National Russell Day is celebrated on July 23 to commemorate the beauty and historical relevance of the name Russell, a classic French name. The name Russell is shared by thousands of people worldwide and is derived from Old Norse ‘Rossel,’ which means “red-colored hair.” The name gained immense popularity in North America in the 18th century and quickly became a common choice for the elites of the U.S. On National Russell Day, we shower our love and appreciation towards the name and honor its namesakes.
History of National Russell Day
Russell is a distinct name and an English surname with Anglo-Norman roots and a French origin. The name originates from the French word ‘rus,’ which means ‘red.’ The name has been in the French dictionary since the beginning of time. After the Norman conquest of 1066, the Duke of Normandy and his cabinet leaders introduced the name to the English-speaking world. Since then, Russell has been considered a symbol of masculinity and nobility in the rest of Europe.
The Russell families, who immigrated to the U.S. in the early 19th century, had an overwhelming influence and spread the Russell name throughout the country. This resulted in more than 400 Russell families living in the U.S. by 1840. The surname was later used as a first name for thousands of baby boys by the end of the century. And by 1940, over 15% of registered male laborers and 7% of female housekeepers in the U.S. went by the name Russell.
There’s been a great P.R. for the name in the last couple of years, with legends like Russell Westbrook and Russell Brand reaching new heights in their career and influencing thousands of expecting parents to name their baby boys after them. We cannot miss out on trendsetter Russell Crowe, whose sheer talent left us angry, anxious, and ultimately spellbound in Tom Hooper’s “Les Misérables.” Counting in the antagonist connotations to the name is, of course, Idris Elba and his remarkable portrayal of Russell Bell in “The Wire.” More than 325,000 Russells of the U.S. celebrate National Russell Day with us today.
National Russell Day timeline
Russell ranks 196 on the list of the most popular male names in the U.S.
One of the most famous people with the first name Russell is born in New Zealand.
Russell reaches peak popularity in the U.S., ranking 58 on the list of the most popular American male names.
British actor Idris Elba portrays the iconic character Russell Bell in the American hit T.V. series “The Wire.”
National Russell Day FAQs
Is Russell an attractive name?
Russell is a beautiful and classic French name for boys, which originates from the surname Russell.
What is a good short name for Russell?
Ross, Russ, or Rush are some tremendous short names for Russell.
Is Russell a popular name?
Russell was popular around the U.S. in the 20th century, reaching its peak in the 1950s.
National Russell Day Activities
Explore French names
There’s an entire slate of names we bet you didn’t know were French. Sylvie, Martin, Baton, Gabriel, Louis, and Lucas are all classic French names widely shared by the western world's population. This National Russell Day respects France's global contributions.
Have a soiree
If you’re fortunate enough to have a Russell in your life, July 23 is the perfect time to celebrate them. Organize a soiree to honor this holiday's name bearer and tell them they are cherished and loved by you.
Color your hair red
The name Russell essentially translates to “red-colored hair.” You can use this day as the perfect excuse to live out your vicarious redhead fantasy. This National Russell Day, dye your hair red color and embrace the essence of being a real Russell.
5 Important Celebrities Who Share The Name Russell
The ‘90s heartthrob, 21st century Zeus, and the least miserable actor to work with.
The comedy legend, spiritual teacher, public servant, and thought leader.
The Lakers’ pride, nine-time N.B.A. All-Star, and basketball legend.
The M.L.B. quarterback, husband, father, and American icon.
The author, motivational speaker, teacher, and investor.
Why We Love National Russell Day
It’s a celebration of the French culture
French culture is beautiful, majestic, and diverse. It fits into the North American culture like a glove in hand. As we celebrate the name Russell and all the amazing Russells around us, let’s take a moment to thank the French for their many contributions to the world and commit ourselves to exploring more of this beautiful culture.
It’s an ode to the past
Russell sits right with strong and iconic American male names like Richard and Gifford that evolved from a surname. There’s a delightful, almost nostalgic vibe to the name that takes us back to the ‘50s.
It’s an authoritative name
Russell is a bossy name. Not many names can work a room like a grand old Russell. We can’t help but imagine being commanded by a man in a three-piece suit with a hand on his hip, blowing smoke through his smoking pipe — going by the name Russell.
National Russell Day dates