What does Foster mean?
Foster /fos-ter/ [2 sylls.] as a boys' name is pronounced FAW-ster. It is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Foster is "foster parent; forester; shearer; saddle-tree maker". Transferred use of the surname, an occupational name from "foster", "forester", "forseter", or "fuyster". Also variant of Forest.
How popular is Foster?
Foster is a somewhat prominent first name for males (#923 out of 1220, Top 76%) and an even more prominent last name for both adults and children (#87 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is the baby name popularity of Foster for boys. Foster reached its peak rank of #302 in the U.S. during 1890-1899, and is presently at #993. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Forrest (#719 the previous year) and Forest are the popular alternative forms of Foster (#993 the previous year) listed in the Top 1000. Forms like Forester are uncommon. These boy names were at the apex of their popularity during the years 1890-1899 (usage of 0.747%) and are now much less popular (usage 0.096%, 87.1% less), with the versions Forest, Foster and Forrest becoming less fashionable. Shown below is a comparison of the usage of Foster and associated names. (2014 Birth Statistics)