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Cool Name of the Week: Oscar

Monday, August 6th, 2012

South African runner Oscar Pistorius rocked the Olympics by sprinting his way to the semifinals in the 400-meter races—even without having legs. He’s become the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics—though his participation in the Olympics wasn’t without controversy, as some people thought his ultracool blade legs (which led to his “Blade Runner” nickname) gave him an unfair advantage. Watching him blaze past many of the other Olympians to finish in second place in his heat of the quarterfinals was pretty amazing—my family cheered him all the way. And while he only made it to the semifinals this time, he’s already talking about competing again at the 2016 Olympics (and that’s in addition to defending his titles in the 100, 200 and 400 titles at the 2012 Paralympics, and competing on South Africa’s relay team later this week).

And you couldn’t pick a name with better meaning for this trailblazer: Oscar is an old English name that means champion warrior, which is exactly what Oscar Pistorius is.

It’s not the most popular name here (ranking #162 in the U.S.), but it tops the charts elsewhere in the world—it’s the top name in Sweden. I’m thinking that it’s association with the Muppet Grouch—and the cold-cut/weiner manufacturer—may be the reason it hasn’t caught on quite as well for American parents. But there are plenty of other namesakes beyond the Sesame Street antihero and Oscar Meyer—we’re talking author Oscar Wilde, boxer Oscar De La Hoya and fashion designer Oscar de la Renta—and of course, the nickname for the famous Academy Awards. Oscar’s the perfect choice for someone who wants something a little more original than the more popular Oliver.

For middle names, try something a little traditional: Oscar Elliott, Oscar George, Oscar Anthony or even Oscar James.

What do you think about the name Oscar? Is it one that you’d consider for your little boy?

Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com

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