Walter (name)

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Walter, Walther
Gender Male
Word/name Old High German
Meaning ruler of the army
Other names
Related names Valter Valtyr Gauthier Gualterio Gualtierre

Walter or Walther is a masculine given name, from an Old High German Walthari, containing the elements wald "rule" and hari "army, warrior".[1]

The Latinized form is Waltharius, the title of a poem on the legendary Gothic king Walter of Aquitaine. A fragmentary Old English poem on the same character is known as Waldere. The Dutch equivalent of the name is Wouter. The name also entered the French language as Gauthier (and Wauthier) and in Spanish language as Gutierre.

Jacob Grimm in Teutonic Mythology speculates that Walthari, literally "wielder of hosts", may have been an epithet of the god of war, Ziu or Eor, and that the circumstance that the hero of the Waltharius poems loses his right hand in battle may be significant, linking him to the Norse tradition of Tyr.

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