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Meaning and Origin of: Ernest

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Old German : Vigorous

First name variations

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English and Dutch : from the Germanic byname mentioned at Ernst. However, Reaney cites medieval evidence for Norman spellings such as Ernais, and derives it from a Germanic personal name Arn(e)gis, possibly composed of the elements arn ‘eagle’ + gīsil ‘pledge’, ‘hostage’, ‘noble youth’ (see Giesel). The name may have been altered by folk etymology to coincide with the word meaning ‘combat’. Compare Harness.
  • Dutch : variant of Ernst.