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There are approximately 378,060 people named Taylor in the UK. That makes it the 5th most common surname overall. Out of every million people in the UK, approximately 5,984 are named Taylor.

Region of origin

British Isles

Country of origin

England

Language of origin

English

Religion of origin

Christian

Classification

English
Occupational Name

Related and similar surnames

Tayler
Tailor
Talor
Teyler
Taylar
Taller
Tellor
Tealer
Talaro
Talyor
Teller
Talluri
Tellier
Taylour
Tayleur
Taaylor
Tahlor
Taalor
Taelor
Tailior
Taileor
Taelore
Taillor
Tailer
Tailier
Taillior
Tailleor
Taillore
Tailoar
Taelour
Tahler
Taeler
Tailar

The Taylor surname in historical dictionaries

A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames (1901)

This surname is derived from an occupation. -From the Olde French, tailleur, a cutter of cloth. It is now understood that tailor shall be the trade-name, and Taylor and Tayler the surname. The early rolls are full of instances, and as a result Taylor is the fourth commonest patronymic in England, giving precedence only to Smith, Jones, and Williams. The Hundred Rolls (1273) have the following variations: Taillar, Taillour, Taillur, Tailur, Taliur, Taliur, Tallyur, Talur, Talyur, Tayler, Tayllour, Tayllur, Taylour, and Taylur.

Henry le Taliur, Norfolk, 1273. Hundred Rolls.

Cecil le Tayllour, Cambridgeshire ibid.

Roger le Taylur, Lincolnshire, ibid.

Richard le Taylor, Northamptonshire, ibid.

1593. Baptised — Abel, s. John Tailor: St. Peter, Cornhill.

1700. Witnesses to marriage, Elizabeth Tayfar, Richard Tayler: St. George, Hanover Square.

1802. Married — Robert Julian and Mary Taylar: ibid.

Bardsley, Charles Wareing Endell (1901) A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames, with special American instances. London, New York: H. Frowde. Public Domain

An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names (1857)

A name of trade. We find this name modified to Tayleure, the orthography having been changed by the bearers to hide what they thought the lowness of its origin. So Smith is changed to Smyth, Turner to Turnour, etc.—as Camden says, “Mollified ridiculously lest their bearers should seem villified by them.”

A Mr. Taylor, who, from this false pride, had changed his name to Tayleure, once haughtily demanding of a farmer the name of his dog, the man replied, “Why, sir, his proper name is Jowler, but since he’s a consequential kind of puppy, we calls him Jouleure!”

Arthur, William (1857) An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain.

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain (1890)

Taylor. —Distributed all over England, but comparatively scarce in all the south coast counties, excluding Kent. In the English counties, near and on the Scottish border, it is also relatively infrequent, yet it extends in fair numbers across the border, and is found over most of Scotland. In Wales it is rare or absent. Its principal homes in England are to be found in the great industrial counties of Lancashire, Derbyshire, Notts, and Warwickshire, and in the West Riding. It is also numerous in Lincolnshire. Six centuries ago this surname occurred in various forms, as Taylir, Taylur, Tayllour, etc. (Hundred Rolls).

Guppy, H. B. (1890) Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. London: Harrison and Sons. Public Domain

Patronymica Britannica (1860)

The well-known trade-sartor. The commonness of the occupation has led to the frequency of the surname, which, according to the XVI. Report of the Regist. Gen., 1856, stands fourth in the list of the most common family names in England and Wales, giving precedence only to Smith, Jones, and Williams. Allowing for the great preponderance of the Joneses and Williamses in Wales, where surnames are so few, Taylor may fairly challenge the right of standing next to Smith for numerosity in England, the state of the poll for births, deaths, and marriages, within a given short period, being —

Lower, Mark A (1860) Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom. London: J.R. Smith. Public Domain.

The Surnames of Scotland (1946)

From the occupation of ‘tailor,’ a cutter-out of cloth, ME. taillour

Black, George F. (1946) The Surnames of Scotland: their origin, meaning, and history. New York: New York Public Library. Public Domain.

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