Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Frank

Frank is the short form of Francis mainly used by the English, but also in Germany and Scandinavia. Francis is a masculine name from the Late Latinate Franciscus, a vocabulary word denoting ‘French’ or ‘Frenchman.’ This was a nickname given to St. Francis of Assisi (whose baptismal name was actually Giovanni) because of his wealthy father’s business connections in France and his general admiration of the French people. St. Francis had a pleasant, happy childhood, but as a young man, a couple of bad experiences caused him to turn away from the material world and devote himself to the poor and sick. After he was joined by a few disciples, these so-called Franciscans dedicated themselves to humility, poverty and the love for all living creatures. St. Francis (or San Francisco to the Spanish) is often depicted surrounded by animals, particularly birds. It’s no surprise that St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and the environment, but he is also the patron saint of Italy. Thanks to the cult that grew up around St. Francis, the name spread in the 14th century and became even more popular during the Italian Renaissance of the 16th century. This old classic has given way to several forms in various languages including François (French), Franz (German), Francisco (Spanish), and Francesco or Franco (Italian). The feminine versions of this name are Frances, Francesca or Françoise and the many pet forms include Franny, Frank, Fran, Fanny, Frankie, Frannie, and Sissy.

All About the Baby Name – Frank

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME FRANK

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 FRANK

We have to admit. We were quite surprised to see that Frank has pretty much outperformed his original namesake Francis on the charts for the past 100 years. We always think of Frank as a pet form of Francis and not necessarily a given name in its own right. We were wrong. Frank is alive and kicking. It’s obviously the more masculine variation of Francis and it’s a short, confident one-syllable name. It’s a “frank” and straightforward choice. It’s also on the Top 100 list of most favored boy names in Sweden. In the United States, this name only enjoys moderate popularity now while 100 years ago it was at the top of its game as one of the ten most used boy names in America. Some people may think it’s a little dull and overly common among the trendier names of today. We disagree. Frank is a no-nonsense, strong and handsome name. Like Max, Jack, Alex and Sam – Frank holds his own as an independently given name.

Quick Facts

ON FRANK

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

1

RANKING POPULARITY:

327

PRONUNCIATION:

FRANK or FRAHNK

SIMPLE MEANING:

France, Frenchman, Free man

Characteristics

OF FRANK

Freedom-loving

Adventurous

Adaptable

Intellectual

Easygoing

Progressive

Sensual

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Frank

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME FRANK

You try not to think. You try not to imagine, but then those cracks pop up, and these flashes squeeze right through. At first, some of it's not too bad, and you get stupid, maybe even wanting a little more, but then you pull yourself together, knowing what all is likely going to ooze out if you're not careful.... Fifteen-year-old America has been nowhere, has been nobody. Separated from his foster mother. A runaway. A patient. Without love. Without hope. And, eventually, without the will to live. Until Dr. B. steps in. To listen. To explore. And to find within America both the story and the boy who are lost.

Frank Armstrong is the favorite older brother of the protagonist, Meggie Cleary, in Colleen McCullough’s 1971 blockbuster, The Thorn Birds. Frank is a rebellious, quick-tempered young man, adored by his mother and scorned by his father – with good reason – it’s not his father. It seems that Mama had a serious love affair with a married man, had Frank out of wedlock, and was married off to Paddy Cleary in disgrace. Now that’s a stacked deck to come up against, and poor Frank makes the most of it. When he discovers his heritage, he runs away, much to the sorrow of his mother and sister, and they later learn that he is in prison for killing a man in a fight. We wish we could come up with a happier ending for him.

Frank Churchill is the utterly charming, handsome, well-bred sometimes suitor of Emma Wedgewood in Jane Austen’s 1815 novel, Emma. He is an accomplished horseman and a perfect gentleman. Well, perhaps he’s also just a teeny bit shallow (he travels all the way to London for his haircuts), but he is so difficult to dislike. When we take a closer look at Frank, we see that he is perhaps something of a cad. He is living off his wealthy aunt and is unwilling to declare his intentions for his true love, Jane, whose social standing is lesser than his. In that vein, he pretends to pay suit to the rich girl, Emma, in order to safeguard his potential inheritance. Now, that’s not nice! However, as in all lovely novels of manners, all comes right in the end and true love prevails. And to be completely fair, he does suffer for his sins, and he does seem to grow as a person over the course of the novel. It just seems to us that he’s so much like Emma that he ought to have been paired with her, but we wouldn’t dare presume on Ms. Austen….

