The baby name York came from the surname York, which refers to the city of York in northern England.
How was the city of York named? It’s a rather long story, actually.
When the Romans invaded the region 2,000 years ago, they discovered a settlement named “Eburaci.” They proceeded to Latinize the name to Eboracum.
The etymology of Eburaci is debated, but many believe it’s based on the Brythonic word Eborakon, likely meaning “yew tree place.” The Romans, however, believed it meant “boar place.” So they made the boar a symbol of the settlement.
In the early fifth century, the Anglo-Saxons invaded. Their new name for the town, based on the assumed definition “boar place,” was Eoforwic. In Old English, Eofor means “boar,” and wic means “settlement” or “village.”
Then the Vikings invaded in 866, and Eoforwic became Jorvik, pronounced “Yorvik.”
And Jorvik eventually morphed into York.
In the 17th century, the English captured the North American territory of New Netherland and its main port, New Amsterdam, and named both New York in honor of James, Duke of York (later King James II).
How popular is the baby name York in the U.S.? Not very. York has ranked among the 1,000 most popular U.S. baby names only once, in 1881.