Ernest meaning, boyErnest

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Meaning and Name Origin

Ernest \e-rne-st, er-nest\ 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.


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

Ernest has 2 feminine forms: Erna and Ernestine.


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 (#5500 out of 88799, Top 6%). (2000 U.S. Census)

Displayed below is the birth name popularity of Ernest for boys. Ernest reached its top rank of #24 in the U.S. during 1890-1899, and is presently at #880. (2014 Birth Statistics)

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Ernest name in U.S.

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

Displayed below is a comparison of the usage of the boy name Ernest and related names. Popular varying forms of Ernest (#880 the previous year) listed in the Top 1000 are Earnest, Ernesto (#651 the previous year), Ernie and Ernst. These boy names reached the peak of their popularity during the years 1940-1949 and have become significantly less widespread since, with the forms Earnest, Ernest, Ernie and Ernst becoming less stylish. Ernesto (#651) is the most chic baby name among these. (2014 Birth Statistics)

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Earnest, Ernest, Ernesto, Ernie, Ernst in U.S.

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

Similar Names

A suggested similar baby name is Ermes. This name tends to be less commonly used than Ernest.