Oswald \o-swa-ld, os-wald\ as a boy's name is pronounced OZ-wald. It is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Oswald is "God's power". May derive from a different German phrase, meaning "man from the south woods". Name of two saints, and mostly 19th century use. Actor Ozzie Nelson's real name was Oswald. The name had negative connotations in America after President Kennedy's assasination due to Lee Harvey Oswald. Fashion designer Ossie Clark.