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Eric Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Eric Overview

  • Meaning: The name means “eternal ruler” or “ever powerful.”
  • Gender: Eric is most commonly used as a name for boys. A variation of Eric for girls is Erica.
  • Origin: The name Sarah is from the Old Norse language.
  • Pronunciation: Eric is pronounced as it is spelled. You pronounce Eric as “EH-rik.”
  • Popularity: Eric is not currently in the top 100 popular boys’ names in the United States. Eric reached peak popularity in the 70s and 80s.
  • Nicknames: Air, Ric, Rick, Ricky.
  • Variations: Eerik, Eero, Eirik, Eirikur, Enrique, Éric, Erico, Erik, Euricus.
  • Namesakes: Eric Burdon, Eric Clapton, Eric Jungmann, Eric Kandel, Eric Pinkins, Eric Roberts, Eric Schmidt.

Eric is a traditional name that is over 1000 years old. The name Eric has belonged to anyone from kings to commoners across the centuries. Keep reading to find out more about the name Eric.

What Does Eric Mean?

The name Eric comes from the Old Norse language. Eric means “eternal ruler,” “ever powerful,” and “one ruler”.

What Is the Origin of the Name Eric?

The name Eric originated in the Old Norse language. Old Norse is an ancient Germanic language used across Scandinavia. The language is most closely associated with the Viking people.

Originally Eric was written as Eiríkr. Over the years the spelling has changed and shortened. Due to the name’s meaning, it is common to find records of kings and powerful men named Eric across Northern European countries.

How Popular Is the Name Eric?

The name has risen and fallen in popularity since the middle ages. The Social Security Administration lists Eric at its peak popularity in 1973. Since 1973, Eric has dropped out of the top 100 most popular boy names (1).

Eric was very popular during the 1970s through the early 2000s. The name reached its height of popularity as the 13th most popular name in the 70s.

Because of its European roots, the name Eric is found in many countries outside of the United States. Variations of Eric are commonly used across Scandinavia and Southern Europe. In Spanish-speaking countries, Eric is not a common name.

How Do I Pronounce Eric?

Eric is an easy-to-pronounce name. The name consists of two syllables. Eric is pronounced phonetically as “EH-rik.”

Is Eric a Boy or Girl Name?

Eric is a name that is traditionally associated with boys. There are some variations of Eric used as a girl’s name, the most common is Erica.

Variations of Eric

The name Eric has many variations. Most of them are tied to different European nations. Here are some of the most common variations of Eric:

  • Eerik (Finnish)
  • Eero (Estonian)
  • Eirik (Norway)
  • Eirikur (Icelandic)
  • Enrique (Spanish)
  • Éric (French)
  • Erico (Italian)
  • Erik (Dutch)
  • Euricus (Latin)

Nicknames for Eric

Nicknames are usually used to shorten long or hard to pronounce names. Because Eric is short and easy to say, there are not many nicknames. Here are the few nicknames generally used for Eric:

  • Air
  • Ric
  • Rick
  • Ricky

Similar Names to Eric

Eric is a phonetically unique name. Other names have a similar feel to Eric. The following are names that are considered similar to Eric:

  • Aaron
  • Alrich
  • Eran
  • Erickson
  • Erico
  • Fredrick
  • Urich

Middle Names for Eric

The name Eric is powerful and uncomplicated. It pairs well with classic or traditional names.

Here are a few names that sound nice as a middle name for Eric:

Sibling Names for Eric

Because Eric is a classic name, it pairs well with other sibling names in the same vein.

Here is a selection of sibling names that compliment the name, Eric:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Eric

The name Eric was one of the most popular names during the 70s and 80s. Because of this, there are many currently famous people named Eric.

A few of the most famous Erics are listed below:

  • Eric Burdon: English musician.
  • Eric Clapton: English musician.
  • Eric Jungmann: American actor.
  • Eric Kandel: Austrian Nobel Prize laureate.
  • Eric Pinkins: American football player.
  • Eric Roberts: American actor.
  • Eric Schmidt: Estonian painter.

Eric in Popular Culture

The name is seen throughout popular culture. There are characters named Eric in all forms of modern media.

Here is a list of some of the most notable uses of Eric in modern pop culture:

  • Erik: Character from “The Phantom of The Opera.”
  • Eric Blonowitz: Character from the TV series “Drake and Josh.”
  • Eric Murphy: Character from the HBO TV series “Entourage.”
  • Eric Northman: Character from “True Blood” book series.
  • Prince Eric: Character from Disney classic “The Little Mermaid.”

Eric FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the name Eric:

Is the Name Eric a Biblical Name?

The name Eric is not a biblical boy’s name. Eric is from a language that emerged after biblical times. There is nothing that ties the name Eric to any Judeo-Christian religion.

What Colors Are Associated With the Name Eric?

The name Eric is associated with the colors yellow and blue. Yellow is a color of power, which matches well with the meaning of Eric. Blue is a color associated with masculinity and leadership. Both of these colors align with the true meaning of the name Eric.

Who Is Saint Eric?

Saint Eric was the king of Sweden during the 12th century. Saint Eric was said to have been a just king that spread Christianity during his rule. He was killed in an attack on Ascension day. Saint Eric was awarded sainthood for being a martyr.

What Personality Is Associated With the Name Eric?

The name Eric is associated with someone unique and a leader. Regardless of the personality commonly associated with the name, each person is different. Eric may be associated with power and leadership qualities, but the name does not determine personality.

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