The name Chester, like many first names, began as a surname, and means 'camp of soldiers'. It originally denoted a person from the town of Chester.
The town takes its name from the Roman occupiers, who were based in Chester from the first to the fifth century A.D.
They called the settlement Deva Victrix, but it came to be referred to as 'castrum', meaning a fortified place, due to its position as a military outpost during the army's expansion northwards. As a first name, Chester remains uncommon but is growing in popularity in the UK, rising from 654th most popular boys' name in 1996 to 581st today.
Holly Willoughby's decision to name her third child Chester might lead to a further boost.
Famous people called Chester:
Chester A. Arthur, U.S president from 1881-1885
Chester Himes, American crime novelist
Chet Atkins, American guitarist
Chet Baker, jazz musician
Can be shortened to:
Surnames to avoid Chester with:
Surnames beginning with an 'R' sound, ie. Richards or Riley, might cause problems as when said aloud this combination of sounds may result in elision – when two words slurred together end up sounding like one.
Chester is also not advisable if your last name is 'Drawers'.
Foreign names meaning 'castle' or 'fort' include Castello (Spanish), Carden (Irish) and Mostyn (Welsh). Surnames are becoming increasingly popular as English first names - Carter, Carson and Cooper are recent examples.
Similar sounding girls' names include Chelsea, Charity and Chandler.
Celebrities who named their baby Chester:
Holly Willoughby, Davina McCall and Tom Hanks.