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What does Paul mean?

Paul Pronunciation of Paul [paul] as a boys' name is pronounced pahl. It is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Paul is "small". Popular Roman and medieval name used commonly since the 18th century. Biblical: the apostle evangelist. Paul's letters to early Christians form the majority of the books of the New Testament. The name is also borne by Sir Paul McCartney and the pope who headed Vatican II. Artists Paul CÚzanne, Paul Gauguin; actors Paul Newman, Paul Bettany; Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere; musician Paul Simon; hockey player Pavel Bure.

Associated with: small (little), popular (famous), roman, medieval, 18th century, books (literary), war, hero.


Paul has 26 variants: Havel, Paavo, Pablo, Pal, Paolo, Pasha, Pauel, Pauli, Paulie, Paulin, Paulino, Paulinus, Paulo, Paulos, Paulsen, Paulson, Paulus, Pauly, Pavel, Pavle, Pavlik, Pavlo, Pawel, Pol, Poll and Poul.

Related boy names: Paley, Pollard and Powell.

2 feminine forms: Paula and Paulina.

Creative forms:
(male) Moul, Pale, ..

(female) Pala, Palo, ..

Middle name pairings:
Paul Reid (P.R.), ..

How popular is Paul?

Paul is a very prominent first name for males (#13 out of 1220, Top 1%) and also a very prominent last name for all people (#401 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)

Paul reached its apex position of #14 in the U.S. during the years 1930-1939, and is at #200 currently. (Top Baby Names, 2015)

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

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

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related boy names. Pablo (#393 from recent data), Powell, Pavel, Paulo and Paolo are the popular alternative forms of Paul (#200 from recent data). Usage of these forms of Paul was widespread among parents during the years 1960-1969 (adoption of 1.28%) and has become significantly less since (adoption 0.15%, down 88%).

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Paul, Pablo, Paolo, Paulo, Pavel, Powell in U.S.

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

Similar Names

Paul is pronounced similarly to Pall, Peal, Peale, Peall, Pealle, Peel, Peele, Pell and Powel. Other suggested similar names are Gamul (see Gamal), Jul, Pace, Paco, Page, Pain, Pali, Par, Parr, Pat, Pats, Paz, Pazel, Perl, Phil, Pius, Raoul, Raul, Roul, Saul and Shaul. These names tend to be less frequently used than Paul.

See names
in meaning and etymology.