Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Fletcher

Fletcher is the transferred use of an English surname of two possible origins. In one case it’s thought to be derived from an ancient Germanic personal name “Fulcher” from the elements “folk” meaning “people” and “heri” meaning “army” (in which case Fletcher means “the peoples’ army”). On the other hand, Fletcher is also believed to have originated as an occupational name, from the Old French “flechier” meaning “maker of arrows”. In this case, the Fletcher would have been responsible for equipping the bowman with his arrows (a medieval version of a supply officer). The first recorded evidence of this surname appeared in the early 13th century and rendered as “le Flecher” in Staffordshire (West Midlands). As a given name, this old surname was famously borne by a seafaring Englishman Fletcher Christian (1764-1793), probably the most notorious mutineer of a ship (The Bounty) that ever lived. For more information, see Historical References below. Today this name is most popular in New Zealand (a Top 100 favorite boy’s name, in fact) – not surprisingly because the Mutiny on the Bounty took place very close to New Zealand back in the 18th century. Fletcher is also used with mild frequency in the United States.

All About the Baby Name – Fletcher

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME FLETCHER

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME FLETCHER

Fletcher is one of those surnames-turned-first names that has had a long history of usage in the United States. It dates back to at least the late 19th century and was bestowed on baby boys with impressive moderation. Although Fletcher has never achieved even a Top 200 status, the name was not altogether uncommon at the turn of last century. However, as the decades progressed the name slowly and methodically fell from fashion until it finally disappeared from the charts in 1972. During the 20th century there were several movies made which were inspired by the events of the Bounty’s mutiny and the power struggle between Captain William Bligh and his master mate Fletcher Christian. This helped keep the name Fletcher fresh in the minds of several generations. In 1935 Chares Laughton played Bligh and Clark Gable played Fletcher Christian. In 1962 came a film starring Trevor Howard as Bligh and Marlon Brando as Christian. Lastly, in 1984 Anthony Hopkins portrayed Bligh and Mel Gibson reprised the role of Fletcher Christian. Swashbuckling, handsome, rebellious and quite the Tahitian ladies’ man, Fletcher Christian entered the minds and imaginations of American audiences. Adding a dose of pop-culture currency to the name was a 1985 comedy “Fletch” starring Chevy Chase as investigative reporter Irwin M. Fletcher. The movie gained a cult-following and is perhaps one of the most oft-quoted films of history. As far as surnames go, we think this one is a strong pick. It’s not very popular and it just sounds super cool. It’s just so much more original than overused surnames like Mason, Logan or Cooper.

Quick Facts

ON FLETCHER

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

790

PRONUNCIATION:

FLEH-chәr

SIMPLE MEANING:

People’s army; Arrow-maker

Characteristics

OF FLETCHER

Freedom-loving

Adventurous

Adaptable

Intellectual

Easygoing

Progressive

Sensual

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Fletcher

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME FLETCHER

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Fletcher

Popular Songs

ON FLETCHER

The Fletcher Memorial Home
a song by Pink Floyd

Black Jack Fletcher and Mississippi Sam
a song by Montgomery Gentry

Famous People

NAMED FLETCHER

Fletcher Christian (mutineer)
Fletcher Henderson (Big Band jazz musician)
Fletcher Bowron (former Los Angeles mayor)

Children of Famous People

NAMED FLETCHER

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME FLETCHER

Fletcher Christian was the master’s mate on the Bounty under Captain William Bligh who led the mutiny of the ship on its voyage from Tahiti. Although historically factual, the story of Fletcher Christian and his mutiny has been romantically enhanced by Hollywood over the years, most particularly in the 1935 and 1962 versions of Mutiny on the Bounty, starring Clark Gable and Marlon Brando, respectively. The real Fletcher was born into a solidly middle class family, but when his father died when he was a small child, the family was plunged into financial straits. Fletcher managed to get a gentleman’s education in spite of it all (being a schoolmate of the young William Wordsworth), but it was most likely the need to earn a living that sent him to sea in 1787. By all accounts he was a worthy and responsible young seaman, if given to some depression and anxieties. He had served under Captain Bligh previously, and that gentleman, too, by all accounts, was liked and respected by his underlings. So, Hollywood notwithstanding, it was probably the strain of the return voyage, after an idyllic five month stay in Tahiti among the unencumbered-by-sexual-hangups Tahitians, that led to the mutiny. It does not seem to have been the case that a highly principled Fletcher Christian, champion of the underdog, bravely rallied his men and stood up to the evil, torturous and power-mad Captain Bligh. But what fun it that?! At any rate, Bligh and some of his loyalists were set adrift (miraculously surviving to tell the tale), while Fletcher Christian and his followers finally settled on Pitcairn Island. Fletcher’s end came rather ignobly, as well, as he most likely died as a result of the constant warring among the remaining seamen and the Tahitians they had essentially kidnapped. His Tahitian bride bore him three children, and survivors of Fletcher brag about their genesis to this day. Who can blame them if they see Clark Gable when they think of Grandpa Fletcher?