[ 2 syll. e-dwar(d), ed-wa-rd ] The baby boy name Edward is pronounced as EHD-WahRD in English or EHD-VaaRT in Polish †. Edward is used chiefly in the English and Polish languages, and its origin is Old English. The name's meaning is guardian of riches. A two-element name, it is derived from the elements 'ead' meaning wealth, blessed ; 'weard' warden, guard. Eadweard (Old English) is an older form of Edward.
The name survived the Norman Conquest and was later popularized in other parts of Europe, making it one of the most popular among Old English names. It was first used in England in the 9th century; by the Middle Ages, it was already popular as a royal name. It was known from three Anglo-Saxon kings and another eight kings of England subsequent to the Conquest, but the most prominent were King Edward the Martyr (963-978) who died while he was still a boy, and King Edward the Confessor (1002-1066) who was venerated as a saint as well as the role model of a Christian king across Europe. William the Conqueror was highly respectful of the saint, whom he claimed nominated himself as an heir; this reason, combined with the Christian associations of the name, possiby explained why the name Edward, unlike most other Saxon names, was not displaced by Norman ones. King Henry III was devoted to the cult of the saint; he bestowed the name on his heir Edward I (1239-1307), and later came Edward II (1284-1327) and Edward III (1312-1377). The name saw a revival in the 19th century along with other Saxon names. The name Eduarda (Portuguese and Spanish) is the female form of Edward.
The name Edward is used to a great extent; it has 56 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Duarte (also used in Portuguese and Spanish), Eadward, Edd, Edred, Edson, Eduardo (also used in Portuguese and Spanish), Edvardas, Edvardo, Edwards, Edwart (also used in Welsh), Edwy, Etzio, and Ewart. Other English variants include the short forms Ed (also used in Polish), Ned, and Ted (also used in Greek), and the diminutive forms Audie, Eddie, Eddy, Neddie, Neddy, Teddie, and Teddy.
Foreign variants of Edward include Duardo (Spanish), Eadbard (Irish), Eadbhard (Gaelic and Irish), Eadbhárd (Irish), Eadweard (Dutch), Edek (Polish), Edgard (Romanian), Edi (Albanian), Edko (Czech), Edo (Czech), Edoardo (Italian), Edorta (Basque), Edouard (French), Edrardo (Spanish), Eduard (Catalan, Czech, Dutch, German, Russian, Slavic, and Spanish), Eduardos (Italian), Eduards (Latvian), Eduarelo (Spanish), Eduárd (Hungarian), Edus (Czech), Edvard (Czech, Finnish, Hungarian, Russian, Scandinavian, and Slavic), Edvárd (Hungarian), Edwardo (Italian and Spanish), Edzio (Polish), Eetu (Finnish), Eideard (Gaelic and Scottish), Ekewaka (Hawaiian), Estuardo (Spanish), Eudard (Scottish), and Eudardo (Spanish). Another foreign variant is the diminutive form Edik (Russian and Slavic).
See also the related form, Edison (English).
Edward is a classic favorite. At present it is still popular as a baby name for boys, though it was in more widespread use previously. At the height of its usage in 1918, 1.858% of baby boys were given the name Edward. It ranked at #8 then. The baby name has since experienced a substantial loss in popularity, and in recent years it is of occasional use. In 2012, its usage was only 0.128% and its ranking #157, but it was nonetheless the most popular within all boy names in its group. In 2012, 39% more boys were named Edward than the next most popular name, Eduardo. The name Edward has mostly been a baby boy name, though it has also been given to girls in the past century. In 1942, the name Edward was given to 253 times as many baby boys than girls.
† Pronunciation for Edward: EH as in "ebb (EH.B)" ; D as in "day (D.EY)" ; W as in "we (W.IY)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; R as in "race (R.EY.S)" ; V as in "vow (V.AW)" ; AA as in "odd (AA.D)" ; T as in "tee (T.IY)"
Details of famous persons named Edward:
Actor Ed Harris, born Edward Allen Harris, 28 November 1950, Tenafly, New Jersey.
Actor Edward Norton, born 18 August 1969, Columbia, Maryland.
Actor Ed Begley, born Edward James Begley, March 25, 1901 - April 28, 1970, Hartford, Connecticut.
Actor Edward G. Robinson, born Emanuel Goldenberg, December 12, 1893 - January 26, 1973, Bucharest, Romania.
Author Edward Abbey, born 29 January 1927 - 14 March 1989, Indiana, Pennsylvania.
Author Aleister Crowley, born Edward Alexander Crowley, 12 October 1875 - 1 December 1947.
Author Edward De Vere, Hedingham Castle, Essex, England.
Bandleader Kid Kid Ory, born Edward Ory, December 25, 1886 - January 23, 1973, LaPlace, Louisiana.
Business Personality Edward Lloyd, born 1730.
Composer Edward Elgar, born Edward William Elgar, 2 June 1857 - 23 February 1934, Worcester, England.