Robert Name Meaning

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What Does Robert Mean? 

Robert is an old German name that means “bright fame.” It’s taken from the old German name Hrodebert. The name is made up of two elements: “Hrod” which means fame and “Beraht” which means bright. The name was introduced to the people of England by the Normans in the middle ages.

Robert has been one of the most common names used for boys in Europe since the 13th century. It is also a common last name in many cultures. The nicknames Rob and Robby are more commonly used by people who are named Robert.

  • Origin: The name Robert has ancient German origins and is a very common English name.
  • Gender: Robert is generally used as a boy name.
  • Pronunciation: Raw-BehRT

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular Is the Name Robert? 

Between 1924 and 1939, Robert was the most popular name for boys in the United States. It hasn’t achieved such peak popularity since then, but it still remains a very common name in the United States.

Robert was a name frequently given to royalty and noblemen in Europe in the middle ages. This is thought to contribute to its widespread popularity in the United States and across Europe today. The name connotes royalty and nobility in several cultures. 

According to Social Security Administration data from 2020, Robert is the 80th most popular name for boys in the United States. It used to be amongst the top 50 most popular names but has fallen in ranking. It does, however, remain one of the top 100 most popular names for boys in the United States today.

In 1953 a whopping 86,247 babies were given the name Robert, and this was the peak of its use in the United States. The use of the name has since dwindled. In 2020, only about 4,000 babies were named Robert.

Name Variations 

Robert has many name variants derived from cultures all across the world. Some of the most common include: 

  • Hrodebert (Ancient Germanic) 
  • Hrodpreht (Ancient Germanic) 
  • Roberto (Italian)
  • Robertson (English) 
  • Robrecht (Dutch) 
  • Roopertti (Finnish) 
  • Ruprecht (German)
  • Rupert (German)

There are also several feminine variations to the name. The most popular include: 

  • Robbie (English) 
  • Roberta (English) 
  • Roberte (French) 
  • Robina (English) 
  • Robyn (English) 

Similar Names

If you like the name Robert but are looking for other names that have a similar feel to it, consider the following:

  • Alexander 
  • Benjamin 
  • Henry
  • Matthew
  • Michael
  • Ronald
  • Ryan
  • William

Common Nicknames

There are a wealth of nickname options that can be derived from the name Robert:

  • Bob 
  • Bobbie 
  • Bobby
  • Rob
  • Robbie 
  • Robby 
  • Robin 

Suggested Sibling Names

Names that pair well with Robert include:

  • Alexis
  • Benjamin
  • Elizabeth
  • Emma
  • Jacob
  • John
  • Sarah
  • William

Famous People Named Robert   

Robert is a distinguished name that has been borne by many famous people over the last century. It was given to kings, dukes, and other noblemen all across Europe including England, France, and Spain—most popularly Robert the Bruce of Scotland who spearheaded Scotland’s independence from England in the 14th century. Even today several military leaders, presidents, prime ministers, and religious figures have been given the name Robert.

Other famous people who also have the name Robert include: 

  • Robert Bourdon, American musician and member of the rock band Linkin Park 
  • Robert De Niro, American actor, director, and producer 
  • Robert Downey Jr, American actor most popularly known for his role in "Ironman" and other Marvel Universe movies 
  • Robert F. Kennedy, American politician and the brother of former President John F. Kennedy
  • Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia from 2012 to 2018 
  • Robert Halford, English singer, and songwriter and lead vocalist in the heavy metal band "Judas Priest"
  • Robert Pattinson, British actor known best for his role in the "Twilight" series
  • Robert Plant, musician and lead singer of the band Led Zepellin 
  • Robert Taylor, American actor 

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options: 

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2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Ancestry.com. Robert family history & name meaning.

  2. Social Security Administration. Popularity of name. Updated 2021.