Oscar (given name)

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For other uses, see Oscar.
Gender Male
Language(s) Irish, English
Language(s) Irish
Derivation os + cara
Meaning "deer" + "friend"

Oscar or Oskar is a masculine given name in the English and Irish languages. Variations and abbreviations include: Oskar (Germany and Scandinavia), Ossie, Ossy, Ozzie, Ozzy.[1]


The name may be derived from two elements in Irish: the first, os, means "deer"; the second element, cara, means "friend". The name is borne by a character in Irish mythologyOscar, grandson of Fionn Mac Cumhail. The name was popularised in the 18th century by James Macpherson, creator of 'Ossianic poetry'. Today the name is associated with Scandinavia because Napoleon was an admirer of Macpherson's work and gave the name to his godson, Joseph Bernadotte, who later became Oscar I, King of Sweden.[2] Consequently, at the time many Swedes were named Oscar. The surnames McCosker or McCusker found in the North of Ireland are said to be derived from the surname McOscar.[3] The given name Oscar is not to be confused with the Old English Ōsgār, which is of an entirely different origin (from two Old English elements meaning "god" and "spear").[4]


People with the given name Oscar[edit]

People with the given name Oskar[edit]

Fictional characters with the given name Oscar or Oskar[edit]

People with the given name Oskari[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michèle Brown, The new book of first names, 1985, p.494
  2. ^ Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 212, 354, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1 
  3. ^ MacGrady, James. "Irish Surnames; Their Past and Present Forms." Ulster Journal of Archaeology 1 (1853): 117-119.
  4. ^ Reaney, Percy Hilde (1995), Wilson, Richard Middlewood, ed., A Dictionary of English Surnames (3rd ed.), Oxford University Press, p. 239, ISBN 0-19-863146-4 .
  5. ^ a b c Hanks, Patrick; Hodges, Flavia (2003), A dictionary of first names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198606052