Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Roland

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, French, German
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 665
Simple meaning:
Famous land; Renowned in the land

Characteristics of Roland

  • Independent
  • Individualistic
  • Ambitious
  • Strong-willed
  • Inventive
  • Successful

Etymology & Historical Origin - Roland

Roland is an Old French masculine name with Frankish (Germanic) origins. It is made up of the elements “hrōd” meaning “fame” and “land” meaning “land, territory”. The name dates back to medieval Germany and France, and was eventually adopted by the Norman-French who brought the name to England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Roland was a real-life historical figure and Frankish hero who fought for Charlemagne during the 8th and early 9th centuries (during the Crusades); his exploits on the battlefield are famously depicted in the epic literary work “The Song of Roland”, a classical 12th century French poem and the oldest surviving major piece of French literature (French: La Chanson de Roland). For more information on Roland’s “song of heroic deeds”, see literary references below. Today the name Roland is most popular in Hungary where it ranks quite high. It has lost its popularity among English speakers so far in the 21st century. Orlando is the Italian equivalent and Rolando is used by both the Italians and the Spanish.

Popularity of the Name Roland

The name Roland has greatly decreased in popularity in the last 50 years in America. In the decades from 1900-1930, the name Roland experienced some popularity, coming in at the 98th most popular given name for boys in 1924-1925 (which is the only time Roland hit the Top 100 list). Since the second half of the 20th century and on into the 21st century, Roland has lost his appeal. The Italian Orlando is now more popular in the United States by far. In any case, Roland is a confident and handsome name loaded with heroic traits. It’s currently underused and highly neglected in our opinion, so this one is worth considering for traditional or literary parents looking for more originality in a name. Yes, we’ve heard of the possibility of “Rollie Pollie” schoolyard teasing, but such banter is short lived and only applicable if your son happens to be chubby. Otherwise, it seems a silly reason to ignore a perfectly charming name. Roland is a cool name, end of story.
Popularity of the Boy Name Roland
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Roland

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Roland

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Roland

    Roland (The Song of Roland) French: La Chanson de Roland is the oldest known French epic poem. The epic deals with Charlemagne’s campaign against the Saracens (Muslims) in Spain in the late 8th century, intended as a call-to-arms by Christians against the heathens. Based on true events (but with typical literary liberties), Roland and the rear guard under his command are betrayed by his step-father and sold out to the King of the Saracens. They are ambushed and outnumbered and left without reinforcements to defend against the oncoming Saracens. Fellow soldier and close comrade to Roland, Oliver, implores his best friend to blow his “olifant” (elephant) horn to summon back the main forces. Roland refuses (why, we’re not told exactly but perhaps meant to demonstrate the hero’s valiancy, bravery and hubris – qualities which were considered important on the battlefield). As the losses become staggering, Roland finally blows the horn so forcefully that he bursts his temples, dies on the battlefield, a martyr, while facing toward his enemy’s land. He is promptly whisked away to heaven by the angels Gabriel and Michael along with assorted cherubim. The good Oliver, we hope, also makes it into celestial territory, albeit without heavenly escorts. So goes “The Song of Roland”.

    Sweetheart Roland (A German Fairytale) Sweetheart Roland is a German fairytale and one which was collected by the Brothers Grimm. In typical fairytale fashion, Sweetheart Roland tells the story of a witch who has two daughters – the ugly one was her real daughter and so she loved her most. The lovely one was her stepdaughter and so she treated her poorly. The ugly daughter envied the pretty one’s apron, and so the mother-witch promised to get it for her. A plan was devised that the daughter would sleep in the bed that night against the wall, with the stepdaughter sleeping on the edge. The witch would go into the room in the middle of the night and cut off her stepdaughter’s head with an axe. But the lovely stepdaughter overheard the plan and cleverly switched places with her stepsister in the bed. The witch unknowingly beheaded her own daughter and left the room. The pretty stepdaughter went to her “Sweetheart Roland” and revealed what she had done, urging him to flee with her before the stepmother discovered what she had done. Roland told the girl to go back and get the witch’s magic wand, and also spread three drops of the stepsister’s blood throughout the house. When the witch called out to her daughter, the blood answered, giving the lovers some time to escape. The witch eventually found her dead daughter and, in a rage, vowed revenge. She put on her “seven-league” boots and managed to overtake the girl and Roland. But the girl used the magic wand to turn Roland into a lake and herself into a duck. The evil witch approached but was unable to lure the duck toward her; dejected, she returned home. The next day the pursuit resumed. When the witch approached, the girl turned herself into a rose bush and Roland into a fiddler. The witch asked the fiddler if she could pluck the beautiful rose. “Of course” said Roland in disguise, “and I shall play for you.” As the witch emerged herself into the rose bush to reach the flower, Roland played the fiddle faster and faster, forcing the witch into a magical dance as the thorns from the bush ripped her apart into a bloody mess until she died. Now free from the witch, the two lovers decide to marry. Roland left for his father’s house to order the wedding while the girl used the magic wand and turned herself into a stone, waiting for Roland’s return. While gone, Roland became distracted by several women who made him forget about his one true love. As the girl waited and waited, Roland never returned. Brokenhearted she changed herself into a flower, hoping a passer-by would trend on her and take her out of her misery. Along came a shepherd who saw the pretty flower and picked it to take home (not realizing it was the girl). Back in the shepherd’s hut, suddenly all the housework and chores were finished before he awoke; and when he returned from his flock, supper was always prepared. The shepherd was perplexed and so he went to a wise woman for advice. She told him to watch carefully for anything out of place and to throw a white cloth over it to break the magic spell. When he threw the cloth over the flower, a lovely maiden stood before him and revealed it was she who had done the housekeeping. The shepherd asked her to marry him, but the girl declared her heart only belonged to Roland even if he had forsaken her. She agreed to remain and keep the shepherd’s house. It came to pass later that Roland’s wedding day approached and every maiden in the land was required to sing at the celebration. The girl did what she could to avoid her turn, but at last she was forced to sing. When her lovely voice fell upon the ears of Roland, he instantly cried out: “I know the voice! That is my true bride, I will have no other!” And so the lovely girl married her “Sweetheart Roland” and the two lived happily ever after. The End!

