Valerie (given name)

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Pronunciation /ˈvæləri/ VAL-ə-ree
Gender Female
Word/name Latin nomen Valerius
Meaning Strong, brave (valiant) "Fierce "
Region of origin French, English, Irish, Scottish, Dutch, German, Scandinavian
Other names
Related names Valery, Val

Valerie is almost always a feminine given name in English, derived directly from the French Valérie (a female-only name). Valerie is also used as a nickname for Valeria. Both are often shortened to Val. Valéry or Valery is a masculine given name in parts of Europe (particularly in France and Russia), as well as a common surname in Francophone countries. Another, much rarer, French masculine form can be Valėre.

Both feminine and masculine forms have derivatives in many European languages, and are especially common in Russian and other Eastern European languages. However the masculine form is not always a cognate of the feminine: it can have a distinct etymology.

Variant forms[edit]



The name is generally of Romance origins. The Latin clan name, Valerius, is masculine and denotes strength, health or boldness. Valeria is simply the feminine form of this. Both masculine and feminine given names are derived via French into other languages.

In Catholic Europe, given names always related the individual to a saint, so the popularity of a name often reflected the importance of the cult of a saint. There were several important saints who bore the name and were widely venerated in the Middle Ages, as well as more locally in recent times. St Valerie of Limoges (French Sainte Valérie de Limoges) probably exercised the greatest influence in spreading the name. Her cult was practised on the very important Way of St James and, as a cephalophore, she became a favourite subject for the early modern ceramics industry.

The majority of the variant spellings are of recent, mainly 20th century, origin, with fashions often following the forms adopted in popular songs.


The modern masculine given name Valéry is ambiguous. While generally a cognate of Valérie, it can also be development of, or synonym for, the name Walaric(us) (English Walric), which is of Germanic origin and signifies “foreign power”. A notable example is Walric, abbot of Leuconay. Both “Saint-ValEry” [valri] and “Saint-ValÉry” [valeri] are common elements in French place-names, often used optionally for the same place. The second form is a modern misspelling for ‘Saint-Valery’, that is to say St Walric.

List of people with the given name Valerie[edit]



Fictional characters[edit]


List of people with the given name Valérie[edit]

See also[edit]