The primary influence on place
names in the area is old English or Anglo Saxon, while the secondary
influence is Celtic. Therefore whilst Ayton is an Anglo Saxon name,
Prenderguest a farm one mile from the village, can trace its roots
to the Celtic, 'Brethonic' language, or 'Old Welsh' which is a
predecessor to modern day Welsh and Breton.
The name Ayton comes from two
Anglo Saxon words: ei or ea for stream (due to its
proximity to the River Eye), and ton or tun meaning
enclosed farm hamlet. Later, as the language evolved, the word
ton or tun meant farm town in lowland Scottish.
The name (and a number of derivations) has given
rise to the Ayton family, whose origins have been traced by the
Ayton Family History Society.
Various maps from
antiquity show Ayton as Eyetoun, Aiton or Aitoun, while Eyemouth has
been recorded as Ayemouth.