A Dictionary of Names with Name Meanings and Name Origins
The Name Walter - Origin and Meaning of Walter

The Name Walter - Origin and Meaning of Walter



Origin of the Name Walter

Old High German

Usage of the Name Walter

English, German, Limburgish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish

Meaning of the Name Walter

The name Walter is derived, via an Old French name, from the Germanic elements "wald" - "rule" and "heri" - "army, warrior". The name was brought to England by the Normans, where it replaced the native Old English form Wealdhere, which was quite popular in medieval England.

Interesting Facts about Walter

- On English playbills, when an actor plays a second role or doesn't want their name in the playbill, the role is sometimes billed as Walter Plinge, which might have originally been the name of a landlord of a London theater.
- Walter Mitty is the main character in the short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (1939) by James Thurber, also made into a film in 1947. The character lives through his imaginative fantasies, so the term "Walter Mitty" has become an euphemism for a daydreamer.
- Colonel Walter E. Kurtz is the main character in the film Apocalypse Now (1979).
- Sir Walter Elliot is the main character in Jane Austen's Persuasion (1818), and Count Walter is the lead bass role in Verdi's opera Luisa Miller (1849).

Famous Bearers

Bearers of the name include Walter Scott (1771 - 1832), a Scottish historical novelist and poet; Walter "Walt" Whitman (1819 - 1892), an American poet, journalist, essayist, and humanist; Walter Gropius (1883 - 1969), a German architect; Walter "Walt" Disney (1901 - 1966), an American film director, screenwriter, animator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist; Walter Cronkite (1916 - 2009), an American broadcast journalist; Walter Matthau (1920 - 2000), an American actor; Walter Koenig (born 1936), an American actor.
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