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Meaning & History

From the Greek name Γεωργιος (Georgios) which was derived from the Greek word γεωργος (georgos) meaning "farmer, earthworker", itself derived from the elements γη (ge) "earth" and εργον (ergon) "work". Saint George was a 3rd-century Roman soldier from Palestine who was martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian. Later legends describe his defeat of a dragon, with which he was often depicted in medieval art.

Initially Saint George was primarily revered by Eastern Christians, but returning crusaders brought stories of him to Western Europe and he became the patron of England, Portugal, Catalonia and Aragon. The name was rarely used in England until the German-born George I came to the British throne in the 18th century. Five subsequent British kings have borne the name.

Other famous bearers include two kings of Greece, the composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), the first president of the United States, George Washington (1732-1797), and the Pacific explorer George Vancouver (1757-1798). This was also the pen name of authors George Eliot (1819-1880) and George Orwell (1903-1950), real names Mary Anne Evans and Eric Arthur Blair respectively.
VariantGheorghe Romanian
DiminutivesGeordie, Georgie English Ghiță Romanian
Feminine FormsGeorgeanna, Georgene, Georgia, Georgiana, Georgina, Jorja, Georgie, Gina English Georgeta, Georgiana Romanian
Other Languages & CulturesGjergj Albanian Georgios, Georgius Ancient Greek Gevorg, Kevork Armenian Gorka Basque Georgi, Genko, Geno Bulgarian Jordi Catalan Jory Cornish Đuro, Juraj, Đurađ, Jure, Jurica, Juro Croatian Jiří Czech Georg, Jørgen, Jørg, Jørn Danish Joeri, Joris, Jurgen, Jurriaan, Sjors Dutch Georgo Esperanto Georg Estonian Jyri, Yrjänä, Jyrki, Yrjö Finnish Georges French Joris Frisian Xurxo Galician Giorgi, Iuri, Goga, Gogi Georgian Georg, Jockel, Jörg German Georgios, Giorgos, Yiorgos, Yorgos Greek György, Gyuri Hungarian Georg Icelandic Seoirse Irish Giorgio, Gino, Giorgino Italian Georgijs, Georgs, Juris Latvian Jurgis Lithuanian Jürgen Low German Gjorgji, Gorgi Macedonian Geevarghese, Varghese Malayalam Jurian Medieval Low German Yrian Medieval Scandinavian Georg, Gøran, Jørgen, Ørjan, Jørg, Jørn Norwegian Jerzy, Jurek Polish Jorge, Jorginho Portuguese Georgiy, Georgy, Yuri, Yuriy, Yegor, Yura Russian Deòrsa, Seòras Scottish Djordje, Djuro, Đorđe, Đuro, Djuradj, Đurađ Serbian Juraj Slovak Jurij, Jure, Jurica Slovene Jurij Sorbian Jorge Spanish Georg, Göran, Jörgen, Örjan, Jöran Swedish Yuri, Yuriy, Yura Ukrainian Siôr, Siors, Siorus Welsh

Images

Icon depicting Saint George and the dragonIcon depicting Saint George and the dragon

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Entry updated May 31, 2018   Contribute