Arthur


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Debated
Meaning: Debated
Eng (ARE-ther)

The name is of debated origin and meaning. Several theories have been attributed to the name’s origins, one is that it is derived from an obscure Roman cognomen, Artorius, which is believed to be of Etruscan origins of unknown meaning. Another theory is that it is derived from an ancient Brittonic name, *Arto-rīg-ios , meaning “bear-king.” An even less likely alternative is that it is connected with Welsh Artgwr (bear-man). A newer and yet unlikely suggestion is that it is related to the Greek Arcturus,  that is, the name of the brightest star in the Constellation Boötes, meaning “bear guardian.”

The name was borne by a mythical British king who is the topic of several medieval romances. His existence has never been proven, yet his legacy has left an indelible mark in Western Europe, especially in England and France. The name’s usage among the general populous can be traced all the way Medieval England. It surged in popularity in the 19th-century when English Romanticism had become popular.

As of 2008, Arthur was the 6th most popular male name in Belgium. His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 4 (Brazil, 2010)
  • # 10 (Arturs, Latvia, 2010)
  • # 15 (France, 2009)
  • # 23 (Arttu, Finland, 2010)
  • # 82 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 99 (Arturo, Spain, 2010)
  • # 288 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 389 (United States, 2010)
  • # 420 (Arturo, United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Artur Артур Արթուր (Albanian/Armenian/Basque/Belarusian/Bosnian/Bulgarian/Catalan/Croatian/Czech/Estonian/Galician/German/Kazakh/Picard/Polish/Portuguese/Romanian/Romansch/Russian/Serbian/Slovak/Slovene/Ukrainian)
  • Dury (Alsatian)
  • Arturu (Asturian/Maltese)
  • Artús (Asturian/Catalan)
  • Artza (Basque)
  • Arzhur (Breton)
  • Artuš (Czech/Slovak)
  • Arthur (Dutch/English/Flemish/French/German/Scandinavian/Welsh)
  • Arto (Finnish)
  • Arttu (Finnish)
  • Artturi (Finnish)
  • Atte (Frisian)
  • Arturo (Galician/Italian/Spanish)
  • Arthoúros Αρθούρος (Greek)
  • Artúr (Hungarian/Icelandic/Irish)
  • Artù (Italian)
  • Arturi ართური (Georgian)
  • Arturs (Latvian)
  • Artūras (Lithuanian)
  • Turu (Maltese)
  • Èrthu (Norman)
  • Artús (Occitanian)
  • Artair (Scottish)
Diminutives include:
  • Arturek (Czech/Polish)
  • Tuur (Dutch)
  • Art (English)
  • Artie (English)

Feminine forms include the Italian: Artura and Arturina

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