Origin: Germanic, Latin, English.
Meaning: “Rule,” “Advice.”
Reginald is an old-school name with old-school charm, though (with most names, it would seem) there are a few unsavory connections. Despite this, Reginald is handsome, and even if some may consider it stuffy or pompous, it’s got likable nicknames like Reggie or Reg. The Reginald Earnshaw featured at the top of this post is believed to be the youngest person to die in the British Services during World War II at just fourteen. Known as Reggie, the boy lied, saying that he was fifteen, which was the minimum age to join the recruitment. Originally buried in an unmarked grave, a shipmate began a search for his burial place, and thus the true story, as well as age, of Reginald Earnshaw revealed itself. In 2009, the grave was marked by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission with a granite headstone.
There’s also Reginald Bonham, who was a blind chess player. Reginald founded the International Braille Chess Association in 1951; he was known both for his achievements in blind chess and “sighted” chess. In 1958 he became the Blind World Chess Champion, and that wasn’t the end of his long list of awards. Reginald was born into a family of butchers, and was sent to Worcester College for the Blind. As well as his talents for chess, he was also particularly good at rowing – in 1926, he went to St. Catherine’s College, and a few years later won the Oxford sighted chess championship; in fact, he also made it into the final trials of the Oxford rowing team. In 1929, he returned to Worcester College for the Blind, this time as a teacher, teaching subjects that included mathematics and braille. He also coached rowing, chess, amateur drama, and bridge. I think that in anyone’s eyes Reginald, nicknamed “Bon” by staff at the college, is an inspiration – he overcame a lot, and made it known that his “disability” was the least important thing. He was truly talented.
In fact, there are almost too many Reginalds’ to cover. Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight. Reginald Fessenden was an inventor, who had pioneering experiments in radio. There was a Reginald, Bishop of the Isles. Also notable, though one of those aforementioned “unsavory” connections, is Reginald “Reggie” Kray. He and his twin Ronald, nicknamed Ronnie, were notorious for their extreme violence and brutality, and they were perpetrators of organized crime in London’s East End during the 1950s and 60s. They owned a West End nightclub; they interacted with popular entertainers such as Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland, as well as a multitude of politicians.
Reginald is, at the least, worth a look into. Even if isn’t the name for you, its got an interesting set of bearers, and its history is also interesting in itself.