"wood, forest"

Sylvester Origin and Meaning

The name Sylvester is a boy's name of English, Latin origin meaning "wood, forest".

This name of three early popes has been associated in recent years with a cocky cartoon cat ("Thufferin' thuccatash!") and the Italian Stallion hero of the Rocky and Rambo movies (who was born Michael) — and yet we think it just might be ready to move further back into the mainstream.

Sylvester was at its height in the 1920s, when it was in the Top 200, and hung on in the lower rungs of the ladder until 1994. Lately the name has been most visible as a surname — that of Sue Sylvester on Glee. Model Emily Ratajkowski named her son Sylvester Apollo in 2021.

Trivia tidbit--in the 1935 movie Sylvia Scarlett, the young Katharine Hepburn disguises herself as a boy named Sylvester — until she meets Cary Grant!

# in the US

Sylvester Rank in US Top 1000

# 792 on Nameberry

Sylvester Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Sylvester Popularity

Famous People Named Sylvester

  • Sylvester GrothGerman actor
  • Popes Sylvester IIII
  • Sylvester "Sly Stone" StewartAmerican musician, producer, and funk pioneer
  • Sylvester ChurchillAmerican Civil War colonel
  • Sylvester Samuels aka Lil RuAmerican rapper
  • Sylvester CroomAmerican NFL football player and coach
  • Robert Sylvester "R." KellyAmerican R&B singer
  • Michael Sylvester StalloneAmerican actor, director and producer
  • Sylvester Lefort (born Thomas La Ruffa)French pro wrestler
  • Sylvester McCoy (born Percy James Patrick KentSmith), Scottish actor

Sylvester in Pop Culture

  • Sylvester the CatLooney Tunes character
  • Sylvester Marcuscharacter in movie "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World"
  • Sylvester "Slice" Walterscharacter on TV's "Raising the Bar"
  • Sylvestre Munseycharacter from MK Robinson's "The Absolutely True Story of Exactly What Might Have Happened to Sylvestre Munsey"
  • Sylvesterthe Duke of Salford, character in "Sylvester" by Georgette Heyer
  • Sylvester Pemberton aka The StarSpangled Kid or Skyman, DC Comics superhero
  • Sylvesterdonkey in children's book "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" by William Steig
  • Sue Sylvestercharacter on TV's "Glee"
  • Sylvestercharacter in rap opera "Trapped In The Closet"
  • Sylvestercharacter on TV show "Scorpion"