Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Walter

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, French, German
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 342
Simple meaning:
Ruler of the Army

Characteristics of Walter

  • Mystical
  • Wise
  • Eccentric
  • Intuitive
  • Imaginative
  • Philosophical
  • Solitary

Etymology & Historical Origin - Walter

In early medieval England, Walter was originally rendered as “Wealdhere” (pronounced ‘Water’), a personal name from the Germanic elements “wald” meaning ‘rule’ and “heri, hari” meaning ‘army’. The name was also common among the Frankish and was later reintroduced to the English by the Norman French in the form of Walter, which superseded and replaced the original Olde English form of the name (although the French form of Walter today is Gautier). One of the earliest notable figures who bore this name was a legendary Visigoth hero from the 5th century, Walter of Aquitaine, whose story was popular during the Middle Ages and known to the Anglo-Saxons. The Visigoths were a Germanic tribe who had migrated to southern Europe (they are the ones who famously sacked Rome in 410 AD). “Waldere” (Walter) is an Anglo-Saxon epic poem recovered in between the pages of an Elizabethan prayer book by a 19th century Copenhagen librarian 1000 years after it had been written! Although only fragments were found, the poem’s existence indicates the popularity of this legend throughout the Germanic world. It tells of the Gothic hero Waldere and his love Hiltigund (a Burgundian princess) who are taken hostage by the Huns and subsequently flee after stealing treasures from Attila’s court. The king of the Burgundians, Gunther, gets wind of the valuable booty and believing the lovers and their treasure to be a part of his domain, takes pursuit. The young fugitives are eventually overtaken by the king and his men, but Walter positions himself well and kills them all in single bloody combat (all but the king and his main officer Hagen). Gunther and Hagen continue to pursue Walter and engage in one final, brutal battle before a peace agreement is reached. The poem ends with the assurance of a happy future for Walter and his bride Hiltigund. Walter has been an extremely popular name among the English, dating way back to medieval England and on par with names like John, Robert, William and Richard.

Popularity of the Name Walter

The name Walter has had a long and successful history on the American male naming charts. Between the years 1880 and 1940, this name was among the Top 25 most favored boy names in the United States. That’s a claim only a very few names can make. Even after the 1940s, Walter remained on the Top 50 list for another almost 30 years. It wasn’t until 1973 that Walter dropped off the Top 100 list for the first time (probably) in the history of America. Sadly, since the 1980s this is a name that has fallen out of style quickly. It has graciously stepped aside to make room for the Jaydens, Aidens and Logans of modern day naming practices. Walter has gone from dominating a spot on the list of most commonly used boy names throughout most of our nation’s history, to being one of the most unstylish names today. However, if past endurance is any indicator we should see Walter return triumphantly once again. We hope so, at least. This is a name with antique charm and refreshing old-world sophistication. It’s also a great choice for a baby boy born into a military (army) family.
Popularity of the Boy Name Walter
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Walter

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Walter

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Walter

    Walter Mitty (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) Walter Mitty is the subject of James Thurber’s famous short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, first published in the New Yorker in 1939. He is an ineffectual, meek, henpecked kind of man who, in his daydreams, is a daredevil pilot, a brilliant doctor, and a cunning killer, among other fantasies. His character’s name has passed into the lexicon as the epitome of one who leads a rich fantasy life in contrast to his very ordinary everyday life. Even in those daydreams, the hapless Walter often trips over his own dreams and ends up a victim of his own making. The 1947 film starring Danny Kaye eschewed the psychological overtones of Thurber’s work and presented Mitty as a lovable doofus who lands in the middle of his own fantasy and is led to admit that heroism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Whatever the interpretation, be it dark-edged or lighthearted, there is no doubt of the importance of the imagination in the lives of the species known as “Homo sapiens”.

