Boy name origins & meanings
- Old English : Divinely powerful
Family name origins & meanings
- Scottish, northern English, and German : from an Old English personal name composed of the elements ōs ‘god’ +weald ‘power’. In the Middle English period, this fell together with the less common Old Norse cognate Ásvaldr. The name was introduced to Germany from England, as a result of the fame of St. Oswald, a 7th-century king of Northumbria, whose deeds were reported by Celtic missionaries to southern Germany. The name was also borne by a 10th-century English saint of Danish parentage, who was important as a monastic reformer.
- Irish : adopted as an English equivalent of Gaelic Ó hEodhusa (see Hussey 1).