The Meaning and Origin of the Name Otis

Are you curious about the meaning behind the name Otis? Perhaps you’re expecting a baby and considering this name for your child, or maybe you’re just interested in learning more about this classic moniker. Look no further than this article to discover the history, significance, and cultural associations of the name Otis.

What Does the Name Otis Mean?

The name Otis is of Old German origin, derived from the word “od” meaning wealth or fortune. The name Otis translates to “wealthy” or “prosperous,” indicating a person of means or good fortune. Additionally, the name Otis has been associated with the Greek word “otos,” meaning “ear,” which could suggest an individual with a keen sense of hearing or appreciation for music.

Famous People Named Otis

Throughout history, there have been several notable individuals who share the name Otis, including:

  • Otis Redding: An American soul singer-songwriter known for hits such as “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.”
  • Otis Elevator Company: A leading manufacturer of elevators founded by Elisha Graves Otis in 1853.
  • Otis Williams: A founding member of The Temptations, one of the most successful vocal groups in Motown history.
  • Otis Campbell: A beloved character on the television show “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Popularity of the Name Otis

While the name Otis has never been among the most popular names for boys, it has seen a recent uptick in popularity in some parts of the world. In the United States, for example, the name Otis ranked at #659 in 2020, up from #860 in 2015. Similarly, in England and Wales, the name Otis was given to 525 babies in 2020, up from 366 in 2015.

Cultural Associations with the Name Otis

The name Otis has been associated with several cultural references and symbols throughout history, including:

  • Otis Day and the Knights: A fictional band from the movie “Animal House” that performed the hit song “Shout.”
  • The Otis Bird: A species of bird found on the Hawaiian Islands known for its distinct and melodious song.
  • Otis the Aardvark: A beloved children’s book character created by author Loren Long.

Famous Fictional Characters Named Otis

In addition to real-life individuals who share the name Otis, there are also several fictional characters with this moniker, including:

  • Otis the Cow: A character from the animated television show “Back at the Barnyard.”
  • Otis Campbell: A character on “The Andy Griffith Show” known for his love of moonshine.
  • Otis Driftwood: A character from the horror-comedy film “House of 1000 Corpses.”

Why Choose the Name Otis?

If you’re considering the name Otis for your child, there are several reasons why it might be a good choice. Some potential benefits of this name include:

  • Classic appeal: Otis is a timeless name that has been in use for centuries, making it a classic choice that will never go out of style.
  • Unique without being too unusual: While not a common name, Otis is still recognizable and easy to pronounce, giving your child a distinctive moniker without being too offbeat.
  • Positive connotations: As mentioned earlier, the name Otis has strong associations with wealth, prosperity, and music, adding positive connotations to your child’s name.

In conclusion, the name Otis is a classic and timeless moniker with a rich history and cultural significance. Whether you’re looking for a unique yet recognizable name for your child or just curious about the meaning behind this classic label, Otis is a name worth considering.


  1. What are some variations of the name Otis?
  2. Variations of the name Otis include Ottis, Odis, and Oates.
  1. Is the name Otis gender-neutral?
  2. While traditionally considered a boy’s name, Otis has been used as a unisex name in recent years.
  1. What is the origin of the name Otis?
  2. The name Otis is of Old German origin, derived from the word “od” meaning wealth or fortune.
  1. Who is Otis Redding?
  2. Otis Redding was an American soul singer-songwriter known for hits such as “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.”
  1. What famous company was founded by someone named Otis?
  2. The Otis Elevator Company, a leading manufacturer of elevators, was founded by Elisha Graves Otis in 1853.

I am Patricia Mann, an experienced professional in the art of naming children. With a wealth of knowledge in the field of baby names, I aim to assist parents in choosing a meaningful and beautiful name for their little ones. My expertise lies in the Name Meaning section, where I delve deep into the origins and significance of names, providing valuable insights that I hope will be beneficial for parents.

Understanding the profound impact a name can have on a child's life, I strive to offer comprehensive guidance. The Name Meaning section is not just a repository of information but a resource where parents can discover the rich tapestry of meanings associated with different names. It is my belief that a child's name is more than just a label; it encapsulates the desires, hopes, and love of the parents.

In this journey of baby naming, my goal is to make the process enjoyable and meaningful for parents, ensuring that the chosen name resonates with the family's values and cultural background. I invite you to explore the Name Meaning of Impeccable Nest section as we embark on the delightful and important task of naming the newest members of your family.

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