Take the classic Clayton, mix in a dash of Chase, and you’ll arrive at this unusual name.
Thanks to Amy for suggesting her son’s name as our Baby Name of the Day: Chayton.
Chayton: Video Game Name
Age of Empires is part-historical fiction, part-adventure, taking players from prehistory to the nineteenth century. Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs is set in the New World.
The Black family appears throughout the series. Chayton Black is a half-Lakota businessman named building railroads across the country. At first, his work brings him into conflict with Crazy Horse, but eventually he joins the battle against General Custer.
Instant baby name inspiration, right?
Empires 3 was released in 2005. Chayton was first given to more than five boys all the way back in 1990. If anything, the name was more popular before the video game.
Chayton: Modern Coinage
Is Chayton just a smoosh of popular sounds?
Chase entered the US Top 1000 back in 1995. I’ve seen Chay suggested as a modern nickname for Charles, though it remains rare.
Ends in -ton names have had a good run: think of Dalton, Colton, Clayton, Preston, Ashton, Trenton, Paxton, and Braxton.
Chayton is also an uncommon surname, though the -ton ending is a common one, usually referring to a settlement. There’s a good chance that some Chaytons were inspired by a surname on their family tree.
Chayton: Native American Name
Here’s where things get really interesting.
There are problems galore with using a Native American name.
But site after site, along with a handful of books – many of them not known for scrupulous research – repeated the claim that Chayton was a Native American name meaning falcon.
In Empires 3, Chayton Black’s company is called Falcon. In the game, the Black family once went up against an Ottoman commander named Sahin. Sahin comes from a Turkish word meaning falcon or hawk.
My first assumption was that it was all a crazy misunderstanding, the kind that plagues the entire collection of Native American baby names on many a website.
Except this list includes Chatan and Chayton as Lakota names. While the -ton ending seemed like an outlier, Chatan fit with other names listed on the site, and elsewhere as Lakota names.
I found a nineteenth century dictionary that listed chahn shkah as the Lakota word for hawk. And then these two sites:
- Lakota Dictionary
- Sage and Sweetgrass Dictionary
Both translate the English word falcon or hawk into čhetáŋ. Or cetan, if you drop all of the diacritical marks. That’s almost Chayton.
Talon ranked #497 in 2013, and nature names like Falcon are attracting more attention. Another name with a current sound and an avian connection is bound to be appealing.
Chayton: Modern Rarity with Roots
I started out this post thinking that Chayton was a modern invention boosted by fictional use.
Turns out that’s not exactly the case. It’s a stretch to claim that Chayton is a Native American given name – for lots of reasons. But it’s fair to say that Chayton is inspired by a Lakota word for falcon or hawk.
With an on-trend sound, and a great backstory, no wonder that more than 75 boys have received the name Chayton every year since 2008.
What do you think of Chayton? Could Chayton join Jackson and Mason in the US Top 100?
Nancy Epps says
My son his name is Chayton. He will be 20 on 4-23-98. Ironically i had contacted Cherokee Reservation where I was transferred to the cheif. I explained his father was born on the reservation and of course im not of the native american heritage. While on the phone he heard my son cry and his automatic response was Chayton. He stated the chief that my son would have strength mentally and physically that his name would carry him thru enduring times. This was an accurate choice. He would soar like a falcon. People tend to not grasp his name they tend to say jayden clayton chaiden chaytan some arrogant people say satan. Which is arrogant. Alot of woman love his name the meaning. By the way in christianity his name means the Same strength. My sons sisters names are Cholena and Aiyanna both meaning of the bird. He likes the song by mnm slim shady he thinks there saying when he was younger chaytie . It’s a dynamic name for a dynamic boy and man.
I named my youngest grandson Chayton meaning falcon. We have Indian heritage on both sides. He is now 2.
Rosalinde Fish says
Our son is named Chayton (born 4/18/12), we chose the name because we wanted to name him falcon and we have some Native American heritage and we are part of Native ceremonies. The funny thing is,out other son is named Talon,and our daughter is Amy (like the mom). Anyways..one of our friends that is Lakota said right away when he he heard the name,ah cetan,hawk/falcon.
I am very pleased with the name although people seem to have a hard time pronouncing and understanding the name. Not sure why really,haha.
Yes it could we named my son Chayton he was born June 12 21015 🙂 🙂
Just an observation, not meant to be a judgement about choosing this name – I’m guessing that Chayton is pronounced the same as Chaitan, which is a somewhat common Indian name. On the plus side, the sound of the name could be familiar to people; on the minus side, it might cause some confusion if you or your child does not share that heritage.
I know a 17 year old boy named Chayton, he thought his name was made up by his mother….can’t wait to show him this post