The Baby Name Anchor (and Anker)

During his lifetime, Anker Smith (1759-1819) was one of England’s top line engravers. Some of Anker’s engravings can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery website.

How did Anker Smith get his unusual first name? According to several 19th-century reference books he was named Anker because, as an only son, he was “regarded as the ‘anchor’ or sole hope of his parents.” (“Anker” is a legit early spelling of the word anchor.)

rusty anchorWhile the name Anker isn’t common among English-speakers (it’s more common among Danes and Norwegians) the related name Anchor may be picking up steam in the US:

  • 2012: 5 baby boys named Anchor [debut]

Anchor was used often enough in 2012 to appear on the official US baby name list for the very first time.

What do you think of the name Anchor? Do you think Anchor is a one-hit wonder, or will it be on 2013 list as well? Would you consider giving the name Anchor to your baby?

Source: Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900

Image: Rusty Anchor by Grant MacDonald

4 Responses to The Baby Name Anchor (and Anker)

  1. A heavy burden for a child to carry.

  2. Hahaha.

  3. I just learned that the female names Ankarette, Achoretta (and other spellings) are anglisations of the Welsh name Angharad. They make nice precedents for Anchor/Anker, don’t they?

  4. Interesting find!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*