  • Popular Songs on Walter

    Popular Songs on Walter

    Uncle Walter - a song by Ben Folds Five

    Walter - a song by The Blue Dogs

    Walter - a song by Wizo

    Walter Whitman Where Are You - a song by Gino Vannelli

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Walter

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Walter

    Iris and Walter Series (Elissa Haden Guest) - Together Iris and Walter discover that anything—from adjusting to a new home to facing the first day of school—is easier when you have a best friend to help you. Other titles in this series are: Iris and Walter: True Friends; Iris and Walter: The Sleepover; Iris and Walter and Baby Rose; Iris and Walter and Cousin Howie; Iris and Walter: Lost and Found; Iris and Walter and the Substitute Teacher; Iris and Walter and the Field Trip; Iris and Walter: The School Play; and Iris and Walter and the birthday party. Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Sourcebook of Little Walter/Big Walter Licks for Blues Harmonica (Little Walter Jacobs & Big Walter - In this essential collection for blues harp players, author Tom Ball sets out to discuss, understand and demystify some of the playing of the phenomenal Walters: the legendary "Big Walter" Horton and "Little Walter" Jacobs. Includes a sampling of the best licks from each artist's repertoire, mapped out in easy-to-read harmonica tablature and played on CD by Ball, plus extensive notes on each musician's style, bios and discographies, rare photos, a bibliography, harmonica basics, notes on amplification and equipment, and much more! Recommended for ages 9-12.

    The Secret World of Walter Anderson (Hester Bass) - Enter the fascinating world of reclusive nature-lover Walter Anderson — perhaps the most famous American artist you’ve never heard of. Residents along the Mississippi Gulf Coast thought Walter Anderson was odd, rowing across twelve miles of open water in a leaky skiff to reach Horn, an uninhabited island without running water or electricity. But this solitary artist didn’t much care what they thought as he spent weeks at a time on his personal paradise, sleeping under his boat, sometimes eating whatever washed ashore, sketching and painting the natural surroundings and the animals that became his friends. Here Walter created some of his most brilliant watercolors, work he kept hidden during his lifetime. In a beautifully crafted picture book biography, writer Hester Bass and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis pay homage to an uncompromising American artist. Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Walter the Baker (Eric Carle) - Walter the Baker is famous for his breads, rolls, cookies, tarts, and pies. The Duke and Duchess especially love his warm sweet rolls, delivered fresh to their castle every morning. But one day the cat spills the milk, and Walter is forced to serve the Duke and Duchess rolls made with water. After one bite the Duke throws down his roll in disgust and summons Walter to the castle. He threatens to banish the baker unless he can take the same dough and make a good-tasting roll that the rising sun can shine through three times. Will Walter succeed in his task, or will he have to leave his town forever? With good humor and the vibrantly colored paper collages that are known and loved the world over, Eric Carle has concocted a delicious book that kids will savor as much as they love eating...shhh...pretzels! Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Walter the Farting Dog (William Kotzwinkle) - Warning: This book may cause flatulence. Walter is a fine dog, except for one small problem: he has gas. He can't help it; it's just the way he is. Fortunately, the kids Billy and Betty love him regardless, but Father says he's got to go! Poor Walter, he's going to the dog pound tomorrow. And then, in the night, burglars strike. Walter has his chance to be a hero. A children's beloved classic, this story will have kids rolling on the floor with laughter. Adults are permitted to laugh too. This best-selling book is the first of a series which also includes Walter the Farting Dog: Trouble at the Yard Sale; Rough Weather Ahead for Walter the Farting Dog; Walter the Farting Dog Goes On A Cruise; and Walter the Farting Dog: Banned From the Beach. Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Walter's Not So Peaceful, Definitely Not Relaxing, But Oh So Awfully Courageous Adventure (N. Early) - Nancy Early has written a wonderful warmhearted book that has all the elements that children love: an exciting adventure in the woods that includes making new friends, having lots of fun and helping each other when things get a little scary! Recommended for ages 6-9.

  • Famous People Named Walter

    Famous People Named Walter

    Famous People Named Walter - Walter Disney (film producer); Walter Cronkite (TV news anchor); Walter "Walt" Whitman (poet/essayist); Sir Walter Scott (Scottish author); Sir Walter Raleigh (explorer); Walter “Bruce” Willis (actor); Walter Matthau (actor); Walter Mondale (U.S. Vice President); Walter Payton (football player); Walter Alston (baseball manager); Walter Brown (hockey player); Walter Bush (hockey player); Walter Hagen (golfer); Walter Johnson (baseball player); Little Walter (blues harmonica player); Walter Pratt (hockey player); Walter Travis (golfer)

  • Children of Famous People Named Walter

    Children of Famous People Named Walter

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Walter - Anita Baker (singer); Charles Dickens (novelist); Walter Cronkite (news anchor)

Personality of the Boy Name Walter

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Variations of the Baby Name - Walter

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