He’s one of those solid, not-quite-classic masculine appellations that is either hopelessly out of favor – or poised for a comeback.
Thanks to Photoquilty for suggesting Warren as Name of the Day.
Warren conjures up a host of solid citizens. There’s former California governor and Chief Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren; fellow Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger; President Warren G. Harding and investment guru Warren Buffet.
Maybe that’s why it can be tough to picture a baby Warren. The name has always charted in the US Top 1000, and while his peak was #24 in 1921, he remained in the Top 100 right through 1971. Chances are you know at least one Warren well past driving age and probably post-retirement.
Today Warren stands at #514. That’s not obscure, and he’s got history aplenty.
Warren has two possible origins. It may simply be a whisper-down-the-alley place name worn by Normans from La Varrene. Over the years, it became de Varrene. English swapped the “V” for a “W” and de Warrene eventually morphed into workaday Warren.
The other possibility is also a place name, or possibly an occupational one. The Old French warenne meant game park – an enclosed space for breeding animals. It may have derived from the Gaulish word varros – fence post – or the Germanic element war – to protect. Eventually, rabbits became the most common animals bred in warrens, and so a warren is also used to describe close living quarters. (I guess bunnies don’t need much by way of elbow room.)
During the American revolution, Joseph Warren became an early American hero. A doctor by training, he eventually became a Major General in the Continental Army. He dispatched Paul Revere on his famous midnight ride. And he’d eventually die at the Battle of Bunker Hill, reportedly after making a rousing speech to the troops;
Warren Earp was Wyatt’s brother, yet another lawman in the Wild West;
Hollywood gives us the Oscar-winning Warren Beatty. The leading man was actually born Henry Warren Beatty – he lends the name quite a bit of dash;
Not too long ago, Warren Buffett was as much of a rock star as a frugal-living investment genius could be. Banker names are out of fashion these days, but the Oracle of Omaha is also a noted philanthropist and humanitarian, accomplishments that will surely outlast any bear market;
Rapper Warren G. scored a smash hit with his 1994 “Regulate.”
With red carpet, rap star and cowboy connections, it is easy to argue that Warren should be considered an underused classic à la Walter or Calvin. If you’re stuck between Gunnar and Charles, Warren might just split the difference.