Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Winston

Winston is an updated form of an Olde English personal name with Anglo-Saxon origins. “Wynnstan” came from the Germanic elements “wynn” meaning “joy” and “stan” meaning “stone”. In the later Middle Ages Winston developed as a surname. As a given name, Winston was most famously borne by Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) who served as British Prime Minister during World War II (considered one of the greatest wartime leaders in modern history). Churchill was given his mother’s maiden name. Winston was also the name selected by George Orwell for the protagonist and “everyman” character in his 1949 novel “1984”. Winston is one of a handful of surnames that actually sounds more like a given name. Maybe that’s because it started out as a personal name long before becoming more common as a surname. The name’s etymology (i.e., “stone of joy”) provides a nice balance of strength and happiness. Winston is a name whose usage is almost exclusive to English-speaking countries: Britain, Canada, Australian and New Zealand mostly.

All About the Baby Name – Winston



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.



Winston has been in circulation in the United States as a masculine given name since 1883. In the early part of the 20th century Winston was used with respectable moderation. As you can see by the chart below, the name jumped up 200 positions on the charts in two short years (1940-1941). This brief period represented the height of Winston’s success as a given name in America; it also happened to coincide with Churchill’s election as British Prime Minister as a great war was raging across Europe. After WWII, however, Winston began his long and steady decline from usage as an American boy’s name. Today Winston resides near the bottom of the graphs and is one of the lesser used names in 21st century existence. Although Winston is so strongly associated with Churchill, the name also conjures up a cigarette brand and a NASCAR cup. African-Americans stood up and took notice of Winston when it was the name used for hottie character Winston Shakespeare portrayed by Taye Diggs in the romantic movie “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” (1998). Despite all of these references, Winston is a solid name choice on its own. It sounds rather intellectual, even a bit preppy (in the same vein as Winthrop). Maybe there’s no “i” in team, but there is a “win” in Winston.

Quick Facts













Stone of joy










Cultural References to the Baby Name – Winston

Literary Characters


Winston Smith is the main character of George Orwell’s classic novel of “future” totalitarianism, Nineteen Eighty-Four, published in 1948. Set in a post World War II gloomy and depressing “Big Brother” state, where the “Thought Police” monitor every action, the novel convincingly warns of the dangers of allowing the dehumanization of mankind at the hands of an autocratic government. Winston is one of us (well, most of us) – he is the common man trying to do his duty, yet overwhelmingly tempted by the dual siren call of thinking and questioning. Throw in a love affair, and you have trouble. Well, Winston has trouble. In his doomed quest to achieve truth, individuality and personal affection, Winston briefly blooms with all the potential that life seems to offer. He awakens to love, to trust, and to hope, the very standards of a good life that are specifically denounced by the new order. After the most fleeting of bright moments, Winston is betrayed and he betrays himself, caught in the inexorable trap of fright and despondency. Soon enough Winston is “reintegrated” into Society, and he dully returns to a life in which he will parrot the truth as it is told to him, as in two and two equal five. Because we identify with him, Winston, rightfully, breaks our collective heart.

Dallas “Dally” Winston is a character in S.E. Hinton’s novel “The Outsiders” first published in 1967 and then made into a film directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1983 (starring a young Matt Damon as Dally). Dally is the roughest of the Greasers (the “bad boys”) and as the narrator Pony Boy tells us, Dallas inspires somehow “he got drunk, he rode in rodeos, lied, cheated, stole, rolled drunks, jumped small kids – he did everything. I didn't like him, but I had to respect him.” But behind that rough exterior exists someone who deeply cares about Johnny and Pony Boy – he looks out of them, defends them and ultimately embarks on a suicide mission because of his grief over Johnny’s death. He’s the brave (if reckless) bad boy with a hidden heart, and who probably cries for his own lost innocence by looking after the two younger boys.

Childrens Books


We cannot find any childrens books with the first name Winston

Popular Songs


Winston Smith Takes It on the Jaw
a song by Utopia

Famous People


Winston Churchill (British Prime Minister)
Winston E. Scott (astronaut)
Winston Peters (New Zealand politician)

Children of Famous People


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

Historic Figures


Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was one of the most important world leaders of modern times, and an iconic figure for the ages. Born to an aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, Lord Randolph Churchill and his glamorous American wife, Jennie Jerome, Winston was raised with all the privilege of his class. He was brought up at a coolly acceptable emotional distance from his parents, and educated at Harrow and Sandhurst. Although not noted for a keen intellect in his rather scrappy youth, Winston Churchill enjoyed a military career and long service as a Member of Parliament and as First Lord of the Admiralty. His finest hour, and that of his fellow Brits, came at the onset of World War II, during which time he served as Prime Minister and rallied the entire nation on to victory against overwhelming odds. The picture of the stalwart Winston, cigar firmly clenched between his teeth, flashing the “V” for victory sign, is one that is emblazoned on every schoolchild’s (of a certain age) mind. Although immensely popular, Winston Churchill’s public career on such a grand stage was largely over after the war. He continue to be active in politics, as well as in his multiple extracurricular interests in history, writing, painting and oratory, but a series of strokes rendered him increasingly impaired. He died at his beloved estate, Chartwell, at the age of 90, with his wife of almost 60 years at his side. His state funeral was the largest ever held in the world, with China the only nation not represented. One of the most memorable quotes of all those attributed to him was made ten years before his death, and is resoundingly apt: “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter”.