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Arthur Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Arthur including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Arthur Overview

  • Meaning: Arthur can variously mean “bear,” “son of the bear/warrior-king,” and “bear-prince.”
  • Origin: The name has Brythonic origins, though other theories argue that the name has Roman or Celtic roots.
  • Gender: Arthur is a name primarily given to boys.
  • Popularity: Arthur has long been a popular name in the United States. In 2021, it was the 155th most popular choice for boys.
  • Variations: Artgur, Arthurus, Artorījos, Artrí, Artur, Artúr, Arturius, Arturo, Arturus, Arthwr.
  • Nicknames: Archie, Ari, Art, Artie, Artu.
  • Namesakes: Arthur Ashe, Arthur C. Clarke Arthur “Art” Garfunkel, Arthur Miller.

What Does the Name Arthur Mean?

Arthur is a male name that can mean “bear,” “son of the bear/warrior-king,” and “bear-prince.” The name gained fame because of the illustrious King Arthur, though its origins before that are disagreed on.

In Welsh, the name translates from “arth,” meaning “bear,” and “(g)wr,” meaning “man.”

But in ancient Persian languages, “Arthur” and its variants mean “truth” or “properly joined.” In other languages, it translates to “watcher/guardian” (1).

What Is the Origin of the Name Arthur?

​​There are numerous theories about the origins of the name Arthur. The most commonly accepted of them has Brythonic origins and says that there was a 5th Century general with the name. From there, Celtic languages adopted it (2).

Others argue the name has Roman roots and comes from the clan “Atorius.” But even that theory can trace back to the Celts.

How Popular Is the Name Arthur?

Traditionally, Arthur has been a popular name. In the United States, it has enjoyed a resurgence in the past decade and was the 155th most chosen name for boys in 2021. That means that over 2,300 babies were born Arthur, or one in every 800 babies (3).

How Do I Pronounce Arthur?

Arthur is pronounced as “ARR-therr.” Since there are so many variations of the name scattered across the globe, it can typically be pronounced as “ARR-terr” or “ARR-toor.”

Is Arthur a Boy or Girl Name?

Arthur is a name that is traditionally given to males. There are no common female variations of it.

Variations of Arthur

Arthur is one of the most widely-spread names, with endless variations in almost every country. Some of these include:

  • Artgur (Welsh)
  • Arthurus (Latin)
  • Artorījos (Irish and Latin)
  • Artrí (Irish)
  • Artur (Slavic, Romantic, and Germanic)
  • Artúr (Irish)
  • Arturius (Latin)
  • Arturo (Italian and Spanish)
  • Arturus (Latin)
  • Arthwr (Welsh)

Nicknames for Arthur

Along with the long list of variants, “Arthur” also has many nicknames, such as:

  • Archie
  • Ari
  • Art
  • Artie
  • Artu

Similar Names to Arthur

When considering alternative names to Arthur, there are many excellent options. Some have similar meanings or feelings, while others are unique. A few possibilities include:

Middle Names for Arthur

Arthur is an enduring name that has made its way throughout modern history. You can keep it traditional or add a “new-age” middle name to spice it up. Some great choices could be:

Sibling Names for Arthur

Sibling names don’t have to match a theme or compliment each other. However, the following can be a fantastic choice for a brother or sister to Arthur:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Arthur

There are plenty of famous people, from actors to writers to athletes, with the name Arthur, like:

  • Arthur Ashe: American tennis player who won three Grand Slam titles.
  • Arthur C. Clarke: British writer of science fiction and futurism. He is also an inventor, explorer, and television show host.
  • Arthur Conan Doyle: Scottish writer who is famous for writing the “Sherlock Holmes” crime books.
  • Arthur Darvill: British actor best known for his role in “Doctor Who.”
  • Art Garfunkel: American singer, songwriter, and poet. He is known for his work in the 1960s group Simon and Garfunkel.
  • Arthur Miller: American playwright and essayist best known for his controversial play, “The Crucible.”
  • Arthur Rimbaud: French poet best known for his piece “Le Bateau ivre” or “The Drunken Boat.”

Arthur in Popular Culture

Arthur is widespread in popular culture. The name is given to many characters in television shows and films, with notable examples being:

  • Arthur: A band that is a side project involving some of the members of the famous punk outfit MxPx.
  • Arthur: A magazine for avant-garde music and artwork.
  • Arthur: A character from the dramedy film “My Girl.”
  • Arthur: A secondary character from the superhero television show (both animated and live-action) “The Tick.”
  • Arthur le fantôme justicier: A fictional character from the comic series by Jean Cézard.
  • Arthur Morgan: The primary character from the popular video game “Red Dead Redemption 2.”
  • Arthur “The Aardvark” Read: The main character from the hit cartoon program “Arthur.”

Arthur FAQs

Now that so much covered about the name Arthur has been covered, let’s look in between the gaps to see if there is anything we missed. This section will answer several frequently asked questions about the name.

Is Arthur an Old-Fashioned Name?

Arthur can be seen as both an old-fashioned and contemporary name. Of course, It has been around for centuries but it still retains its place in the top 200 names for boys in the United States.

Why Is the Name Arthur Popular?

Arthur has been a popular name ever since the Middle Ages, thanks to figures like King Arthur and his knights. This was especially true in the United Kingdom, but its prominence made its way around the world and beyond English-speaking countries.

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