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.