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Luke Name Meaning

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

Luke Overview

  • Meaning: Luke means “bright one,” “bringer of light,” and “light of the sacred flame.”
  • Gender: Luke is primarily a masculine name.
  • Origin: Luke derives from the Latin name Lucas, which comes from the Greek name “Loukás.”
  • Pronunciation: Luke is most commonly pronounced, “LOO-k.”
  • Popularity: Luke is a very popular boy’s name, ranking number 31 in the United States in 2020.
  • Nicknames: Lee, Louie, Lu, Luca, Lucky, Lukey, Lukester, Lukie, Lulu.
  • Variations: Lluc, Loek, Loukas, Luc, Luca, Lucas, Lùcas, Lúcás, Luce, Lucio, Luka, Lukas, Lukasz, Lukás Luukas.
  • Namesakes: Luke Bryan (American country singer), Luke Evans (British actor), Luke Wilson (American actor).

What Does Luke Mean?

The name Luke means “bringer of light.” It has also been interpreted to mean “bright one,” “light,” “white,” “light-giving,” and “light of the sacred flame.” Due to its usage in the Bible, the name Luke has an enlighted religious meaning as well.

What Is the Origin of the Name Luke?

The name Luke derives from the Latin name Lucas, which has its roots in the Greek name “Loukás.” “Loukás” signified a person from Lucania, a district of lower Italy. The name of Lucania may have come from the Greek words for “wolf” and “white,” or the Latin word for “sacred grove.”

It is unclear exactly when Luke originated and whether it was used as a first name or last name first. The district of Lucania was founded around the 5th Century BCE. Because of its history, it is likely that the name Luke likely emerged sometime between 450 BCE and 50 BCE.

In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, Luke is the title of one of the four main gospels, alongside Matthew, Mark, and John. Luke, a 1st-century physician, was credited for writing the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts around 70-90 CE (1). The Gospel of Luke is respected for sharing a different perspective on Jesus’s ministry than the other three Gospels.

How Popular Is the Name Luke?

Luke is a very popular name for boys. In the United States, Luke was 31st in the list of names for boys born in 2020 (2). Luke has steadily increased in popularity over the last couple of decades, having ranked 59th in 2000.

The name Luke didn’t reach the Top 200 baby names in the United States until the 1980s. The sudden rise in popularity is heavily credited to Luke Skywalker, the protagonist of the original “Star Wars” trilogy who was named after George Lucas. Luke was the 107th most used boy’s name in the 1980s and the 87th most used boy’s name in the 1990s (3).

How Do I Pronounce Luke?

The name Luke is pronounced, “LOO-k.” It is not pronounced like the word “look” or “book,” but instead rhymes with the word “duke.”

Is Luke a Boy or Girl Name?

Luke is a masculine name and is generally given to boys. Feminine and gender-neutral variations of the name include Lucia, Lucy, and Luca.

Variations of Luke

Dating back thousands of years, the name Luke has acquired numerous variations over multiple languages, such as:

  • Lluc (Catalan)
  • Loek (Dutch)
  • Loukas (Greek)
  • Luc (French)
  • Luca (Italian)
  • Lucas (Latin)
  • Lùcas (Scottish)
  • Lúcás (Irish)
  • Luce (Latin)
  • Lucio (Spanish)
  • Luka (Georgian)
  • Lukas (German)
  • Lukasz (Polish)
  • Lukás (Czech)
  • Luukas (Finnish)

Nicknames for Luke

Luke is an easy enough name to say on its own, but these nicknames are lovable regardless:

  • Lee
  • Louie
  • Lu
  • Luca
  • Lucky
  • Lukey
  • Lukester
  • Lukie
  • Lulu

Similar Names to Luke

Do you like the name Luke but want to consider some alternatives? Below are some of the most similar names in origin, meaning, and pronunciation:

Middle Names for Luke

Many middle names can be paired with Luke, including:

  • Connor
  • Dylan
  • John
  • Kyler
  • Lionel
  • Louis

Sibling Names for Luke

Here are a few names for siblings that go great alongside Luke:

For a Brother:

  • Asher
  • Chandler
  • John
  • Mark
  • Matthew
  • Simon

For a Sister:

Famous People Named Luke

Luke is a name with countless namesakes. Below are some of the most famous people named Luke in recent history:

  • Luke Bryan: American country singer and songwriter; best known for his songs “Country Girl” and “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day.”
  • Luke Donald: British professional golfer; held “World Number One” title four times between 2011 and 2012.
  • Luke Evans: British actor and singer; best known for the “Hobbit” trilogy and the 2017 reboot of “Beauty and the Beast.”
  • Luke Wilson: American actor; best known for “Old School,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” and “Bottle Rocket.”
  • Luke Vibert: British electronic/techno musician and producer; best known for his songs “Start the Panic” and “Hot Fingers.”

Luke in Popular Culture

Luke is a particularly beloved name in movies and books. Below are some of the most notable uses of the name Luke in popular culture:

  • Luke Cage: Superhero with super strength and invincibility from Marvel comics; titular hero of the Netflix series “Luke Cage.”
  • Luke Dunphy: Clair and Phil’s out-of-control son in the TV series “Modern Family.”
  • Luke Hobbs: DSS agent and bounty hunter in the “Fast & Furious” franchise; co-protagonist of “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw;” portrayed by Dwayne Johnson.
  • Luke Skywalker: Moisture farmer, Jedi Knight, and protagonist of the original “Star Wars” trilogy.
  • Luke Smith: An alien-made human and regular character in the BBC series “The Sarah Jane Adventures,” a spin-off of “Doctor Who.”

Luke FAQs

Below are some of the most asked questions about the name Luke.

Is Luke a Royal Name?

Luke is not a particularly royal name. The name may have originally represented someone hailing from Lucania, a district in Italy that held no royal or noble significance.

How Do You Say Luke in French?

In French, the name “Luke” translates to “Luc.” “Luc” is pronounced nearly identically to “Luke,” but with more emphasis on the “u/oo” sound and less emphasis on the “c/k” sound.

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