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For other uses, see Gerard (disambiguation).
Pronunciation /ˈɛrərd/, US /ˈrɑːrd/, Old French: [dʒeʁɑʁ]
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 Gerhar(d)t, Geert, Gérard, Guérard, Gerhardus, Girard, Gerardo, Gertje, Gerrit, Jerry/Gerry, Жоро.

Gerard (/ˈɛrərd/ or US /ˈrɑːrd/; Old French: [dʒerɑrd]) is a male forename of Old 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]

The surname Ge(e)rdes is a patronymic form, i.e. "the son of Ger(har)d", that originated in Frisia around 1800.

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]

Actors and artists
Religious leaders
Scholars and writers
  • Gerard Van Helden (1848–1901), Detective Superintendent in the Birmingham City Police

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.