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Labor Day Names: Names that really work!

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For the Labor Day weekend, we’re celebrating hard-working occupation names–which just happen to be among the coolest name categories around, with their (mostly) trendy ‘er’ endings.  Many of them originated in medieval England and refer back to trades that no longer exist–when did you last need a roof thatcher or a charioteer?–and so part of their attraction lies in that throwback reference to basic concepts of honest labor, thus adding some historic heft to their appeal. So, here are the Nameberry picks for best occupational baby names.

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Occupation names: A Labor Day celebration

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It’s Labor Day weekend, and so time once more to turn our attention to the original, pre-barbecue significance of the holiday and celebrate some hard-working occupational names.

We’re focusing on the more uncommon, fresher sounding examples, and those with less obvious meanings, so no Archer, Shepherd or Baker.  The er-ending trade names have continued their popularity run, with some individual examples rising (Ryder, Sawyer, Tucker) and others falling (Cooper, Carter, Hunter, Tanner).

Here are some examples of occupational surname names that still seem fresh enough to consider, together with the sometimes surprising trades they originally represented—even if it was so long ago that many don’t have much meaning in today’s world:

The er-ending brigade:

Banner– flag bearer

Barker –stripper of bark from trees for tanning

Baxter– a baker, usually female

Beamer — trumpet player

Booker — scribe

BouvierFrench for herdsman

Boyer — bow maker, cattle herder

Brenner — charcoal burner

Brewster — brewer of beer

Bridger — builder of bridges

Carver — sculptor

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