Today’s choice has been worn by kings and saints, presidents and protesters – and almost certainly a fellow or two in your life.
Thanks to Kelly for suggesting Andrew as Name of the Day.
Ask most anyone if Andrew fits their definition of a normal name, and you’ll probably get a yes. Most would also consider Andrew a classic.
Make no mistake, Andrew is evergreen. With Biblical and royal roots, you can find an Andrew who has excelled in nearly any field of endeavor. Andrew has always charted in the US Top 100.
But until the 1980s, Andrew had never cracked the Top Ten. Frank, Donald and Larry, yes. Jeffrey, Jason and Brian, too. Joshua joined the fraternity in 1979, but Andrew didn’t arrive until 1986.
Not only was 1986 his first appearance in the Top Ten, but for a while Andrew was somewhat out of favor, dropping to a low of #70 in 1954.
There are plenty of good reasons to use Andrew, including:
- The first Saint Andrew numbered among the original twelve apostles;
- Six more Andrews, from a third century bishop to an nineteenth century Vietnamese martyr, are also considered saints;
- Three kings of Hungary, and plenty of princes have worn the name;
- Two US presidents – Jackson and Johnson – shared the moniker;
- Then there’s industrialist-turned-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie;
- Soviet dissident and human rights activist Andrei Sakharov won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975;
- Creative types have included artist Andy Warhol, Broadway’s Andrew Lloyd Weber, French writer André Malraux, conductor André Previn and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, among many others. Rapper Dr. Dre started out as an Andre, too;
- Plenty of athletes have worn variations of the name, too, including tennis’ Andre Agassi.
The original Saint Andrew is Scotland’s patron saint – and there’s something of a brisk, highland style to the name. There’s also a university and a world famous golf course named in his honor. Saint Andrew’s Day – November 30 – kicks off the Scottish holiday season.
Andrew was on the upswing when Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip chose it for their second son, born in 1960. He was named after his grandfather, Prince Philip’s father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.
Andrew’s meaning is appealing. He comes from the Greek andreios – manly. It’s sometimes said to mean strong. That’s not wrong, but it is a stretch.
Perhaps Andrew was slow to catch on because of his -oo sound. Until recent decades, boys’ names almost always ended in a consonant, or possibly a -y. Then came Joshua. And Noah.
If that sounds far-fetched, consider that fellow apostle Matthew didn’t even appear in the US Top 100 for decades. (He joined the US Top Ten in 1972.)
If the nickname Andy feels slightly dated – or perhaps too boyish, Drew remains an attractive option.
Parents continue to choose the name. He’s not unusual – in fact, he just left the Top Ten in 2008, after over a decade. But he is a solid choice, with history to spare.