Written by Linda Rosenkrantz for Nameberry.com
In honor of Labor Day, Nameberry made a list of hard-working occupation names -- which are apparently very trendy these days. While many of them have ancient roots and refer to trades that we might not find today (have you needed a roof thatcher or chariot driver recently?), these choices are modern enough to please even the pickiest parents. Vote for your favorites below and tell us what you think of the names in the comments!
Maybe it's all that arrow-slinging in <em>The Hunger Games</em>, or the TV series <em>Archer</em>, but whatever the influences, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Archer" target="_hplink">Archer</a> is definitely trending up. It came into the Top 1000 in 2009, and has climbed 234 places since then, one of the fastest moving boys' names.
The poetic, bardic, feel of this name sets it apart from other occupational names, most of which end in <em>er</em>. Still more often heard as a last name than a first, it would make a strong and evocative choice.
With its friendly broad a-sound and the aromatic scent it conjures up of pies bubbling in the oven, Baker is an appealing, undiscovered option. Noted surname bearers include writers Nicholson and Russell, actor Simon, and music world's Chet, Anita and Josephine.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Booker" target="_hplink">Booker</a> must be the coolest of occupational names, thanks to musician Booker T. Jones, named for Booker T. Washington, who was born into slavery and went on to become an educator, author, and Presidential advisor a century ago. A booker was originally a scribe or book maker, making this the perfect name for a child of writers or editors.
An attractive, subtle profession name -- it means charioteer -- with a bit of an Irish brogue, Carbry is one that could be used for either gender. In ancient myth, it was spelled Cairbre, and it can also be modernized to Carbury.
An occupation name with the added plus of a strong green component, Gardener calls up images of lush lawns and fragrant flowers. It can also be spelled Gardner, as in glamorous silver screen idol <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Ava" target="_hplink">Ava</a>.
Kiefer, which means barrel maker, is largely associated with actor Kiefer Sutherland, who was given the surname of a movie director influential in his father's career as his first -- which is followed by no less than five middle names.
Mercer is an old trade name linked to the sale and handling of luxury fabrics, but in modern times its connections are more musical, as with pop classic composer Johnny and Mercer Ellington, musician son of Duke.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Reeve" target="_hplink">Reeve</a>, which was a medieval term for a bailiff, has been gaining favor -- though it's not yet in the Top 1000 -- as a sharper-edged, more sophisticated alternative to the gender-neutral Reese.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Sawyer" target="_hplink">Sawyer</a> is the most popular of this group of names for boys, and, is increasingly being used for girls as well. On the blue side, it was Number 172 last year, and on the pink, Number 719.
Thatcher is one of the fresher occupational names, with a pleasantly rumpled image -- quite the opposite of Slater, another name that means roofer, which is sleek and smooth, with the even sleeker short form Slate.
A name whose exuberant first syllable and abundance of <em>e</em>-s gives it a large dollup of energy, Wheeler is one of the newer names in this category, with a higher PG-rating than the rising Wilder. <em><strong>Related Link:</strong></em> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/how-to-choose-baby-name_n_1833547.html" target="_hplink">5 Unconventional Ways To Name Your Baby</a>