Notable Namesakes for August
August is here and that means warmer temperatures and soaking in the last sweet days of summer before school starts. Here are some inspiring August baby names of writers, actors, and pioneers that all share birthdays this month.
Tennyson – One of the most influential Victorian poets, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was born August 6, 1809. Tennyson was appointed as Poet Laureate by Queen Victoria and served for 42 years. Tennyson is an English surname meaning son of Dennis. Actor Russell Crowe used this poetic name for his son, Tennyson Spencer in 2006.
Gabrielle – French fashion designer Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, best known as Coco Chanel, was born August 19, 1883. Gabrielle is a chic French name made even more glamorous by the iconic founder of the Chanel brand. Gabrielle is a feminine form of Gabriel, meaning God is my strength.
Wolfgang – German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, born August 28, 1749, is best known for his dramatic poem Faust. Wolfgang is a strong, German name meaning traveling wolf. Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen used the name Wolfgang for their now grown son in 1991. Wolfgang is also the name of the great Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Soleil – Actress Soleil Moon Frye (shown with her children) is the most famous bearer of this name. Best known for her role as TV’s Punky Brewster, Frye was born August 6, 1976. A French word name meaning sun, Soleil is fitting for a little one born in the month of sunshine. Only 152 girls were names Soleil last year.
Louis – Influential jazz musician Louis Armstrong, who pronounced his name Lewis, was born August 4, 1901. Louis is a classic German and French name meaning renowned warrior. Actress Sandra Bullock named her son Louis in honor of Armstrong. The name of many monarchs, Louis was also used by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as a second middle name for their son, Prince George Alexander Louis.
Teresa – Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, born Anjezë and more commonly known as Mother Teresa, was born August 26, 1910. She founded an order of Catholic nuns in Calcutta and devoted her life to work with the poor. Teresa is a Spanish name meaning to harvest. Saint Teresa of Ávila is another notable bearer of this name.
Patrick – The late Patrick Swayze is remembered for his charismatic acting, dancing, and singing. The son of a dancer, Swayze was born August 18, 1954. A Latin name meaning noble, Patrick is often thought to be an Irish name, due to Saint Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland.
Lucy – Abolitionist and women’s rights pioneer Lucy Stone was born August 13, 1818. Stone aided in the foundation of the American Suffrage Association. Lucy is an English form of Lucia meaning light. Lucy has been steadily rising in popularity and is currently Number 62.
Theron – Actress Charlize Theron was born August 7, 1975. The films 300 and True Grit both have villains named Theron. Those associations aside, Theron is an ancient Greek name meaning hunter. Only 97 boys were named Theron last year.
Viola – Award-winning actress Viola Davis was born August 11, 1965. A Latin name meaning violet, Viola is also the name of the heroine in Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night. A popular name in the early 1900’s, Viola was last seen in the Top 1,000 in 1972.
William – On August 19, 1946 William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton was born. The 42nd President of the United States, Clinton served from 1993-2001. The classic William is an English name meaning resolute protection. William is currently Number 5 and has been wildly popular in the U.S. since names have been recorded.
Ingrid – Many people associate the name Ingrid with the legendary beauty, Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman. Bergman was born August 29, 1915. Ingrid is a Norse name meaning fair and beautiful. In Norse mythology Ing was the name of a farming and fertility god.