Oscar (given name)

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Spanish: [ˈoskaɾ]
Portuguese: [ˈɔʃkaɾ]
Italian: [ˈɔskar]
German: [ˈɔskaɐ̯]
Swedish: [ɔs˧˩kar˥˩]
Language(s)Irish or Old English
Language(s)Irish or Old English (via Proto-Germanic)
Derivationos + cara or ōs + gar
MeaningFriend of Deer or Spear of God

Oscar or Oskar is a masculine given name derived from either Irish or Old English, via Proto-Germanic. It is cognate to Danish Asger or Asker, German Ansgar, Faroese and Icelandic Ásgeir. [1][2]

Oscar is the third most popular name for males born in Sweden in 2013.[3] Oskar is ranked 51 in terms of the most popular male names in Sweden.[4]


The name may be derived from two elements in Irish: the first, os, means "deer"; the second element, car, means "loving", thus deer-loving one or the like. The name is borne by a character in Irish mythologyOscar, grandson of Fionn Mac Cumhaill. In Old English, "os" means "god" and "gar" means "spear", thus "spear of god".[1] Os- derived from Proto-Germanic *ansu-z (god, gods), as in the Old Norse name Asgeirr, Old English Osgar, or Old High German Ansger (Ansgar). The name (Oscar) 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.[5] Consequently, at the time many Swedes were named Oscar. The name was given to more than a half-dozen members of Scandinavian royal houses.[6]

The surname McCusker originates as an Anglicised form of the Irish Mac Oscair as does the anglicised surname Cosgrave. The former surname may originate from Oscar, or else from a Gaelicised form of the Old Norse Ásgeirr (a personal name itself composed of the elements meaning "god" and "spear").[7]


People with the given name Oscar[edit]

People with the given name Oskar[edit]

People with the given name Oskari[edit]

People with the given name Oszkár[edit]

People with the given name Óscar[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Monaghan, P. (2014). The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology. Infobase Publishing. p. 370. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ a b c Hanks, Patrick; Hodges, Flavia (2003), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198606052
  3. ^ "Pojknamn 2013". Statistiska centralbyrån.
  4. ^ "Svenska namn - Allt för föräldrar".
  5. ^ Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, pp. 212, 354, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1
  6. ^ MacKillop, J. (1986). Fionn Mac Cumhaill: Celtic Myth in English Literature. p. 2.
  7. ^ "McCusker Family History". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 6 December 2014.