Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Geronimo

Geronimo is a very rare Italian form of Jerome, a name ultimately derived from the Greek Hieronymos (‘Ιερωνυμος) from the elements “hieros” meaning “holy, sacred” and “onoma” meaning “name”. In other words, Geronimo is a “holy name”. It was made popular by a 4th/5th century citizen of the Eastern Roman Empire named Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, better known as St. Jerome. St. Jerome was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to translate the Bible from Old Latin into the Vulgate (or common Latin edition). St. Jerome was responsible for translating the entire Bible into one stylistically consistent linguistic form which was used from the 5th century on up through the Middle Ages. His prolific writings (second only to St. Augustine) secured him the title Doctor of the Church, and one of the four preeminent theologians as Europe (and Christianity) hung precariously on the edge of the Dark Ages. St. Jerome was highly regarded in his own time and well beyond which is how his “holy name” sustained usage throughout medieval Europe (it was generally bestowed in his honor). Apropos, St. Jerome is the patron saint of translators, librarians and encyclopedists. The rare Italian Geronimo, however, owes his familiarity to a 19th century American Apache Chief named Goyaałé meaning “one who yawns” (his enemies, the Mexicans, gave him the name Geronimo probably because they couldn’t pronounce Goyaałé). Geronimo fought against Mexican and American expansion into the Apache lands (present day western Texas, New Mexico and Arizona). The Mexicans killed Geronimo’s mother, wife and three children, and so he must have fought with a strong sense of revenge. After a lengthy pursuit, Geronimo finally surrendered to U.S. authorities (a decision he later regretted). Probably part of the terms of his surrender he was imprisoned and his life was spared, but he was also never allowed to return to his homeland. Lest we not forget it was his people's land in the first place. One of the sad chapters of America’s days of the Wild West.

All About the Baby Name – Geronimo

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME GERONIMO

Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME GERONIMO

Geronimo has never made the Top 1000 list of baby boy names in America. Never. Not only is this name rare to Italians, it is even more rare among English-speakers. We can really thank Geronimo, a figure embedded in American history and lore, for introducing this unusual name to elementary history pupils across the country. From time to time we hear about parents today using this name on their baby boys – likely inspired by the growing interest in Italian names in general – but its usage is still few and far between. No doubt Geronimo is a name with charm and character, but the actual story of the Apache Chief Goyaałé (aka Geronimo) is really quite heart wrenching. Oh, and one last thing. Do you ever wonder why skydivers yell “Gerrrrooooonimooooo!!!!” when they jump out of airplanes? There’s actually a quaint story behind this tradition. Back in 1940 when the very first paratroopers were training for WWII (prior to this time, only supplies were strategically dropped from airplanes in war, and not troops), a few of the nervous platoon members threw back a couple beers and went to see a movie on base (the 1939 film Geronimo). Afterwards they were goading a fellow soldier (Private Aubrey Eberhardt) about his fear with respect to the upcoming jump. Eberhardt insisted he was not afraid and, to prove it, he would yell “Geronimo!” to his buddies as he jumped from the plane. And a tradition was born.

Quick Facts

ON GERONIMO

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Italian

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

4

RANKING POPULARITY:

N/A

PRONUNCIATION:

je-ro-NEE-mo

SIMPLE MEANING:

Holy name

Characteristics

OF GERONIMO

Humanitarian

Community-minded

Family-oriented

Loving

Affectionate

Compassionate

Sensitive

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Geronimo

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME GERONIMO

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

Popular Songs

ON GERONIMO

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Geronimo


Famous People

NAMED GERONIMO

Geronimo (Native-American Apache leader whose real name was Goyaałé)
Geronimo Stilton (bestselling children's book author)
Gerónimo Berroa (baseball player)
Gerónimo de Santa Fe (Spanish physician and theologian)
Geronimo Pratt (Black Panther)
Gerónimo Gil (baseball player)
Gerónimo Giménez (Spanish conductor/composer)
Gerónimo de Aguilar (Spanish friar and contributor to the Spanish conquest of Mexico)

Children of Famous People

NAMED GERONIMO

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME GERONIMO

Geronimo Goyaale was born to an Apache tribe in what is now New Mexico, which was then claimed by Mexico. In 1858, a band of Sonoran Mexican soldiers attacked his home while he was away, killing his mother, wife and three children. After this, needless to say, Geronimo began a lifelong revenge on Mexicans. In 1906, Geronimo put out his autobiography, detailing the story of his years of fighting, imprisonment and latter day celebrity as a “Wild West” performer and protege of President Theodore Roosevelt, thereby passing into the realm of legend. The very name “Geronimo” conjures up visions of the ultimate warrior who will fight against all odds to vanquish the enemy. Paratroopers and schoolchildren alike invoke his name when embarking upon the most dangerous of feats. His dictated autobiography may perhaps soft-soap his animosity toward white settlers (he hoped that President Roosevelt, to whom he dedicated it, would allow him and others to return to their native Oklahoma), but no matter – legend he became and legend he remains.