This post was originally published on April 15, 2009. It was substantially revised and re-posted on February 23, 2015.
It’s a humble surname name with a preppy feel.
Thanks to Nick & Erin for requesting Thatcher as our Baby Name of the Day.
Thatcher: Iron Lady & Medieval Knight
There’s a very famous woman with this last name: Margaret Thatcher, the UK’s first female prime minister, and the Iron Lady of the 1980s. Depending on your politics, this could make it a hero name – or one to avoid at all costs.
Of course, 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.
The humbly born Will earned his surname because his father earned a living patching rooves with straw – thatch. Like Mason, it’s the kind of occupation no one really 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.
Thatcher: Even More Notables
You’ll find the name on the map in many places, including California and Vermont.
- 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.
Thatcher: On the Rise
From the 1960s through the 1980s, Thatcher was 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, 24 boys were given the name. By 2001, that number was 41.
In 2007, celebrity chef Cat Cora welcomed a son named Thatcher Julius, and there were 14o newborn boys called Thatcher.
Then came 2013, with 199 newborn boys with the name – enough to push Thatcher to a debut in the US Top 1000, at #986.
With choices like Carter, Hunter, and Parker solidly established in the US Top 100, and names like Archer and Sawyer rising fast, it’s easy to imagine this handsome name joining them.
What do you think of Thatcher? Do you think it is likely to be more popular in the coming years?