As bipedal primates, humans are water chasers by nature

How Water Names Echo Human Evolution

Jeff Miller
3 min readDec 26, 2021

We all know that last names like Miller, Smith, and Baker mirror the occupations of our ancestors. But what of Waters, Waterman, Drinkwater, Westwater, Waterhouse, Waterford, Waterfield, and Van de Water, to single out just a few? Do these folks hail from a long line of champion swimmers? Were their forerunners handy with a divining rod? Or, in keeping with our occupational theme, were these distant relatives water laborers…

Jeff Miller

A culture writer, Jeff Miller enjoys tugging at the sacred, profane, and prosaic threads that shape behavior and belief.