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Pronunciation/ˈrɒər, ˈrər/[1]
Language(s)Germanic, Celtic
Derivationhrōd + gār, gēr
Meaning"fame", "renown" + "spear", "lance"
Other names
Variant form(s)Rodger

Roger is a masculine given name and a surname. The given name is derived from the Old French personal names Roger and Rogier. These names are of Germanic origin, derived from the elements hrōd, χrōþi ("fame", "renown") and gār, gēr ("spear", "lance"). The name was introduced into England by the Normans.[2] In Normandy, the Frankish name had been reinforced by the Old Norse cognate Hróðgeirr.[3] The name introduced into England replaced the Old English cognate Hroðgar. Roger became a very common given name during the Middle Ages. A variant form of the given name Roger is Rodger.[4] The surname Roger is sometimes an Anglicised form of the Gaelic surname Mac Ruaidhrí.[5]


Roger is also a short version of the term "Jolly Roger", which refers to a black flag with a 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.[6][7][8] Subsequently, "to roger" became a slang verb form meaning "to have sex with", "to penetrate".

In 19th century England, Roger was slang for the cloud of toxic green gas that swept through the chlorine bleach factories periodically.[9]

The name "Hodge" is a corruption of Roger in England, where it was used as a colloquial term by townsfolk, implying a rustic.[10]

In Under Milk Wood, Dylan Thomas writes "jolly, rodgered" suggesting both "Jolly Roger", the pirate flag, and the slang for "penis".[11]


The following forenames are related to the English given name Roger:


Given name[edit]

Medieval period[edit]

See also All pages beginning with Roger de, All pages beginning with Roger of and All pages beginning with Roger van for people with these names

Modern era[edit]


Fictional characters[edit]


  • Roger (kangaroo) - Australian kangaroo with an extraordinary buff physique aka "Ripped Roger" (circa 2006 - 2018)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jones (1986) p. 427.
  2. ^ Hanks (2006); Hanks; Hardcastle; Hodges (2006) p. 233.
  3. ^ Hanks (2006).
  4. ^ Hanks; Hardcastle; Hodges (2006) p. 233.
  5. ^ Hanks (2006).
  6. ^ Slang usage meaning penis from c. 1650 to c. 1870 - information from the Online Etymology Dictionary.
  7. ^ Vulgar slang usage meaning to have sexual intercourse (mainly by men) - Oxford Dictionary
  8. ^ wiktionary:roger
  9. ^ Sherard, Robert (1897). The White Slaves of England.
  10. ^ Book of the British Countryside. London: Drive Publications. 1973. p. 366.
  11. ^ Thomas, Dylan. Walford Davies; Ralph Maud, eds. Under Milk Wood (The Definitive ed.). Phoenix, an imprint of The Orion Publishing Group. p. 66. Last explanatory note referred to page 3, (p. 3), of the original text