What does Ruth mean?
Ruth \r(u)-th\ as a girls' name is pronounced rooth. It is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Ruth is "friend, companion". Biblical: Ruth was the young Moabite widow of Mahlon who said to his Hebrew mother Naomi, "Where you go, there I shall go also; your people will be my people, your God, my God". Her sentiments appealed to Victorian poets, and the name has been popular since the 17th century. Actresses Ruth Gordon, Ruth Buzzi; author Ruth Rendell.
Ruth is a very prominent first name for females (#19 out of 4276, Top 1%) and also a very prominent surname for both adults and children (#2150 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is the baby name popularity of Ruth for girls. Ruth reached its highest rank of #5 in the U.S. during 1910-1919, and is at #315 currently. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Prominent varying forms of Ruth (#315 a year ago) listed in the Top 1000 are Ruthann, Ruthe and Ruthie. Usage of these girl names reached its most widespread during 1940-1949 (usage of 0.5033%) and has become much less since (usage 0.1713%, down 66%), with the forms Ruth, Ruthann, Ruthe and Ruthie becoming less stylish. Shown below is a comparison of the popularity of Ruth and affiliated names. (2014 Birth Statistics)