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Updated February 19, 2024

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Girl name origins & meanings

  • Hebrew : Compassionate friend; friendship

What Does Ruth Mean and Stand For?

The name Ruth comes from the Hebrew word re'ut, meaning "friend." It has a long history of being a popular girls' name in the U.S. since the late 1800s. The name was at its peak popularity in the year 1920. It is a great choice of name due to its reference to the Book of Ruth, one of the only two biblical books named after women, and its association with late U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. 

Syllables: 1

Girl name variations

How Popular Is The Name Ruth

Famous people who gave their babies this name

What Does the Name Ruth Mean? 

Ruth is a girls' name of Hebrew origin, meaning "compassionate friend." It comes from the Hebrew word re'ut, meaning "friend." Ruth is a Biblical name from the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament, one of the only two books named after women. 

How Popular is the Name Ruth? 

Ruth is the #220 most popular girls' name in the U.S., according to Social Security Administration data. However, it ranks #16 on The name Ruth has been steadily growing in popularity since the year 2000. 

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Ruth was at its peak popularity in January 2022. 

Popularity of the Name Ruth in the United States 

Ruth was searched for most often in the following states: 

  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia 
  • Louisiana 
  • North Carolina
  • Florida 

Famous People Named Ruth and Ruth in Pop Culture 

Famous Ruth's include the actresses Ruth Jones, Ruth Negga, and Ruth Wilson, as well as late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Babe Ruth was an MLB baseball player commemorated in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In TV, movies, and books, Ruth is a popular character name. Characters named Ruth feature in TV shows such as Ozark, Six Feet Under, GLOW, The Simpsons, Eastenders, and Lassie. Ruth is the name of the lead character of Nobel Prize winning Kazuo Ishiguro's book Never Let Me Go, and of Jodi Picoult's novel Small Great Things

The candy bar "Baby Ruth" is named after Ruth Cleveland, daughter of U.S. President Grover Cleveland. 

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