Gender Masculine
Pronounced Pron. PEE-tər(English)
PEH-tər(Dutch, Danish, Slovene)

Meaning & History

Derived from Greek Πέτρος (Petros) meaning "stone". This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament of the name Cephas, meaning "stone" in Aramaic, which was given to the apostle Simon by Jesus (compare Matthew 16:18 and John 1:42). Simon Peter was the most prominent of the apostles during Jesus' ministry and is often considered the first pope.

Due to the renown of the apostle, this name became common throughout the Christian world (in various spellings). In England the Normans introduced it in the Old French form Piers, which was gradually replaced by the spelling Peter starting in the 15th century [1].

Besides the apostle, other saints by this name include the 11th-century reformer Saint Peter Damian and the 13th-century preacher Saint Peter Martyr. It was also borne by rulers of Aragon, Portugal, and Russia, including the Russian tsar Peter the Great (1672-1725), who defeated Sweden in the Great Northern War. Famous fictional bearers include Peter Rabbit from Beatrix Potter's children's books, and Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up in J. M. Barrie's 1904 play.

Related Names

VariantsPiers(English (British)) Petrus, Pieter, Pier(Dutch) Peder(Danish) Peder, Petter(Swedish) Peder, Petter(Norwegian)
DiminutivesPete(English) Piet(Dutch) Peer, Per(Danish) Pär, Pehr, Pelle, Per(Swedish) Peer, Per(Norwegian)
Feminine FormsPetra, Petrina(English) Peta(English (Australian)) Petra(German) Petra(Dutch) Petra(Swedish) Petra(Slovene) Petra(Slovak)
Other Languages & CulturesPjetër(Albanian) Botros, Boutros, Butrus(Arabic) Bedros, Petros(Armenian) Peru, Petri, Peio(Basque) Piotr(Belarusian) Petros(Biblical Greek) Petrus(Biblical Latin) Per, Perig, Pierrick(Breton) Petar, Pencho, Penko(Bulgarian) Pere(Catalan) Botros, Boutros, Butrus(Coptic) Petru(Corsican) Petar, Pejo, Perica, Pero(Croatian) Petr, Péťa, Peťa, Petřík(Czech) Petro(Esperanto) Peeter(Estonian) Petur(Faroese) Petri, Petteri, Pietari, Peetu, Pekka(Finnish) Pierre, Pierrick(French) Pitter(Frisian) Petre(Georgian) Petros(Greek) Bitrus(Hausa) Pika(Hawaiian) Péter, Peti(Hungarian) Pétur(Icelandic) Peadar, Piaras(Irish) Pietro, Pier, Pierino, Piero(Italian) Pēteris(Latvian) Pitter, Pit(Limburgish) Petras(Lithuanian) Petar, Petre, Pece, Pero(Macedonian) Petera(Maori) Piers(Medieval French) Petruccio(Medieval Italian) Pièrre(Norman) Pèire(Occitan) Piotr(Polish) Pedro, Pedrinho(Portuguese) Petre, Petru, Petrică, Petruț(Romanian) Pyotr, Petia, Petya(Russian) Pedru(Sardinian) Peadar(Scottish) Petar, Pejo, Perica, Pero(Serbian) Pedro(Spanish) Petro(Ukrainian) Pedr(Welsh)
Surname DescendantsPetersen(Danish) Peeters, Peter, Peters(Dutch) Peter, Peters, Peterson(English) Peter, Peters(German) Petersen(Norwegian) Petersson(Swedish)
Same SpellingPéter


Icon depicting Saint PeterIcon depicting Saint Peter

People think this name is

classic   mature   formal   natural   wholesome   strong   refined   simple   serious   nerdy  

Name Days

Germany: June 29
Slovakia: June 29
Sweden: June 29


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Sources & References

  1. Withycombe, Elizabeth Gidley. The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names. Oxford, 1945, page 108.

Entry updated April 25, 2021