Harold (given name)

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Harold is a personal name derived from the Old English name Hereweald, derived from the Germanic elements here "army" and weald "power, leader, ruler".[1] The Old Norse cognate, Haraldr, was also common among settlers in the Danelaw. Diminutives of Harold are Harry, Hank and Hal. The Old High German form is Heriwald or Heriold, from hari "army" and wald- "rule". The Germanic name is recorded very early, as the name of Cariovalda (for Proto-Germanic *harja-waldaz), a king of the Batavi in Tacitus (1st century), and later (7th century), as Arioald, as the name of a king of the Lombards,[2] and in the 10th century as the name of Harald Bluetooth, as runic haraltr (ᚼᛅᚱᛅᛚᛏᚱ) in the Jelling stone inscription.


  • Hagrold (fl. 944–954), also known as Harold, Scandinavian chieftain in Normandy
  • Harold Harefoot, or Harold I (c. 1015–1040), King of England from 1035 to 1040
  • Harold Godwinson, or Harold II (c. 1022–1066), the last Anglo-Saxon king of England
  • Harold of Gloucester (died 1168), supposed child martyr and saint, allegedly murdered by Jews
  • Arioald, king of the Lombards

Modern name[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Harold". Behind the Name. 
  2. ^ A. Förstemann, Altdeutsches Namenbuch (1856), 631f.