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PronouncedPron.ER-ik English
E-rik German
E-reek Spanish

Meaning & History

From the Old Norse name Eiríkr, derived from the elements ei "ever, always" and ríkr "ruler". A notable bearer was Eiríkr inn Rauda (Eric the Red in English), a 10th-century navigator and explorer who discovered Greenland. This was also the name of several early kings of Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

This common Norse name was first brought to England by Danish settlers during the Anglo-Saxon period. It was not popular in England in the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century, in part due to the children's novel 'Eric, or Little by Little' (1858) by Frederic William Farrar.
VariantsAric, Erick, Erik English Erik Swedish Erich, Erik German
Feminine FormsErica, Ericka, Erika, Erykah English Erica, Erika Swedish
Other Languages & CulturesEiríkr Ancient Scandinavian Èric Catalan Erik Croatian Erik Czech Erik, Jerrik Danish Erik Dutch Eerik, Eerikki, Eero, Erik, Erkki Finnish Éric French Erik Hungarian Eiríkur Icelandic Erikas Lithuanian Erik Medieval Scandinavian Eirik, Erik Norwegian Eryk Polish Érico Portuguese Erik Slovak Erik Slovene
Same SpellingÉric, Èric


17th-century depiction of Eric the Red17th-century depiction of Eric the Red


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Entry updated December 8, 2017   Contribute