Peyton is a gender-neutral name that may derive from the name of a town in England. Once a common last name, Peyton's journey from a family name in England to a first name primarily for girls in the United States is an interesting one.
Several theories about the origin of Peyton exist, with the most common being that it was a surname that meant "Poega's town" in Old English. Using the place you lived as your last name was once a common practice.
Another theory is that it means "fighting man's estate."
For many years, Peyton was a common last name (and still is today). And while it's technically a unisex name – in fact, arguably the most famous Peytons are boys (think of former professional football player Peyton Manning) – data shows it's now most commonly given to girls.
Peyton first entered the U.S. Social Security Administration's list of the top 1,000 baby names as a boy's name in 1989, though its popularity as a girl's name wasn't far behind – it entered the top 1,000 girl's names in 1992. But while Peyton never broke into the top 100 most popular boy's names – it peaked at number 130 in 2008 and has since been on the decline – it's only grown in popularity as a girl's name.
As a girl's name, Peyton climbed the list for almost two decades before breaking into the top 100 in 2008, then peaked in popularity at number 42 in 2009. It's since declined slightly, but remains in or near the top 100 baby names for girls.
As with many unisex names, the popularity of the gender that holds the name ebbs and flows. History has proven that Peyton is a suitable name for either a boy or a girl.
Peyton Elizabeth Lee : American actress known for her role in the Disney TV show Andi Mack
Peyton List : American actress known for appearing in 27 Dresses, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Peyton Manning : Retired American professional football player and Super Bowl winner
Peyton Randolph : First president of the United States Continental Congress, technically making him the first leader of the U.S.
Peyton Reed : American director best known for his movies Bring It On, The Break-Up, and Yes Man
Peyton List : actress
Peyton Manning : football player