baby name ThatcherThe baby name Thatcher combines humble origins with a preppy, polished vibe.

Thanks to Nick & Erin for requesting our Baby Name of the Day.


Even before The Crown re-introduced Margaret Thatcher to the popular imagination, the UK’s first female prime minister was the most famous Thatcher of them all.

The Iron Lady dominated headlines in the 1980s. Depending on your politics, this could make it a hero name – or one to avoid at all costs. Then again, with the 80s farther and farther away, maybe it’s simply a historical fact.

The former PM isn’t the only Thatcher – not by a long stretch.

Another familiar figure is the valiant William Thatcher, played by Heath Ledger in 2001’s A Knight’s Tale. With the help of a ragtag-yet-loyal group of friends, including Geoffrey Chaucer, the peasant becomes a champion jouster and gets the girl.


Ledger’s character also explains how surnames worked, once upon a time.

The humbly born Will earned his surname because his father earned a living patching roofs with straw – thatch. Like Mason, it’s the kind of occupation no one exactly does anymore, but survives as a common last name.

Thatch comes from the Old High German decchen, to cover. It evolved into thakan, then traveled to Middle English as thachen. Thatched roofs can be found throughout the world, and while you might think they’re flimsy, they can be maintained for hundreds of years – and have attracted attention once more as a sustainable material.


You’ll find the name on the map in many places, including California and Vermont.

There’s also:

  • Children’s book Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville. Jeremy splurges on an oversized marble, and the marble turns out to be a dragon’s egg.
  • Becky Thatcher, Tom’s love interesting in Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer series.
  • Veteran character actor Torin Thatcher, known for playing big screen bad guys in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
  • Admiral Henry Thatcher led the US Navy during the Civil War. Two USS Thatchers have been named in his honor.
  • Harvard professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is well known for her famous quote, “Well behaved women seldom make history.”
  • It’s the given name of Grey’s Anatomy character Thatcher Grey, father to Meredith.


For much of the twentieth century, Thatcher appeared as a sometimes-used rarity, possibly a family name promoted to the first spot.

Heath Ledger’s turn in A Knight’s Tale sparked more interest in the name. In 2000, the US recorded 24 boys by the name. By 2001, that number was 41.

Plus, the baby name Thatcher fit with so many trends. In 2013, the US Top 100 included Hunter, Tyler, Carter, and Parker. Many more -r ending surname names for boys were climbing in use.

199 newborn boys received the name that year – enough to push Thatcher to a debut in the US Top 1000, at #986.

The name hasn’t slowed down since, reaching #799 as of 2019.

Handsome and polished, Thatcher feels just slightly different. It’s a hard-working name, the kind of choice that feels capable. It’s easy to see why parents have made Thatcher a fast-rising surname pick.

What do you think of the baby name Thatcher?

First published on April 15, 2009, this post was revised substantially and re-posted on February 23, 2015 and again on April 17, 2021.

boy name Thatcher

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. Love the name so much I used it for my son. He mainly goes by Thatcher but often Thatch or Thatchy.
    So sweet. Love the fact that it feels “normal” but isn’t common.

  2. Thanks for reminding me how much I love this name! It tends to fly a little under the radar, but all of the associations that you’ve mentioned add up to a quiet name that packs a lot of punch!
    Nick’s comments as to why he suggested it are fantastic reasons to use it too 🙂

  3. I love Thatcher, and Thacher is a neat spelling variant, Nick and Erin! Bravo on your unique but chic name choice!

    So, yea, Becky Thatcher is my “big” Thatcher association, although Margaret’s there, too – oh, well. It also reminds me of The Thatched Tavern, this restaurant-pub that my family used to frequent when I lived in England as a child, so that’s nice. I’ve recently become enamored with the idea of using surnames for classic children’s literature for the middle names of my future sons; clearly, Thatcher fits the bill! I’m playing with Toby Thatcher at the moment, which seems the perfect mix of classic sophistication and quirky playfulness. Others I love are McGregor (Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny) and Lennox (The Secret Garden).

  4. I am the “Nick” of “Nick and Erin”, so obviously I am a fan of the name! We chose it because we liked the occupational meaning, not so much roofer, as someone whose work brings people together (… under the shelter of a dry roof), and it helps that a thatcher interweaves the straw or other material and layers it to create the roof. The spelling is not actually that uncommon (think The Thacher School), we liked the look, associations (and non associations) more for the variant spelling. Thanks to Verity for including it! We are big fans of the site.

  5. I like Thatcher just fine. I think of Becky Thatcher before Margaret Thatcher. I’m generally not a huge fan of occupational/surname names for kids unless they’re being used in honor of a namesake (I’m one who would consider naming a kid Chaucer if I could get away with it), but I think it’s a good, uncommon choice for someone else.

  6. Thatcher’s nice. I’m not crazy for it, but I can completely appreciate his appeal. I admire Margaret Thatcher overall; in retrospect, she strikes me as a libertarian. As socially liberal as I am, I’m a huge supporter of privatization and smaller government. Her economic policies were pretty revolutionary. Anyhoo, I would never spell it without the “T,” but I always advise against spelling variations in general.

  7. I’m one who thinks of Margaret first, so it’s a no go, for me. But I don’t mind it. Thatcher’s got a bit more style than some other occupation names I can think of (Tyler, YOU).

    As for Thacher, I’m sure he’ll have to spell his name out/correct folks fairly often. It doesn’t bother me any but it may end up making him midly rabid. 🙂 The name, however it’s spelled is a nice one and I wouldn’t mind seeing it on other people’s kids, not at all! 😀

  8. While not generally a fan of surnames as firsts, I do like Thatcher. I also like several other “olde tyme” profession names that are also surnames (I think that’s the distinction for me – with the profession names, it’s clear that it was a profession that became a surname, whereas with other surnames, like recently discussed St. John and Sinclair, that is lost and it just sounds surnamey to me). I will admit that Margaret Thatcher is a strong association with the name, but probably quite a bit less so than if we were still living on the other side of the Atlantic. It also evokes pictures of stone buildings with thatch tops nestled in rolling green hills .Overall, I think it’s got I nice sound and makes for a fine name.

  9. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of surnames-as-first-names, so no one will be surprised when I say, “this isn’t for me”. The odd spelling Thacher is strange, too. It definitely bothers me (but that’s because I’m a grammar- and spelling-phile – and yes, I’m aware those aren’t real words.) It makes me want to say THAY-cher instead of THAT-cher. I do definitely think of GB’s former PM, and I was thinking of Heath Ledger, too – but wasn’t sure why until you explained it, Verity. Before I ever used this name, there would have to be a strong connection, either familial or personal.