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National Oscar Day – November 20, 2022

National Oscar Day is celebrated on November 20 each year. We know that the name ‘Oscar’ will most likely conjure up thoughts of small gold statuettes, but it refers to much more than a prized Hollywood award. Oscar is a powerful warrior respected by his community in Irish mythology. It’s no wonder, therefore, that the name is Gaelic, meaning ‘God’s Spear.’ The name Oscar became famous and widespread throughout Europe after Scottish poet James Macpherson used it in his widely read early 19th Century treatise on Irish legendary heroes.

History of National Oscar Day

It may surprise you, but Oscar is an Irish name, not a Scandinavian one, as is commonly assumed. The name is based on Irish mythology. Oscar, the legendary warrior, was the son of the poet Oisin and the grandson of Fionn Mac Cumhaill. A Druid converts Oisin’s mother into a deer, causing him to grow up in the wild until he is seven when his father discovers him. Oisin marries the daughter of a sea deity, and they have Oscar. Oscar proves to be a courageous and great warrior until he is killed in combat. It is said that Oscar’s death was the only time his grandfather ever grieved.

Oscar possibly means ‘friend of the deer,’ derived from the Old Irish ‘oss’ (‘deer’) and ‘carae’ (‘friend’) It might also have derived from the Old English name ‘Osgar’ or its Old Norse equivalent ‘Ásgeirr,’ both of which were introduced to Ireland by Viking invaders and settlers. Oscar was the son of the poet Oisín and the grandson of the hero Fionn mac Cumhaill, according to Irish tradition. The writings of the 18th Century Scottish poet James Macpherson popularized this moniker in continental Europe. Napoleon admired Macpherson and proposed Oscar as the second middle name for his godson, who went on to become King of Sweden as Oscar I. Other noteworthy bearers include Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), an Irish playwright and humourist, and Oscar Niemeyer, a Brazilian architect (1907-2012).

The surname McCusker is an Anglicised variant of the Irish Mac Oscair, as is the surname Cosgrave. Oscar, a round and jolly pick, is a grandpa name that’s quickly displacing urban trendies like Max and Sam. Hugh Jackman and Gillian Anderson, both actors, picked Oscar for their boys. Aside from being a common name in Sweden, where it has a royal link, Oscar is popular in all English-speaking nations, as well as France and Spain. Oscar winners include Oscar Wilde (born Fingal), Isaac, Madison, Hammerstein, Peterson, de la Renta, the Academy Award, and the Grouch.

National Oscar Day timeline

1960
The Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer

Niemeyer is recognized for his civic building designs of Brasilia, which becomes the capital of Brazil in 1960.

1960s
The Fashion Designer Oscar de la Renta

This Dominican fashion designer, rises to worldwide prominence, having clothed Jacqueline Kennedy.

1997
The Baseball Player Oscar Charles Gamble

As a major league baseball hitter and outfielder Gamble hits a career-high 19 runs with the Rangers and Yankees.

2015
The Musician and Actor Oscar Isaac

Born Oscar Isaac Hernández Estrada, he features in the epic space opera "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

National Oscar Day FAQs

Is Oscar a common name?

Yes and No depending on what part of the world you come from. But it is nonetheless a classic name with a powerful meaning.

Is Oscar a name from the Bible?

No, it is not.

When did the name Oscar become popular?

Between 1880 and 1925, making it a classic name.

National Oscar Day Activities

  1. Take a shopping trip

    As an Oscar, it is your day to indulge! So go out there and spend some money on yourself. You deserve it!

  2. Go on the ideal picnic

    On your special day, have friends or family join you in a scenic picnic. Bring your favorite snacks and some easy games with you.

  3. Try skydiving

    Skydiving is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you will never forget. Go out there and challenge yourself to try something new.

5 Fun Facts About Oscar

  1. It is a classic name

    Oscar is still considered to have a vintage vibe about it.

  2. This is how to say it

    The name is typically spelled with an accent mark above the "O," and is pronounced /OH-skar/.

  3. It has symbolic meaning

    Oscar is both powerful and macho (like the Irish warrior) as well as sweet and adorable (like the little deer).

  4. It is mostly used by Hispanic-Americans

    The present popularity of this historically Irish/Scandinavian name Oscar is being pushed by the Hispanic-American community.

  5. It is slowly regaining popularity

    The popularity of the name Oscar was at its lowest in the 1960s, but it has been slowly gaining popularity since the early 1970s.

Why We Love National Oscar Day

  1. Oscar's desire for knowledge

    You are an idealistic analyst who studies things thoroughly, and solving mental or physical riddles comes naturally to you. You like researching and prefer scientific information.

  2. They are compromising

    Oscars can be compromising, submissive people who prefer to follow rather than lead. You would rather be in the background than in the spotlight.

  3. An Oscar is likely a family person

    When people hear your name, they think of you as a family man, a decent provider, and a protector. Others may have faith in you and your judgment.

National Oscar Day dates

YearDateDay
2022November 20Sunday
2023November 20Monday
2024November 20Wednesday
2025November 20Thursday
2026November 20Friday

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