Celebrities You Didn’t Know Had Medieval Names

If you were asked to recall names from the medieval times, you’d probably talk about ladies and knights.

Remember names like ‘Gertrude,’ ‘Ermengard,’ and ‘Tabitha?’ Also, don’t forget the ones out there like ‘Ratbald,’ ‘Wulviva,’ or ‘Lefchild.’

The fifth to the fifteenth century has been too long ago. We’ve gone a long way from there in terms of choosing baby names, but remarkably, some things remain — like the medieval names of these celebrities.

Check these out! You just might like a name for your little one!

Rosamund Pike

This gorgeous Bond girl’s name piqued our interests with its rich history. Back in the day, Rosamund meant ‘horse protector’ from the words hross (which stands for an Old Saxon’ horse’) and mund (an Old English name which means ‘protector’).

However, when Rosamund Clifford became the mistress of King Henry II sometime in the twelfth century, this changed its meaning. She was known as ‘Rose of the World’ for her beauty.

From being ‘horse protector,’ it now means ‘pure rose.’ You might like to consider this if you’re looking for a flower-themed name!


Chevy Chase

This renowned comedian’s childhood nickname and stage name was given to him by his grandmother and came from the medieval ballad The Ballad of Chevy Chase. Amazingly, the name would remind you of the middle ages since it means ‘knight.’

His real name, on the other hand, is Cornelius. This biblical name comes from Latin and means’ war horn.’


Ellen DeGeneres

You may know her as one of the most successful comedians. But did you know that her name is a variant of Helen, which was first identified in Homer’s Iliad?

Several saints from the 4th- and 12th-century medieval period also bore this name.

In Scandinavian, this name means ‘shining one.’ So it’s no coincidence that the famous Ellen Lee DeGeneres has a name fit for fame. Talk about foreshadowing!


Benedict Cumberbatch

This multi-awarded 12 Years A Slave actor originally wanted to become a lawyer. Interestingly, his surname is associated with slave owners during the slave trade. His mother discouraged him from using Cumberbatch in anticipation of a backlash.

On the other hand, his first name has a positive meaning. It’s from the Latin word Benedictus which means ‘blessed’ in English.

Benedict was also the name of a sixth-century saint who founded the Benedictine order and several other saints. Moreover, it’s been given to at least sixteen popes.

Besides being a medieval name, this name may sound appealing to foodie parents. They might think of Eggs Benedict or Benedictine, a dip or spread made by combining cream cheese and cucumbers.


Samuel L. Jackson

In case you didn’t know, L stands for Leroy. And this multi-awarded American actor asked for a purple lightsaber when he played Mace Windu in Star Wars prequel trilogy.

When it comes to his name, it has Hebrew origins and was first noted in the bible through the judge and Prophet Samuel himself.

Moreover, a seventh-century saint dubbed Samuel the Confessor is known for building a monastery in the Qalamoun mountains of Syria.

By the way, this name is commonly translated as ‘God has heard’ in the English language.


Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri is someone to look for when you want to binge-watch food shows. This American restaurateur is also an Emmy Award-winning TV host.

Well, did you know that the name ‘Guy’ has a slightly different translation? In Old High German, it equals the word witu, which means ‘wood.’

Former kings of Jerusalem and Cyprus also had the same name—so it’s quite royal as well. During the late Middle Ages, it was made popular by Guy of Warwick, a legendary chivalrous hero who falls in love with a lady of higher standing.

Perhaps your little one would grow up to be a gentleman as well.


Quentin Tarantino

If you like satire, you’d probably enjoy actor-director Quentin Tarantino’s movies. Some of his most famous films include Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds.

In Latin, ‘Quentin’ means ‘fifth in the order.’ A third-century saint in Gaul popularized the name. A Flemish painter, Quentin Matsys, in the fourteenth century, is known to build the leading art school in Antwerp, Netherlands.

Oddly enough, Quentin is an only child; but there are no hard rules when it comes to baby names, right?


Justin Timberlake

Last but not the least, the talented JT also bears a medieval name. People in the old days loved to give their sons names that imply values – the reason why ‘Justin’ is one of the most popular medieval names that still exist.

In Latin, it comes from Justus, an element which means ‘just’ and ‘fair’ in the English language. No wonder there were many emperors with the same name–like Justin I who ruled the Eastern Roman Empire during the 6th century.


Medieval Names in the Present

.As you can see, there are many wonderful names from the Middle Ages – ones that have stood the test of time and are even proudly carried by our favorite celebrities. So go ahead, explore medieval names, and bring the past to the present.