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Updated March 6, 2024

Table of contents

Boy name origins & meanings

  • Old English : Ruler
  • English : Royal nature

What does King mean and stand for?

The name King is of Old English origin and means "monarch" or "ruler." It derives from the Old English word cyning.

Syllables: 1

How Popular Is The Name King

Family name origins & meanings

  • English and Scottish : nickname from Middle English king, Old English cyning ‘king’ (originally merely a tribal leader, from Old English cyn(n) ‘tribe’, ‘race’ + the Germanic suffix -ing). The word was already used as a byname before the Norman Conquest, and the nickname was common in the Middle Ages, being used to refer to someone who conducted himself in a kingly manner, or one who had played the part of a king in a pageant, or one who had won the title in a tournament. In other cases it may actually have referred to someone who served in the king’s household. The American surname has absorbed several European cognates and equivalents with the same meaning, for example German König (see Koenig), Swiss German Küng, French Leroy. It is also found as an Ashkenazic Jewish surname, of ornamental origin.
  • Chinese : variant of Jin 1.
  • Chinese : , , , , Jing.

Famous people with this last name


According to Social Security Administration data, King has fluctuated up and down since breaking the top 200 in 2013. It reached its peak rank of 147 in 2017.

However, it is the 26th most popular name on

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years King was at its peak popularity in January 2021.

King originally began as a nickname for Kingston, which is still more popular, before becoming popular in its own right. It invokes images of The King Elvis and Martin Luther King Jr. Other notable namesakes include King Floyd, King Bailey Parsons, and Nicholas King "Nick" Nolte.

Where is it Popular?

King was searched for most often in the following states:

Pairs well with these middle names


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