What does Ruth mean?
Ruth /ruth/ 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.
(female) Reth, Rith, ..
(male) Ruthio, Ruton, ..
How popular is Ruth?
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. Demographics)
Shown below is the baby name history of Ruth for girls. Ruth reached its highest rank of #5 in the U.S. in the 1910s, and is at #315 currently. (2014 U.S. SSA Records)
Prominent varying forms of Ruth (#315 a year ago) listed in the Top 2000 are Raisa, Ruthann, Ruthe and Ruthie (#1875 a year ago). Usage of these forms of Ruth was well-received during 1910-1919 (average #1096) and has become much diminished since (#1638, ▼98%), with forms like Ruthie becoming less stylish.