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Taylor Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Taylor including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Taylor Overview

  • Meaning: Taylor comes from the word “tailor,” which takes its origins from the French “tailleur.” The original word refers to an occupation that modified clothing.
  • Gender: Taylor is a unisex name for both boys and girls.
  • Origin: Taylor is an English name with origins in Anglo-French, Old French, and Latin.
  • Pronunciation: Taylor is pronounced, “TAY-lor.”
  • Popularity: The name Taylor waxed and waned in popularity for boys over the past century, but was extremely popular for girls in the 1980s. In the United States, Taylor ranked 192 for girls and 643 for boys born in 2021.
  • Nicknames: Lor, Lory, Tay, Tayls, Taylie, Tee.
  • Variations: Tailleur, Tailour, Tayla, Tayloe, Taylour, Tyler.
  • Namesakes: Taylor Kitsch (Canadian actor), Taylor Lautner (American actor), Taylor Swift (American singer).

What Does Taylor Mean?

Taylor is a classic girl name with a rich history. Historically, families used the name Taylor as a surname, though that is not exclusively the case today.

The name’s roots are occupational and describe a tailor (1). Since tailors were widely needed in their communities, you can imagine how the surname Taylor spread widely.

What Is the Origin of the Name Taylor?

The name Taylor is of Anglo-French origin. The name derives from the word “tailour,” or from the more modern French, “tailleur.”Taylor also has roots in the Medieval Latin “taliare” and the Latin “talea” (2).

These root words all reference the action or process of cutting something. The title then evolved to mean someone who mends, cuts, and modifies clothing into the English word tailor.”

Though we can’t always know how, when, or why the name Taylor grew to include first-name use, today Taylor is popular as both a given name and a family name.

How Popular Is the Name Taylor?

Since 1900, Taylor has waxed and waned in popularity, particularly for boys. While popular at the turn of the 20th Century, it fell in prominence until the early 1970s. The name was the most popular in the year 1993.

Meanwhile, the Social Security Administration first recorded the name Taylor for girls in the late 1970s, after which practically everyone named their daughter Taylor! From 1994 through 1996, Taylor was the sixth most common name for baby girls.

Though it is less common than in the mid-1990s, Taylor is still a more popular name for girls than boys. In 2021, the name ranked 192 for girls and 643 for boys (3).

How Do I Pronounce Taylor?

Taylor is typically easy to pronounce as most people spell it phonetically. The majority of English speakers pronounce the name as “TAY-lor.”

Is Taylor a Boy or a Girl’s Name?

Taylor is a unisex name, which means that it is a name for boys and girls. Though there is more historical data about boys named Taylor, Taylor is also a popular girl’s name.

Though there are more boys with the name Taylor in historical records, the name was more popular for girls in the 1980s and 1990s.

Variations of Taylor

Taylor has some variations, related to both spelling and the name’s origin. These variations include:

  • Tailleur (Old French)
  • Tailour (English and French)
  • Tayla (English and French)
  • Tayloe (English and French)
  • Taylour (English and French)
  • Tyler (English)

Nicknames for Taylor

Taylor is a strong foundational name for some spunky and fun nicknames. Common nicknames for Taylor include:

  • Lor
  • Lory
  • Tay
  • Tayls (or Tails)
  • Taylie
  • Tee

Similar Names to Taylor

If you are interested in a name with similar occupational roots as Taylor, consider some of the following. Some of the following are inspired by a role or job, while others are not:

Middle Names for Taylor

There are plenty of names that pair well with the first name Taylor. Depending on the length of syllables in your family’s surname, a middle name with one or two syllables can be a great complementary middle name.

Because Taylor is a unisex name, there are many options to consider for a girl or boy, such as:

Sibling Names for Taylor

Are you having another child and want a name that would go well alongside Taylor? Consider the following choices:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Taylor

Many popular celebrities are named Taylor, with perhaps the prominent being Taylor Swift. Below are some other famous Taylors you might recognize:

  • Taylor Hall: Canadian hockey player for the Boston Bruins.
  • Taylor Hawkins: American musician and former drummer in the band Foo Fighters.
  • Taylor Kitsch: Canadian actor noted for his role in the TV series “Friday Night Lights.”
  • Taylor Lautner: American actor who appeared in the “Twilight” movie series.
  • Taylor Schilling: American actress whose most famous role was in the TV series “Orange Is the New Black.”
  • Taylor Swift: American singer known as Tay or T-Swift to her fans.

Taylor in Popular Culture

Unsurprisingly, Taylor’s popularity seeps into literature, movies, and television shows. Here are just a few fictional Taylors from popular culture:

  • Opie Taylor: Character from the TV series “The Andy Griffith Show.”
  • Taylor Doose: Character from the TV series “Gilmore Girls.”
  • Taylor Markham: Character in the novel “On the Jellicoe Road.”
  • Taylor Townsend: Character from the TV series “The O.C.”
  • Tim Taylor: Character from the TV series “Home Improvement.”

Taylor FAQs

Below are frequently asked questions about the name Taylor from other expecting parents.

Does the Name Taylor Have a Biblical Meaning?

Taylor does not have biblical roots. The name derives from the word tailor and describes an occupation or a job.

Does the Name Taylor Belong to a Scottish Clan?

Yes! There is a Scottish Clan called Clan Tailyour. Their motto is “In Cruce Salus”, which means “Salvation in the Cross” (4).

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