First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Flash

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Flash mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Flash

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
verb Flash
  1. To burst or break forth with a sudden and transient flood of flame and light; as, the lighting flashes vividly; the powder flashed.
  2. To break forth, as a sudden flood of light; to burst instantly and brightly on the sight; to show a momentary brilliancy; to come or pass like a flash."Names which have flashed and thundered as the watch words of unnumbered struggles." [Talfourd.]"The object is made to flash upon the eye of the mind." [M. Arnold.]"A thought flashed through me, which I clothed in act." [Tennyson.]
  3. To burst forth like a sudden flame; to break out violently; to rush hastily."Every hour He flashes into one gross crime or other." [Shak.]
    synonyms: Flash Glitter Gleam Glisten Glister.

Usage: Flash differs from glitter and gleam, denoting a flood or wide extent of light. The latter words may express the issuing of light from a small object, or from a pencil of rays. Flash differs from other words, also, in denoting suddenness of appearance and disappearance. Flashing differs from exploding or disploding in not being accompanied with a loud report. To glisten, or glister, is to shine with a soft and fitful luster, as eyes suffused with tears, or flowers wet with dew.

Etymology: Cf. OE. flaskien vlaskien to pour, sprinkle, dial. Sw. flasa to blaze, E. flush flare

verb Flash
  1. To send out in flashes; to cause to burst forth with sudden flame or light."The chariot of paternal Deity, Flashing thick flames." [Milton.]
  2. To convey as by a flash; to light up, as by a sudden flame or light; as, to flash a message along the wires; to flash conviction on the mind.
  3. [Glass Making] To cover with a thin layer, as objects of glass with glass of a different color. See Flashing (n.), 3 .
  4. To trick up in a showy manner."Limning and flashing it with various dyes." [A. Brewer.]
  5. Etymology: Perh. due to confusion between flash of light and plash splash

    To strike and throw up large bodies of water from the surface; to splash.(Obs)"He rudely flashed the waves about." [Spenser.]
noun Flash
  1. A sudden burst of light; a flood of light instantaneously appearing and disappearing; a momentary blaze; as, a flash of lightning.
  2. A sudden and brilliant burst, as of wit or genius; a momentary brightness or show."The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind." [Shak.]"No striking sentiment, no flash of fancy." [Wirt.]
  3. The time during which a flash is visible; an instant; a very brief period."The Persians and Macedonians had it for a flash." [Bacon.]
  4. A preparation of capsicum, burnt sugar, etc., for coloring and giving a fictitious strength to liquors.
  5. a lamp for providing intense momentary light to take a photograph; as, to take a picture without a flash .
    synonyms: flashbulb, photoflash, flash lamp, flashgun.
  6. Same as flashlight.(informal)
  7. [Journalism] A short news item providing recently received and usually preliminary information about an event that is considered important enough to interrupt normal broadcasting or other news delivery services; also called a news flash or bulletin.
adjective Flash
  1. Showy, but counterfeit; cheap, pretentious, and vulgar; as, flash jewelry; flash finery.
  2. Wearing showy, counterfeit ornaments; vulgarly pretentious; as, flash people; flash men or women; -- applied especially to thieves, gamblers, and prostitutes that dress in a showy way and wear much cheap jewelry.
noun Flash
Slang or cant of thieves and prostitutes.
noun Flash
  1. A pool.(Prov. Eng)
  2. [Engineering] A reservoir and sluiceway beside a navigable stream, just above a shoal, so that the stream may pour in water as boats pass, and thus bear them over the shoal.

Etymology: OE. flasche flaske; cf. OF. flache, F. flaque

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A lamp for providing momentary light to take a photograph
  2. A bright patch of color used for decoration or identification ("red flashes adorned the airplane" and "a flash sewn on his sleeve indicated the unit he belonged to")
  3. A momentary brightness
  4. A sudden brilliant understanding ("he had a flash of intuition")
  5. A short news announcement concerning some on-going news story
  6. A burst of light used to communicate or illuminate
  7. A gaudy outward display
  8. A short vivid experience ("a flash of emotion swept over him" and "the flashings of pain were a warning")
  9. A sudden intense burst of radiant energy
  10. A very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat) ("if I had the chance I'd do it in a flash")
  11. Appear briefly ("The headlines flashed on the screen")
  12. Emit a brief burst of light ("A shooting star flashed and was gone")
  13. Make known or cause to appear with great speed ("The latest intelligence is flashed to all command posts")
  14. Protect by covering with a thin sheet of metal ("flash the roof")
  15. Run or move very quickly or hastily
  16. Expose or show briefly ("he flashed a $100 bill")
  17. Display proudly; act ostentatiously or pretentiously
  18. Gleam or glow intermittently ("The lights were flashing")
  19. Tastelessly showy ("a flash car" and "a flashy ring")

From flash.

  1. (computing) A popular multimedia platform, most often used for adding animation and interactivity to webpages.

Flash was also found in the following language(s): Chinese

Notable Persons Named Flash

Flash is a comics character.


Flash Gordon is a comics character.


Flash was born on January 17th, 1981.


Flash Elorde was a boxer. Flash was born on March 25th, 1935 in Bogo, Cebu. He died on January 2nd, 1985.


Flash was born on April 6th, 1974 in Indianapolis. Flash is also known as Kindred, Christopher Kobain Venom, and Slash.


Flash was born on June 17th, 1934. He died on March 18th, 2004.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Flash

Flash is a comics character.


Grandmaster Flash is a hip hop music, old-school hip hop, breakbeat, funk, and electro (music) musician. He was most active from 1976 to present. Grandmaster was given the name Joseph Saddler on January 1st, 1958 in Bridgetown. Grandmaster is also known as Saddler and Joseph.


Kid Flash is a comics character.


DJ Flash is a hip hop music, funk, and electro (music) rapping, hip hop production, disc jockey, and radio personality. He plays Drum kit, Keyboard instrument, Drum machine, Sampler (musical instrument), and Vocals. His ongoing career started in 1979. DJ was given the name Lee Johnson on August 21st, 1957 in Fresno, California, US. DJ is also known as DJ Flash and Future Flash.


Adam was born on October 22nd, 1971 in York, Pennsylvania.


Richard Flash is a soccer player for the Aston Villa F.C., Manchester United F.C., Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C., Watford F.C., Lincoln City F.C., and Plymouth Argyle F.C. Richard was born on April 8th, 1976 in Birmingham.


Where is the name Flash popular?

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Popularity of Flash as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Flash as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in New York, Louisiana, or Ohio.

Common first names for Flash

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Flash U.S.
  White 59.75% 64.26%
  African American 35.25% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.00% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 1.75% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 3.00% 16.26%

Of Last Name Flash

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

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Flash

  • How Popular is the name Flash? Flash is the 66,861st most popular name of all time. As a last name Flash was the 51,941st most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Flash have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 15 babies born with the first name Flash in the United States.
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Flash? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 2014 when it was given as a first name to 7 new born babies.
  • When was Flash first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Flash is Friday, December 22nd, 1911.
  • What year had the most people named Flash born? The highest recorded use of the first name Flash was in 2016 with a total of 8 babies.
  • Weird things about the name Flash: Your name in reverse order is Hsalf. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Fshla. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Flash? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 400 people with the last name Flash.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Flash? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Flash as their last name since less than 1 person in 714k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

What Flashs Have Visited This Page?

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Most Popular Names

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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.