First Name
16k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
5k
in the U.S.
in 2010
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Forest mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Forest

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun For"est
Senses
  1. An extensive wood; a large tract of land covered with trees; in the United States, a wood of native growth, or a tract of woodland which has never been cultivated.
  2. [Eng. Law] A large extent or precinct of country, generally waste and woody, belonging to the sovereign, set apart for the keeping of game for his use, not inclosed, but distinguished by certain limits, and protected by certain laws, courts, and officers of its own.

Etymology: OF. forest, F. forêt, LL. forestis, also, forestus forestum foresta, prop., open ground reserved for the chase, fr. L. foris foras, out of doors, abroad. See Foreign

adjective For"est
Of or pertaining to a forest; sylvan.
verb For"est
To cover with trees or wood.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. The trees and other plants in a large densely wooded area
  2. Land that is covered with trees and shrubs
  3. Establish a forest on previously unforested land ("afforest the mountains")
Wiktionary

From Middle English forest, from Old French forest, from Medieval Latin foresta (“open wood”), from Frankish *forhist (collective noun of *forha), from Proto-Germanic *furhō, *furahō (“fir, pine”), from Proto-Indo-European *pérkus (“oak”), first used in the Capitularies of Charlemagne in reference to the royal forest (as opposed to the inner woods, or parcus). Displaced native Middle English weald, wald (“forest, weald”), from Old English weald, Middle English scogh, scough (“forest, shaw”), from Old Norse skógr, and Middle English frith, firth (“forest, game preserve”), from Old English fyrhþ, from the same root. See also Latin quercus.

etymological note

Medieval Latin foresta probably represents the fusion of two earlier words: one taken as an adaptation of the Late Latin phrase forestis silva (“the outside woods”), mistaking forestem for woods (—a development not found in Romance languages; compare Old French selve (“forest”)); the other is the continuance of an existing word since Merovingian times from Frankish *forhist (“forest, wooded country, game preserve”) as the general word for "forest, forested land". The Medieval Latin term may have originated as a sound-alike, or been adapted as a play on the Frankish word (Gallo-Romans were often outraged by the King's exclusive hunting rights in the "outside forest". Emphasis to "outside" may have been an attempt to evoke danger, or to emphasise that the lands were banned from general note). Frankish *forhist comes from Proto-Germanic *furhisaz, *furhiþ(j)az, *furhiją (“forest, wooded country”), from Proto-Indo-European *perkʷu- (“coniferous forest, mountain forest, wooded height”), and is cognate with Old High German forst (“forest, wooded country”) (German Forst), Middle Low German vorst (“forest”), Old English fyrhþ, fyrhþe (“forest, game preserve, wooded country”), Old Norse fýri (“pine forest”), and Old Norse fjǫrr (“tree”). More at frith, fir.

Latin forestem (“outside”) comes from Latin foris (“outside, out of doors”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰwer- (“door, gate”), akin to English door. More at foreign.

A forest.
  1. A dense collection of trees covering a relatively large area. Larger than woods.
  2. Any dense collection or amount.
    a of criticism
  3. (historical) A defined area of land set aside in England as royal hunting ground or for other privileged use; all such areas.
  4. (graph theory) A graph with no cycles; i.e., a graph made up of trees.

forest was also found in the following language(s): Middle French and Old French

Notable Persons Named Forest

Forest Whitaker is an actor, film producer, film director, producer, and director. He has had major accomplishments since 1982. Forest was given the name Forest Steven Whitaker III on July 15th, 1961 in Longview, Texas, U.S.

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Forest Swords is an experimental music, trip hop, rhythm, blues, and dub music musician. Forest was given the name Matthew Barnes . Forest is also known as Matthew Barnes.

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Forest Evashevski was a college coach. Forest was born on February 18th, 1918 in Detroit. He breathed his last breath on October 30th, 2009.

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Forest Ray Moulton was a scientist in the field of astronomy. Forest was born on April 29th, 1872 in Le Roy, Michigan. He breathed his last breath on December 7th, 1952.

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Forest was born on July 27th, 1876 in Akron, Ohio. Forest is also known as Firestone and George Forest. He passed away on July 12th, 1940.

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Notable Persons With the Last Name Forest

Lee de Forest was an invention and inventor. Lee was born on August 26th, 1873 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, U.S. He died on June 30th, 1961.

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Michael Forest is a voice actor/actor. His most notable accomplishments were from 1953 to 1953. Michael was given the name Gerald Michael Charlebois on April 17th, 1929 in Harvey, North Dakota, US. Michael is also known as Mike Forest, Michael Forrest, Mike Forrest, Alfred Thor, Russell Thor, and Russel Thor.

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Emmelie de Forest is a pop, folk, and folk music musician. She has had major accomplishments since 2013. Emmelie was given the name Emmelie Charlotte-Victoria de Forest on February 28th, 1993 in Randers, Denmark. Emmelie is also known as Emmelie and Emmelié de Forest.

