Traditional English Boys Names

What makes a Traditional Boy's name?
What makes a name a traditional name?

Now that Prince William Arthur Philip Louis and Kate Middleton the Duchess of Cambridge have had their son and named him George, it is a good time to take a look at some of the other traditional English boys names they could have given to their son.

Very few of the names which most people associate with England are actually Anglo Saxon in origin. Old English boys names like Alfred, Edgar, Edmund, Edwin, Harold and Oswald are the only traditional English boys names which can trace their origin to the ancient Anglos and Saxons.

Many of the names people today think of as traditional English boys names are in fact traceable to Germany or France. William, one of the most popular English names, is actually German in origin. The name is a derivative of the Old German name Willahelm. The names Robert and Charles are not Anglo Saxon in origin either. Charles comes from Charlemagne. It is French for manly.

Here are some other popular old English names:

  • Albert – From the German Adalbert. Means adal “noble” and beraht “bright
  • Alexander – From Greek Alexo. Means “to defend, help”
  • Arthur – Probably Celtic in origin. Means ‘bear’ ‘king’. Popular British name
  • Donald – From the Gaelic name Domhnall which means “ruler of the world”,
  • Edward – Old English. Means “rich guard”, ead “rich, blessed” and weard “guard”.
  • Henry – From the German Heimirich. Means “home ruler”.
  • James – From the Late Latin name Iacomus. Used in England since the 13th Century
  • John – From Hebrew Yochanan. Means “YAHWEH is gracious”.
  • Louis – Of French origin. Name was brought to Englnad by the Normans.
  • Nathan – Means “he gave” in Hebrew
  • Oliver – Norman French form of German ALFHER or Old Norse OLAF. Common British medieval name.
  • Philip – Greek origin. Means “friend of horses”. Popular in England in the Middle Ages.
  • Richard – From German. Means “brave power”. ric “power, rule” and hard “brave, hardy”.
  • Thomas – Greek form of the Aramaic name Ta’oma’. Means twin
  • William – From the Germanic name Willahelm, which was composed of the elements wil “will, desire” and helm “helmet, protection”.
  • Theodore – From the Greek name Theodoros. Means “gift of god

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