Stan Laurel (né Arthur Stanley Jefferson),
16 June 1890–23 February 1965
To mark the 55th Jahrzeit (death anniversary) of dear Stan Laurel, I’m shining the spotlight on his birth forename, Arthur. I love this timeless, classic name that works on any fellow of any age, from any background. If I’d been born male, I think Arthur would’ve been the perfect name for me.
Arthur’s etymology is unknown, though there are two posited meanings, the obscure Roman family name Artorius, or Celtic roots artos (bear) and viros (man) or rigos (king). The name is used in English, French, German, Dutch, and the Scandinavian languages. It rose to popularity in the Middle Ages thanks to legends about King Arthur, who probably wasn’t a real person (though he may have been based on real people).
Arthur was #14 in the U.S. in 1880, when name records were first collected. It alternated between #14 and #15 till 1904, and remained in the Top 20 till 1926, the Top 50 till 1953, and the Top 100 till 1969. The year I was born, it was #143. In recent years, it’s been on a gradual rise. Arthur was #229 in 2018.
The name is also popular in Belgium (#1), France (#7), England and Wales (#7), Denmark (#17), Northern Ireland (#21), Switzerland (#42), Scotland (#46), New Zealand (#63), and Ireland (#73).
Tapestry of King Arthur, ca. 1385
Other forms of this lovely name include:
1. Artur is Slavic, Estonian, Catalan, Portuguese, Galician, Armenian, Albanian, Uzbek, Turkish, Ossetian, Romanian, Scandinavian, and Basque. It’s currently #40 in Portugal, #49 in Poland. The alternate form Artúr is Slovak, Hungarian, and Irish.
2. Arturo is Spanish and Italian.
3. Artturi is Finnish. Nicknames include Arttu and Arto.
4. Artair is Scottish.
5. Artūrs is Latvian.
6. Arzhur is Breton.
7. Arturi is Georgian and Albanian.
8. Arthouros is Greek.
9. Artūras is Lithuanian.
10. Arturu is Maltese.
Italian–American political activist and poet Arturo Giovannitti, 1884–1959
11. Èrthu is Norman and Jèrriais.
12. Tuur is Limburgish.
13. Artús is Occitan and Asturian.
1. Arturiana is Romanian.
2. Artura is a rare English, Spanish, and Italian form. The alternate form Artūra is Lithuanian.
3. Arthurine is French.
4. Arthurina is English.
5. Arthuria is English.
6. Artha is English.
7. Artūrė is Lithuanian.