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Gender: M Meaning of Howard: "brave heart" Origin of Howard: German

Popularity: this week.

Howard, once hugely popular -- in the Top 50 from the 1870s to early 1950s, hitting Number 24 in 1920 -- is now a real dad-grandad name, with no visible sign of a revival. Perhaps, to honor a relative, you might want to drop the first syllable and call him Ward.

Howard was the surname of an early English noble family, gradually metamorphosing into a first name in the nineteenth century. Notable Howards include tycoon Howard Hughes, director Howard Hawks, politician Howard Dean, and media figure Howard Stern. In literature, there is Ayn Rand's iconic architect Howard Roark, protagonist of The Fountainhead.

Strange trivia item: Vampire novelist Anne Rice's given name is Howard Allen. She has said her mother "had the idea that naming a woman Howard was going to give that woman an unusual advantage in the world."

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Famous People Named Howard

Howard Allan Stern, American radio personality
Howard K. Stern, American attorney
Howard Dean, American politician and medical doctor
Howard Cosell, sports broadcaster
Howard Hughes, American aviation pioneer and film mogul
Howard Goodall, English musicologist
Howard Judd, American physician and medical researcher
Howard Phillips "H.P." Lovecraft, American writer
Howard "Howie" Mandel, Canadian comedian, actor, and TV host
Howard Bailey Jr, American rapper
(Howard) Duane Allman, American guitarist and musician

Pop Culture References for the Name Howard

Howard Wolowitz, character on US sitcom The Big Bang Theory
Ornette Howard, from the TV series "Friday Night Lights"
Howard Burleigh, character on US sitcom "Coach"
Howard, from the movie "Reflections on a Crime"
Howard Stark, father of Tony Stark

Howie, Ward