What does Oscar mean?
Oscar /os-car/ [2 sylls.] as a boys' name is pronounced OS-ker. It is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Oscar is "spear of the gods".
Also possibly from the Gaelic phrase "os cara", meaning "friend of the deer". James Macpherson used the name in his Ossianic poems. Napoleon, an admirer of those works, imposed it on his little French godson, who ascended the throne of Sweden as Oscar I (or Oskar I). Thus, this British name is now regarded as Scandinavian. The name was revived by 18th century literary use. In modern times, Oscar the Grouch is a character in "Sesame Street". Lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II; playwright Oscar Wilde; fashion designer Oscar de la Renta.
How popular is Oscar?
Oscar is a very popular first name for males (#151 out of 1220, Top 12%) and also a very popular surname for both adults and children (#18129 out of 150436, Top 12%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is the baby name popularity of Oscar for boys. Oscar reached its peak position of #29 in the U.S. in the 1880s, and is presently at #183. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Below is a graphed analysis of the popularity of Oscar and corresponding names. Ossie is the only other prominent alternative form of Oscar (#183 in 2014) rated in the Top 1000. These boy names reached the height of their popularity during the years 1880-1889 (usage of 0.54%) and have become significantly less popular since (usage 0.4085%, down 24.4%). (2014 Birth Statistics)