Occupational Surnames

Name Nerds main

Surnames used as first names are all the rage these days. A subset of the surname trend is to use English occupational names. These names were originally descriptive names based on the job a person did. Names like Taylor, Tyler and Paige are so popular these days, we don't even think of them as occupational surnames anymore! Here are the most popular Occupational surnames used as first names in the USA for 1998:

Girls' Names Boys' Names
Name Rank Name Rank Name Rank
Taylor 9 Tyler 10 Marshall 320
Bailey 48 Hunter 42 Todd 354
Paige 80 Tanner 91 Sawyer 456
Skyler 142 Mason 92 Coleman 462
Hunter 295 Spencer 93 Dexter 551
Chandler 498 Taylor 112 Turner 686
Mason 777 Parker 142 Ryder 719
Parker 807 Bailey 148 Foster 918
Spencer 836 Skyler 157 Fletcher 954
Tanner 954 Gage 166 Palmer 1028
Chandler 182

Here are some more of these type names. Some of them (like Spencer and Chandler) are already climbing the charts. Some of these names might be ripe for discovery (for example, Archer and Thatcher seem nice)! However, some names (like Lush and Graves) probably should stay well out of the naming pools!

Name job description
Archer archer
Bacchus worked in a bake house
Bailey bailiff
Barber cut hair; surgeon
Barker worked with bark for the leather trade, shepherd
Baxter female baker
Bekker made wooden vessels
Bender made casks and barrels
Berger shepherd
Boatwright made boats
Bowman archer
Brewer brewed ale
Brewster female brewer
Butler wine steward
Campion pro fighter; champion
Cantrell cinger in a chatry
Carpenter carpenter
Carrin made carts
Carter made or sold carts, transported goods
Cartwright made carts
Carver sculptor
Cater supplied goods to a large household
Century belt maker
Chafer lime kiln worker
Chaffer merchant
Chalker white washer
Challender sold blankets
Chamberlain in charge of private chambers.
Chambers in charge of private chambers.
Chandler candle maker
Chaplin chaplain
Chapman merchant/peddler
Cheeseman made and sold cheese
Cheesewright made and sold cheese
Cherrier worked in a cherry orchard
Chessman made and sold cheese
Clark clerk
Cleaver either worked in a butcher shop or split wood
Coldren made large cooking pots
Coleman gathered charcoal
Collier sold charcoal
Conner inspected for weights and measures
Cook cook
Cooper made barrels
Cotter tenant farmer
Crowther played the "crowd," a medieval stringed instrument
Day worker in a dairy
Dexter female dyer
Drage confectioner
Draper maker/seller of woolen cloth
Dyer dyed cloth
Dyster female dyer
Falconer kept and trained falcons
Farrar smith, ferrier
Faulkner kept and trained falcons
Fearson ironmonger/smith
Fisher fisherman
Fiske sold fish
Flax sold or grew flax
Fletcher made arrows
Foal fool; jester
Forester guardian of lord's forest
Foster guardian of lord's forest
Fowler keeper/catcher of birds
Frobisher polished swords and armor
Fuller thickened cloth by trampling
Gage inspected for weights and measures
Gardner, Gardiner tended gardens
Glover made gloves
Graves steward
Hammer made stone hammers
Harper played or made harps
Hayward guarded fences or enclosures
Heard shepherd or cow herd
Hinman keeper of deer on an estate
Hogg swine herd
Hooper fitted metal hoops to barrels and casks
Hunter hunter
Inman Innkeeper
Kantor singer in a chantry
Kellogg slaughterer
Key made keys
Killer lime kiln worker
King servant to a king
Kisser armor maker
Knight knight; any military servant; young servant to a knight
Lander laundry worker
Leadbetter lead worker
Lister cloth dyer
Lorimer made spurs
Lush usher
Machin mason; stoneworker
Marshall in charge of horses
Mason mason; stoneworker
Mercer merchant, esp. of fine cloths (silk, velvet etc.)
Miller, Milner miller
Mulliner, Mills miller
Nader tailor
Naylor made and sold nails
Page, Paige, Paget minor male servant
Palmer a pilgrim
Parker game keeper
Parson parson; rector
Piper played or made pipes
Plummer plumber; lead worker
Potter potter
Proctor tax collector; solicitor; steward
Provost supervisor on a lord's manor
Purcell swine herd
Redman roof thatcher
Rock spun wool; made distaffs
Rocker spun wool; made distaffs
Ryder delivered messages on horseback
Sadler made saddles
Salter salt worker or salt seller
Sargent military servant
Sawyer sawed wood
Schneider tailor (German)
Schreiber clerk
Scully town crier
Seal/Seales maker of seals or saddles
Sexton maintained churches; dug graves
Shepherd shepard
Shields armorer
Singer singer
Skinner tanned hides
Skipper ship master
Smith, Smythe smith
Smoker made smocks
Snyder tailor (Dutch)
Soppner roofing shingle maker
Spencer dispensed lord's provisions
Spicer sold spices
Spittle hospital worker
Stanier, Stonier stone cutter
Steele steel worker
Stewart steward
Stringer made strings for bows
Tabor played the tabor (small drum)
Tanner tanned hides
Tasker did piece work
Taverner tavern keeper
Taylor tailor
Thatcher thatched roofs
Tiller farmer
Tillman farmer or tile maker
Todd fox hunter
Toller toll collector
Trainer trapper
Tranter waggoner
Trapp trapper
Travers tollbridge keeper
Trinder wheel maker
Trotter messenger
Tucker cloth worker
Turner made small objects by turning them on a lathe
Tyler made tiles
Tyrer wardrobe master
Voss servant
Walker shrunk woolen cloth
Waller built walls
Ward watchman; guard
Warf dock worker
Warner, Warrer in charge of wildlife at a park
Wayne wheel maker
Webb weaver
Webster female weaver
Woodward forester
Wright general guy who made stuff