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Scriptsרוּת Ancient Hebrew
PronouncedPron.ROOTH English
ROOT German

Meaning & History

From a Hebrew name which was derived from the Hebrew word רְעוּת (re'ut) meaning "friend". This is the name of the central character in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament. She was a Moabite woman who accompanied her mother-in-law Naomi back to Bethlehem after Ruth's husband died. There she met and married Boaz. She was an ancestor of King David.

As a Christian name, Ruth has been in use since the Protestant Reformation. It became very popular in America following the birth of "Baby" Ruth Cleveland (1891-1904), the daughter of President Grover Cleveland.
VariantsRut Swedish Rut Spanish
DiminutiveRuthie English
Other Languages & CulturesRouth Biblical Greek Rut Biblical Hebrew Ruut Finnish Reut, Rut Hebrew Rut Icelandic Rūta Lithuanian Ruta Polish Rute Portuguese Ruf Russian
Same SpellingRuth (2)


Ruth in Boaz's Field by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1828)Ruth in Boaz's Field by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1828)


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Entry updated December 8, 2017   Contribute