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Gender: Male Meaning of Orson: "bear cub" Origin of Orson: Latin and English

The name Orson is a boy's name of Latin origin meaning "bear cub". Orson and is often added to lists like Unique Boy Names: Unusual and Rare and discussed in our forums with posts like "A Duggarlike Game: With a twist!".

From the experts:

Orson has had in the past a rotund teddy-bear image, a la Orson Welles, who early on dropped his common given name of George in favor of his more distinctive middle one, and who seemed to own it during his lifetime. No longer a single-person signature, it's now an interesting possibility for any parent seeking an unusual yet solid name. It's started to appear to the celeb set--both Paz Vega and Lauren Ambrose have little Orsons.

The comic actor Orson Bean was born Dallas; there was a Desperate Housewives character called Orson Hodge.

There's also a fifteenth century story about two brothers named Valentine and Orson, in which the latter was carried off by a bear and raised as one of its cubs.

Find other names based on Orson using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Orson

(George) Orson Welles, American actor, director and writer
Orson Bean (born Dallas Frederick Burrows), American actor
Orson Scott Card, American science fiction novelist
Orson Chaplin, American actor and grandson of Charlie Chaplin
Orson Squire Fowler, American phrenologist who invented the octagon house
Orson Handel (b. 2007), son of actress Lauren Ambrose and Samuel Handel
Orson Salazar, Jr., (b. 2007), son of actress Paz Vega and Orson Salazar
Orson Wheeler (b. 2010), daughter of actress Tina Hobley and Oliver Wheeler

Pop Culture References for the name Orson

Orson Hodge, character on TV's 'Desperate Housewives'
Orson J. Pig, intelligent book-loving pig in comic strip/TV series "US Acres"
Orson Bailey, character on TV's 'The 4400'
Orson Krennic, character in film "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"
Orson, unseen supervisor of Mork on TV's "Mork & Mindy"
Orson Pink, character on TV's "Doctor Who"
"Valentine and Orson," medieval romance
Orson, Indiana, fictional setting of TV's 'The Middle'
Orson Lannister, mentioned in the 'Game of Thrones' series

Urson, Orsin, Orso, Orsis, Orsen

Orson's International Variations

Ourson (French) Orsino (Italian)


NerdyNameGeek Says:


Ehh, too close to Arson for me.

Essa Says:


In my opinion, that just makes it more wearable, but it's definitely uncommon enough to stand out amongst the crowd of '-n' names.

Essa Says:


Is the meaning of this not just the cutest!? Love the idea of using it as a nickname. I'm tempted by Bear but also curious about the nickname Cub and at a slight push you could use Teddy.

indiefendi2 Says:


I like Orson with the nickname Bear.

loverofnames01 Says:


Sounds like arson

littlepenelope Says:


I really like Orson as well. But I don't think I'd use it because there are sooo many 'ends in N' names in my children's daycare, that I fear it just blends in with the Austin, Bryson, Landen, etc. Although, maybe that makes it more wearable.

Orson Says:



Orson Says:


Thanks man

Catherine Rose Says:


I really want to like this name. But as a French-speaker I can't get over the fact that it is just a mispronunciation of the French word.

katinka Says:


I don't usually like -son names, but I really like Orson! It doesn't feel trendy at all - it feels smart, cool and lovable, and the meaning is adorable!

madehatter Says:


Definitely an easy mistake considering Orson Welles full name is George Orson Welles!
Love this name and it's meaning!

kpearl8 Says:


Right, duh. I always get those names mixed up...

Ren Says:


Uhh...George Orwell wrote 1984. Different person.

headintheclouds Says:


The "watching you" part is definitely Orson Wells! Still not sure how creepy Orson the orthodontist popped up though xD

kpearl8 Says:


Probably Orson Wells- author of 1984

headintheclouds Says:


I don't know where this image comes from, but to me Orson makes me think of creepy orthodontists that are "watching you". Just makes me shudder.

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


A more unusual son name plus the cool initial O.

clairels Says:


I grew up with US Acres and Garfield, so this name says "oink" to me. Sorry.