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What does Russell mean?

Russell Pronunciation of Russell [rus-sell] as a boys' name is pronounced RUSS-el. It is of Old French origin, and the meaning of Russell is "little red". Also possibly refers to ruddy skin or to reddish hair. Philosopher Bertrand Russell; author Russell Baker; actor Russell Crowe.

Associated with: little, philosopher.


Russell has 3 variants: Roussell, Russ and Russel.

Affiliated boy names: Rousseau, Rufus and Rusty.

Creative forms:
(male) Risell, Rushsell, ..

(female) Rusel, Rusla, ..

Middle name pairings:
Russell Joziah (R.J.), ..

How popular is Russell?

Russell is a very prominent first name for men (#82 out of 1220, Top 7%) and also a very prominent surname for both adults and children (#93 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Demographics)

Russell reached its top position of #51 in the U.S. during 1910-1919, and is currently at #403. (2015 U.S. SSA Records)

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

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

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related boy names. Rusty, Russel, Russ and Rufus are the prominent alternative forms of Russell (#403 a year ago) appearing in the Top 2000. These relations of Russell were at the apex of their popularity in the 1900s (average #910) and have become much less conventional since, with forms like Rusty going out of style.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Russell, Rufus, Russ, Russel, Rusty in U.S.

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

Similar Names

Russell is pronounced similarly to Rossell. Other suggested similar names are Ansell, Askell, Boswell, Buell, Burnell, Burrell, Caswell, Curtell, Durell, Durrell, Euell, Haskell, Mansell, Oswell, Purcell, Rancell, Randell, Ranell, Raynell, Rendell, Rodell, Ronell, Ronnell, Rosse, Rosselin, Rowell, Rudelle (see Rudy), Ruel, Russo, Russton, Rusten, Rydell and Yudell. These names tend to be less commonly used than Russell.

See names
in meaning and etymology.