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Occupational Baby Names

Many baby names that are popular today had rather humble beginnings. When you look at the origins and meanings of names, you will find a group that originally were surnames, and that identified the name bearer by his occupation. (And it usually was a male name). As time went by, the surname was gradually adopted as a first name as well.

Occupational names offer a fascinating glimpse into a simpler, rural life. Names like Tanner referred to a leather-maker, Baker to a baker, Chandler to a candle-maker, and so forth. What’s really fun is to find some names that are familiar today, but which you’d never recognize as referring to an occupation or trade. Did you know that Garth is an Old Norse name, meaning someone who lived or worked near a garden? Or that Fletcher is an Old French name, from a surname meaning “arrowmaker”?

Occupational or trade names are another source of inspiration if you’re looking for a baby name with an interesting origin and meaning. The story behind a name is something that your child can enjoy and learn about, as they grow up.

You’ll see that our list is mostly populated by boys’ names. That’s not meant to be an affront to the girls! It’s simply that occupational names were mostly for men, who were working outside the home, while the women, as we all know, were working even harder, raising the babies and running the household!

Occupational Baby Names

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We strive to bring you the most authoritative meanings for the names listed. We have drawn our lists from a variety of sources.
If you know an alternate meaning for any name, please , and we'll check it out.

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