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What does Ernest mean?

Ernest Pronunciation of Ernest [ernest] as a boys' name is pronounced ERN-ist. It is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Ernest is "serious business; battle to the death". From the word eornost. Literary: Oscar Wilde's comedy "The Importance of Being Earnest" makes the name Earnest a key feature of the plot. The name however is only distantly related with the English word. Author Ernest Hemingway; actor Ernest Borgnine; entertainer Ernie Kovacs.

Associated with: battle (war), literary.


Ernest has 9 variants: Earnest, Ern, Ernestine, Ernesto, Ernestus, Erneszt, Ernie, Erno and Ernst.

2 feminine forms: Erna and Ernestine.

Creative forms:
(male) Erest, Ernett, ..

(female) Ernel, ..

Middle name pairings:
Ernest Jayden (E.J.), ..

How popular is Ernest?

Ernest is a very prominent first name for males (#86 out of 1220, Top 7%) and also a very prominent last name for both adults and children (#6640 out of 150436, Top 4%). (2000 U.S. Demographics)

Ernest reached its top rank of #24 in the U.S. in the 1890s, and is presently at #956. (2015 U.S. SSA Records)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Ernest name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Ernest outside U.S.

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related boy names. Popular varying forms of Ernest (#956 from current records) listed in the Top 2000 are Earnest, Ernesto (#641 from current records), Ernie and Ernst. These relations of Ernest reached the peak of their popularity during the years 1890-1899 (usage of 0.8%) and have become significantly less conventional since, with forms like Ernest becoming less stylish.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Ernest, Earnest, Ernesto, Ernie, Ernst in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Ernest and related baby names outside U.S.

Similar Names

Suggested similar names are Arnet, Arnett, Eames, Ebert, Ebner, Ecbert (see Egbert), Edbert, Egbert, Eilert, Einer, Elbert, Emmet, Emmett, Enea, Eneas, Enis, Enne, Enneas, Enneis, Enneiss (see Aeneas), Ennes, Ennis, Enos, Enosh, Eraste, Erberto (see Herbert), Erek, Erez, Erhart, Erie, Erle, Erlend, Ermes, Ernan, Ernin, Eros, Erve, Estes, Everest, Evert, Ewert, Forest, Forrest, Frost, Krist, Ornet and West. These names tend to be less commonly used than Ernest.

See names
in meaning and etymology.