From a Germanic
name meaning "eagle power", derived from the elements arn
"eagle" and wald
"power". The Normans
brought it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Earnweald
. It died out as an English name after the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century.
Saints bearing the name include an 8th-century musician in the court of Charlemagne and an 11th-century French bishop who is the patron saint of brewers. It was also borne by Arnold of Brescia, a 12th-century Augustinian monk who rebelled against the church and was eventually hanged. Famous modern bearers include American golfer Arnold Palmer (1929-) and Austrian-American actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947-).