Oscar (given name)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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 derived from the Irish language.[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 name was given to more than a half-dozen members of Scandinavian royal houses.[3]

The given name Oscar does also[clarification needed] derive from the Old English Ōsgār, which is of an entirely different origin (from two Old English elements meaning "god" and "spear").[4]

The surname McCusker originates as an Anglicised form of the Gaelic Mac Oscair. The latter 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").[5]


Oscar is the third most popular name for males born in Sweden.[6] Oskar is ranked 51 in terms of the most popular male names.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Hanks, Patrick; Hodges, Flavia (2003), A dictionary of first names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198606052 
  2. ^ 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 
  3. ^ MacKillop, J. (1986). Fionn Mac Cumhaill: Celtic Myth in English Literature. p. 2. 
  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. ^ "McCusker Family History". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Pojknamn 2013". Statistiska centralbyrån. 
  7. ^ "Svenska namn - Allt för föräldrar".