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For other uses, see Roger (disambiguation).
Family name
Rogers family coat of arms.svg
Pronunciation /ˈrɒər/
Meaning Famous with the spear
Region of origin England
Related names Rodgers, Rogerson

Roger is an English male given name and surname, from the Anglo-Norman French Roger, Rogier, which is itself derived from Germanic words (hroth, hruod and ger) meaning respectively "fame" and "spear". In Anglo-Saxon sources the name is first recorded, in the Dark Age epic poem Beowulf, as Hroðgar ("glorious spear-bearer").

The name is also found in the Netherlands in the form Rutger, and in German as Rüdiger. The Latin form, as used by a few medieval figures, is Rogerius. A Welsh variation is the family name Rosser.[1]


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.[2][3][4] 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.[5]

The name "Hodge" is a corruption of Roger in England, where it was used as a colloquial term by townsfolk, implying a rustic.[6]

In "Under Milk Wood", Dylan Thomas writes "jolly, rodgered" suggesting both "Jolly Roger", the pirate flag, and the slang for "penis". [7]


The following forenames are related to the English forename Roger:


Only name[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

Given name[edit]


Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Internet Surname Database: Rosser
  2. ^ Slang usage meaning penis from c.1650 to c.1870 - information from the Online Etymology Dictionary.
  3. ^ Vulgar slang usage meaning to have sexual intercourse (mainly by men) - Oxford Dictionary
  4. ^ wiktionary:roger
  5. ^ Sherard, Robert (1897). The White Slaves of England. 
  6. ^ Book of the British Countryside. London: Drive Publications. 1973. p. 366. 
  7. ^ Under Milk Wood. The Definitive Edition. Dylan Thomas. Edited by Walford Davies and Ralph Maud. Last explanatory note referred to page 3, (p. 3), of the original text. Phoenix, an imprint of The Orion Publishing Group. p. 66.