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Gender male
Meaning famous with the spear

Roger (sometimes spelled Rodger) is primarily a common first name of Catalan, English and French usage, ("Rogier", "Rutger" in Dutch) from the Germanic elements hrod (fame) and ger (spear) meaning "famous with the spear." The Latin form of the name is Rogerius, as used by a few medieval figures.

The name Roger was transmitted to England by the Normans after the Norman Conquest along with other names such as William, Robert, Richard, and Hugh. It replaced its Anglo-Saxon cognate, Hroðgar. The variant Rosser comes from a Welsh derivation of the Old Norse Rhosier meaning “renown for his sword” (or spear) and first introduced to Wales via the Norman Invasion.[1]

Radio phraseology[edit]

"Roger" means "I have received all of the last transmission" in both military and civilian aviation radio communications. This usage comes from the initial R of received: R was called Roger in the radio alphabets or spelling alphabets in use by the military at the time of the invention of the radio, such as the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet and RAF phonetic alphabet. It is also often shortened in writing to "rgr". The word Romeo is used for "R", rather than "Roger" in the modern international NATO phonetic alphabet.

Contrary to popular belief, Roger does not mean or imply both "received" and "I will comply." That distinction goes to the contraction wilco (from, "will comply"), which is used exclusively if the speaker intends to say "received and will comply." Thus, the phrase "Roger Wilco" is both procedurally incorrect and redundant.[2]


Roger is also a short version of the term "Jolly Roger", which refers to a black flag with white skull and crossbones, formerly used by sea pirates since as early as 1723.

From c.1650 to c.1870, Roger was slang for the word "penis", probably due to the origin of the name involving fame with a spear.[3][4][5] Subsequently, "to roger" became a slang verb form meaning "to have sex with/ to penetrate", often particularly referring to anal sex.

In 19th century England, Roger was slang for the cloud of toxic green gas that swept through the chlorine bleach factories periodically.[6]

The name "Hodge" is a corruption of Roger in England, where it was used as a colloquial term by townsfolk, implying a rustic.[7]


The following forenames are related to the English forename Roger:


Only name[edit]

First name[edit]

Last name[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rosser - Welsh for Roger
  2. ^ ACP 125(F), Communication Instructions Radiotelephone Procedure, Combined Communication Electronics Board (published 5 September 2001), September 2001, pp. 3–14, retrieved 2012-02-20 
  3. ^ Slang usage meaning penis from c.1650 to c.1870 - information from the Online Etymology Dictionary.
  4. ^ Vulgar slang usage meaning to have sexual intercourse (mainly by men) - Oxford Dictionary
  5. ^ wiktionary:roger
  6. ^ Sherard, Robert (1897). The White Slaves of England. 
  7. ^ Book of the British Countryside. London: Drive Publications. 1973. p. 366.