Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his April 26th column, he looks at the history of the name Andrew.
Will you stay up late to see hometown boy Andrew?
Andrew Rannells co-hosts “Oscars: After Dark” on ABC after the Academy Awards tonight. Rannells, who grew up in Omaha’s Hanscom Park neighborhood, was nominated for Tonys for “The Book of Mormon” (2003) and “Falsettos” (2016). He starred in television’s “The New Normal” and “Black Monday”, and the 2020 films “The Boys in the Band” and “The Prom.”
Andrew is the English form of Andreas, a Greek name derived from “andreios” (“manly”). St. Andrew, Simon’s brother, was the first Apostle of Jesus.
It’s possible the saint was born with a Hebrew name, Andrew being his nickname. On the other hand, Alexander the Great’s conquests brought Greek culture to Palestine three centuries before. Israeli historian Tal Ilan’s found 14.5% of Jews in Jesus’ time had Greek names.
St. Andrew was popular throughout medieval Europe. In England, 637 churches were dedicated to him.
Andrew did even better in Scotland. Relics of St. Andrew were brought to Scotland in the eighth century. King Angus II legendarily won a battle against the Angles in 832 after praying to the saint. The town surrounding Scotland’s national cathedral was named St. Andrews, and Andrew became a hugely popular name for Scottish boys.