Harold Name Meaning | Origin, History & Popularity

Harold is a popular name that has been in use for centuries. This name has a rich history, cultural significance and has been used by many notable people throughout history. In this article, we will explore the meaning, popularity, history, cultural significance, and famous people associated with the name Harold.

Meaning of the Name Harold:

Harold is a masculine given name of Old English origin, which means “ruler of an army” or “leader of an army”. The name is composed of two elements: the first being “here” which means “army” and the second being “weald” which means “ruler” or “power”.

Popularity of the Name Harold:

The popularity of the name Harold has varied over time. In the United States, the name was most popular in the early 20th century, ranking in the top 20 names from 1900 to 1920. Its popularity declined in the mid-20th century and has since fallen out of favor. In recent years, the name has not been ranked in the top 1000 names.

History of the Name Harold:

The name Harold has a rich history, dating back to the Anglo-Saxon period. The name was brought to England by the Vikings, who invaded and settled in England during the 9th and 10th centuries. One of the most notable historical figures to bear the name Harold was King Harold II of England. He ruled England for a brief period from January 1066 until his death in the Battle of Hastings in October 1066. His reign was marked by conflict and turmoil, including a challenge to his rule by William the Conqueror.

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Cultural Significance of the Name Harold:

The name Harold has been used in literature, music, and film. In literature, the name has appeared in works by authors such as J.D. Salinger, Jack Kerouac, and Kurt Vonnegut. In music, the name has been referenced in songs by artists such as Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. In film, the name has been used for characters in movies such as “Harold and Maude” and “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle”.

The name Harold has also been associated with a sense of power and leadership, due to its meaning “ruler of an army” or “leader of an army”. This has made it a popular choice for characters in works of fiction that require a strong and authoritative presence.

Famous People with the Name Harold:

There have been many notable people throughout history with the name Harold. Here are a few of the most famous:

  • Harold Pinter: a British playwright, screenwriter, director, and actor. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2005.
  • Harold Lloyd: an American actor and filmmaker who was one of the most popular and influential comedians of the silent film era.
  • Harold Wilson: a British politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, from 1964 to 1970 and from 1974 to 1976.
  • Harold Macmillan: a British politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1963.
  • Harold Ramis: an American actor, writer, and director who is best known for his work on classic comedies such as “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day”.
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Conclusion:

In conclusion, the name Harold has a rich history and cultural significance. It has been used by many notable people throughout history and has been associated with power and leadership. Although its popularity has declined in recent years, the name remains a classic and enduring choice for parents looking for a strong and timeless name for their child.