The Meaning and Origin of the Name Taylor

The Origin of the Popular Medieval Occupation

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Taylor is an English occupational name for a tailor, from Old French "tailleur" for "tailor" which comes from the Latin "taliare," meaning "to cut." Taylor may also be an Americanized version of one of the several European surnames that derive from the occupation of a tailor, including Schneider (German), Szabó (Hungarian), Portnoy (Russian), Krawiec (Polish) and Kleermaker (Dutch).

The biblical meaning of Taylor translates to "clothed with salvation" and the name means eternal beauty.

Learn about Taylor's Americanized name, alternate surname spellings along with popular people who have the surname.

Popular Baby Name

Taylor is among the most commonly found surnames, due to its popularity as a medieval occupation.  Its surname origin being of English, the given name Taylor ranked #24 in a list of most popular baby names by the U.S. Social Security Administration in the year 2007. It is a gender-neutral name used for both girls and boys in the United States, England, Wales, Canada and more.

Alternate Surname Spellings

  • Tayla
  • Tayler
  • Tailour
  • Taylour
  • Tailleur
  • Tailor
  • Tayloe
  • Tyler

Famous People With the Surname

  • James Taylor: Popular American singer/songwriter
  • Zachary Taylor: Twelfth President of the United States
  • John Baxter Taylor: First African American Olympic gold medalist

Genealogy Resources

  • Taylor Family Genes DNA Surname Project  
    Join other Taylor males and females in sorting out the various Taylor ancestral lines worldwide through Y Chromosome and DNA genetic testing.
  • Taylor Family Genealogy Forum
    Search this popular genealogy forum for the Taylor surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Taylor query.

Discover the meaning of a given name by using the resource First Name Meanings. If for some reason you are unable to locate your last name on the list, you have the ability to suggest a surname be added to the Glossary of Surname Meanings and Origins.

References: Surname Meanings and Origins

  • Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.
  • Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.
  • Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.
  • Hanks, Patrick, and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.