Calloway makes a surprising choice for a son’s name, but could fit right in with longer surname picks like Sullivan.
Calloway: Surname Name
Also spelled Callaway, this name starts out on the map. It comes from Caillouet in northern France. The town seems like a dot on the map today, administratively combined with neighboring Ogreville. But it seems like it once played a bigger role in regional affairs.
Caillouet comes from the French word caillou, for stone. It translates roughly to little stone, or pebble. (Yes, that means the television character, Caillou, takes his name from the word, too.)
The Normans probably brought the name to England, where it was whispered down the alley into its current form.
Today, the name claims a few famous uses.
Callaway Golf Company is considered the world’s largest manufacturer of golf clubs. It makes plenty of related equipment, too.
The company was founded by Ely Reeves Callaway, Jr., back in 1984. He’d already retired from a successful career in textiles, and established and sold the successful Callaway Vineyard and Winery. Because Ely golfed a lot in between gigs, he took an interest in the equipment.
The company became known for innovation. They introduced the Big Bertha, as well as new golf balls and other advances.
Or maybe you’ll think of Cabell Calloway III, known as Cab. Born in 1907 to educated, professional parents, Cab followed older sister Blanche into music. Despite their parents’ objections, both siblings fell in love with jazz. While attending college in Chicago, Cab spent most of his time performing at the city’s many clubs.
During the 1930s and 40s, he became a successful jazz singer and bandleader, best known for his association with Harlem’s Cotton Club.
Other famous bearers of the name include:
- CeeLo Green was born Thomas DeCarlo Callaway.
- It’s the surname of rapper turned radio host and MTV personality Sway.
- Northern Calloway starred in early seasons of Sesame Street as David.
- Reeves Callaway founded a company that engineers cars – originally race cars like the Corvette and the Camaro, but now many Chevy vehicles – for better performance.
- An early settler of Kentucky bore the name.
Actually, plenty of settlers must have answered to this surname. It appears on the map, in both the ‘a’ and ‘o’ spellings, throughout the US.
Calloway: By the Numbers
Despite our general familiarity with the surname, it remains rare as a given name.
In 2015, just 19 boys were given the ‘o’ spelling, plus 16 with the ‘a’ spelling. The year before, it was 20 with the ‘o’ and 21 with the ‘a’.
Girls also receive the ‘a’ spelling at least some of the time. There were 14 girls named Callaway in 2015.
Calloway: On Trend
Despite minimal use, there’s reason to believe this name could catch on.
- We’re all about formal names for Cal.
- Longer surname names for boys are having a moment.
- Vowel-ending names for boys, like Jeremiah and Lorenzo, feel very current today.
Add it up, and this rarity could wear well. It’s sporting, musical, and right on trend. Plus, it’s just plain fun to say!
What do you think of Calloway?
Callaway was my great-grandmother’s maiden name. I find it so bizarre that it’s coming up on baby name blogs and forums now.
I associate it with the surname of the wealthy girl in It Takes Two. She was classy, so it’s a good association. It makes the name feel posh, a good thing.
The only drawback is, I don’t like the nickname Cal.