What does Peter mean?
Peter /pe-ter/ [2 sylls.] 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.
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)
Presented below is the birth name popularity of Peter for boys. Peter reached its apex rank of #37 in the U.S. in the 1880s, and is at #204 currently. (Top 1000 Birth Names Records, 2014)
Below is a graphed comparison of the popularity of Peter and associated names. Pedro (#354 in 2014), Pierce (#470), Pierre, Pietro, Pete, Per and Pernell are the popular variation forms of Peter (#204 in 2014). Adoption of these boy names reached its apex during 1900-1909 (usage of 0.4231%) and is now significantly less (usage 0.2465%, ▼41.7%), with the versions Pedro, Pete and Pierre becoming less fashionable. Pierce (#470) is the most fashionable name for newborns among these, with this name going through a rebound in popularity. (Top 1000 Birth Names Records, 2014)