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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Faust mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Faust

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
Faust
Senses
  1. A tragedy by Goethe, commenced in 1772, and published. as “Faust, ein Fragment” in 1790. Part 1, complete, was published as "Faust, eine Tragödie" in 1808; part 2, finished in 1831, was published in 1833. It has been translated into English by Bayard Taylor, Blackie, Anster, Hayward, Martin, and others (nearly 40 in all). Goethe accomplished the transformation of Faust from a common necromancer and conjurer into a personification of humanity, tempted and disquieted, but at length groping its way to the light. See Goethe.
  2. An opera by Gounod (words, after Goethe, by Carré and Barbier) represented at the Théâtre Lyrique, Paris, March 19, 1859.
  3. An opera by Spohr, first produced at Frankfurt in 1818. The words, which do not follow Goethe's play, are by Bernhard.
noun
an alchemist of German legend who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge.
Doctor Johann Faust, a person born at KundlingKnittlingen), Würtemberg, or at Roda, near Weimar, and said to have died in 1588. He was a man of licentious character, a magician, astrologer, and soothsayer, who boasted of performing the miracles of Christ. It was believed that he was carried off at last by the devil, who had lived with him in the form of a black dog.

Note: ☞ The legends of Faust were gathered from the then recent traditions concerning him in a book which appeared at the book-fair at Frankfurt-on-the-Main in 1587. It was called "The History of Dr. Faustus, the Notorious Magician and Master of the Black Art, etc." Soon after its appearance it became known in England."A metrical version of it into English was licensed by Aylmer, Bishop of London, before the end of the year. In 1588 there was a rimed version of it into German, also a translation into low German, and a new edition of the original with some slight changes. In 1689 there appeared a version of the first German Faust book into, French, by Victor Palma Cayet. The English prose version was made from the second edition of the original, that of 1588, and is undated, but probably was made at once. There was a revised edition of it in 1592. In 1592 there was a Dutch translation from the second German edition. This gives the time of the carrying off of Faustus by the devil as the night between the twenty-third and twenty-fourth of October, 1538. The English version also gives 1538 as the year, and it is a date, as we have seen, consistent with trustworthy references to his actual life. Marlowe's play (' The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus ') was probably written in 1588, soon after the original story had found its way to England. He treated the legend as a poet, bringing out with all his power its central thought -- man in the pride of knowledge turning from his God." Morley, Eng. Writers, IX. 254 This play was brought to Germany about the beginning of the 17th century, and, after passing through various developments on the stage, finally became a puppet-play, which is still in existence. Lessing wrote parts of two versions of the story. Müller, the painter, published two fragments of his dramatized life of Faust in 1778. Goethe's tragedy (which see) was not published till 1808. Klinger published a romance "Faust's Leben, Thaten und Höllenfahrt" (1791: Borrow translated it in 1826). Klingemann published a tragedy on the subject (1815), Heine a ballet "Der Doctor Faust, ein Tanzpoem" (1851), and Lenau an epic "Faust" (1836). W. G. Wills adapted a play from Goethe's "Faust," which Henry Irving produced in 1885. Calderon's play "El Magico Prodigioso " strongly resembles Goethe's and Marlowe's plays, though founded on the legend of St. Cyprian.

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. An alchemist of German legend who sold his soul to Mephistopheles in exchange for knowledge
Wiktionary

After Johann Georg Faust, German magician and alchemist

  1. A magician and alchemist of German lore who sold his soul to the Devil for knowledge and power.
  2. A hamlet in Alberta, Canada

Faust was also found in the following language(s): German

Notable Persons With the Last Name Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust is a President of Harvard University. Drew was born on September 18th, 1947.

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Lauren Faust is an animator and writer. Her most notable accomplishments were from 1994 to present. Lauren was born on July 25th, 1974 in Annapolis, Maryland.

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Felix Faust is a comics character.

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She has been prominent since 2012. Mimi was given the name Oluremi James on January 3rd, 1970 in Newport News, Virginia.

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Gerry Faust is a college coach. Gerry was born on May 21st, 1935 in Dayton, Ohio.

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Sebastian Faust is a comics character.

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Where is the name Faust popular?

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Popularity of Faust as a last name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Faust as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Pennsylvania, Iowa, or Wisconsin.

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Faust U.S.
  White 84.64% 64.26%
  African American 10.74% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.63% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.28% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 1.44% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.27% 16.26%

Of Last Name Faust

People with the last name Faust are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Faust

  • How Popular is the name Faust? Faust is the 41,797th most popular name of all time. As a last name Faust was the 2,263rd most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Faust have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 71 babies born with the first name Faust in the United States. That's more than enough people named Faust to occupy the territory of Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 66 (as of July 1, 2008).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Faust? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1914 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Faust first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Faust is Thursday, August 7th, 1879.
  • What year had the most people named Faust born? The highest recorded use of the first name Faust was in 1917 with a total of 9 babies.
  • Random Faust Factoid: According to the 1917 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Faust is not a popular baby boy's name in New York. Imagine that, only 5 babies in New York have the same name as you in 1917.
  • Weird things about the name Faust: Your name in reverse order is Tsuaf. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Afstu. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Faust? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 16,066 people with the last name Faust.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Faust? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 5 of them will have Faust as their last name.

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.