First Name
11k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
228k
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Foster

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Foster mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Foster

User Submitted Meanings

  • According to a user from California, United States, the name Foster is of Unknown origin and means "To nourish, to care for, to protect, preserve".

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
verb Fos"ter
Senses
  1. To feed; to nourish; to support; to bring up."Some say that ravens foster forlorn children." [Shak.]
  2. To cherish; to promote the growth of; to encourage; to sustain and promote; as, to foster genius.

Etymology: OE. fostren, fr. AS. fōster fōstor, food, nourishment, fr. fōda food. √75. See Food

verb Fos"ter
To be nourished or trained up together.
adjective Fos"ter
Relating to nourishment; affording, receiving, or sharing nourishment or nurture; -- applied to father, mother, child, brother, etc., to indicate that the person so called stands in the relation of parent, child, brother, etc., as regards sustenance and nurture, but not by tie of blood.

Etymology: AS. fōster fōstor, nourishment. See Foster (v. t.)

noun Fos"ter
A forester.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. United States songwriter whose songs embody the sentiment of the South before the American Civil War (1826-1864)
  2. Help develop, help grow
  3. Bring up under fosterage; of children
  4. Promote the growth of ("Foster our children's well-being and education")
  5. Providing or receiving nurture or parental care though not related by blood or legal ties ("foster parent", "foster child", and "foster home")
Wiktionary
  1. An English surname​, variant of Forster.
  2. A town in Victoria, Australia
  3. A town in Indiana
  4. A village in Missouri
  5. A village in Nebraska
  6. A town in Rhode Island
  7. A town in Wisconsin

Notable Persons Named Foster

Foster Brooks was an actor and comedian. He was most active from 1952 to 1996. Foster was born on May 11th, 1912 in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. He died on December 20th, 2001.

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Foster Friess is an investment manager. Foster was given the name Foster Stephen Friess on April 2nd, 1940 in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

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Foster Campbell is a Member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, for the 5th district, and Member of theLouisiana Public Service Commission. Foster was given the name Foster Lonnie Campbell, Jr. on January 6th, 1947 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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Foster was born on November 21st, 1902 in Toronto. He breathed his last breath on April 21st, 1985.

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Foster Sylvers is a rhythm, blues, dance music, soul music, disco, and funk musician. He plays Vocals, Bass guitar, and Human voice. He has been prominent since 1971. Foster was given the name Foster Emerson Sylvers on February 25th, 1962 in Pasadena, California.

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Jane Anderson was a writer and journalist. Her career lasted from 1910 to 1945. Jane was given the name Foster Anderson on January 6th, 1888 in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. Jane is also known as Georgia Peach, Anderson, and Foster. She passed away on May 5th, 1972.

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Notable Persons With the Last Name Foster

Florence Foster Jenkins was an outsider music and opera musician. She holds the title Der Hölle Rache". Her career lasted from 1912 to 1944. Florence was given the name Nascina Florence Foster on July 19th, 1868 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, U.S. She died on November 26th, 1944.

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Jodie Foster is an actress, director, and producer. She was most prominent from 1965 to present. Jodie was given the name Alicia Christian Foster on November 19th, 1962 in Los Angeles. Jodie is also known as Foster and Alicia Christian.

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Ben Foster is an actor. He has had major accomplishments since 1996. Ben was given the name Benjamin A. Foster on October 29th, 1980 in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

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David Foster is a pop music, pop rock, classical music, gospel music, contemporary r&b, and adult contemporary music music executive, record producer, musician, composer, songwriter, arranger, and arrangement. He plays Piano, keyboards, vocals, French horn, and synthesizer. He was most prominent from 1971 to present. David was given the name David Walter Foster on November 1st, 1949 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

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Sutton Foster is an actress, singer, and dancer. Her ongoing career started in 1990. Sutton was given the name Sutton Lenore Foster on March 18th, 1975 in Statesboro, Georgia, U.S.

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Vince Foster was an attorney, white house counsel, and deputy white house counsel. Vince was given the name Vincent Walker Foster, Jr. on January 15th, 1945 in Hope, Arkansas. He died on July 20th, 1993.

