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Occupational Names

Occupational Names
Most occupational baby names were originally surnames that described a person’s job. Names related to jobs have taken on significant style value over the past years and are destined to rise even further.

Harper is the top occupational name for girls while Mason is the most popular occupational name for boys. Along with Harper and Mason, occupational names ranking in the US Top 100 include Skylar on the girls' side and Carter, Hunter, Carson, and Cooper for boys.

While technically gender-neutral, occupational names have traditionally been used more often for males and still are more often given to baby boys. Unique occupational names we like for either gender include Baird, Booker, Dancer, Drummer, Fielder, Fifer, Mercer, Painter, Poet, Sailor, Shepherd, and Whistler.

Occupational names can work as a nod to parents' or grandparents' professions or a family business. Or you can choose them, of course, because you simply like the sound and feel.

ArcherHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "bowman"
  • Description:

    Archer is an Anglo-Saxon surname that feels more modern than most because of its on-target occupational and Hunger Games associations. And it's a nice way to bypass the clunky Archibald to get to the cool nickname Archie.

SawyerHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "woodcutter"
  • Description:

    Sawyer is a surname with a more relaxed and friendly feel than many others, and is one of the hottest occupational names right now, with the Nameberry seal of approval. Sawyer is becoming one of the top unisex names. Both Sara Gilbert and Diane Farr used Sawyer for their daughters, while it was given a boost as a boys' name by the character Sawyer on Lost, an alias for the character really named James Ford.

HarperHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "harp player"
  • Description:

    Harper is a red hot name for girls, having jumped from obscurity to near the top of the popularity list in less than a decade; it entered the Top 10 for the first time in 2015, and has stayed near there since. Harper is a prime example of the trend of surnames that turn into boys' names and then become girls' names. Harper was rarely heard for either sex before the mid-2000s, entering the girls' list in 2004. (For boys, it was in use until 1906 when it dropped off the scope and didn't reappear until a full century later.)

CasperHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch form of Jasper, Persian
  • Meaning:

    "bringer of treasure"
  • Description:

    This ancient name, also spelled Caspar, is finally shedding its ghostly image and moving into the 21st century. Popular in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, where it's sometimes shortened to Cas, Casper could ride the style coattails of cousin Jasper. Casper was one of the Three Magi who brought gifts to the infant Jesus along with Melchior and Balthasar.

ParkerHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "park-keeper"
  • Description:

    One of the first generation of surname names, along with Porter and Morgan, Parker's still one of the most appealing and remains firmly in the Top 100 for boys. About three times as many boys as girls get this occupational name. The association with Charlie Parker gives Parker itself a jazzy edge, and it also has a nature-related meaning. Rosie O'Donnell has a son named Parker.

PiperHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "pipe or flute player"
  • Description:

    Piper is a bright, musical name that entered the list in 1999, one year after the debut of the TV series Charmed, which featured a Piper, and it's been a consistent riser since. Piper Kerman is the memoirist whose prison experiences provided the basis for the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black.

SpencerHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "house steward, dispenser of provisions"
  • Description:

    Spencer is a name that has everything: it's both distinguished sounding and accessible, dignified but Spencer Tracy-like friendly. Picked by several celebrities (a couple of times even for a girl), adding up to an enthusiastically recommended choice.

HunterHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "one who hunts"
  • Description:

    Hunter has been dropping a bit for the past few years but is still one of the leaders of a distinctive band of boys' names that combines macho imagery (Hunter, Austin, Harley) with a softened masculinity. Hunter was for years attached to gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson; Josh Holloway used it for his son.

FletcherHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "arrow-maker"
  • Description:

    Fletcher is a common surname with a touch of quirkiness; it definitely fits into the So Far Out It's In category--and moving further in all the time along with other occupational names from Parker to Forester.

CooperHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "barrel maker"
  • Description:

    The genial yet upscale and preppy Cooper was one of the first occupational last names to catch on -- and Cooper remains a pleasing option.

CarterHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "transporter of goods by cart"
  • Description:

    Carter has been popular for almost two decades, but it only cracked the Top 30 in 2014, leaving the other upscale occupational surname names behind. Having hot characters named Carter on both Gossip Girl and The OC probably didn't hurt, and for fifteen years on ER" Noah Wyle's Dr. John Carter was always called by his last name. Carter also, of course, has presidential cred.

RexHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "king"
  • Description:

    Now that many dogs are named Max, it's safe to use this sleek, solid, regal name again for your child. And with the charm of its final x, its regal meaning, and its offbeat simplicity, Rex is definitely one to consider.

CormacHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "charioteer"
  • Description:

    Both offbeat and upbeat, this evocative traditional Irish name that runs through Celtic mythology is known here via award-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy (born Charles). The author's adopted name is related to Cormac Mac Airt, one of the great legendary high kings of Ireland.

DexterHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "dyer, right-handed"
  • Description:

    The jazzy, ultra-cool Dexter, like most names with an "x," has a lot of energy and dynamism. Over the years, it's been attached to a number of diverse real and fictional personalities—C. K. Dexter Haven, the witty Cary Grant character in The Philadelphia Story; Dexter Green, the protagonist of the F. Scott Fitzgerald story "Winter Dreams"; great jazz tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon; the boy-genius protagonist of cartoon Dexter's Laboratory; and the most recent TV series Dexter based on the books by Jeff Lindsay, whose lead happens to be a genial but sociopathic serial killer.

PaigeHeart

  • Origin:

    English, occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "page to a lord"
  • Description:

    Paige is more name, and less word than the occupational Page. Paige is also sleek and sophisticated a la Brooke and Blair and reached as high as Number 47 in 2003, when there was a very popular television show, Trading Spaces, hosted by the energetic Paige Davis.

DeanHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "church official"
  • Description:

    Dean may sound to some like a retro surfer boy name, but it is once again climbing up the popularity chart in the USA. For decades it was associated with Dean (born Dino) Martin; more recent representatives include Dean Cain, Dean McDermott and Dean Koontz -- not to mention Jared Padalecki's dreamy Dean Forester in Gilmore Girls.

ShepherdHeart

  • Origin:

    Occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "sheep hearder"
  • Description:

    Shepherd is an occupational surname with a pleasant pastoral feel. It was chosen for their son by the Jerry Seinfelds, which might inspire others to follow their lead.

ClarkHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "scribe, secretary, cleric, scholar, clerk"
  • Description:

    Clark seemed to have been Gone with the Wind, but parents looking for a short, strong boy's name are now beginning to appreciate its cool combination of Gable charm with Superman power.

ForestHeart

  • Origin:

    French occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "woodsman or woods"
  • Description:

    The Forest variation of Forrest, used by actor Whitaker, nudges the meaning more toward the woods and away from the woodsman.

TylerHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "maker of tiles"
  • Description:

    The presidential Tyler rocketed up popularity charts in the late 1980s and early 1990s (it ranked Number 9 for that entire decade), along with cousin Taylor, becoming almost pandemic across the land-- and to make matters more confusing, both (especially Taylor) have been used for girls as well.