Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Clark

Clark is the transferred use of an English surname originating as an occupation name. In Olde English the word “clerc” was used to describe a cleric (secretary) or scribe; it was also sometimes used to describe a clergy member of a minor religious order (in fact, the Latin “clericus” originally stood for a “priest”). Although at first glance such an occupation might be considered lowly, you have to remember that during the Middle Ages very few people were literate. The ability to read and write (and thus scribe) was generally restricted to educated men or those belonging to a religious order. Not to mention it was a good and honorable way to make money in medieval times. Therefore, the name has rather scholarly origins. It is also one of the oldest of surnames in circulation, first recorded in the 11th century Domesday Book and rendered as “Clericus”. As a forename, Clark evolved from “clerk” and was first used in England around the 17th century before spreading to other English speaking countries.

All About the Baby Name – Clark



The number Nine personality represents the completion or ending of the cycle, and a need for perfection. This is the personality that moves from "self" to a greater understanding and compassion for the human condition and the world order. They want to make the world a better place. Nines are capable of great spiritual and humanitarian achievements. They are courageous and fearless, able to fight great battles on behalf of worthy causes. These personalities will not tolerate injustice. They are compassionate people with a strong sensitivity to others. They are able to both educate and inspire. Friendships and relationships are the lifeblood to the Nine, and they place a high value on love and affection. Nines are often exceptionally gifted artistically, and they have a keen imagination and enterprising mind.



Although never even a Top 200 favorite in America, Clark has nonetheless remained on the male naming charts for well over a century. He enjoyed most of his success the first half of the 20th century up through the 1960s. This may have been influenced by American actor Clark Gable who epitomized the debonair Rhett Butler in the 1939 classic “Gone with the Wind”. The name also saw another pop on the charts in the years following 1978 when the blockbuster movie “Superman” was released starring Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent (aka Superman). Other than that, Clark has been on a downwards trajectory since the 1960s. Clark is a strong, one-syllable name with a tough exterior and a gentle core. It has never been a trendy choice but has shown considerable staying power nonetheless. A name to consider if you’re looking for something short and strong.

Quick Facts













Cleric, scribe










Cultural References to the Baby Name – Clark

Literary Characters


Clark Kent is the secret identity of Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster as a comic book hero in 1938, and immortalized on screen and television, in comics, toys, games, and in the imaginations of generations of children. Found as a toddler and raised by solid Midwestern adoptive parents, Clark has turned out to be a moral and upstanding citizen. Mild mannered, bespectacled and conservatively dressed Clark is a reporter for the Daily Planet, which gives him the perfect reason to be at the scene of the crime, and, not tied to a desk, ample opportunity to change into that dashing leotard and tights. Clark harbors a romantic interest in Lois Lane, who, of course, has eyes only for Superman. Little does little Lois know who lurks behind that mild exterior – none other than the mighty caped aviator, Superman himself. George Reeves was the popular portrayer on 1950s television, but our vote for best Clark Kent/Superman goes to the late, great Christopher Reeve. Reeve is said to have modeled the Clark Kent persona on Cary Grant’s role in the 1938 comedy, Bringing Up Baby. And in our opinion, whether you got him in the guise of Clark Kent or Superman – you won!

Childrens Books


We cannot find any childrens books with the first name Clark

Popular Songs


Janet Clark
a song by Meryn Cadell

Famous People


Clark Gable (actor)
Clark Griffith (baseball player)
Clark Terry (jazz musician)

Children of Famous People


We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Clark

Historic Figures


William Clark Gable was one of the most popular screen idols in the history of the movies, a handsome and dashing he-man heartthrob who was seemingly born to play Rhett Butler. Nicknamed “The King of Hollywood”, he starred in dozens of movies, was nominated for (and won once, for It Happened One Night) Academy Awards, and was the subject of countless biographies. He died too young, at age 59, after the filming of The Misfits, but what a life he packed into those too few years! From an unremarkable childhood in Ohio, he made his way West to Portland, Oregon, where he married his first wife, a woman 17 years his senior, who paid for some cosmetic makeovers and voice lessons. Thus armed, the two went to Hollywood and Clark began landing bit parts. His big break came in the above-mentioned comedy, starring opposite Claudette Colbert. This was followed by Mutiny on the Bounty, which also garnered him an academy award nomination and the natural segue was set for Gone With the Wind. By this time, he was married for the third time, to star Carole Lombard, whose death in a plane crash in 1942 propelled him into the service on active duty as a gunner. Returning to Hollywood after the war, he found that his star was waning and styles were shifting toward younger men. He made some good and some not so good movies in the fifties, got married and divorced yet again, and then died in 1960 after finishing The Misfits. By this time he was in his fifth marriage, to Kay Spreckles, who bore him a son posthumously, John Clark Gable. In 1935 he had sired a daughter, Judy Lewis, with actress Loretta Young; the affair was kept under wraps and Ms. Young pretended to adopt her daughter, not telling her anything about her true origins until confronted by her when she was 31 years old. Clark Gable never publicly acknowledged her. So, perhaps this handsome, devil-may-care persona was a little less than sterling in character, what with the marriages, the extramarital affairs, the illegitimate child, the boozing, etc., etc. You know something? Sure, you do. We have to say it. Frankly, my dears, we don’t give a damn.

William Clark was an American explorer who, along with Meriwether Lewis, led the dangerous and arduous Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803/06, which opened up the Pacific Northwest for the United States. Prior to and after the expedition, William Clark served in the United States Army and in the militia; he was governor of the Missouri Territory and, for 16 years up to his death, served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Although never formally educated, William was a great reader and a writer of no little flair, as his logs from the expedition demonstrate. Married twice, he produced eight children, but of course, popular history is always looking for a little spice, so there were rumors of an involvement with Sacagawea along the exploration route. Sacagawea joined the expedition along with her French trapper husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, while pregnant with her first child, giving birth to him shortly thereafter. Her skill as an interpreter/guide and her obvious distraction as a new mother make the possibility of outside hanky-panky quite remote – nonetheless, William Clark did formally become the boy’s guardian in 1815, after Sacagawea’s death. But that’s another story.