To mark this special holiday (which is very much real), and because Roger is my favourite member of the band, I thought I’d do a post about the name Roger. This isn’t a name I used to have a high opinion of (since at least when I was younger, it frequently seemed to be given to characters who were bullies and thugs), but I’ve really grown to love the name.
Roger was on the Top 100 in the U.S. from 1921–75, and the Top 50 from 1932–62 and again in 1964 and 1965. It attained its highest rank of #22 in 1945. The name has steadily plummeted in popularity, and was down to #643 in 2016. The alternate spelling Rodger, always less popular, last charted at #921 in 1985.
Roger is used in English, French, the Scandinavian languages, Catalan, Dutch, and German. It means “famous spear,” from the Old Germanic elements hrod (fame) and ger (spear). The name came to England after the Norman conquest of 1066 and the resulting occupation. It replaced the Old English Hroðgar (Hrothgar), which was the name of the legendary Danish king featured in Beowulf.
During the Middle Ages, Roger was a common name in England, though had become rare by the 18th century. Later on, it enjoyed a resurgence in popularity.
Other forms include:
1. Ruggieri is Medieval Italian.
2. Ruggiero is modern Italian.
3. Ruggero is an alternate Italian form.
4. Rogel is Spanish.
5. Rüdiger is German. The parents of my character Roger Brandt-van Acker wanted to name their son this name instead, after his great-great-uncle, but they were pressured into choosing the English form.
6. Rutger is Dutch and Limburgish. The Limburgish nickname is Ruth.
7. Rogier is also Dutch.
8. Rogério is Portuguese.
9. Roar is Norwegian, and obviously not a name I’d recommend in an Anglophone country.
10. Hrodger is the original Ancient Germanic form.
11. Hróarr is Old Norse.
12. Hróðgeirr is also Old Norse.
13. Dodge is a Medieval English nickname.
14. Hodge is another Medieval English nickname, spelt such because of the way in which the English mispronounced the occupying Normans’ R.
15. Roschi is Alsatian.
16. Ruđer is Croatian.