"cunning, craft"

Waylon Origin and Meaning

The name Waylon is a boy's name of English origin meaning "cunning, craft".

With its rugged, country charm and confident sounds, Waylon is among the wave of Old Western names that parents are choosing.

A relatively new entry to the US Top 100, this once uncommon choice has more than quadrupled in use over the last decade. Given to nearly 5000 boys each year, Waylon fits right in with its cowboyish partners, Weston, Wyatt, Walker, and Beau.

The name has two distinct origins, and they equally suit the cool, outdoorsy vibe that Waylon gives off.

When derived from the Old English “Wayland,” a place name and a surname, Waylon means “land by the road” – a meaning that perfectly lends itself to that Wild West imagery and to the trend of surnames as given names.

It could also come from Old Norse and Germanic legends, in which “Weland” or “Vǫlundr” was a master blacksmith. His name means “craft and cunning” due to both his skills and his escape and revenge plot on a king who enslaved him.

So why did Waylon ride onto the chants during the 2010’s and what has made it so popular?

One answer lies with the influential country singer, Waylon Jennings, a pioneer of the outlaw movement, which broke country music free from the restrictions of the Nashville establishment. Jennings passed his name down to his son, Waylon “Shooter” Jennings, who still makes music today.

The elder Waylon brought moderate attention to the name during the 70s and 80s, but it was after his death in 2002 that Waylon slowly, then more rapidly, climbed the charts. Now, it is a notable namesake for country music lovers – or for anyone honoring someone else who is.

Alternative influences could be the character Waylon Smithers, from the popular cartoon “The Simpsons.” Obedient and loyal to the devious Mr. Burns, it is a memorable association for 90’s kids.

There’s also Waylon Jones, better known as “Killer Croc”, a supervillain in the DC universe and featured in the hit 2016 movie, “Suicide Squad”, which might have brought the name to more parents’ minds.

Or perhaps it’s Waylon’s own qualities that helped it to rise: a surname-style given name, adjacent to the -ayden trend but more established, a distinctive W initial, a cowboyish vibe, and close in sound to old favorites, like Jason, Nathan, and Graham.

Currently only popular in the US, Waylon is still trending upwards, so if you want to get ahead of the trend or find something with a similar feel , just more obscure, you could try Acer, Whitten, Ranger, or Walton.

# 62 in the US

Waylon Rank in US Top 1000

# 423 on Nameberry

Waylon Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Waylon Popularity

Famous People Named Waylon

  • Waylon Arnold JenningsAmerican country music singer
  • Waylonstage name of Willem Bijkerk, Dutch singer
  • (Michael) Waylon LoweAmerican mixed martial artist
  • Waylon Glenn PratherAmerican NFL player
  • Waylon MullerMarshall Islands Olympic wrestler
  • Waylon Dwayne FrancisCosta Rican footballer
  • Waylon Reavisformer vocalist for American nu metal band Mushroomhead
  • Waylon Tripp Parkerson of William True; grandson of American actors Kirstie Alley and Parker Stevenson
  • Waylon "Blackjack" Albert Jennings (b. 2011)son of singer,songwriter Shooter Jennings and actress Drea de Matteo
  • Waylynn Lucasfemale American chef and owner of bakery Fonuts

Waylon in Pop Culture

  • Waylon J. SmithersMr. Burns's assistant on TV's "The Simpsons"
  • Waylon Jones aka Killer Croccharacter in Batman comics
  • Waylon Floodcharacter on TV's "American Gothic"
  • Waylon Forgeminor character in the first "Twilight" movie
  • Waylon Moorecharacter in 2004 film "Raising Waylon"
  • Waylon Parkcharacter in the "Outlast" game series