If adventure is what your pup loves more than anything, Sawyer is arguably the most fitting name. While many associate it with the wild child of Mark Twain’s imaginings, the origin is a bit more straightforward. Like all names that came to us from Britain, the name Sawyer simply meant someone that earned his pay by sawing wood. Rewind it back a few more generations and you get saghier, a Middle English derivative of the term saghen, or “to saw”. Some name analysts even trace this to the Jewish surname Seger.
Because it denoted what was done for a living, it makes sense that this would be a rather popular surname, and it has remained that way for a long time. Only in about the 1990s did it usage as a first name start to see an upswing in popularity. Since then, each year has seen growth in its popularity, partially fueled by modern television than anything. Indeed, recent shows such as Lost and Being Human have featured characters, both male and female, with either a first name or nickname of Sawyer.
While enjoyable, it’s the more historic fiction that has really kept the name alive. Virtually everyone in America grew up at least somewhat familiar with Tom Sawyer. First appearing in 1876, this orphaned child living with his Aunt Polly in St. Petersburg, Missouri is a quintessential representation of the untamed confidence, boldness and immaturity of youth. Sawyer loved getting into trouble as much as he adored adventure.
According to memoirs, Sawyer was actually based off a real life fireman of the same name. According to the legends, Twain would chat with Sawyer about his childhood adventures. Eventually he told the fireman that his stories were going to be published one day. The fireman agreed so long as it didn’t make him look bad. According to Twain, however, the character is based off of three people, none of whom were the alleged fireman.
Arguably, the relatively recent awakening of the name began back in 1997 with the release of Cats Don’t Dance. While not what one would consider a box office success, it nevertheless won two awards. In it, it’s the female lead carrying the name Sawyer. And though it was a film about cats, it served as a means of getting the public familiar with the name being used for females as well.
In regards to dogs, however, the name remains off the top 100 lists, however predictions are showing it to be a real competitor in the next few years. Many are seeing 2015 or 2016 as the year it breaks the top 10. Though your dog may not have the appendages to hold true to the original definition of the name, there is no doubt they have the joie de vivre as seen in so many fictional Sawyers that have further defined this name as one of the best.