National Clayton Day is annually celebrated on December 12. Clayton is an old English surname dating back to the eleventh century. Later, it would grow in popularity as a surname in parts of Great Britain and neighboring countries. Today, Clayton is used both as a first and last name. It is used for boys in the former, but in the latter, it can apply to girls. Celebrities like singer Clay Aiken, L.A. Dodgers basketball player Clayton Kershaw, and U2 bassist Adam Clayton, are examples of how popular the name Clayton has remained, despite its age.
History of National Clayton Day
The name Clayton is derived from the old English word ‘claeg,’ which translates to ‘clay,’ and ‘tun’ meaning ‘settlement.’ In the archaic Teutonic language, Clayton translates to ‘from the town on the clay bed.’ There are references to clay-rich locations in both languages. These references are significant because clay had various uses in medieval times. Humans needed vessels to store grain, water, liquor, oil, and cooked food.
Clay pottery was a typical decoration in homes, taverns, and marketplaces. Artisans molded utensils by hand and baked them in ovens. The surname may have originated in the pottery industry in England to identify families with a background in dealing with clay.
The American baby name Clayton didn’t become popular until the 19th century. Approximately 95,000 Americans share the name today. A notable example is Clayton Holmes Aiken, a singer who appeared in the second season of “American Idol” in 2003. Though Aiken didn’t win the competition, he had a successful musical career and rose to become one of the highest-paid contestants, earning an estimated $1.5 million in 2010.
U2 bassist Adam Clayton started his musical career in 1976 as a member of the group Feedback. At 13, he bought his first acoustic guitar for six dollars and taught himself how to play it. It wasn’t until 1995 that he traveled to New York to receive formal bass guitar training. Clayton is the oldest member of U2.
National Clayton Day timeline
Adam Clayton, Paul Hewson, and Larry Mullen Jr. unite to form the band U2.
Clayton Anderson travels to the International Space Station aboard the shuttle ‘Atlantis,’ serving as a mission specialist and living on the station for 152 days.
Nomi Marks, played by the actress Jamie Clayton, makes her debut on the Netflix series “Sense8.”
Clay Aiken announces his intention to run for the Democratic nomination in North Carolina’s fourth congressional district.
National Clayton Day FAQs
What is the meaning of ‘Clayton?’
Clayton is based on the old English term ‘claeg,’ which means ‘clay’, and ‘tun,’ which means ‘settlement.’
How do you pronounce Clayton?
Clayton is pronounced as ‘KLAY’ + ‘TUN.’
Where is the name Clayton popular?
Clayton is an English name popular in Lancashire, Staffordshire, Sussex, and Yorkshire.
National Clayton Day Activities
Make a mold of your name
Make your name with polymer clay letters to celebrate National Clayton Day. You can also engrave your name into a clay slab.
Craft a nameplate for your workspace
Another fun way to celebrate National Clayton Day is by making a nameplate from clay. Clay nameplates make a colorful addition to your home or workspace.
Listen to Clay Aiken
Clay Aiken’s debut album “Measure of a Man” went multi-platinum in 2003. You can also check out his earlier appearances on the series “American Idol,” where he got his start in the music industry.
5 Cool Facts About Clayton
The Clayton who made it to space
Clayton Conrad Anderson was the first Nebraskan to ascend to space with NASA.
The Clayton who ran for congress
During the 2014 midterm elections, musician Clay Aiken ran for North Carolina’s second congressional district on a Democratic party ticket.
No stuntmen required
Actor Clayton Moore, who played the Lone Ranger in the television series of the same name, trained and rode his horse Silver, performing all horseback scenes by himself.
The bass guitarist of a famous band
The U2 bass guitarist, Adam Clayton, attended the same school as Paul Hewson, better known as Bono, and Larry Mullen Jr., who would become his future bandmates.
The talented backup singer
Merry Clayton is the woman behind the iconic and haunting backing vocals in the “Rolling Stones” song “Gimme Shelter.”
Why We Love National Clayton Day
It works both ways
Clayton works as a first and last name. Versatility is its appeal.
It’s a vintage
Clayton is a vintage baby name. It’s a link to the past — and we sure love history!
It’s going through a revival
Clayton is one of those names from the past 100 years that’s going through a revival. Parents see older, less familiar names as more unique and special.
National Clayton Day dates