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What does Hugh mean?

Hugh Pronunciation of Hugh as a boys' name is pronounced hew. It is of Old French and Old German origin, and the meaning of Hugh is "soul, mind, intellect". From Hugues, an Old French name of Germanic origin, derived from hug. Popular in the Middle Ages, especially among the aristocracy of medieval France, and the name of numerous saints. In Gaelic, Hugh is sometimes used as a translation of Aodh, Eoghan and Uisdean. Film director Hugh Hudson; "Playboy" founder Hugh Hefner; American Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black; actors Hugh Grant, Hugh Beaumont, Hugh Jackman; football player Hugh Douglas. Also form of Hubert.


ASSOCIATED WITH soul (life), old, popular (famous), medieval, saints, gaelic, justice, black (dark)


VARIANTS Hew, Hewe, Hewie, Huey, Huges, Hughes, Hughie, Hugo, Hugues, Huw, Shug, Shuggie, Ugo, Ugolin





Hugh Evander (H.E.), ..

How popular is Hugh?

Hugh is a very prominent first name for males (#254 out of 1220, Top 21%) and also a very prominent last name for all people (#19376 out of 150436, Top 13%). (2000 U.S. DEMOGRAPHICS)

Hugh entered the list in 1880-1889 and reached its top rank of #74 in the U.S. then, and is currently at #806. (TOP 2000 NAMES, 2018)

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

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

Which version is better?

Popular alternative forms of Hugh (#806 THE PREVIOUS YEAR) are Hugo (#422), Eoghan, Hubert, Huey, Hughes and Hughie. These forms of Hugh were at the height of their popularity a century ago (AVERAGE #894) and are now much less widespread (#1604, DOWN 84%), with forms such as Hugh becoming somewhat dated. Hugo is more universally found than the rest.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Hugh, Hubert, Huey, Hughes, Hughie, Hugo in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Hugh, Eoghan, Hugo outside U.S.

Similar Names

Hugh is pronounced similarly to Hai, Hi, Hough, How, Howe and Hy. Other recommended sound-alike names are Burgh, Hube, Hume, Hump, Humph (see Humphrey), Hunt, Huon and Lugh. These names tend to be less commonly used than Hugh.

See names
in meaning and etymology.