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

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
1880 16 0 16
1881 22 0 22
1882 34 0 34
1883 32 0 32
1884 20 0 20
1885 25 0 25
1886 22 0 22
1887 17 0 17
1888 26 0 26
1889 27 0 27
1890 23 0 23
1891 32 0 32
1892 41 0 41
1893 36 0 36
1894 40 0 40
1895 27 0 27
1896 43 0 43
1897 37 0 37
1898 37 0 37
1899 35 0 35
1900 29 0 29
1901 36 0 36
1902 30 0 30
1903 28 0 28
1904 42 0 42
1905 31 0 31
1906 41 0 41
1907 29 0 29
1908 41 0 41
1909 36 0 36
1910 42 0 42
1911 61 0 61
1912 96 0 96
1913 122 0 122
1914 143 5 138
1915 166 0 166
1916 204 0 204
1917 177 0 177
1918 212 0 212
1919 188 0 188
1920 201 0 201
1921 199 0 199
1922 195 6 189
1923 181 5 176
1924 171 0 171
1925 164 5 159
1926 167 0 167
1927 155 0 155
1928 110 0 110
1929 117 0 117
1930 121 0 121
1931 111 0 111
1932 99 0 99
1933 100 0 100
1934 111 0 111
1935 116 0 116
1936 86 0 86
1937 102 0 102
1938 108 0 108
1939 86 0 86
1940 90 0 90
1941 93 0 93
1942 121 5 116
1943 119 0 119
1944 107 0 107
1945 106 0 106
1946 88 0 88
1947 122 0 122
1948 117 0 117
1949 107 0 107
1950 92 0 92
1951 82 0 82
1952 81 0 81
1953 73 0 73
1954 63 0 63
1955 72 0 72
1956 86 0 86
1957 73 0 73
1958 67 0 67
1959 69 0 69
1960 53 0 53
1961 75 0 75
1962 58 0 58
1963 42 0 42
1964 54 0 54
1965 48 0 48
1966 34 0 34
1967 41 0 41
1968 45 0 45
1969 26 0 26
1970 41 0 41
1971 29 0 29
1972 27 0 27
1973 35 0 35
1974 28 0 28
1975 42 0 42
1976 37 0 37
1977 46 0 46
1978 33 0 33
1979 41 0 41
1980 31 0 31
1981 35 0 35
1982 36 0 36
1983 35 0 35
1984 32 0 32
1985 43 0 43
1986 27 0 27
1987 41 0 41
1988 40 0 40
1989 40 0 40
1990 50 0 50
1991 52 0 52
1992 58 0 58
1993 79 5 74
1994 93 0 93
1995 114 5 109
1996 81 0 81
1997 119 7 112
1998 113 7 106
1999 113 0 113
2000 105 7 98
2001 91 0 91
2002 107 0 107
2003 95 0 95
2004 116 5 111
2005 84 0 84
2006 110 11 99
2007 93 0 93
2008 92 5 87
2009 116 0 116
2010 131 5 126
2011 102 0 102
2012 205 5 200
2013 222 9 213
2014 220 11 209
2015 206 10 196
2016 225 11 214
2017 238 16 222

Where is the name Foster popular?

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Popularity of Foster as a first name

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

Popularity of Foster as a last name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Foster as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Alabama, South Carolina, or Maine.

Common last names for Foster

  • Smith
  • Johnson
  • Williams
  • Brown
  • Davis
  • Miller
  • Wilson
  • Moore
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • White
  • Young
  • Thompson
  • Wright
  • Robinson
  • Lewis

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Foster U.S.
  White 69.65% 64.26%
  African American 23.94% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.55% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.88% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.33% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.65% 16.26%

Of Last Name Foster

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

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Foster

  • What name lists does Foster rank for?
  • How Popular is the name Foster? Foster is the 2,307th most popular name of all time. As a last name Foster was the 99th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Foster have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 11,499 babies born with the first name Foster in the United States. That's more than enough people named Foster to occupy the country of Tuvalu with an estimated population of 10,000 (as of July 1, 2012).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Foster? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 16 new born babies.
  • When was Foster first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Foster is Friday, May 29th, 1868.
  • What year had the most people named Foster born? The highest recorded use of the first name Foster was in 2017 with a total of 222 babies.
  • Random Foster Factoid: According to the 1924 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Foster is not a popular baby boy's name in South Carolina. Imagine that, only 11 babies in South Carolina have the same name as you in 1924.
  • Weird things about the name Foster: Your name in reverse order is Retsof. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Eosftr. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Foster? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 227,764 people with the last name Foster.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Foster? Foster was ranked as the 99th most popular last name but is still less than 0.1% of the population!

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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.