We celebrate Gerald Day every June 17. We dedicate this day to honoring all the Geralds and their wonderful contributions to the world. Gerald is a common name that has been declining in use. This traditionally masculine name has Germanic roots. It was most popular between the 1930s and 1940s before people started using it less. Now, let’s list some of the most important Geralds in history and look into facts about the name.
History of Gerald Day
Do you know anyone named Gerald? These days, the name is used less. Most of the Geralds we know were born before 1960 when the name was still in vogue. Although fewer people pass it on to their children now, the name is still very much alive.
Gerald is of German origin and means “rule of the spear” or “bright spear.” Simply put, Gerald refers to a person who rules with the spear. It’s a masculine name used extensively in the U.S. and Europe. The prefix ‘ger’ means ‘spear,’ and the suffix ‘wald’ means ‘rule’ or ‘brightness.’ Gerald was first used in regions of what we now know as Germany. The Norman and Germanic tribes brought the name to England when they began settling there. In the 19th century, the name reached the U.S. from England and eventually gained popularity.
There was a steady increase in the name’s use in the 1900s until 1950, and many eminent personalities named Gerald were born during this time. But after the 1950s, fewer people were given the name. Although we’re past the golden days of Geralds, the name’s vintage charm has yet to fade.
Gerald Day timeline
Gerald Wellesley becomes the seventh Duke of Wellington.
Gerald Davies, one of few Welsh players to have won three Grand Slams, is born.
Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. is sworn in as the 38th president of the U.S.
Gerald S. McGowan becomes the U.S. Ambassador to Portugal.
Gerald Day FAQs
Is Gerald a rare name?
Gerald is not a rare name, but it’s not overly common either. In 2021, it was the 1,018th most popular boy’s name.
When was the name Gerald popular?
The name was the 19th most popular name between the 1930s and 1940s.
What name is short for Gerald?
Gerry is often used as a nickname for Gerald.
Gerald Day Activities
Meet a Gerald
Do you know anyone named Gerald? If not, it’s time to make a new friend. If you already know one, spend National Gerald Day with them to show how much you appreciate their friendship.
Have a special dinner
If you know a Gerald, why not meet with him for dinner? Invite his family and let them know the importance of this day.
Throw a Gerald Appreciation Party
Throw a party for all the Geralds you know. Invite all the Geralds in your area through social networks and have a blast celebrating their achievements.
5 Facts About Geralds That You Should Know
The feminine equivalent
Geraldine is the feminine equivalent name of Gerald.
Gerald, the city
In Missouri, there is a city named Gerald.
Gerald Durrell and captive animal names
Durrell’s work and dedication to animal conservation resulted in numerous animals born in captivity being named after him.
Geralds in the U.S.
Only 213 American babies were called Gerald in 2021.
Variations of Gerald include Garold, Gary, Geralt, and more!
Why We Love Gerald Day
It encourages us to learn about Geralds
Gerald is an old German name. This is a day to learn about its interesting history and the famous people who share the name.
It’s a great icebreaker
There’s always a chance that you’ll meet someone named Gerald on this special day. If you do, you already have a terrific way to break the ice and cement your friendship.
It allows us to dig deeper
On National Gerald Day, we aren’t limited to only looking up the history of Geralds. We can do a deep dive into any name we want! Do a quick search and learn what your name means and where it came from.
Gerald Day dates