The other day a colleague of mine pointed me to the new website/book from Jim Carrey "How Roland rolls" and while looking at it I started to think about my name: What does it mean? What is the origin? What are other well-known usages?

Here is what I found out ...

Roland was a knight who fought for Charles the Great (also called the father of Europe). His life is the source of legends and his last fight at the Battle of Roncesvalles in 778 was turned into the Song of Roland. In Germany Roland is also famous for the statue on the market place in Bremen. The name of Roland's sword is Durendal.

Roland is the name of a japanese maker of music equipment. The company was founded in 1972 and has 3000 employees. A lot of very famous artists use Roland equipment and you can see a lot of Roland keyboards on stage during live concerts. The rumour is that the company was named after the Song of Roland,  apparently the name was just chosen because it was easy to pronounce and stands out easily on trade-shows.

Roland is the name of a company that produces printing machines. It belongs to the MAN group. My father used to work for Mabeg. Mabeg was producing "Bogenanleger" (Sheet-Feeder) and "Querschneider" for Roland printing machines in Offenbach. I do not know why the founders (Faber & Schleicher) called their first printing machine Roland. It is said, because it is easy to pronounce.

Roland Garros was an early French aviator and a fighter pilot during World War I. Stade Roland Garros is a tennis stadium in Paris, France, which is named after him. The French Open are played there.

Here are a couple more people that I know that are called Roland. Roland Emmerich (Director), Roland Berger (Consulting), Roland Cox (the valiant in Jumper, played by Samuel L. Jackson), Roland Schnir (a friend from mine from the IONA days), Roland Loew (a friend from school) and now last, but not least Roland the wave who’s afraid that, one day, when he hits the beach, his life will be over. But when he gets deep, he’s struck by the notion that he’s not just a wave — he’s the whole big, wide ocean!

I like the last one :).