Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Oswald

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, German
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • N/A
AHZ-wald (German: AWS-vahlt)
Simple meaning:
God's rule; divine power

Characteristics of Oswald

  • Cooperative
  • Considerate
  • Compassionate
  • Nurturing
  • Sensitive
  • Patient
  • Loving
  • Kind
  • Gracious
  • Balanced

Etymology & Historical Origin - Oswald

Oswald is a Germanic name rooted in the elements “ōs” meaning “god” and “weald” meaning “rule”; the name dates back to the beginning of the Middle Ages in England and was prevalent among the earliest Anglo-Saxons. The most famous name bearer was Oswald of Northumbria, an early 7th century King of Northumbria (which at the time was an Angles kingdom in the northeastern portion of present day England). After Oswald’s father was defeated and killed in an East Anglian battle, the boy’s maternal uncle became king which forced Oswald into exile. Much of this exile was spent in the Scottish-Celtic kingdom of Dál Riata where the youngster was converted to Christianity (thanks to the early missions of the Irish Saint Columba). Meanwhile, back in Britain, the King of the native Britons (Celts) and the King of Mercia (another Anglo-tribe) entered a pact to kill Edwin (Oswald’s uncle). Oswald’s brother (who was the king of the southern portion of Northumbria) was also killed when he tried to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Briton King Cadwallon. Now it was time for Oswald to come face-to-face with his nemesis Cadwallon. It is believed that Oswald came south from Dál Riata, perhaps allied with some of his new pals the Scots and the Picts, and met Cadwallon at battle in Northumbria. He carried a cross and prayed to his new Christian god asking strength for his army. According to legend, an apparition of St. Columba appeared before Oswald promising victory and the death of Cadwallon. Despite being outnumbered by the Britons, Oswald was indeed victorious (much of his army converted to Christianity after the battle convinced there must be something to this one divine power they apparently witnessed). Oswald went on to reestablish a united Northumbria and came to be regarded as the most powerful king in Britain. Saint Aidan was sent from Dál Riata to help King Oswald convert his people to Christianity; an endeavor which proved successful. The king was ultimately killed in battle with the Mercians around the age of 38 in 642 A.D. Healing miracles have been attributed to the battle site where Oswald was killed known as Oswestry (in England near the Welsh border). King Oswald was martyred and came to be regarded as a saint (his Feast Day is August 5, the day he died). His actions in life are remembered to be pious and saintly despite his tradition as a Germanic warrior-king. Perhaps his name’s etymology is no accident: “God’s rule; divinely powerful”. Oswald’s cult was so popular in Britain it actually managed to spread to mainland Europe in medieval times. The name fell from fashion by the later Middle Ages but was revived again in the 19th century. Today, however, Oswald is back out of style.

Popularity of the Name Oswald

Oswald was a familiar yet only quasi-popular name in the United States dating back to the late 19th century. This name managed to stay on the Top 1000 list of American boy names up until 1933. From that point on, for about 80 consecutive years now, Oswald has been out of circulation. This old warrior-king has permanently retired to the Land of the Forgotten. However, as more and more parents seem to be embracing names like Omar and Arlo, we wondered: why not Oswald? Oswald doesn’t just have old-fashioned charm; he’s got some serious ANCIENT charm going on. Not to mention nicknames like Oz, Ozzie and Ozzy keep this old bugger up-to-date and cool.
Popularity of the Boy Name Oswald
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Oswald

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Oswald

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Oswald

    Oswald We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Oswald.

  • Popular Songs on Oswald

    Popular Songs on Oswald

    Oswald Defense Lawyer - a song by The Fall

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Oswald

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Oswald

    Oswald (Dan Yaccarino) - Moving to Big City is certainly an adventure for Oswald the Octopus. When he and his pet hot dog, Weenie, arrive at their new apartment, they realize they need some help moving Oswald's treasured piano. It's very heavy. But Oswald doesn't know anyone in Big City. Who will help him? One by one, Oswald's friendly neighbors offer to help. Soon Oswald and Weenie meet Henry the Penguin, Johnny Snowman, the Egg Twins, and many other charming characters. And before they know it they've made lots of new friends. Written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino, a distinguished artist, this cheerful picture book will surely win over many new friends for Oswald and the folks of Big City. Other titles in the Oswald Series include: Counting with Oswald; Oswald's Sleepover; Oswald's Camping Trip; A Little Nap; On-the-Go Oswald; Oswald's Treasures; Oswald's Sand Castle Contest and more! Recommended for ages 3-7.

    Oswald the Malihini Mouse in Hawaii (Olga Jeffery) - Oswald is a little gray mouse who lived in North Carolina. His lifetime wish was to travel around the world to see different places and meet mice from other lands. Unexpectedly an opportunity arises giving him a chance to leave home and go on his first adventure. His destination is Oahu, an island in the Hawaiian Islands, more than 6000 miles away. His escapades on his journey are often scary, but once he reaches the shores of Oahu his life changes. Deserted, and all alone, he meets a Hawaiian mouse named Jitsuo, who looks exactly like him, but is brown not gray. Oswald quickly learns that differences in color do not matter. The brown mice welcome him, and together they laugh at their differences. They are all one family. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Oswald

    Famous People Named Oswald

    Famous People Named Oswald - Oswald Avery (medical scientist); Oswald Achenbach (German artist)

  • Children of Famous People Named Oswald

    Children of Famous People Named Oswald

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Oswald - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Oswald.

  • Historic Figures

    Oswald - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Oswald - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Oswald.

Personality of the Boy Name Oswald

The Number 2 personality in numerology is all about cooperation and balance. It's the number of diplomats and mediators. They are not leaders, but strive rather for harmony in partnerships. These are the peacemakers. Equality and fairness are important in their dealings, and they are willing to share power and responsibility to achieve a harmonious outcome. This personality is calm and patient, waiting for things to evolve instead of pushing aggressively for an outcome. They are good-natured and easy-going, and care deeply on an emotional and spiritual plane. Twos appreciate beauty and nature and are intent on making the world a better place.

Variations of the Baby Name - Oswald

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