Usage: English, French, Scandinavian, German, Czech, Polish, Russian, Slovene, Romanian
Pronounced: RAH-b?rt (English)
Means “bright fame”, derived from the Germanic elements hrod “fame” and beraht “bright”. The Normans introduced this name to Britain, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hreodbeorht. It has been a very common English name since that time.
The name has been borne by two early kings of France, two Dukes of Normandy, and three kings of Scotland, including Robert the Bruce who restored the independence of Scotland from England in the 14th century. The author Robert Browning (1812-1889) and poets Robert Burns (1759-1796) and Robert Frost (1874-1963) are famous literary bearers of this name. Other bearers include Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), the commander of the Confederate army during the American Civil War, and American actor Robert Redford (1936-).
Usage: Irish, English, French, German
Pronounced: PAT-rik (English)
From the Roman name Patricius, which meant “nobleman” in Latin. This name was adopted by the 5th-century Saint Patrick, whose birth name was Sucat. He was a Romanized Briton who was captured and enslaved in his youth by Irish raiders. After six years of servitude he escaped home, but he eventually became a bishop and went back to Ireland as a missionary. He is traditionally credited with Christianizing the island, and is regarded as Ireland’s patron saint.
In England and elsewhere in Europe during the Middle Ages this name was used in honor of the saint. However, it was not generally given in Ireland before the 17th century because it was considered too sacred for everyday use. It has since become very common there.