country are more interested in the name. Not all countries that have shown an interest in the name are listed in the bar graph.

United States
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Popularity in the US

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Popularity of Top as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Top as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Michigan, Washington, or Iowa.

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Top U.S.
  White 62.28% 64.26%
  African American 4.67% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 16.61% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 0.00% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 13.32% 16.26%

Of Last Name Top

People with the last name Top are most frequently White, Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander, or Hispanic or Latino

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Top

  • How Popular is the name Top? As a last name Top was the 38,332nd most popular name in 2010.
  • When was the first name Top first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Top is Sunday, April 1st, 1883.
  • How unique is the name Top? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Top. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
  • Weird things about the name Top: Your name in reverse order is Pot. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Pto. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Top? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 578 people with the last name Top.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Top? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Top as their last name since less than 1 person in 500k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.