Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Malcolm

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • Gaelic, Scottish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 444
Simple meaning:
Disciple of St. Columba

Characteristics of Malcolm

  • Humanitarian
  • Community-minded
  • Family-oriented
  • Loving
  • Affectionate
  • Compassionate
  • Sensitive

Etymology & Historical Origin - Malcolm

Malcolm is the anglicized form of the Scottish-Gaelic “Máel Coluim” which was a given name created in honor of St. Columba, a very famous and important saint to the Scots. “Máel” means “devotee of” and “Coluim” is the Scottish spelling of Columba (which is a Latin name meaning “dove”). Therefore, the root etymology of Malcolm is one who is a follower or servant of St. Columba. St. Columba was a 6th century Irish monk who is credited with converting most of Scotland and Northern England to Christianity. Columba basically did for the Picts what St. Patrick had done for the Irish and Irish Scots. Like St. Andrew, St. Columba has always been one of the most popular saints in Scotland, and in the Middle Ages the Scots began naming their children after venerated saints. Although unlike the rest of Europe, in Scotland it was considered presumptuous and sacrilege to give a saint’s name directly to a child and so was generally prefixed with “máel” (devotee of) or “gille” (servant of). Not surprisingly, Malcolm is a name shared among four Scottish kings, including Malcolm III who was historically depicted in Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth”. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Malcolm jumped waters and spread among other English-speaking nations. Today in Scotland Callum (a more modern Scottish form of Columba) is an extremely popular boy’s name; much more so than Malcolm. Aside from the name’s saintly Scottish connections, Malcolm was also borne by a famous American civil rights leader Malcolm Little, better known as Malcolm X (1925-1965).

Popularity of the Name Malcolm

Malcolm has maintained a position on the American male naming charts for as long as the U.S. government has been tracking naming trends (dating back to at least 1880). The name was most popular in the 19 teens and 20s which happened to coincide with a period of time when Scottish immigration to the United States was strong (owing to a weakened economy in Scotland). Malcolm also saw a healthy jump in 1965, the year Malcolm X was assassinated. Malcolm also did moderately well during the 1990s. It appeared as if Malcolm was starting to reverse his course on the charts as usage declined in the first years of the 21st century; however, in the past couple of years he is showing signs of a possible comeback. Malcolm is a real neglected charmer in our opinion. Underused yet distinctive, confident and charismatic, Malcolm is loaded with Scottish flavor and African-American significance. Just ask superstar actors Harrison Ford and Denzel Washington. They both have sons named Malcolm. We also like Mack for a nickname.
Popularity of the Boy Name Malcolm
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Malcolm

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Malcolm

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Malcolm

    Malcolm (Macbeth) Malcolm, Prince of Cumberland, is the elder son of the Scottish King, Duncan, in what may be William Shakespeare’s most well known work, Macbeth (the “Scottish play”), believed to have been written around 1605. Malcolm is something of an enigma in that some of his actions do not bode well for a future king. His introduction to us has him praising a sergeant who saved him from captivity in the recent rebellion, so his prowess as a warrior might be less than stellar. Nonetheless, Daddy Duncan makes him the Prince of Cumberland, which is a surefire road to the throne. This enrages Macbeth, which is not a good idea. When Macbeth and his lovely wife carry out their murder of Duncan, Malcolm and his brother skip town. Well, of course they are right to believe that they may be next on the death list, but shouldn’t a future king show some fight and fire? Stand his ground? Avenge his father? When Malcolm meets up with Macduff in England, he tests his loyalty by representing himself as unworthy to be King of Scotland, but MacDuff passes the test. We don’t see Malcolm sitting around mourning much for old dad either, and when Macduff’s entire family is slaughtered by Macbeth, Malcolm rather unsympathetically urges him to buck up and take it like a man. Urging Macduff to turn his grief to rage, Malcolm arranges for an army to march to Dunsinane and kill Macbeth. It may be the prospect of finally becoming king that seems to temper Malcolm’s attitude. He promotes all his thanes to earls and settles in for a nice peaceful trouble-free reign, inviting everyone to his coronation. Except the Macbeths.

  • Popular Songs on Malcolm

    Popular Songs on Malcolm

    Malcolm - a song by Ghostface Killah [explicit]

    Sweet Brother Malcolm - a song by Richard Ashcroft [explicit]

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Malcolm

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Malcolm

    Malcolm at Midnight (W. H. Beck) - When Malcolm the rat arrives as the pet at McKenna School, he revels in the attention. He also meets the Midnight Academy, a secret society of classroom pets that keeps the nutters (kids) safe. There’s just one problem…rats have a terrible reputation! So when the Academy’s iguana leader is kidnapped, Malcolm must prove his innocence—and that even rats can be good guys. Illustrated by Brian Lies of Bats at the Beach, this engaging middle-grade novel will have readers rooting for Malcolm as they try to solve the mystery alongside him. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Malcolm McDinkelstorm Fedderman Stich (Peter Carnegie) - Malcolm needed a friend. So he went to the pet store where he met a long legged, pot bellied frog. Now he has to decide what to call his new friend and with a name like Malcolm McDinkelstorm Fedderman Stich, choosing a name could be lots of fun. Full of tongue twisting and silly names and imaginative adventure, this fun and colorful book is perfect for children. Ages 3-7.

    Malcolm the Butterfly (Ken Sims) - This book is three books in one: coloring book, storybook and history book. Malcolm the Butterfly is a coloring book that uses nature to tell the story of Malcolm X. His transformation from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly that learns it is not the color or the look but the character of the person that counts. Our hero learns many lessons on his way to becoming a beautiful butterfly. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly (Walter Dean Myers) - "I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being, neither white, black, brown, nor red." This was just one of the messages that Malcolm X brought to people of color. He lived by the idea that black people should demand equality by taking their lives and futures into their own hands. With guidance from the religious leader Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm became one of the most powerful leaders of the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s, and his beliefs live on today. Award-winning author Walter Dean Myers, together with illustrator Leonard Jenkins, delivers a straightforward and compelling portrayal of one of America's most influential figures. Recommended for ages 8-14.

  • Famous People Named Malcolm

    Famous People Named Malcolm

    Famous People Named Malcolm - Malcolm X (civil rights leader); Malcolm McDowell (actor); Malcolm-Jamal Warner (actor); Malcolm Gladwell (author/journalist); Malcolm Cowley (author); Malcolm Forbes (businessman); Malcolm Lowry (poet/novelist); Malcolm McCormick (rapper, aka Mac Miller); Malcolm Young (guitarist for AC/DC); Malcolm Cameron (football coach); Malcolm Glazer (businessman); Malcolm I-IV of Scotland (monarchs)

  • Children of Famous People Named Malcolm

    Children of Famous People Named Malcolm

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Malcolm - Denzel Washington (actor); Harrison Ford (actor); Melissa Mathison (screenwriter)

Personality of the Boy Name Malcolm

Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.

Variations of the Baby Name - Malcolm

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