Meaning and Origin of: Peter

Meaning and Origin of Peter

Boy name origins & meanings

  • Latin : Rock, stone

What does Peter mean and stand for?

The name Peter is of Latin origin and means "rock" or "stone". It is derived from the Greek Petros. The name became very popular amongst Christians due to the number of saints and apostles with the name.

Syllables: 2

Family name origins & meanings

  • English, Scottish, German, Dutch, etc. : from the personal name Peter (Greek Petros, from petra ‘rock’, ‘stone’). The name was popular throughout Christian Europe in the Middle Ages, having been bestowed by Christ as a byname on the apostle Simon bar Jonah, the brother of Andrew. The name was chosen by Christ for its symbolic significance (John 1:42, Matt. 16:18); St. Peter is regarded as the founding head of the Christian Church in view of Christ’s saying, ‘Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church’. In Christian Germany in the early Middle Ages this was the most frequent personal name of non-Germanic origin until the 14th century. This surname has also absorbed many cognates in other languages, for example Czech Petr, Hungarian Péter. It has also been adopted as a surname by Ashkenazic Jews.

What Does the Name Peter Mean?

The name Peter is a classic New Testament name that has had many nostalgic bearers who represent fond childhood memories. It is a traditional name that has stood the test of time.

How Popular is the Name Peter?

Peter is the number 215 most popular boys name in the US, according to 2021 Social Security Administration data. It has been stagnant the last few years after seeing a steady decrease in popularity the last decade.

Peter has been a popular name since Jesus gave it to the man now known as Saint Peter. Not only that, but it also invokes images of Peter Pan, Peter Rabbit, and Peter the Great. A popular traditional name, Peter has stood the test of time, but it has slowly decreased in popularity as its variations Piers, Pierce, and Pedro have become more popular.

However, it is the 18th most popular name on FamilyEducation.com.

Popularity of the Name Peter in the United States

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Peter was at its peak popularity in March 2020.

Peter was searched for most often in the following states:

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Massachussetts
  3. Vermont
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Minnesota

Famous People Named Peter and Peter in Pop Culture

Aside from Saint Peter, Peter Pan, and Peter Rabbit, the name Peter has many notable namesakes. It was a very popular name for kings, with King Peters in Russia, Portugal, Serbia, and Cyprus. Actors Peter Dinklage, Peter Fonda, and Peter Sarsgaard are also some recognizable Peters. Not to mention, Peter is the name of characters in Spider-Man, Harry Potter, Family Guy, and Sims.

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