Title page from 1891 edition of the book Eric, or, Little by Little, whose popularity is credited with increasing the use of the name Eric in Britain
|Name day||May 18
(Sweden & Norway)
|Meaning||one, alone, ruler, prince, powerful, rich|
|Look up Eric, Erik in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
The given name Eric, or Erik, is derived from the Old Norse name Eiríkr (or Eríkr in Eastern Scandinavia due to monophthongization). The first element, ei- is derived either from the older Proto-Norse *aina(z) meaning "one" or "alone" or from Proto-Norse *aiwa(z) meaning "ever" or "eternal". The second element -ríkr derives either from *rík(a)z meaning "ruler" or "prince" (cf. Gothic reiks) or from an even older Proto-Germanic *ríkiaz which meant "powerful" and "rich". The name is thus usually taken to mean "one ruler", "autocrat", "eternal ruler" or "ever powerful," etc.
The most common spelling in Scandinavia is Erik. In Norway, another form of the name (which has kept the Old Norse diphthong) Eirik is also commonly used. In Finland, the form Erkki is also used. The modern Icelandic version is Eiríkur, while the modern Faroese version is Eirikur. Éric [eʁik] is used in French, and in Germany Eric, Erik and Erich are used.
Although the name was in use in Anglo-Saxon England, its use was reinforced by Scandinavian settlers arriving before the Norman Invasion. It was an uncommon name in England until the Middle Ages, when it gained popularity, and finally became a common name in the 19th century. This was partly because of the publishing of the novel Eric, or, Little by Little by Frederick William Farrer in 1858.
Danish royalty 
- Eric II of Denmark, king of Denmark between 1134 and 1137
- Eric III of Denmark, the king of Denmark from 1137 until he abdicated in 1146
- Eric IV of Denmark, king of Denmark from 1241 until his death
- Eric V of Denmark, son of Christopher I
- Eric VI of Denmark, son of Eric V
- Eric of Pomerania, king of the Kalmar union
Norwegian royalty 
- Eric of Pomerania, the hereditary king of Norway
- Eric I of Norway, the second king of Norway
- Eirik II of Norway, the king of Norway from 1280 until 1299
- Eiríkr Hákonarson, earl of Lade, ruler of Norway and earl of Northumbria
- Erik the Red, the son of Þorvaldr Ásvaldsson
Swedish royalty 
- Alrek and Eirík, two legendary kings of Sweden
- Jorund and Eirik, two legendary kings of Sweden
- Erik Björnsson, one of the sons of Björn Ironside
- Erik Refilsson, Swedish king of the House of Munsö
- Eric Anundsson, Swedish king who ruled during the 9th century, may be the same as Erik Weatherhat, a more or less mythical Swedish king
- Eric VI of Sweden, king of the Swedes during the second half of the 10th century
- Eric VII of Sweden, Swedish monarch
- Eric VIII of Sweden, Swedish monarch
- Eric IX of Sweden, Swedish king between 1150 and 1160, called Saint Eric, Eric the Lawgiver, Eric the Saint, or Eric the Holy
- Eric X of Sweden, the King of Sweden between 1208 and 1216
- Eric XI of Sweden, the son of king Erik X of Sweden and Richeza of Denmark
- Eric XII of Sweden, rival King of Sweden and to his father Magnus IV from 1356 to his death in 1359
- Eric XIII of Sweden, Eric of Pomerania
- Eric XIV of Sweden, King of Sweden from 1560 until he was deposed in 1568
Famous people 
- Eric Adjetey Anang, Ghanaian artist
- Eric Bana, Australian television and film actor
- Eric Burdon, English vocalist, songwriter and frontman of The Animals
- Eric Arthur Blair, English author better known under the pen-name George Orwell
- Eric Cantona (French Éric Cantona), a French football player
- Eric Carle children's author
- Eric Church, American country music singer and songwriter
- Eric Clapton English guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter
- Eric Dickerson NFL Hall of Fame Running Back
- Eric Estrada “Ponch”, Actor
- Eric Garber, given name of author Andrew Holleran
- Eric Harris (disambiguation), multiple people
- Erich Hartmann, German WWII fighter ace
- Eric Heiden Olympian and Doctor
