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Pronunciation /ˈɛrərd/, US: /ɪˈrɑːrd/
French: [ʒeʁaʁ]
Old French: [dʒerɑrd]
Gender male
Word/name Germanic
Meaning spear-hard
Region of origin common in regions where Germanic and/or Romance languages are spoken
Other names
Related names Gérard, Gerardo, Gerd, Gerhard, Gerhardt, Gerhardus, Gerrit, Gerry, Geert, Gert, Gertje, Gherardo, Girard, Guérard, Jerry

Gerard is a male forename of Proto-Germanic origin,[1] variations of which exist in many Germanic and Romance languages. Like many other early Germanic names, it is dithematic, consisting of two meaningful constituents put together. In this case, those constituents are gari > ger- (meaning 'spear') and -hard (meaning 'hard/strong/brave').

Common forms of the name are Gerard (English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch, Polish and Catalan); Gerrard (English, Scottish, Irish); Gerardo (Italian, Portuguese and Spanish); Gherardo (Italian); Gherardi (Northern Italian, now only a surname); Gérard (variant forms Girard and Guérard, now only surnames, French); Gearóid (Irish); Gerhardt and Gerhart/Gerhard/Gerhardus (Afrikaans, Dutch, and German); Gellért (Hungarian); Gerardas (Lithuanian) and Gerards/Ģirts (Latvian); Γεράρδης (Greece). A few abbreviated forms are Gerry and Jerry (English); Gerd (German) and Gert (Afrikaans and Dutch); Gerrit (Afrikaans and Dutch); Gertjie (Afrikaans); Geert (Dutch) and Жоро[citation needed] (Bulgarian).

The introduction of the name 'Gerard' into the English language took place following the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Its original forms in Old French were “Gerard, Gerart” [dʒeʁɑʁ] and “Girart”.[1]

Patronymic surnames derived from a form of Gerard include Garrard, Garritsen, Gerard, Geertsen, Gerardet, Gerardi, Gerdes, Gerrard, Gerretsen, Gerrits(e), Gerritsen, Ghiraldi, and Giraud.

The name Gerald, while phonetically similar to Gerard, derives from a slightly different set of constituents: ger and wald (meaning 'rule/lead').

First name[edit]

Gerard is a common name; for a complete list see All pages beginning with "Gerard". Some better known people named Gerard include:

Theater and film
Visual arts
  • Gerard Conlon (1954–2014), wrongfully imprisoned Northern Irishman, subject of "In the Name of the Father,"
  • Gerard John Schaefer (1946–1995), American serial killer
Medieval rulers

Last name[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Origins of our names". Liverpool Echo. 28 November 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2013.