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Patrick Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity and Nicknames

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

Patrick Overview

  • Meaning: In Latin, Patrick means “nobleman” or “patrician” and in Old English means “unknown ruler.”
  • Gender: Patrick has traditionally been considered a masculine name.
  • Origin: Patrick originally comes from the Latin name “Patricius.”
  • Pronunciation: “pat-rik.” The name rhymes with the word “matchstick” or the phrase “hat trick.”
  • Popularity: Patrick reached peak popularity in the 1960s when it became the 30th most popular name, but it has remained popular in recent years, staying within the top 250.
  • Nicknames: Paddy, Pat, Patch, Patti, Patty, Patsy, Pax, Pip, Rick, Ricky.
  • Variations: Patrice, Pádraic, Padrig, Patariki, Patricija, Patrício, Patricius, Patrik, Patrizio, Patryk.
  • Namesakes: Patrick Dempsey, Patrick Stewart,Patrick Swayze.

What Does Patrick Mean?

In Latin, the name Patrick means “nobleman” or “patrician” (patricians were an Ancient Roman grouping of powerful families). When translated from Old English, the name Patrick is thought to mean “unknown ruler” (1).

Patrick in history has been considered a noble, royal, or high-class name. This is likely because of its link to the patricians.

What Is the Origin of the Name Patrick?

Patrick originally comes from the Latin boy name “Patricius.” Patricius was a title for the members of the patricians, which were the ruling families of Ancient Rome.

The Roman emperor would give the title to only the closest individuals within his circle. Over time, military generals and common nobles were given the title.

Patricius is also the name for a genus of butterflies native to Eurasia and North Africa.

The name Patricius lost exclusivity over time and simply became a popular given name. Patrick became a nickname and then a given name that was derived from the honorific title (2).

Patrick became popular as a given name in Europe after St. Patrick became the patron saint of Ireland in the 5th century (3).

How Popular Is the Name Patrick?

Patrick has been steadily popular as far back as 1880 in the United States. The name has very rarely dropped out of the top 200 most popular names for boys over the years.

The years 1964, 1967, and 1968 were the years in which Patrick reached its peak popularity, sitting at the rank of #30 for those three years.

From the mid-200s, Patrick has lost some popularity, dropping from the top 100 into the top 200. Despite the drop, Patrick has remained consistently popular, as it sat at the ranks of #140 in 2012 and #213 in 2021 (4).

How Do I Pronounce Patrick?

Patrick is pronounced, “pat-rik.” The name rhymes with the word “matchstick” or the phrase “hat trick.”

Is Patrick a Boy or Girl Name?

Patrick has traditionally been considered a masculine name.

Variations of Patrick

Here are some common variations of the name Patrick around the world.

  • Patrice (French)
  • Pádraic (Irish)
  • Padrig (Breton, Welsh)
  • Patariki (Maori)
  • Patricija (Croatian)
  • Patrício (Portuguese)
  • Patricius (Late Roman)
  • Patrik (Croatian, Czech, Finnish, Hungarian)
  • Patrizio (Italian)
  • Patryk (Polish)

Nicknames for Patrick

Patrick has quite a few great nicknames that we found.

  • Paddy
  • Pat
  • Patch
  • Patti
  • Patty
  • Patsy
  • Pax
  • Pip
  • Rick
  • Ricky

Similar Names to Patrick

For those who like the sound of the name Patrick and want something similar to inspire you, we found some of the best options.

Middle Names for Patrick

Patrick pairs well with short and long middle names.

Sibling Names for Patrick

Many of these possible sibling names are gender-neutral/unisex, so you can use them for a boy or a girl.

Famous People Named Patrick

There are famous people named Patrick in nearly every type of entertainment.

  • Patrick Carney: American drummer from the band “The Black Keys.”
  • Patrick Dempsey: American actor known for his role in the TV series “Grey’s Anatomy.”
  • Patrick Stewart: British actor known for his role in the movie franchise “X-Men.”
  • Patrick Stump: American musician of the band “Fall Out Boy.”
  • Patrick Swayze: American actor well-known for his role in the film “Dirty Dancing.”
  • Patrick Wilson: American musician and drummer from the band “Weezer.”
  • Saint Patrick: Christian saint well-known as the “Apostle of Ireland.”

Patrick in Popular Culture

There are some popular fictional characters with the name Patrick, so here are a few we found.

  • Patrick Bateman: the main character from the novel and 2000 film adaptation “American Psycho.”
  • Patrick Harper: a character in the novel and TV series “Sharpe.”
  • Patrick Jane: the main character in the TV series “The Mentalist.”
  • Patrick Star: a character in the TV series “Spongebob Squarepants.”
  • Patrick Verona: the main character in the film “10 Things I Hate About You.”

Patrick FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the name Patrick.

What Does the Name Patrick Mean in Gaelic?

While the given name Patrick is Roman in origin, the surname Patrick is thought to be primarily Gaelic. The Gaelic phrase “Mac Phádraig” means “son of Patrick.”

The name Patrick is now often associated with Ireland and Gaelic culture due to the Scottish emigration from the land. The Gaelic phrase was translated to English as the last name “Patrick” and gained popularity in Ireland (5).

What Is the Feminine Version of Patrick?

Patrick has traditionally been a masculine name, and there are a few feminine variations, depending on the host country and language. Here are the most common feminine variations on the name Patrick and their origins.

  • Pádraígn (Irish)
  • Patka (Slovak)
  • Patricia (English)
  • Patricie (Czech)
  • Patrisiya (Bulgarian)
  • Patrizia (Italian)
  • Patrycja (Polish)
  • Patty (English)
  • Trisha (English)

How Is Patrick Pronounced in French?

In French, Patrick is pronounced closer to “put-ryck.”

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