Peter

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “rock.”
Eng (PEE-ter)

The name is derived from the Greek Πετρος (Petros) meaning, “rock.”

The name is found in the New Testament as a vernacular translation for the Aramaic Cephas (rock) a nickname designated to the Apostle Simon Bar-Jonah by Jesus. He is known as St. Peter, and Catholics traditionally attribute him as being the first Pope.  Among other denominations, he is considered to be one of Christ’s most prominent apostles.

Due to the associations with the apostle, Peter became an extremely prevalent male name throughout the Christian world.

The name seems to have been in usage in England since early times, but became especially popular after the Norman invasion. During this period, the form of Piers was preferred, being gradually replaced in popularity by Peter over the centuries.

Currently, Peter is 191st most popular male name in the United States, (2009). He has been steadily declining in the United States for the past 10 years, in 2000 he ranked in at # 125. His rankings in other countries, however, has not faltered. His rankings including his vernacular forms are as follows:

  • # 7 Pedro (Brazil, 2009)
  • # 9 Petar (Bulgaria, 2008)
  • # 15 Petr (Czech Republic, 2009)
  • #38 Pierre (France, 2006)
  • # 3 (Greenland, 2003-2004)
  • # 8 (Hungary, 2008)
  • # 33 Petur (Iceland, 2008)
  • # 70 (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 25 Pietro (Italy, 2007)
  • # 8 Pēteris (Latvia, 2005)
  • # 9 Petar (Macedonia, 2006)
  • # 10 Piotr (Poland, 2008)
  • # 3 (Slovakia, 2004)
  • # 59 (Slovenia, 2005)
  • # 50 Pedro (Spain, 2008)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Petrus (Afrikaans/Dutch/German/Indonesian/Latin/Limburgish/Plattdeutsch/Swedish)
  • Pieter (Afrikaans)
  • Pjetër/Pjetri (Albanian)
  • Ṗeṭros ጴጥሮስ (Amharic/Ethiopian)
  • Pero (Aragonese)
  • Bedros/Pedros Պետրոս (Armenian)
  • Botros/Boutros/Butros بطرس (Arabic/Coptic)
  • Pedru (Asturian/Konkoni)
  • Pyotr (Azeri)
  • Betiri (Basque)
  • Kepa (Basque)
  • Peio (Basque)
  • Peru (Basque)
  • Petri (Basque)
  • Piatro Пятро (Belarusian)
  • Piotr Пётр (Belarusian/Polish)
  • Pêr (Breton)
  • Pierrick (Breton)
  • Penko Пенко (Bulgarian)
  • Petar Петар (Bulgarian/Croatian/Macedonian/Serbian)
  • Pere (Catalan)
  • Peder (Cornish/Danish/Lombard/Norwegian)
  • Petru (Corsican/Romanian/Sicilian)
  • Pyè (Creole)
  • Pero (Croatian/Serbian)
  • Petar Петар (Croatian/Macedonian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Petr (Czech)
  • Pelle (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish: originally a diminutive, now occasionally used as an independent given name. PEL-le)
  • Peer (Danish/Dutch/German)
  • Per (Danish/Faroese/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Peter (Danish/Dutch/English/German/Luxembourgish/Norwegian/Slovak/Swedish)
  • Peeter (Estonian)
  • Peiru (Extramadura)
  • Pætur/Petur (Faroese)
  • Patras پطرس (Farsi)
  • Pekka (Finnish)
  • Petteri (Finnish)
  • Petri (Finnish)
  • Pietari (Finnish)
  • Pierre (French)
  • Piter/Pier/Pit (Frisian)
  • P’et’re პეტრე (Georgian)
  • Petros Πέτρος (Greek)
  • Pathros (Hindi)
  • Péter (Hungarian)
  • Petres (Hungarian)
  • Peto (Hungarian)
  • Pétur (Icelandic)
  • Peadar (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Pietro (Italian/Albanian)
  • Petronius (Latin)
  • Pēteris (Latvian)
  • Petras (Lithuanian)
  • Pir (Luxembourgish)
  • Petre Петре (Macedonian/Romanian)
  • Pathrose (Malayalam)
  • Pietru (Maltese)
  • Peddyr (Manx)
  • Petera (Maori)
  • Petter (Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Pèir/Pèire/Pèr (Occitanian)
  • Pedro (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Pêro (Portuguese: archaic)
  • Pidru (Quecha)
  • Peadar/Peader/Peder/Peidar/Peider (Romansch)
  • Pyotr Пётр (Russian)
  • Pedru/Perdu/Pretu (Sardinian)
  • Peadar/Peadair (Scottish-Gaelic)
  • Pyjter/Piter (Silesian)
  • Pětr (Sorbian)
  • Petero (Swahili)
  • Pär (Swedish)
  • Pethuru (Tamil)
  • Raayappar (Tamil)
  • Petro Петро (Ukrainian)
  • Piter (Uzbek)
  • Piero (Venetian)
  • Piitre (Vöro: an Eastern Estonian dialect)
  • Pedr (Welsh)

In French, Pierre is used in a number of compound names. Some of the most common include:

Some common Italian compound names include: Piergiuseppe, Pietropaolo, Pierpaolo, Pietrantonio, Pierantonio, Pierluigi , Piergiorgio , Pietrangelo, Pierangelo, Pierce, Pierfrancesco, Piermaria and Piersilvio

Its feminine form of Petra was once a very popular name in German-speaking countries, but is now considered rather dated. Throughout Central Europe, however, she is experiencing a strong trend. Her current rankings are as follows:

  • # 46 (Czech Republic, 2009)
  • # 9 (Hungary, 2008)
  • # 46(Slovenia, 2005)

Feminine forms include:

  • Peta (Afrikaans/English)
  • Penka Пенка (Bulgarian)
  • Petra(Bulgarian/Croatian/Czech/Dutch/Finnish/German/Greek/Hungarian/Scandinavian/Serbian/Slovak/Slovene/Spanish)
  • Petrina (Croatian/German)
  • Pernille (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Petrea (Danish)
  • Petrine (Danish/German/Norwegian)
  • Petronella (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Pietronella (Dutch)
  • Parnel/Pernel (English: archaic)
  • Peronel (English: archaic)
  • Petronel (English: archaic)
  • Petriina (Finnish)
  • Pernelle (French)
  • Pernette (French)
  • Péroline (French)
  • Péronelle (French)
  • Perrenotte (French)
  • Perrette (French)
  • Perrine (French)
  • Pétronelle (French)
  • Peyronne (French)
  • Pierrine/Pierrette (French)
  • Pétronille (French)
  • Peekje (Frisian)
  • Peterke (Frisian)
  • Petje (Frisian)
  • Petke (Frisian)
  • Pierke/Pierkje (Frisian)
  • Pieterke (Frisian)
  • Pietje/Piertje (Frisian)
  • Petrónia (Hungarian)
  • Petronia (Italian/Latin/Polish)
  • Petronilla (Italian/Latin)
  • Piera/Pierina (Italian)
  • Pieretta (Italian)
  • Pieruccia (Italian)
  • Pietra/Pietrina (Italian)
  • Pietruccia (Italian)
  • Petronela (Polish/Romanian)
  • Petrona (Spanish)
  • Pernilla (Swedish)

Italian female compound forms include: Pierangela and Pieranna.

Common German pet forms are: Pedi, Petzi and Pezi

The designated name-days are: April 29 (Hungary) and June 29 (Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden).

Sources

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