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PronouncedPron.WAWL-tər English
VAL-tu German
VAL-ter PolishItalian

Meaning & History

From a Germanic name meaning "ruler of the army", composed of the elements wald "rule" and hari "army". The Normans brought it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Wealdhere. A famous bearer of the name was Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), a Scottish novelist who wrote 'Ivanhoe' and other notable works.
VariantsValter Swedish Valter Norwegian Valter Danish Gualtiero, Valter Italian Waldhar, Walther Ancient Germanic
DiminutivesWally, Walt, Wat English
Other Languages & CulturesValter Croatian Wouter, Wolter Dutch Valter Estonian Valtteri Finnish Gauthier, Gautier, Gaultier French Wate, Watse Frisian Guálter, Valter Portuguese Bhaltair, Bhàtair Scottish Valter Slovene Gutierre, Gualterio Spanish Gwallter Welsh


Portrait of Sir Walter Scott (1822)Portrait of Sir Walter Scott (1822)

Sources & References

  • Ernst Förstemann, Altdeutsches namenbuch (1900), page 1507


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Entry updated July 2, 2017   Contribute