Notable Boy Namesakes for February
Love is in the air this month and this eclectic list of notable male names is sure to have something for everyone to love. February may be the shortest month of the year, but it is chock full of wonderful namesake-worthy names! This month we draw inspiration from an athlete, an activist, and several artists for February baby names.
The feast of Saint Valentine, best known as Valentine’s Day, is one of the most widely celebrated unofficial worldwide holidays, held each year on February 14th. A Latin name meaning strength and health, only 39 boys were named Valentine last year. In addition to being a saint’s name, Valentine was also the name of a Pope and two Shakespearean characters.
Photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams was born on February 20, 1902. Adams is best known for his awe-inspiring black-and-white landscape photos of the American West. Bearing a family name, he was named for his uncle, Ansel Easton. Ansel has German roots and is derived from the name Anselm. Young Divergent actor Ansel Elgort, the son of a photographer, was named after Adams. Last year 108 baby boys were given the first name Ansel.
On February 11, 1990, heroic South African Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was released from prison after serving 27 years of a life sentence on charges of attempting to overthrow the apartheid government. Nelson is an English surname meaning son of Neil. Celine Dion named one of her twin sons Nelson after Mandela. Currently at 642, Nelson is declining in popularity.
Actor and musician Chord Overstreet celebrates his birthday on February 17th. Best known for his role as Sam Evans on the television show Glee, Chord was named for the musical term. Only six boys were given the first name Chord last year. If musical names appeal to you, you may also enjoy Lyric, Melody, or Cadence.
Painter Grant Wood was born on February 13, 1891. Best known for his depictions of the American Midwest, his most iconic piece is of a farm couple in the painting American Gothic. Grant is a Scottish surname meaning large and has never dropped below 347 in popularity. Currently at spot 155, Grant makes for a strong, handsome, one syllable name.
The Beatles US album Hey Jude was released on February 26, 1970. Hey Jude was written by Paul McCartney for John Lennon’s son Julian. The song was originally called “Hey Jules,” but the ballad evolved to Hey Jude. Jude is a Latin diminutive of Judah, meaning praised. A few familiar Judes include Saint Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, and actor Jude Law.
Country singer Garth Brooks blows out his birthday candles on February 7th. Born Troyal Garth Brooks, this singer-songwriter is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. Garth is an Old Norse name meaning groundskeeper. Garth fell out of the Top 1000 in the early 1990s, after being Number 578 in 1962, the year Brooks was born. Only 16 boys were named Garth last year.
Julius Winifield Erving II, better known as “Dr.J,” celebrates his birthday on February 22nd. Dr.J is a retired NBA and ABA basketball player. He helped change the way basketball was played with his acrobatic moves and legendary above-the-rim dunks. Julius is a Latin name meaning youthful or downy-bearded. At 309 in popularity, Julius is steadily rising in the charts.
On February 27, 1900 chemist Felix Hoffman patented acetyl salicylic acid, better known as aspirin. Felix is a Latin name with the wonderful meaning of happy and fortunate. Popular among early Christians, Felix is making a major comeback, consistently rising in popularity over the past several years. Actors Gillian Anderson and Elizabeth Banks both used the name Felix for their sons.
Actor Clark Gable, born William Clark Gable, was born February 1, 1901. Often called “The King of Hollywood”, Gable was the leading man in over sixty motion pictures, including his iconic role as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. Clark is an English occupational surname meaning a scribe or cleric. In addition to this vintage Old Hollywood tie, Clark is also Superman’s alias, making it a cool choice on multiple levels.