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Robert Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Robert Overview

  • Meaning: The name Robert can be translated as “bright fame” or “shining glory.”
  • Gender: Robert is almost exclusively a male name, though feminine iterations exist.
  • Origin: Robert originates from the Proto-Germanic word Hrōþiberhtaz.
  • Pronunciation: Robert is pronounced as RAHB-ert.
  • Popularity: Robert is currently the 80th most popular name for a boy in the United States. The surname Roberts is currently the 50th most popular last name in the United States.
  • Nicknames: Bob, Rob, Bobby, Robby.
  • Variations: Rupert, Roberto, Robinson.
  • Namesakes: Robert Pattinson, Robert De Niro, Robert Downey Jr.

What Does Robert Mean?

In English, the name Robert translates to “bright fame” or “shining glory.”

What is the Origin of the Name Robert?

The name Robert originates from the Proto-Germanic word Hrōþiberhtaz, from Hrōþi meaning “fame,” and berhta meaning “bright.”

This word became the name Hrodbert, the earliest Germanic iteration of the name. The moniker was subsequently introduced to the English with the expansion of Norman conquest throughout Europe.

Although it shares the name etymology as the Germanic Hrodbert, the surname Roberts is of Welsh patronymic origin, meaning “son of Robert.”

How Popular is the Name Robert?

The name Robert has been enormously popular throughout Europe for generations. The name was ubiquitous for royalty and noblemen throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, such as Robert the Bruce of Scotland.

Although the popularity of the name has experienced many shifts, it has always remained a prevalent name. The name was, perhaps, at its most popular in the United States between 1920 and 1903.

In 1953, some 86,247 babies were named Robert.

Today, the Social Security Administration calculates the name Robert as the 80th most popular name for a boy (1). The name has experienced a decline in popularity since 2000, when it was the 29th most popular name, but it has not dipped below the 80th, which makes it a very common choice for a boy’s name.

In Europe, the name Robert has been one of the most popular options for boys since the 13th century.

Popularity of Roberts as a Surname

According to data collected by the United States Census, the surname Roberts is the 50th most popular last name as of 2010 (2).

The same data shows a demographic breakdown of the surname Roberts as being:

  • 77.27 percent White (non-Hispanic)
  • 16.72 percent Black (non-Hispanic)
  • 0.61 percent Asian or Pacific Islander
  • 0.85 percent American Indian and Alaskan Native
  • 2.15 percent Two or More Races
  • 2.40 percent Hispanic

How Do I Pronounce Robert?

The name Robert is pronounced RAHB-ert.

Is Robert a Boy or Girl Name?

The name Robert is almost exclusively a name for boys.

There are, however, several feminine variations on the name Robert, such as:

  • Roberta
  • Robbie
  • Bobbie
  • Robyn
  • Robina

Variations of the Name Robert

Some variations on the name Robert are:

  • Hrodebert (Ancient Germanic)
  • Robertas (Lithuanian)
  • Roberto (Spanish, Italian)
  • Robertson (English)
  • Robrecht (Dutch)
  • Rupert (German)

Nicknames for Robert

Being a popular name to begin with, Robert also has many common nicknames. A few examples are:

  • Rob
  • Bob
  • Robby
  • Bobby
  • Ro
  • Bert
  • Robbie

Similar Names for Robert

Some names similar to Robert, either in sound or meaning, are:

Middle Names for Robert

Some popular middle names to go with Robert are:

Sibling Names for Robert

If you name your baby Robert, you’ll want a sibling name that evokes the same sense of classic dignity.

Some name options for Robert’s brother are:

Some name options for Robert’s sister are:

Famous People Named Robert

There are many celebrities that your little one will share a name with if you choose Robert as their title.

  • Robert De Niro: American actor
  • Robert Duval: American actor
  • Robert Downey Jr.: American actor
  • Robert Oppenheimer: American theoretical physicist
  • Robert Altman: American film director
  • Robert “Rob” Kardashian: American television personality
  • Robert Pattinson: British actor
  • Robert Smith: British musician and lead singer of The Cure
  • Robert Louis Stevenson: Scottish novelist, poet, and essayist
  • Robert Plant: Lead singer of the British rock band, Led Zeppelin
  • Robert “Rob” Halford: Lead singer of Judas Priest
  • Robert “Bob” Marley: Jamaican reggae musician, singer, and songwriter
  • Robert Zimmerman: American musician, poet, and songwriter known famously by his pseudonym, Bob Dylan.

Famous People with the Last Name Roberts

In the case of famous people with the last name Roberts, there is no shortage of celebrities to look to for inspiration.

  • Julia Roberts: American actress.
  • Eric Roberts: American actor.
  • Emma Roberts: American actress.
  • John Roberts: American lawyer and current Chief Justice on the United States Supreme Court.
  • Doris Roberts: Television actress known for her role in Everybody Loves Raymond.
  • Bartholomew Roberts: Welsh pirate known by the name “Black Bart.”
  • Margaret Roberts: Maiden name of British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
  • William Leonard Roberts II: Also known as American rap musician Rick Ross.

Robert in Popular Culture

Some instances of the name Robert (or the surname Roberts) in popular culture are:

  • Doctor Robert: Name of a song by the British band The Beatles off their album Revolver.
  • Dread Pirate Roberts: Alterego of the protagonist, Wesley, in Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride.
  • Barbara Millicent Roberts: Given name of the famous doll known as Barbie.
  • Robert Baccalieri Jr.: Also known as “Bobby Bacala,” mobster in the HBO series The Sopranos.
  • Robert “Bobby” Brady: Youngest sibling in the sitcom The Brady Bunch.
  • Robert “Bobby” Simone: Detective in the television series NYPD Blue.
  • Summer Roberts: One of the main characters in the hit FOX television series The O.C.

Robert FAQs

Why is Robert a Good Name?

Robert is a good name because it is classic and timeless. It is often associated with royalty, nobility, and fame, just like the name’s meaning. It is a name that is easy to remember and popular for breaking down into nicknames.

What Is the Nationality of the Name Robert?

The name Robert is of Germanic origin but has an extensive national heritage throughout Europe due to Norman conquest. There are national versions of the name in England, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and more.

The surname Roberts boasts a specifically Welsh nationality, though it has made its way across the pond. For example, actress Julia Roberts and her famous niece Emma Roberts sport this Welsh family name.

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