  • Popular Songs on Roland

    Popular Songs on Roland

    Roland - a song by Interpol

    Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Warren Zevon

    Roland the Roadie and Gertrude the Groupie - Dr. Hook

    Song of Roland - a song by Kamelot

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Roland

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Roland

    I Hate Roland Roberts (Martina Selway) - Written as a letter to Grandad this charming story reveals the evolving friendship between Rosie and Roland. Wonderful for any child facing a new school situation. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Roland the Minstrel Pig (William Steig) - Roland, the central character, sets out to see the world, armed with his lute and his sweet voice, but a scheming fox almost roasts him before he is rescued by the king. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Roland Wright: Brand-New Page (Tony Davis) - It's really happened—Roland Wright is to join the royal household at Twofold Castle as a brand-new page! This is his big chance to impress the King and his knights. But Roland encounters a few difficulties: 1. The Queen hates mice, so it looks as if Nudge, Roland's pet mouse, can't stay. 2. There's an older page who makes sure poor boys like Roland are sent home in disgrace. 3. A huge, tusked animal is on the loose. If things don't improve, Roland's dream of being a knight could be over in a day. Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Roland Wright: Future Knight (Tony Davis) - A laugh-out-loud chapter book series filled with knightly adventures! Roland Wright wants to be a knight in armor. The problem: Roland’s dad is a blacksmith, and only boys from noble families can even dream of becoming knights. When mysterious visitors arrive in the village one day, everything changes. Roland finds himself in the contest of a lifetime, with a real chance to become a page, the first step on the road to knighthood. But how can skinny, clumsy Roland beat an opponent who is bigger, stronger, and older—and who doesn’t play by the rules? Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Roland's Project (J P Davidson) - A Ghost Detective Story. Kindle edition. What happens in Clayhorne, a small North Buckinghamshire village that turns an ordinary 13 year old schoolboy and his camera into a ghost hunter, and sets him off onto a path of investigating mysterious happenings? This first adventure of Roland changes his life and opens a door to another world; a world that Roland and his friends never knew existed. How would he know that an innocent school project would turn into a difficult and risky hunt for the truth? With a helping hand from his Uncle Terry, will Roland and his two friends, Christopher and Jason, bring peace back to their quiet and tranquil village of Clayhorne? Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Song of Roland Smith (Jenny Koralek) - Judd and Roly borrow a puppy from a pet shop, but disaster strikes and they manage to lose it. But this event also leads to their meeting with Percy, a blind girl whose bravery enables them to see their own problems in perspective. Recommended for ages 7-10.

    Stories of Roland Told to the Children (H. E. Marshall) - Ten illustrated stories from the Song of Roland, simply but effectively told, relating how Roland follows the bravest knights of Charlemagne into battle, how Roland and Oliver meet their deaths, of Charlemagne's vengeance on Marsil the Saracen and of the punishment of the traitor Ganelon. The treatment is romantic, the style picturesque. An excellent introduction to this legend for children. Recommended for ages 8-12.

    The Song of Roland (Robert Harrison, translator) - One of the crowning achievements of medieval artistic genius, The Song of Roland tells the story of the battle of Roncesvals in 778. At the center of this heroic epic is Roland, the supreme embodiment of the chivalric ideal who leads his men into combat and fights valiantly to the death. Recommended for ages high school aged and older.

  • Famous People Named Roland

    Famous People Named Roland

    Famous People Named Roland - Roland Kirk (jazz musician); Roland Joffé (director); Roland Michener (Canadian politician); Roland Parise (astronaut); Roland Harper (football player); Roland Hooks (football player)

  • Children of Famous People Named Roland

    Children of Famous People Named Roland

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

  • Historic Figures

    Roland - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

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

Personality of the Boy Name Roland

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Variations of the Baby Name - Roland

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