- Eric Himelfarb, Canadian ice hockey player
- Erich Honecker, former East German Leader
- Eric Idle, English comedian, actor, author, singer, writer, and comedic composer
- Eric Johnson, American guitarist and recording artist
- Eriq La Salle, American actor and director
- Eric Lindros Dallas Stars, Hockey player
- Erik Palladino, American actor
- Erik Lorig, American NFL football player
- Erich von Manstein, German field marshal
- Erik Mariñelarena, Mexican screenwriter, director and producer
- Eric Nystrom, American hockey player
- Eric Prydz, Swedish disc jockey and producer
- Eric Ripert, celebrity chef and co-owner of the New York restaurant Le Bernardin
- Eric Roberts American actor
- Eric Saade, Swedish singer/songwriter
- Eric Satie, French composer
- Eric Sevareid, American journalist
- Eric Stoltz, American actor, director and producer
- Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google and 136th-richest person in the world in 2011
- Erik Turner, rhythm guitarist of glam metal band Warrant
- Eric Whitacre, composer and conductor
- Eric Wright (disambiguation), multiple people
- Erik Rico, American musician, singer, songwriter, producer, and DJ
- Eric van der Woerdt, Dutch Architect still alive and working in The Netherlands
Fictional characters 
- Erik the Red (comics), fictional character in the Marvel Comics comic book universe
- Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, disfigured genius, created by French writer Gaston Leroux
- Flat Eric, low-tech, yellow puppet character from Levi's commercials for Sta-Prest One Crease Denim Clothing
- Eric Cartman, main character in the TV series South Park
- Eric the Cavalier, a character in the TV series Dungeons & Dragons
- Eric Tiberius Duckman, the title character in the TV series Duckman
- Prince Eric, the love interest of Princess Ariel in the Disney movie, The Little Mermaid
- General Erich Von Klinkerhoffen, the boss of Colonel Kurt Von Strohm and Lieutenant Hubert Gruber in the TV series 'Allo 'Allo!
- Eric Murphy, fictional character on the comedy-drama television series Entourage.
- Eric Northman, the love interest of Sookie Stackhouse in the Southern Vampire Mysteries novels and the TV series True Blood
- Eric Draven, man brutally murdered that comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancée's murder in the movie The Crow
- Eric Thursley, a thirteen-year-old demonologist featured in Terry Pratchett's ninth Discworld novel Eric
- Eric is the name of all the pets of John Cleese's character in the Monty Python's "Fish Licence" sketch
- Eric is one of the twins Sam and Eric in Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- Erik J. Smith, one of the five Guardians from the Norse Bible
- Eric, one of the Princes from the Chronicles of Amber
- Erik Von Darkmoor, fictional character appearing in the novels of Raymond E. Feist
- Erik Lensherr, also known as Magneto in the Marvel Universe.
- Eric Foreman, major character from the TV series House M.D.
- Eric Forman, the main character in That 70s Show.
- Eric Myers, the Quantum Ranger, from Power Rangers Time Force.
See also 
|Look up Eric or Erik in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Entries ÆiríkR, Æi- in Nordiskt runnamnslexikon (2002) by Lena Peterson at the Swedish Institute for Linguistics and Heritage (Institutet för språk och folkminnen).
- Erik - Nordic Names Wiki - Name Origin, Meaning and Statistics. Nordicnames.de. Retrieved on 2013-02-01.
- Entries ÆiríkR, RíkR and -ríkR in Nordiskt runnamnslexikon (2002) by Lena Peterson at the Swedish Institute for Linguistics and Heritage (Institutet för språk och folkminnen).
- In November 2008, there were 20,000 men named Erik in Norway (appr. 0.9% of the male pop.) and 13,000 named Eirik (0.8%). Source: Statistics Norway, http://www.ssb.no/navn/)
- Behind The Name
- Etymology Online
- United States Social Security Database
- Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (GfdS): Beliebteste Vornamen. Gfds.de. Retrieved on 2013-02-01.