Sylvester

Meaning and Origin of the Name Sylvester

The name, Sylvester is a masculine name. The original meaning of Sylvester is wood or “of the forest” and is taken from the Latin word silva, meaning woodland.

Its feminine counterpart is Sylvestra. Prior to the Classical Period, the name was spelled Silvester; however, the “I” was changed to a “y” after that time frame of 1750 through 1820.

Popularity

While not as common today, the popularity of Sylvester, was very common during the Middle Ages and began declining after the Protestant Reformation.

Government records tell us that over 40,000 boys have carried the name, Sylvester since 1980. With the greatest popularity in 1920. Assuming they remain alive, those 805 gentlemen would be 97 this year.

Famous People with the name Sylvester

The Rocky and Rambo star Sylvester Stallone
The Rocky and Rambo star Sylvester Stallone

The name Sylvester, is associated with three Popes. Sylvester I, who is believed to have baptised Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman Emperor. He was also the only sainted Pope Sylvester. As a surname, there were several Englishmen who carried the name including:

  • Charles Sylvester, an English chemist and inventor, was born and christened in 1774 in Sheffield. Though he gave most of the credit to his partner, Charles Sylvester recorded innovative ways of heating hospitals that were included in the design, and the healthier features such as self-cleaning and air-refreshing toilets.

 

  • Robin Sylvester, born in 1950, in Hampstead, London, now makes his home in San Francisco, California and is best known for his work with the Rat Dog band.
  • As a given name, you will want to note Sylvester Graham (1794–1851), who was a Presbyterian minister and the father of graham crackers.
  • And do we need to mention, Stallone or the cat who tormented poor little Tweety Bird?

Useful Resources

Discover the meaning and origin of other English boys’ names.