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What does Peter mean?

Peter Pronunciation of Peter [pe-ter] as a boys' name is pronounced PEE-ter. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Peter is "rock". Variant of Petros. Biblical: one of the 12 apostles, Peter the fisherman was impulsive and had strong faith. Jesus said of him, "Upon this Rock I will build my church". In Catholic tradition, the first pope. The play "Peter Pan" has made the name popular. See also Pernell. Artists Piero della Francesca, Peter Paul Rubens; Russian emperor Peter the Great; actors Peter O'Toole, Peter Krause; Peter Rabbit; film directors Peter Jackson, Peter Bogdanovich; tennis player Pete Sampras.

Associated with: greek, rock, biblical, strong, play (literary), popular (famous), emperor (king), great.


Peter has 21 variants: Boutros, Par, Peder, Pedro, Pekka, Per, Petar, Pete, Peterson, Petr, Petre, Petros, Petrov, Pierce, Piero, Pierre, Piet, Pieter, Pietro, Piotr and Pyotr.

Affiliated boy names: Cephas, Ferris, Parkins, Pekelo, Perkin and Piers.

6 feminine forms: Patches, Pernella, Perri, Perrin, Petra and Pierette.

Creative forms:
(male) Paiter, Pater, ..

(female) Peper, Peteri, ..

Middle name pairings:
Peter Massiah (P.M.), ..

How popular is Peter?

Peter is a very prominent first name for males (#43 out of 1220, Top 3%) and also a very prominent last name for all people (#3758 out of 150436, Top 2%). (2000 U.S. Census)

Peter reached its apex rank of #37 in the U.S. in the 1880s, and is at #206 currently. (Top 2000 Names, 2015)

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

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

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related boy names. Pedro (#367 in 2015), Pierce (#466), Pierre (#1124), Pietro, Pernell, Ferris, Per, Cephas and Pete are the popular variation forms of Peter (#206 in 2015). Adoption of these relations of Peter was common in the 1950s (usage of 0.6%) and is now significantly less (usage 0.2%, 67%), with versions like Pete falling out of fashion. Peter has historically been popular among parents, although Pierce appears to be getting popular too.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Peter, Cephas, Ferris, Pedro, Pernell in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Pete, Pierce, Pierre, Pietro in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Peter, Per outside U.S.

Similar Names

Peter is alike in pronunciation to Potter. Other recommended names are Alter, Deker, Dexter, Dieter, Fester, Heber, Heder, Keder, Keer, Kester, Lester, Lexer, Meier, Meyer, Neper, Nester, Nezer, Paten, Peel, Peer, Peleh, Pepe, Pepper, Perez, Petuel, Piper, Porter, Seger, Teger, Vester, Weber and Xever. These names tend to be less frequently used than Peter.

See names
in meaning and etymology.