Meaning and name origin
Percival \p(e)-rci-val, per-cival\ as a boy's name is of Old French origin, and the meaning of Percival is "pierce the vale". Invented by a medieval poet in the 12th century for one of King Arthur's knights. His virtue was so great that he alone could retrieve the elusive Holy Grail, the chalice from Christ's Last Supper. Wagner's opera Parsifal is based on this knight's tale.
Percival is not a popular first name for males but a very popular surname or last name for all people (#11325 out of 88799, Top 13%) (2000 U.S. Census).
Displayed below is the baby name popularity of the name Percival for boys. Percival reached its highest rank of #837 in the U.S. in 1880-1889. (2014 statistics).
Displayed below is a comparison of the popularity of the boy name Percival and its variant forms. Popular variation forms ranked in the Top 1000/100 are Percy and Percival. (2014 statistics).