Dalton is a name with multi-faceted appeal. Many are attracted to the name's resemblance to other two-syllable n-ending favorites: Colton, Holden, and cousins. Others see it as a trendy Western name, recalling the legendary Dalton Brothers gang. It also has something of an upscale, preppy feel connected to the exclusive New York private school. A Top 100 name in the 1990s, Dalton is still chosen by about 1,100 parents a year.
The most well known bearer of the name is blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, but there have been a number of high-profile fictional Daltons as well. Dalton Rumba was an adult character on Glee, Clive Owen played a Dalton in Inside Man, there was a scholarly Dalton on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Patrick Swayze opened the film Roadhouse by stating "My name is Dalton Russell."