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Roger de Llúria.jpg
Pronunciation/ˈrɒər, ˈrər/[1]
Derivationhrōd + gār, gēr
Meaning"fame", "renown" + "spear", "lance" literally - "famous spear"
Other names
Variant form(s)Rodger, Rüdiger, Rutger
See alsoRobert, Rudolph, Rodney, Roderick

Roger is a given name, usually masculine, 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", "honour") and gār, gēr ("spear", "lance") (Hrōþigēraz). 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 that is closer to the name's origin is Rodger.[4]

Slang and other uses[edit]

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.[citation needed]

From c. 1650 up to c. 1870, Roger was slang for the word "penis".[5][6][7] In Under Milk Wood, Dylan Thomas writes "jolly, rodgered" suggesting both the sexual double entendre and the pirate term "Jolly Roger".[8]

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

From circa 1940 in US and UK wartime communication, "Roger" came to represent "R" when spelling out a word. "R" is the first letter in "received", used to acknowledge understanding a message. This spread to civilian usage as "ROGER" replaced "received" in spoken usage in air traffic radio parlance by 1950.[citation needed]

Current British slang includes the word as a verb to mean sexual intercourse, i.e., "took her home and Rogered her."


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


Given name[edit]

Medieval period[edit]

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

Kings and rulers[edit]


Modern era[edit]


Fictional characters[edit]


  • Roger (kangaroo), Australian kangaroo with an extraordinary 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. ^ Slang usage meaning penis from c. 1650 to c. 1870 – Online Etymology Dictionary
  6. ^ Vulgar slang usage meaning to have sexual intercourse (mainly by men) – Oxford Dictionary
  7. ^ wikt:roger
  8. ^ 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{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  9. ^ Sherard, Robert (1897). The White Slaves of England.