Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Gordon

gordon castle
Gordon Castle


Gordon is a Scottish boy name meaning "great hill" or "spacious fort." It may have a different meaning in Old English and Irish. There are two possible origins - one, that it transferred in use from a Scottish or French place name, ultimately from the Gallo-Roman name Gordus (possibly "stream" or "whirlpool"), and two, that it was given in honor of Charles Gordon, an 1800's war hero. Regardless, Gordon is a relatively new baby name, beginning its history as a given name in the 19th century. The surname goes back to at least the 12th century and likely was born from several places instead of just one. Clan Gordon of Scotland is just one example.

Red Wings hockey star Gordie Howe, astronaut Gordon Cooper, composer Gordon Jenkins, prime minister Gordon Brown, chef Gordon Ramsey, physicist Gordon Gould, and writer Gordon Dickson are among many famous namesakes. In fiction, half the characters named Gordon are in children's TV shows (including 80s sitcom "Alf"), but many older folks will recall a Gordon from "Walker, Texas Ranger," while literary buffs might think of the novel Gordon by Edith Templeton. Possibly the most well-known fictional character, however, is comic book hero Flash Gordon - second only to Gordon from the Batman comics.

For a name so young, several places in the U.S., Australia and Scotland are named Gordon, as well as motor manufacturers that are no longer producing vehicles, a nobility title (Duke of Gordon is the title, but there is a Viscount Gordon as well and several people with the surname Gordon were nobility with other titles), a castle, a printing press and a bomber plane.

The proof Gordon is ripe for a comeback: he ranked #935 in 2014, back on at last after it went missing after 2008. The name has been well used since 1880 and was given to more than 2000 boys from 1917 to 1960, explaining Gordon's heavy vintage feel.

1 comment:

  1. In Portuguese Gordon is very similar to the word "fat"

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