The New Generation of -Er Baby Names
In English, the suffix -er spells action. Those two letters point to a doer: a mover and shaker, or at least a butcher, baker or candlestick maker. That -er energy and industry fueled a generation of popular baby names based on tradesman surnames. Today, though, a new wave of names is picking up on the action sound while leaving the trades behind.
Take a look at some of the hottest -er baby names of the year 2000, and their occupational origins:
Carter (hauler of goods)
Chandler (candle maker)
Cooper (barrel maker)
Hunter (hunter or birder)
Parker (gamekeeper/keeper of a manor's hunting park)
Spencer (dispenser, who distributed the goods of a grand household)
Tanner (tanner of animal hides)
Tucker (cloth finisher)
Tyler (roof tiler)
Image via Sandra Gligorijevic/Shutterstock
Now look at the -er names that have soared in popularity since then:
As a group, they're a far cry from the traditional tradesman of the earlier list. Yes, there are some occupational names among the new hits, but even those come across more like action heroes (Gunner, Ryder) or literary homages (Sawyer, Harper) than village blacksmiths.
Now a new, up-and-coming generation of -er names advances the trend. These new names may take their style cues from the -er tradesmen, but they're not "doers." They carry their own meanings and associations, from nature (Juniper) to Star Trek (Ryker), from prayer (Vesper) to rock & roll (Seger), all with an energy boost from the action -er ending.
40 NEW -ER BABY NAMES
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