Vince, or Vincent has its origins in the Latin word vincere, meaning “to conquer”.
Howard’s name, however, is a little more difficult to pin down. It could come from the Germanic Hughard (derived from the German elements hug, meaning “heart, mind” and hard meaning “brave, hardy”) or the Old Norse HÁVARÐR (from the elements há, meaning “high” and varðr, meaning “guardian, defender”)
The more you know, amirite?
Vince is Icelandic for hook, y’know.
No, but really, Vince is He Who Overcomes, the one who conquers, and it’s right there in the name itself. Pretty fitting, no?
Howard IS harder to get a definite origin on (another version suggests that it originates from the Middle English “ewehirde,” meaning a shepherd), but one thing that virtually all the possibilities have in common is the idea of defense, guarding, steadfastness—even bravery!—and looking after the vulnerable. One source describes the meaning as “noble watchman,” which is also strangely fitting, because I think Howard is, in the end, a caretaker. I’m sure that Howard would, at the very least, puff up with pride at the “noble” bit. ;)
More importantly, Vince is Vince Noir, “he who overcomes darkness/blackness” (noir being the French word for black, via the Latin niger). He is quite literally the Sunshine Kid. I always took Howard’s name to have the shepherd connection, but any derivation is interesting when you consider what it’s paired with. “Moon” derives from the Germanic mond, meaning month, which makes Howard either a guardian or shepherd of time or perhaps night itself (taking the moon as a symbol of the night sky). So where Vince just burns away darkness with his eternal optimism and enthusiasm, Howard ushers it in, guides it, cares for it, and sends it off on its way again when the time is right. Vince is all sunshine, all the time, but Howard recognises - and on some level appreciates - the need for grey days. I would love to have sat in on the brainstorming session that went on when they came up with these names. They’re yin and yang, day and night, light and dark. Just in case you needed that reinforced again. ;D
I was really hoping somebody was going to bring their last names into the discussion! Because that makes it even more interesting—and yes, fitting. :D