Roland

Roland is the the name of a Frankish paladin who served under Charlemagne the Great, King of the Franks and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, in the 8th century; according to legend, he is also depicted as Charlemagne‘s nephew. Roland was a popular figure in medieval Europe and there was even an epic poem (or chanson de gets in Old French) written about him, The Song of Roland (La Chanson de Roland) which depicts Roland’s final battle and death.

Roland is composed of Germanic elements hrod (fame) and land (land) essentially meaning “famous land”. I’ve also seen a few sites claim the second element deriving from nand meaning “brave”, but land seems more likely, essentially referring to someone who was famous throughout the land.

Roland is also a surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “famous land” or it could be stretched out to mean “famous throughout the land”

Usage: French, English, German, Swedish, Dutch, Hungarian, Polish, Medieval French

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Variants:

  • Rolland (English)
  • Rowland (English)
  • Rolin (French, English)
  • Roeland (Dutch)
  • Loránd (Hungarian)
  • Lóránt (Hungarian)
  • Hrodland (Ancient Germanic)
  • Orlando (Italian)
  • Rolando (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian)
  • Roldán (Spanish)
  • Roldão (Portuguese)
  • Rolan (Russian)

Feminine forms:

  • Rolande (French)
  • Rolanda (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Orlanda (Italian)