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Dan Forest is a 34th Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina. Dan was born on October 15th, 1967 in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

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Autumn was born Autumn de Forest on October 27th, 2001 in Los Angeles.

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Denis was born on September 5th, 1960 in Ottawa. He breathed his last breath on March 18th, 2002.

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How popular is the baby name Forest in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
1880 30 0 30
1881 18 0 18
1882 27 0 27
1883 28 0 28
1884 33 0 33
1885 30 0 30
1886 44 0 44
1887 28 0 28
1888 36 0 36
1889 24 0 24
1890 47 10 37
1891 49 8 41
1892 54 5 49
1893 65 6 59
1894 37 5 32
1895 52 0 52
1896 58 8 50
1897 65 15 50
1898 68 6 62
1899 43 5 38
1900 53 0 53
1901 45 0 45
1902 59 0 59
1903 52 5 47
1904 71 6 65
1905 61 5 56
1906 58 0 58
1907 67 6 61
1908 50 0 50
1909 47 0 47
1910 70 5 65
1911 95 10 85
1912 121 0 121
1913 187 11 176
1914 238 10 228
1915 262 10 252
1916 311 11 300
1917 299 13 286
1918 330 14 316
1919 310 14 296
1920 301 9 292
1921 264 11 253
1922 311 12 299
1923 276 6 270
1924 270 0 270
1925 261 11 250
1926 242 7 235
1927 241 12 229
1928 256 14 242
1929 228 6 222
1930 206 0 206
1931 198 0 198
1932 155 0 155
1933 171 0 171
1934 148 11 137
1935 134 5 129
1936 119 0 119
1937 143 0 143
1938 110 0 110
1939 125 0 125
1940 124 0 124
1941 141 0 141
1942 132 5 127
1943 128 0 128
1944 144 5 139
1945 115 5 110
1946 100 0 100
1947 164 0 164
1948 108 0 108
1949 134 0 134
1950 115 0 115
1951 110 8 102
1952 98 0 98
1953 112 0 112
1954 102 0 102
1955 105 0 105
1956 93 0 93
1957 113 5 108
1958 112 0 112
1959 91 0 91
1960 89 0 89
1961 82 0 82
1962 91 0 91
1963 89 5 84
1964 82 0 82
1965 86 0 86
1966 75 0 75
1967 60 0 60
1968 78 0 78
1969 51 0 51
1970 72 0 72
1971 87 0 87
1972 64 0 64
1973 57 0 57
1974 92 5 87
1975 83 7 76
1976 87 6 81
1977 86 0 86
1978 75 7 68
1979 80 0 80
1980 109 6 103
1981 88 5 83
1982 77 5 72
1983 71 0 71
1984 76 6 70
1985 48 0 48
1986 80 0 80
1987 86 0 86
1988 82 0 82
1989 92 0 92
1990 97 0 97
1991 140 9 131
1992 174 9 165
1993 219 12 207
1994 279 27 252
1995 216 11 205
1996 123 8 115
1997 105 0 105
1998 110 0 110
1999 80 0 80
2000 83 0 83
2001 59 0 59
2002 67 0 67
2003 69 0 69
2004 55 0 55
2005 62 0 62
2006 47 0 47
2007 68 0 68
2008 79 0 79
2009 67 0 67
2010 83 0 83
2011 84 0 84
2012 76 0 76
2013 104 0 104
2014 132 0 132
2015 139 5 134
2016 183 6 177
2017 211 11 200

Where is the name Forest popular?

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Popularity of Forest as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Forest as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in West Virginia, Kentucky, or Ohio.

Popularity of Forest as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Forest as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Massachusetts, New York, or Michigan.

Common last names for Forest

  • Smith
  • Johnson
  • Brown
  • Miller
  • Wilson
  • Davis
  • Williams
  • Jones
  • Taylor
  • Young
  • Hall
  • White
  • Clark
  • Hill
  • Wright
  • Baker
  • Thompson
  • Campbell

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Forest U.S.
  White 65.76% 64.26%
  African American 28.23% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.93% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.28% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.11% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.70% 16.26%

Of Last Name Forest

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

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Forest

  • How Popular is the name Forest? Forest is the 1,929th most popular name of all time. As a last name Forest was the 6,661st most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Forest have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 15,708 babies born with the first name Forest in the United States. That's more than enough people named Forest to occupy the territory of Anguilla (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 15,236 (as of July 1, 2011).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Forest? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 30 new born babies.
  • When was Forest first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Forest is Sunday, September 16th, 1866.
  • What year had the most people named Forest born? The highest recorded use of the first name Forest was in 1918 with a total of 316 babies.
  • Random Forest Factoid: According to the 1911 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Forest ranks 103rd in popularity as a baby boy's name in West Virginia. Imagine that, 5 babies in West Virginia have the same name as you in 1911.
  • Weird things about the name Forest: Your name in reverse order is Tserof. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Eoftrs. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Forest? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 5,076 people with the last name Forest.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Forest? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 2 of them will have Forest as their last name.

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Name poster for Forest

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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.