Hugh, Hugo

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German
Meaning: “heart; mind; spirit
(HYOO); (HYOO-go)

The name is derived from the Germanic element, hug, meaning “heart; mind; spirit” or even “memory.” The original meaning of the name seems to refer to abstract consciousness.

It appears in Norse mythology in the form of Hugin(n), (thought), the name of one of Odin’s messenger ravens who would fly around Midgård and bring Odin messages. The other raven’s name was Muninn (memory).

It was a very popular name among the Franks and was introduced into England after the Norman invasion. It was borne by an early British saint, Hugh of Lincoln. The name’s popularity spread across the British Isles, often being Gaelicized in Ireland as Aodh and in Scotland as Ùisdean.

It was borne by a 10th-century French monarch, Hugh Capet, founder of the Capetian dynasty.

Hugh is currently the 963rd most popular male name in the United States, while it’s Latin cognate of Hugo ranks significantly higher at # 441. Hugo is currently a very trendy name across Europe. Its rankings in other countries are as follows:

#4 (Spain, 2010)
#6 (Sweden, 2010)
#8 (France, 2008)
# 12 (Catalonia, Spain, 2009)
#13 (Belgium, 2008)
#50 (the Netherlands, 2o1o)
#86 (Australia, NSW, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

Hugo (Catalan/Czech/Dutch/English/Estonian/Finnish/French/German/Hungarian/Icelandic/Latvian/Polish/Portuguese/Romanian/Scandinavian/Slovak/Slovene/Spanish)
Hugh (English)
Hugues (French)
Hauke (Frisian)
Huguo (German)
Ughetto (Italian)
Ughino (Italian)
Ugo (Italian)
Ugolino (Italian)
Ugone (Italian)
Uguccione (Italian)
Hugas (Lithuanian)
Hudde/Hud (Middle English)
Huginn (Old Norse/Icelandic)
Hugon (Polish)
Ugu (Sardinian)
Shug (Scottish)
Hugolín (Slovak)
Huw (Welsh)

Common English diminutives are: Hewie and Hughie.

Feminine forms include, Huguette (French), Uga (Italian), Ughetta (Italian), Ugolina (Italian).

The designated name-days are: Febuary 3 (Estonia), April 1 (Estonia/Hungary/Poland/Slovakia), April 29 (Germany/Poland), November 3 (Sweden), November 17 (Latvia/Poland).

The rest of its bearers are too numerous to list.


  2. Ernst Förstemann, Altdeutsches namenbuch (1900), page 923

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