Meaning: “bright fame.”
The name is composed of the Germanic elements, hrod (fame) and beraht meaning (bright). In Pre-Norman England, the name existed in the form of Hreodbeorht and was replaced by the now more favored Robert after the Norman Conquest.
The name has been consistently popular in the English-speaking world since. It has been worn by hundreds of notable bearers, including two French kings, three Scottish kings, (Robert the Bruce being one) and several saints.
Currently, Robert ranks in as the 49th most popular male name in the United States, (2008). His rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 80 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
- # 89 (England/Wales, 2008)
- # 44 (Hungary, 2008)
- # 49 (Ireland, 2008)
- # 56 (Scotland, 2009)
Robert has introduced several offshoots, the Medieval English diminutive form of Robin was the name of the protagonist of the legendary Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. It is also used in Scandinavia and in German-speaking countries.
Its low Germanic counterpart of Rupert was popularized in Austria via an early Christian saint and was later introduced into England by Prince Rupert of the Rhine, a military commander and nephew of King Charles I. The name has enjoyed some usage in England ever since.
Other forms of the name include:
- Hreodbeorht (Anglo-Saxon)
- Roupen (Armenian)
- Roparzh/Roperzh (Breton)
- Robert Роберт (Catalan/Danish/Dutch/Croatian/Czech/English/Estonian/Finnish/French/German/Polish/Romanian/Russian/Serbian/Slovene)
- Robrecht (Dutch/Afrikaans: rare, archaic)
- Rupert (Dutch/English/German/Polish)
- Robin (English/Finnish/Scandinavian)
- Roobert (Finnish)
- Roopertti (Finnish)
- Robèrto (Fruilian)
- Roberte (Galician)
- Robrecht (German: rare, archaic)
- Rodebrecht/Rotebert (German: rare, archaic)
- Rudbert/Ruotbert (German: archaic)
- Ruprecht (German: rare, archaic)
- Rovēros/Rovértos Ροβῆρος Ροβέρτος (Greek)
- Röpke (Frisian/Plattdeutsch)
- Róbert (Hungarian/Icelandic/Slovak)
- Roibeard (Irish-Gaelic)
- Robertino (Italian: rare, originally a diminutive form)
- Roberto (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
- Robertus/Rupertus (Late Latin)
- Roberts (Latvian)
- Robertu (Leonese/Sardinian)
- Robertas (Lithuanian)
- Raibeart (Scottish Gaelic)
- Robbetto (Sicilian)
- Ruperto (Spanish)
- Ropati (Tahitian)
- Hopkin/Hopcyn (Welsh: originally a Medieval Welsh diminutive, occasionally used as an independent given name and now more associated with the surname).
- Robat/Rhobert (Welsh)
Diminutives forms abound, which include: Bob, Bobbie, Rob and Robbie (English), Hob, Dob and Dobby (Medieval English diminutive forms no longer in usage), Rab/Rabbie (Scottish), Robbi (Icelandic), Röbi Swiss German, Robban (Swedish), Robercik/Robuś (Polish), and Roope/Pertti (Finnish).
A common feminine form is Roberta, which is used in English, German, Polish, Italian and Spanish. Common English short forms are Bobbie and Bertie.
A more obscure Italian/Spanish feminine form is Robertina.
Robina is a Renaissance Scots feminine form of Robin.
Name-days are: April 29 (Czech Republic/Germany/Poland), April 30 (France), June 7 (Estonia/Hungary/Poland/Slovakia/Sweden), July 18 (Poland).