surname, Middle English Bacestere (11c.), literally "baker;" see bake (v.) + -ster. Compare Old English bæcestre, fem. of bæcere "baker," which seems to suggest the surname meant "female baker," but Reaney ("Dictionary of English Surnames") notes Baxter is found mainly in the Anglian counties and is used chiefly of men. Only two examples have been noted with a woman's christian name."