National Gregory Day is celebrated annually on December 20. Gregory is a masculine name given to boys worldwide, and in the U.S. it ranks as the 72nd most popular boys’ name. Roughly 780,000 Americans are called Gregory. The name wasn’t well-liked until actor Gregory Peck became famous for his leading roles in Hollywood films like “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Moby Dick.” Other common variants of Gregory are Greg and Gregor. Still, because the name is used worldwide, several dozen variations exist in different countries, like the Amharic ‘Gorgorios’ and the Finnish ‘Reiho.’
History of National Gregory Day
Gregory is an English version of the Latin ‘Gregorius,’ which came from the late Greek ‘Grēgórios’, meaning watchful or vigilant. Gregorios originated from the Greek word ‘grēgorein,’ meaning ‘to watch.’ The name’s original meaning changed when it became synonymous with the Latin word ‘grex,’ which translates to ‘flock’ or ‘herd.’ The association with shepherding made Gregory an attractive name to men of the cloth such as monks and popes. After John, Gregory ties with Benedict as the most popular name for the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church.
Pope Gregory I, also known as Gregory the Great, was the first of 16 popes to hold this title. Born Gregorius in 540 A.D., he was the son of a Roman senator, and his wealthy family had close ties to the church. Pope Gregory, I instituted the Gregorian Mission, which aimed at converting Anglo-Saxons in Britain to Christianity. He was canonized as a saint immediately after he died in 604 A.D.
Actor Gregory Peck is known as Hollywood’s irresistible nice guy. Born in 1916 in San Diego, California, he was an only child of divorced parents. Peck had an unconventional upbringing, spending most of his time with his grandmother, who often took him to the movies to keep him occupied. He studied medicine at the University of California but left without attaining his degree to pursue a career in acting. Peck is best known for playing Atticus Finch in the film adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” and Captain Ahab in “Moby Dick.”
National Gregory Day timeline
Pope Gregory, I is canonized after his death.
While breeding pea plants, scientist Gregor Mendel discovers the basic principles governing heredity.
Gregory Peck receives an Oscar for Best Actor for his depiction of lawyer Atticus Finch.
Reggae musician Gregory Isaacs releases his first studio album “Night Nurse,” achieving silver certification in the U.K.
National Gregory Day FAQs
What is short for Gregory?
Greg is the short form of Gregory.
What is the meaning of Gregory?
Gregory comes from the Latin word ‘Gregorius,’ which means ‘watchful.’
Is Gregory in the bible?
No, it is not but it is popular in Christian circles. Gregory was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople.
National Gregory Day Activities
Sit through a Peck movie marathon
Grab your popcorn and put your feet up for a Gregory Peck movie marathon. Appreciate his acting chops and deep, mellow voice.
Read about Pope Gregor I
Christians called him Gregory the Great because of his prolific writings and leadership skills. Learn about the reformer, administrator, and founder of the medieval papacy.
Listen to Gregory Isaacs
Once described as the most exquisite vocalist in reggae, Gregory Isaacs’ music is as poignant as it is enjoyable. He brought a Sinatra-style cool to the genre.
5 Great Facts About Gregory
The Gregory sent to military school
When he was a child, Gregory Peck was sent to a Catholic cadet school because his parents felt he had grown too comfortable living with his grandmother.
The Gregory who was passed over
Greg Kinnear was one of the actors considered for the role of Qui-Gon Jinn in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” but got passed over for Liam Neeson.
The crooner Gregory
Gregory Isaacs, who sang “Night Nurse” in 1982, was discovered by veteran Jamaican artist Byron Lee at a talent show.
The Gregory into science and religion
Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics, became a monk so that he could continue studying science without finding a job to support himself.
The fictional Gregory
We cannot forget Gregory House M.D. the mad genius doctor brought to life by actor Hugh Laurie in the American hit drama series House
Why We Love National Gregory Day
It is a time-tested name
Even though it dates back to ancient Greece, Gregory is a name that’s stood the test of time. It may not be at its prime like in the 1950s and 60s, but it's still a distinctive choice.
Assertive and dignified
Greg is friendly, but Gregory conveys a sense of authority and confidence. It speaks of sensibility and dignity.
A meaningful name
Names affect your personality. Many derive their unique identities from their names. For Gregory, the watcher, it is one of vigilance and alertness.
National Gregory Day dates