Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Peyton

Peyton is the transferred use of an English surname ultimately derived from a place name which itself is derived from an ancient, pre-10th century Anglo-Saxon personal name. The Peyton family name is an illustrious one, taken by a Norman-French patriarch who had distinguished himself at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. As a reward for their valor, William the Conqueror gave large swaths of land and dozens of manors to his war-cronies after conquering England. Peyton Hall was one such Manor, originally referred to as “Pǽga’s settlement”, Pǽga being of uncertain origin, although the meaning “rustic” seems to pop up a lot. From this perspective, Pǽga most likely developed from the Latin “pagus” meaning “country, rural area” (same root that gave us our words “peasant” and “pagan”). Furthermore, in Old Roman military jargon, “paganus” was a term used for a “civilian, incompetent soldier” (which perhaps developed as a leftover nickname in England when Britannia was a province of the Roman Empire from the 1st through 4th centuries A.D.). In any case, Pǽga’s settlement in East Anglia was taken from some poor native Anglo-Saxon chump (whoever he was) and given to one of William the Conqueror’s Norman-French buddies as a war prize. The family eventually adopted the surname Peyton from their family seat at Peyton Hall (as a means of identification). The first recorded spelling of the surname appeared in the 13th century and was rendered as “de Peytun”. A Coat of Arms was granted to this distinguished Anglo-Norman family (under both spellings of Peyton and Payton); a bright gold cross against a black background. Furthermore, Peyton is one of the earliest surnames to appear in the New World (early 17th century in the colony of Virginia). Peyton may have had a “rustic, country-bumpkin”-like origin, but the surname became one of the most eminent in England (although they never made the peerage). As a given name, Peyton is considered unisex in the United States, but female in England and Canada.

All About the Baby Name – Peyton

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME PEYTON

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME PEYTON

Interestingly, as a masculine given name, Peyton dates back to early 18th century America as evidenced by Peyton Randolph (1721-1775), the first president of the Continental Congress. Randolph was given the name “Peyton” in honor of the distinguished family name inherited through his maternal grandfather. In honor of this important early American, several baby boys were given the name Peyton over the past couple centuries. However, given this historical fact, right now Peyton is more or less an example of America’s ubiquitous surname trend. The name really came into serious circulation in the 1990s (first for boys and then immediately thereafter for girls); so it barely has twenty years of practice under its belt. While Peyton is more common for females than males today, the name is still widely accepted as unisex. In fact, both genders have gained ground since the turn of the 21st century; although it’s hard to say where the name might go from here. Historically speaking, American parents have a tendency to hijack unisex names and then bestow them on their daughters to such a degree of frequency that the name eventually becomes unattractive to parents of little boys (having been effectively feminized). However, football star Peyton Manning has helped to keep this particular gender-neutral name quite masculine indeed.

Quick Facts

ON PEYTON

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

51

PRONUNCIATION:

PAY-tin

SIMPLE MEANING:

Rustic, peasant

Characteristics

OF PEYTON

Freedom-loving

Adventurous

Adaptable

Intellectual

Easygoing

Progressive

Sensual

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Peyton

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME PEYTON

Peyton is the central character in Ambrose Bierce’s 1890 short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” He is a man in his 30’s, a prosperous Alabaman planter and slave-holder, and a major Confederate supporter. He is tricked by a Union soldier into damaging some rail tracks, the consequence for which is death by hanging. With the noose around his neck standing over Owl Creek, but between the time the rope drops over the bridge and the slack is out, the plot thickens. The story is known for its twist ending.

Allison is the protagonist of Grace Metalious’ scandalous 1956 novel, Peyton Place, as well as the movie version. It also became one of television’s first “night-time soaps”, starring a young Mia Farrow in 1964. Set in a tranquil all-American community in New Hampshire, the novel exposes an underbelly of that same American life, one which includes rape, illegitimacy, incest, infidelity, and just about anything else you can think of. Allison represents a hopeful, youthful idealism, one which looks to the future and overcomes the obstacles of the past and present, no matter how challenging.

Popular Songs

ON PEYTON

Peyton Place
a song by Squeeze

Famous People

NAMED PEYTON

Peyton Manning (football player)
Peyton Rous (Nobel Prize Winner for medicine)
Peyton Randolph (politician and first President of the Continental Congress)
Peyton Manning (football player)
Peyton Rous (Nobel Prize Winner for medicine)
Peyton Randolph (politician and first President of the Continental Congress)
Peyton Manning (football player)
Peyton Rous (Nobel Prize Winner for medicine)
Peyton Randolph (politician and first President of the Continental Congress)

Children of Famous People

NAMED PEYTON

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Peyton

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME PEYTON

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Peyton