Boy Names baby nameEric

What does the name Eric mean?

The different meanings of the name Eric are:
  • American meaning: Eternal ruler
  • French meaning: Eternal ruler
  • German meaning: Derivative:  Form of Frederick
  • Old Norse meaning: Honorable ruler
The meaning of the name “Eric” is different in several languages, countries and cultures and has more than one possibly same or different meanings available.

Additional information: Eric can be alternately spelled as Erik or Erick, with each spelling being more popular in different parts of the world. It came from the Old Norse name Eirikr, a compound name composed of the elements ei (ever, always) and rikr (ruler),  which can be translated to roughly mean "one ruler, eternal ruler, or ever powerful". The origin of the name is debated. Most believe in the Norse etymology, but there are some who think it comes to the Old Norse via the Germanic ehre (honor) and the Proto-Germanic rik (king), hence "honorable ruler". This name has been used for many men in royalty over the years in Britain as well as in the Scandinavian countries, but the most well-known usage was for Eric the Red, the Viking explorer who is credited with discovering Greenland.

As mentioned above, there are two alternative ways to spell Eric that are very popular: Erik and Erick. Other variants and non-English spellings include Aric, Eerik, Eirik, Erico, and Eryk. Some common nicknames for Eric can be Eero and Rico. There is also a feminine form of this name, which can be Erica or Erika.

Popularity for the name Eric was high in 2014 in some countries, such as Spain where it was ranked 31st most popular and Catalonia where it was ranked the 5th most popular, but in other countries, the name did not perform well. It peaked in usage in 2011-12 in Catalonia at 3rd most popular, as well as in 1973-76 in the US where it was ranked as the 13th most popular boy's name. In 2014, the rank was much lower in this and other English-speaking countries, with the ranking standing at 123rd in the US, 189th in England and Wales, and 86th in Canada.

Famous people and celebrities who share the name Eric include Eric Kramer, an actor; Eric Clapton, a musician; Eric Church, a singer; Eric Decker, an NFL player; Eric Bana, an actor; Eric Gordon, a basketball player; and Eric Hosmer, a baseball player. In Disney's Little Mermaid, Eric was the prince whom Ariel fell in love with.