German or English
"high guardian or brave heart"

Howard Origin and Meaning

The name Howard is a boy's name of German origin meaning "high guardian or brave heart".

Howard, once hugely popular -- in the Top 50 from the 1870s to early 1950s, hitting Number 24 in 1920 -- has been stuck in Dad-Grandad limbo for decades, but is showing some signs of stirring back to life. Along with such formerly-fusty names as George and Harold, Howard may soon feel baby-appropriate, perhaps with the short form 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."

# 940 in the US

Howard Rank in US Top 1000

Howard Popularity

Famous People Named Howard

  • Howard Allan SternAmerican radio and TV personality
  • Howard Kevin SternAmerican attorney, reality TV personality, partner of model Anna Nicole Smith
  • Howard Brush Dean IIIAmerican politician, medical doctor, governor of Vermont
  • Howard Dwaine "Howie D." DoroughAmerican singer of the Backstreet Boys
  • Howard CosellAmerican sports broadcaster
  • Howard Robard HughesJr., American aviation pioneer and film mogul
  • Howard Winchester HawksAmerican film director
  • Howard GoodallEnglish musicologist
  • Howard JuddAmerican physician and medical researcher
  • Howard Phillips "H.P." LovecraftAmerican writer
  • Howard "Howie" MandelCanadian comedian, actor, and TV host
  • Howard BaileyJr. aka Chingy, American rapper
  • (Howard) Duane AllmanAmerican guitarist and musician
  • Howard Harold HansonAmerican composer
  • Harry Clifford "Howard" KeelAmerican actor and singer
  • Leo Howardamerican actor
  • Howard ZinnAmerican historian and activist
  • Howard Melton WebbEnglish football referee
  • Howard Hoagland "Hoagy" CarmichaelAmerican composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader
  • Kestin Howard aka LucariosKlawAmerican voice actor and YouTuber

Howard in Pop Culture

  • Howard Joel Wolowitzcharacter on TV's "The Big Bang Theory"
  • Howard the DuckMarvel Comics character
  • Howard Burleighcharacter on TV's "Coach"
  • Howardcharacter in the movie "Reflections on a Crime"
  • Howard Starkfather of Tony Stark in the Iron Man series
  • Howard Universityschool in Washington, D.C.
  • Howard 'Howie' DeVillefather of Phil and Lil on "Rugrats"
  • "Howard's End" 1910 novel by E. M. Forster, and 1992 British romantic drama film based on the novel
  • Howard Sunderlycharacter in Frances Hardinge's novel 'The Lie Tree'