Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Taylor

Taylor is the transferred use of an English surname derived from an occupation. The word comes from the Anglo-Norman “tailleor” which means “cutter” (tailler: “to cut” from the Latin “taliare” meaning “to split”). The surname would have originally been given to a cutter of clothes (a tailor makes, alters and repairs clothes). Surnames first became common in the 11th century after the Norman Conquest of England (1066). They were initially adopted by the nobles and aristocracy, but by the 15th century almost everyone had a last name for the purposes of identification (so they could be taxed). Surnames were created from several sources; most commonly they were either patronymic (i.e., passed from the father’s first name such as Jackson or Harrison), a place name (Logan, Hailey), a trade or occupation (Taylor, Mason) or a nickname (Cameron, Corban). Taylor first appeared in writing in the late 12th century, found in the records of Canterbury Cathedral and rendered as “Taylur”. Incidentally, Taylor is one of the five most common surnames in England today. It’s not so much that a large portion on England’s citizenry is cloth-cutters, per se, but it seems they are all ultimately descended from one! A tailor was an important trade in medieval society, just as a Miller and Carpenter/Mason would be (i.e., providers of life’s essentials: clothing, food and shelter). The popularity of Taylor as a personal given name in the United States was at first influenced by the 12th U.S. President, Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) – a Mexican-American War hero in the mid 19th century. Today, the name Taylor is considered gender-neutral and is actually used with quite a bit more frequency on baby girls over boys. It does remarkably well for girls in North America (U.S. and Canada), but better for boys in England.

All About the Baby Name – Taylor

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME TAYLOR

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME TAYLOR

Taylor has been on the American charts for boys’ names since the 19th century at low-to-moderate levels of success. It’s only during a brief period in the 1990’s that Taylor becomes a relatively common choice for a boy’s name, and then it quickly fades away again. The story is different for girls, however. The name Taylor is not used for females in America until the 1980’s, but it’s ascent to the top was fast and furious. It also appears to be sticking around, as the current naming practices in America seem to show preference to androgynous female names. Further, given Taylor’s increased commonness as a girls’ name, the masculinity of it may be damaged at this point.

Quick Facts

ON TAYLOR

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

371

PRONUNCIATION:

TAY-ler

SIMPLE MEANING:

Tailor, to cut

Characteristics

OF TAYLOR

Independent

Individualistic

Ambitious

Strong-willed

Inventive

Successful

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Taylor

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME TAYLOR

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Taylor

Popular Songs

ON TAYLOR

Little David (James Taylor)
A great little tune by James Taylor.

Taylor
a song by Jack Johnson

Taylor Ann
a song by David Hasselhoff

Taylor's Song
a song by GrandBob

Famous People

NAMED TAYLOR

We cannot find any popular celebrities or significantly famous people with the first name Taylor.
We cannot find any popular celebrities or significantly famous people with the first name Taylor.

Children of Famous People

NAMED TAYLOR

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME TAYLOR

Yes, we know that "Taylor" is his last name, but we wanted to throw him in here given his obvious influence on the popularity of the name Taylor as a given name in America. Zachary Taylor was more popular as an American war hero and military leader (which spanned a 40-year career and four wars) than he was as the 12th U.S. President (which only lasted 16 months). He achieved fame leading American troops to victory in the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Monterrey during the Mexican-American War. Known as "Old Rough and Ready," Taylor's war-hero status is what really got him elected. That, and his moderate stance on issues between the North and the South.

Yes, we know that "Taylor" is his last name, but we wanted to throw him in here given his obvious influence on the popularity of the name Taylor as a given name in America. Zachary Taylor was more popular as an American war hero and military leader (which spanned a 40-year career and four wars) than he was as the 12th U.S. President (which only lasted 16 months). He achieved fame leading American troops to victory in the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Monterrey during the Mexican-American War. Known as "Old Rough and Ready," Taylor's war-hero status is what really got him elected. That, and his moderate stance on issues between the North and the South.

Zachary Taylor was more popular as an American war hero and military leader (which spanned a 40-year career and four wars) than he was as the 12th U.S. President (which only lasted 16 months). He achieved fame leading American troops to victory in the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Monterrey during the Mexican-American War. Known as "Old Rough and Ready," Taylor's war-hero status is what really got him elected. That, and his moderate stance on issues between the North and the South.