Frank Hardy is the older of “The Hardy Boys” in the popular series begun in 1927 by the Stratemeyer Syndicate and written under the collective pseudonym of Franklin W. Dixon. Several television adaptations followed over the years. A classic All-American boy, Frank is described as the “serious one” of the duo. Living in the fictional town of Bayport, Some State, the boys have constant thrilling adventures while chasing criminals, decoding mysteries, assisting their detective father on cases, outsmarting the police, and, in general, leading charmed lives. Money is apparently no object, as their passports will attest, as they travel to such foreign climes as Scotland and Egypt when crime takes a breather in Bayport. There is actually little to differentiate Frank from his brother Joe except that he is a year older, he is darker and he has a different platonic girlfriend. Think Tim Considine or Parker Stevenson, and you get the picture.

Popular Songs

ON FRANK

Frank to Valentino
a song by Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer

Frank and Lola
a song by Jimmy Buffett

Frank and Jesse James
a song by Warren Zevon

Blank Frank
a song by Brian Eno

Daddy Frank (The Guitar Man)
a song by Merle Haggard

Dirty Frank
a song by Pearl Jam

Frank
a song by Blood or Whiskey

Frank Mills
a song by the Lemonheads

Frank Sinatra
a song by Cake

Just Like Frank
a song by Less Than Jake [explicit]

Old Frank
a song by Hank Williams, Jr.

Our Frank
a song by Morrissey

So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright
a song by Simon & Garfunkel

The Frank Sinatra Blues
a song by Kid Gorgeous

Uncle Frank
a song by Drive-By Truckers

Famous People

NAMED FRANK

Frank Sinatra (singer)
Frank Lloyd Wright (architect)
Frank Capra (film director)
Frank McCourt (Irish-American writer)
Frank Herbert (sci-fi author)
Frank Zappa (musician)
Frank Chin (author)
Frank Lebby Stanton (lyricist)
Frank Stella (painter)
Frank Edwin Wright III (drummer for Green Day)
Frank Nasworthy (surfing/skateboarding)
Frank Robinson (baseball player)
Frank Sinatra (singer)
Frank Lloyd Wright (architect)
Frank Capra (film director)
Frank McCourt (Irish-American writer)
Frank Herbert (sci-fi author)
Frank Zappa (musician)
Frank Chin (author)
Frank Lebby Stanton (lyricist)
Frank Stella (painter)
Frank Edwin Wright III (drummer for Green Day)
Frank Nasworthy (surfing/skateboarding)
Frank Robinson (baseball player)
Frank Sinatra (singer)
Frank Lloyd Wright (architect)
Frank Capra (film director)
Frank McCourt (Irish-American writer)
Frank Herbert (sci-fi author)
Frank Zappa (musician)
Frank Chin (author)
Frank Lebby Stanton (lyricist)
Frank Stella (painter)
Frank Edwin Wright III (drummer for Green Day)
Frank Nasworthy (surfing/skateboarding)
Frank Robinson (baseball player)

Children of Famous People

NAMED FRANK

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME FRANK

Otto Frank is the father of the famous Anne Frank of the heartbreaking diary, and the only one of the four Franks who survived the Holocaust. German-born, Otto Frank had served in the German army in World War I; he and his wife were raising their two young daughters in Germany. In the mid-thirties, as Nazism’s persecution of Jews was on the rise, Otto decided to take his little family to Amsterdam; there he opened a small business with the ownership in the name of non-Jewish associates. He also attempted on more than one occasion to obtain visas so he and his family could emigrate out of the country, preferably to the United States. We all know how that turned out. After two years in hiding with his family and assorted others to whom they extended their generosity, the Franks and the others in hiding were betrayed, taken prisoner and ultimately sent to Auschwitz. After the war, Otto Frank returned to Amsterdam and collected the diary from the ransacked hiding place. He spent the rest of his life overseeing its publication (with some controversial bits of editing), seeing to the production of stage plays and movies, and establishing the Anne Frank Foundation. He married a fellow Holocaust survivor, had more children and lived to the ripe old age of 90, but surely a large part of Otto Frank had already died in 1945.

Annelies “Anne” Frank was one of the best known figures of the twentieth century, the young Jewish girl in hiding who did not survive the holocaust of World War II, but who lives on immortally through her diary. Trapped by the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, the German Jewish Frank family went into hiding in Amsterdam in 1942, a family of four confined to a couple of rooms with several other people. Ultimately, they were betrayed and captured. Anne died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp only weeks before the liberation by the Allied troops in 1945. Anne’s father, the family’s only survivor, found the diary his daughter had kept and was persuaded to publish it. In these poignant pages, an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances questions herself, her parents, the world she lives in, and the unknown and unseen forces that seem to prevail – her ultimate answer to herself, and to all of us down through the years, is that there is good, indeed, in mankind, in spite of every evidence to the contrary. She was one little voice; she spoke loudly and clearly for six million people.