Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Gerald

Gerald is an old Frankish personal name rooted in the Germanic language, derived from the elements “gēr” meaning “spear”, and “wald” meaning “rule” (rule by the spear). The Norman-French introduced the name to England in the Middle Ages after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Irish especially found a liking to the name (which is from where the surname Fitzgerald developed). There were various medieval saints who bore the name Gerald, including the 9th century Gerald of Aurillac, a French nobleman who gave up his possessions in order to live his life in the name of Christ. Due to his childhood illness, his adult blindness and his apparent disfigurement from acne, St. Gerald of Aurillac became a patron saint to the disabled and handicapped. Gerald in England dropped from usage in the later Middle Ages until experiencing a revival in the 19th century (thanks, in part, to the influence of the Irish who never lost interest in this name). The 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford, is one of the most famous name bearers in more modern times.

All About the Baby Name – Gerald

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME GERALD

The number 11 is a Master Number, and embodies heightened traits of the Two. This personality is on a life journey to find spiritual truth. They are extremely idealistic and intuitive. Elevens have a rare and exceptional spiritual energy that brings a sense of obligation to illuminate the world around them. It's a very powerful responsibility, but these people have far more potential than they know. It's important that they surrender to higher ideals. They have the capacity to see the bigger picture, and they possess the skills to inspire others spiritually. Elevens have strong diplomatic skills and can become great peacemakers. Master numbers can be both a blessing and a curse, as they walk the fine line between greatness and the potential for self-destruction.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME GERALD

Gerald saw moderate success as a masculine given name in 19th century America. However, Gerald really basked in the glory of success during the 1930s and 40s when he was mostly a Top 25 favorite name in the country. His best years ever were 1936, 1938 and 1939 at position #19 on the charts. Gerald joins the ranks with other mid-century (now out-dated) names like Donald, Ronald and Kenneth. In other words, American parents having babies today may have a grandfather or great-uncle named Gerald rather than a more contemporary relative. Naming a 21st baby boy Gerald is a rare event. No longer stylish or top-of-mind, Gerald has faded into the background. Although we must say, he’s hanging on to the charts better than we would have expected. This name once “ruled by the spear” but now seems to be dying by the spear. Gerald probably has family-legacy importance for any parent opting for this now-unstylish name. Gary and Gerry (Jerry) are common short forms.

Quick Facts

ON GERALD

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

726

PRONUNCIATION:

JARE-әld

SIMPLE MEANING:

Rule by the spear

Characteristics

OF GERALD

Inspirational

Highly Intuitive

Spiritual Teacher

Extremely Bright

Uplifting

Truth-seeker

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Gerald

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME GERALD

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

Popular Songs

ON GERALD

Gerald Did What
a song by Evergreen Terrace

Famous People

NAMED GERALD

Gerald Ford (U.S. President)
Gerald M. Edelman (Nobel Prize Winner, medicine)
Gerald Alexander (baseball player)
Gerald Brown (basketball player)
Gerald Carr (astronaut)
Gerald Okamura (actor)
Gerald Paddio (basketball player)
Gerald Perry (baseball player)
Gerald Riggs (football player)
Gerald Sensabaugh (football player)
Gerald Tinker (football player)
Gerald Williams (baseball player)
Gerald Young (baseball player)

Children of Famous People

NAMED GERALD

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME GERALD

Gerald Ford served as the 38th United States President between 1974 and 1977. The only Vice President to assume office due to a resignation, Gerald Ford walked square into turmoil. Known to be amiable, decent and straight-forward, Ford could never get out from under the shadow of Watergate. Then he made the unfortunate mistake of pardoning Nixon (Americans never forgave him for that). Truth be told, the Watergate scandal was so all-consuming he hardly had any other choice. He needed to put it behind him so he could actually get some work done. Saigon also fell to communism during his administration and Americans had to evacuate (a great embarrassment on the world stage). Americans just wanted Watergate and Vietnam behind them so there was no chance in hell Ford would see a second term. His wife Betty (born Elizabeth) is known less for her First Lady duties than for the impact she's made on alcoholic rehabilitation.