Gender: Male Meaning of Howard: "high guardian or brave heart" Origin of Howard: German or English Howard's Popularity in 2018: #968

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."

16 names similar to Howard

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Howard. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Howard, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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Rank in US: #968

- this week

Famous People Named Howard

Pop Culture References for the name Howard

Ward, Howie


josephinedagnall Says:


I really like this name! I know a Howard who's only 19, so that's helped it seem less like an old man name to me.

beachbear Says:


Irony of the day: Howard means "brave heart"...yet rhymes with "coward."

cabosanmucus Says:


I think Howard is clunky but still a strong name that means business. When we think of a Howard we think of a lawyer. And really, if Edward can still be popular why not spruce up Howard? Basically they're the same name two letters off.

headintheclouds Says:


I am usually the biggest proponent of reviving dusty, older-seeming names, but I personally do not like Howard, Harold (along with other similar-ish names like Stanley, Norman and others), and I'm not entirely sure these names are ready to make a comeback just yet- maybe in the next generation they'd seem fresh and new but not currently, to my ears. I think of middle-aged sweaty misogynistic salarymen in the 1950s huffing away on their cigarettes and telling their pretty lady secretaries to "bring them a coffee now, thanks honey/baby/sugar" (Mad Men! xD). And Howie- how I hate this nickname!

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


I really like the name Howard but I really hate the nickname Howie