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Gender: M Meaning of Howard: "high guardian or brave heart" Origin of Howard: German or English Howard's Popularity in 2016: #900

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."

Famous People Named Howard

Howard Allan Stern, American radio and TV personality
Howard Kevin Stern, American attorney, reality TV personality, partner of model Anna Nicole Smith
Howard Brush Dean III, American politician, medical doctor, governor of Vermont
Howard Dwaine "Howie D." Dorough, American singer of the Backstreet Boys
Howard Cosell, American sports broadcaster
Howard Robard Hughes, Jr., American aviation pioneer and film mogul
Howard Winchester Hawks, American film director
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. aka Chingy, American rapper
(Howard) Duane Allman, American guitarist and musician
Howard Harold Hanson, American composer
Harry Clifford "Howard" Keel, American actor and singer
Leo Howard, american actor
Howard Zinn, American historian and activist
Howard Melton Webb, English football referee
Howard Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichael, American composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader
Kestin Howard aka LucariosKlaw, American voice actor and YouTuber

Pop Culture References for the name Howard

Howard Joel Wolowitz, character on TV's "The Big Bang Theory"
Howard the Duck, Marvel Comics character
Howard Burleigh, character on TV's "Coach"
Howard, character in the movie "Reflections on a Crime"
Howard Stark, father of Tony Stark in the Iron Man series
Howard University, school in Washington, D.C.
Howard 'Howie' DeVille, father of Phil and Lil on "Rugrats"

Ward, Howie