Patrick, Patricia

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “patrician.”

Patrick is derived from the Latin designation, patricius, meaning “patrician” or “nobleman.” Its usage as a given name started after the fame and cult of St. Patrick of Ireland.

St. Patrick was believed to have been a Romanized Briton who was captured by Irish raiders and enslaved. After six years of slavery, he was able to return to his homeland, but felt a call to return to Ireland to bring Christianity. He was able to establish a bishopric in Armagh. He is considered a national folk hero for the Irish and is also considered the patron saint and apostle of Ireland. Many legendary miracles were attributed to him during his life.

It is also believed that Patrick (or Patricius) was a nickname or title given to him by the Druid chieftans and that his real name was Succat.

St. Patrick’s Day which falls on March 17 is a national holiday in Ireland and also a popular festival in the United States and other English-speaking countries with large Irish immigrant populations.

Patrick is still a very common name in Ireland. As of 2008, he ranked in as the 19th most popular male name. His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 54 (Australia, 2008)
  • # 25 (Hungary, 2008)
  • # 397 (the Netherlands, 2009)
  • # 34 (Slovenia, 2005)
  • # 127 (the United States, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Patirki (Basque)
  • Padrig (Breton/Welsh)
  • Patrik Патрик (Bulgarian/Croatian/Czech/Hungarian/Russian/Serbian/Slovak/Swedish/Ukrainian)
  • Pitrik Питрик (Bulgarian)
  • Patrici (Catalan)
  • Patrick (Danish/English/Estonian/Finnish/French/German/Norwegian)
  • Pátrikur (Faroese)
  • Patrice (French)
  • Patrikios Πατρίκιος (Greek: Modern)
  • Patrícius (Hungarian)
  • Patrekur (Icelandic)
  • Patrizio (Italian)
  • Pádraic/Pádraig (Irish-Gaelic: PAW-dric; PAW-drig)
  • Patricius (Latin)
  • Patriks (Latvian)
  • Patrikas (Lithuanian)
  • Patrizju (Maltese)
  • Paden (Manx)
  • Pherick (Manx)
  • Patariki (Maori)
  • Patryk (Polish: more common form)
  • Patrycjusz (Polish: rare)
  • Patrício (Portuguese)
  • Patrique (Portuguese)
  • Patriciu (Romanian)
  • Patritziu (Sardinian)
  • Pàdraig (Scots-Gaelic)
  • Patricio (Spanish)

Common male French diminutives include: Pat, Patoche, Patou and Patounet.

Common English diminutives are Pat, Paddy (Irish) and occasionally Rick.

Patricia is its Latin feminine equivalent and is used in Danish, English, French, German, Hungarian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. At one time, Patricia was one of the most popular female names in the United States, peaking at # 3 between 1937 and 1952. Currently, she ranks in at a measly # 498 (2008). In other countries, her rankings are as follows:

  • # 67 (Hungary, 2008)
  • # 15 (Poland, 2008)
  • #50 Patricija (Slovenia, 2005)
  • # 52 (Spain, 2008)

Other feminine forms include:

  • Patricija (Croatian/Slovene)
  • Patricie (Czech: pah-TREET-sye)
  • Patrizia (German/Italian: pah-TREET-see-ah)
  • Patrizie (German)
  • Patrícia (Hungarian/Portuguese/Slovak: pah-TREET-syah in Slovak)
  • Pádraigín (Irish-Gaelic: PAW-drig-EEN)
  • Patrizja (Maltese)
  • Patrycja (Polish: pah-TRITS-yah)

Common English diminutive are: Pat, Patsy, Patty, Tricia and Trish. In the English-speaking world, Tricia is occasionally used as an independent given name.

German short forms are Patti and Patze. A common Spanish short form is Patti.

The Polish diminutive is usually Tysia.

The designated name-day is March 17.


  1. Elizabeth Gidley Withycombe, The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names (1945)
  2. Kálmán Béla,  A nevek világa

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