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What does Percival mean?

Percival Pronunciation of Percival as a boys' 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.


ASSOCIATED WITH medieval, king, great, tale (literary)


VARIANTS Parsafal, Parsefal, Parsifal, Perce, Perceval, Percevall, Percey, Percivall, Percy, Purcell



Percival Shepard (P.S.), ..

How popular is Percival?

Percival is a rare first name for males but a very popular surname for both adults and children (#9475 out of 150436, Top 6%). (2000 U.S. CENSUS)

Percival reached its highest rank of #808 in the U.S. in the 1880s, but is not in the Top 1000 currently. (2018 BIRTH STATISTICS)

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

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

Which version is better?

The only other prominent varying form of Percival ranked in the Top 2000 is Percy. Adoption of these relations of Percival was more pronounced among parents a century ago (AVERAGE #561), but now, the version Percy has become less in vogue.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Percival, Percy in U.S.

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

Similar Names

Recommended sound-alike names are Bernal, Deval, Feisal, Fergal, Meical, Norval, Orval, Pascal, Paschal, Pascual, Peal, Percie, Perdido, Perkin, Perkins, Perl, Pernell, Perrie, Perrin, Poriel, Terryal and Vernal. These names tend to be more commonly used than Percival.

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in meaning and etymology.