Arnold (given name)

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Arnold Schwarzenegger February 2015.jpg
Arnold Schwarzenegger is one famous person named Arnold.
German: [ˈaɐ̯nɔlt]
Finnish: [ˈɑrnolʲdʲ]
Language(s)Old High German Old Frankish
Name day1st October
Meaningeagle power
Region of originWestern Europe
Other names
Variant form(s)Arndt, Aart, Arent, Ahrend, Arnaud, Arnout, Arnoud, Arno, Arnaldo, Arnoldo
DerivedArnold (surname), Ahrens, Arnall, Arnell, Arnaud (surname)
Related namesarnulf

Arnold is a masculine German, Dutch, and English given name. It is composed of the Germanic elements arn "eagle" and wald "rule, power". The name is first recorded in Francia from about the 7th century, at first often conflated with the name Arnulf, as in the name of bishop Arnulf of Metz, also recorded as Arnoald. Arnulf appears to be the older name (with cognates in Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse), and German (Frankish) Arnold may have originally arisen in c. the 7th century as a corruption of Arnulf, possibly by conflation of similar names such as Hari-wald, Arn-hald, etc.

The name is attested with some frequency in Medieval Germany during the 8th to 11th centuries, as Arnold, Arnalt, Arnald, Arnolt. It was occasionally spelled Harnold, Harnald, and the name may have been conflated with an independent formation containing hari- "host, army". Its etymology ceased to be evident from an early time, and it was sometimes folk-etymologized as Ehrenhold in the early modern period. The French form Arnaud is recorded from the 10th century, and was also brought to England after the Norman conquest, where it replaced the cognate Anglo-Saxon form Earnweald (Doomsday Book Ernehale; Ernaldus 12th century). However, the Anglo-Norman given name did not survive into the modern period (other than in surnames, as Arnall, Arnell), and the German form Arnold was re-introduced in the English-speaking world in the 19th century. In the United States, Arnold had a relative surge of popularity at the beginning of the 20th century, peaking as the 89th most commonly given masculine name in 1916, but it dropped again below rank 200 by the 1950s.

Hypocorisms of the name are: Arent (Arend, Ahrend), Arndt, Arne, Aart (etc.). Regional variants of the name include: French: Arnaud, Arnault, Italian: Arnoldo, Dutch: Arnout, Arnoud, Portuguese: Arnoldo, Spanish: Arnaldo, Catalan: Arnau, Arnald. The German name was also adopted in Old West Norse (14th century), as Arnaldr (Icelandic: Arnaldur).[1]

Arnold is also recorded as a surname (via a patronymic) from the early modern period. (Cornelius Arnold, b. 1711).

List of people called Arnold[edit]

Arnold Huff (born c. 1970), Mayor of Eau Claire, Pennsylvania

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^, citing Kristoffer Kruken, Ola Stemshaug, Norsk Personnamnleksikon (1995)
  • Förstemann, Ernst (1900). Altdeutsches Namenbuch (3 ed.). Bonn: P. Hanstein, 114–118.