Christopher is one of those names it’s easier to find modern times than in in the past. There’s Christopher Columbus of course, but since his fall from American grace over racism and slavery concerns, I don’t feel too comfortable giving him publicity, so Christopher Marlowe, whose picture is here, will be my go-to man for historical Christopher-ness. Some scholars think he was the one who actually wrote the plays of William Shakespeare. I don’t know about that, but he is certainly more attractive than Shakespeare with his pointy beard and balding dome.
There’s also Christopher Wren, the architect of St. Paul’s Cathedral and many other buildings in early Modern Age London, who cuts an impressive figure in his curly black wig.
Moden Christophers are easier to find. There’s A. A. Milne’s Christopher Robin, Christopher Plummer, and Christopher Lee, for starters. The slacker variant of Topher has its namesakes, like actor Topher Grace. Kris and Krystof are also popular, as in the musician and Princess Anna’s would-be boyfriend in Frozen.
The origin of the name dates from early Christianity. Christos means Christ in Greek; phero, to bear or to carry. St. Christopher supposedly carried the Christ child across a river, earning him reverence of travelers. Figuratively, to Christians the name can also mean to carry Christ in one’s heart. It’s related closely to Christian, whose meaning is obvious.
But what makes Christopher such a nifty name is its mellifluousness and combination of syllables both hard and soft. It rolls nicely off the tongue, and is able to be shortened to one syllable for more casual conversation. It’s easy to say and appeals to the ear. In addition, it’s androgynous, and pairs nicely with one syllable surnames, or two syllable ones.
Here’s some fantasy variants on Christopher.
Variations on Christopher