Gaylord is a forename and sometimes a surname with origins in Old France. Back then it was spelled Gaillard until it was anglicized during the reign of King Edward VI (1547-1553) when protestants from Normandy emigrated to England to escape religious persecution. In name meaning books and websites, Gaylord is defined as meaning brave or representing strength. However, a direct translation of the word gaillard is 'ribald, bawdy or strapping,' as in, 'he's a strapping young fellow'.
Of course, the true popularity of Gaylord arose in the 80's as the term became popular as a playground insult. Supposedly the gay community was developing some kind of complex hierarchy and the intended victim of the insult was portrayed as leading it. It also could be flipped around as 'Lord of the Gays' and could be retorted by exclaiming, 'Nu-uh, you're the flaming duke of queerdom.' Kids can be so creative when they're cruel. Gaylord had a brief comedic rise recently in 'Meet the Parents,' a film starring Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro in which Ben Stiller's character is named Gaylord Focker, much to everyone's shocked amusement.
Though a difficult name to grow up with, all Gaylords should be proud of a long heritage of standing strong and bravely against opposition. We have Mitch Gaylord, Gaylord Perry, Gaylord Jon Ranson... oh wait, that's me. Apparently, kids aren't the only ones that can be cruel. Parents play that role quite easily as well.