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What does Ralph mean?

Ralph Pronunciation of Ralph [ralph] as a boys' name is pronounced ralf, rafe. It is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Ralph is "wolf counsel". The wolf is an animal with a reputation for being crafty. Rolf is a German form. Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson; consumer activist Ralph Nader; actors Ralph Fiennes, Ralph Macchio.

Associated with: old english, wolf, counsel, crafty (intelligent).


Ralph has 7 variants: Rafe, Raff, Ralf, Raoul, Raul, Rolf and Rolph.

3 more different relations via Rolf: Rolfe, Rolle and Rollo.

2 feminine forms: Ralphina and Raoule.

Creative forms:
(male) Raldy, Raph, ..

(female) Ralae, Ralta, ..

Middle name pairings:
Ralph Jahlil (R.J.), ..

How popular is Ralph?

Ralph is a very prominent first name for men (#62 out of 1220, Top 5%) and also a very prominent last name for all people (#4106 out of 150436, Top 3%). (2000 U.S. Census)

Ralph reached its peak position of #21 in the U.S. during the years 1910-1919, and is currently at #1075. (2015 Birth Statistics)

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

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

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related boy names. Raul (#442 via latest list), Rafe (#1811), Rollo, Raoul and Rolf are the popular varying forms of Ralph (#1075 via latest list) rated in the Top 2000. These forms of Ralph were favored as birth names a century ago (average #1081) and have become much less popular since (#1554, 94% less usage), with the form Ralph falling out of fashion.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Ralph, Rafe, Raoul, Raul, Rolf, Rollo in U.S.

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

Similar Names

Ralph is pronounced similarly to Rolphe. Other suggested similar names are Dolph, Rajah and Ralegh (see Raleigh). These names tend to be less commonly used than Ralph.

See names
in meaning and etymology.