Names like Cuthbert, Hubert, Egbert, Humbert, Ethelbert all sound
really old and stuffy and traditional. But old as they may be, such names have been out of favor for the majority of the history of a united England.
These particular names are Anglo-Saxon constructions based on their word for "Bright." For instance, Hubert means
'Bright heart' and Egbert means 'bright sword'. Very common back in the day. WAY back in the day. But then they stopped being common because the Normans took over. The names were gradually forgotten.
So why did they come back?
It is the result of Victorian-era archaeology and scholarship, which got caught up in nationalism. So when archaeology re-kindled interest in the Anglo-saxon
history of England, people started talking about their Heritage. They started talking about their Saxon heritage. And they started giving their kids Saxon names. Wolfram Alpha shows the "Bert" names shooting up in popularity from 1880
to 1920 and then steadily decreasing year by year until vanishing by
So when you see some
English person with an Anglo-Saxon name, their name is not a product of
stuffy old-fashionedness; it is the remnant of a name fad in an era of