We’ll admit that Ambrose is a bit of a stretch for a modern boy. Without an obvious nickname, and with the decidedly feminine “rose” sound, this name projects the image of a scholarly, tweed-clad gentleman of advanced years.
Still, with old-school charmers like Silas and Milo back in use, maybe Ambrose’s revival isn’t the most outlandish impossibility. Our thanks to Elisabeth for suggesting today’s Name of the Day.
The most famous Ambrose, by far, was a lawyer by training who became embroiled in a fourth century theological debate. It was a moment when such concerns were not mere academic matters, but popular debates to rival today’s talk of global warming. For his troubles, Ambrose was eventually named Bishop of Milan, and his writings would earn him the title doctor of the church. Today, he’s the patron saint not only of Milan, but also of education and beekeepers – not a bad circuit, if an eclectic one.
Another Ambrose may be familiar to many readers – Ambrose Bierce, author of The Devil’s Dictionary. He’s responsible for such cutting definitions as: Advice, n. The smallest current coin.
If the first seems too saintly a namesake, perhaps the second Ambrose will inspire.
Today, the name is virtually out of use in the US, having last charted in the Top 1000 in 1954. In fact, it hasn’t been in the Top 300 since 1901.
Depending on your perspective, Ambrose is either ripe for revival or best left to the history books. We’d like to suggest a third alternative – Ambrose is a distinctive middle name for parents seeking to honor a loved one called Rose.
And yet, it is the kind of name that might have hidden appeal – the “br” sound is so in vogue with lovers of modern names like Braydon and Brianna; the “o” is simply fashion-forward; and the soft “s” ending meshes well with Miles and other everything-old-is-new-again names.
So if you’re the thinking type with a sense of adventure, Ambrose might just make your short list as a well-known, but seldom used choice.