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, FRED-rik

Meaning & History

English form of a Germanic name meaning "peaceful ruler", derived from frid "peace" and ric "ruler, power". This name has long been common in continental Germanic-speaking regions, being borne by rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, and Prussia. Notables among these rulers include the 12th-century Holy Roman emperor and crusader Frederick I Barbarossa, the 13th-century emperor and patron of the arts Frederick II, and the 18th-century Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great.

The Normans brought the name to England in the 11th century but it quickly died out. It was reintroduced by the German House of Hanover when they inherited the British throne in the 18th century. A famous bearer was Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), an American ex-slave who became a leading advocate of abolition.
VariantsFredric, Fredrick
DiminutivesFred, Freddie, Freddy
Feminine FormsFrederica, Rica
Other Languages & CulturesFriduric Ancient Germanic Bedřich Czech Frederik Danish Frederik, Fred, Freek, Frits, Rik Dutch Priidik, Priit Estonian Fredrik, Veeti Finnish Frédéric, Fred French Fedde Frisian Friedrich, Fiete, Fred, Fritz German Frigyes Hungarian Friðrik Icelandic Federico, Federigo, Fredo Italian Fricis, Frīdrihs Latvian Fredrik Norwegian Fryderyk Polish Frederico, Fred Portuguese Friderik Slovene Federico Spanish Fredrik Swedish


Frederick I Barbarossa from a manuscript (1188)Frederick I Barbarossa from a manuscript (1188)


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Entry updated May 31, 2018   Contribute