Peter name popularity

Peter name popularity DEFAULT

Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby NamePeter

The name Peter is ultimately derived from the Greek word “pétros” meaning ‘stone, rock.’ The name is borne in the New Testament by one of Christ’s apostles, a fisherman and brother of Andrew (another disciple). Originally called Simon, he was given the nickname Peter or ‘rock’ by Jesus himself (Pétros in Greek and Cephas in Aramaic), and is therefore often referred to as Simon-Peter. In Matthew 16:17-18, Jesus says explicitly “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah!...And I tell you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.” Clearly, Jesus played favorites and Peter was his main man. Not only Is Peter considered the founder of the Christian Church (the rock upon which it was built), but he is also regarded as the first pope in Roman Catholic tradition since Jesus gave Peter “the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” In fact, it is Saint Peter that Christians expect to meet at the pearly gates of heaven one day. The name Peter has enjoyed enduring popularity since the Middle Ages throughout Europe. Some familiar forms of the name Peter include Pedro in Spanish, Pietro in Italian and Pierre in French.

All About the Baby Name – Peter



The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.



Peter has been a long time favorite boy’s name in the United States. For over 100 years, the name has averaged on the Top 50 list of most-commonly used boy names. It wasn’t until the last 20 years that Peter started to display signs of fatigue on the charts. The stability and constancy it once enjoyed is waning for now. Peter is a time tested name of endurance so we don’t expect it to go very far down the charts. It’s a risk-free choice as a boy’s name and you’d be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t at least like this name. What’s not to like? The name’s only perceived weakness might be its commonness against the current trend of using other lesser known Biblical names (Ethan, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Levi, and Josiah). Peter seems crushingly plain against these more exotic choices. However, we will say this. Peter transcends all trends, and you might not be able to say the same for those other names. Peter is strong as a ‘rock’ so we weren’t surprised that the name is associated with the number One in numerology.

Quick Facts










Cultural References to the Baby Name – Peter

Literary Characters


Peter Pan is the immortal “forever-boy” creation of Scottish writer J.M. Barrie. His main appearance was in the 1904 play, Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up. Since then he has made his indelible mark on our hearts through countless books, cartoons, stage adaptations, movies, toys, etc. By turns selfishly cocky and generously helpful, Peter is a link between the vagaries of childhood and the necessarily more stable environs of adulthood. He appeals to our sense of imagination, magic and everlasting fun, while at the same time he “warns” us of the fleeting nature of life itself and the need to accept the responsibilities that come with it.

Peter is the oldest of the four Pevensie children who find their way into the magical kingdom of Narnia, in C. S. Lewis’ timeless The Chronicles of Narnia, first introduced in the 1950’s, most notably in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Becoming wartime wards of Professor Kirke, the children (led by Lucy) find their way into the Kingdom of Narnia through the wardrobe door. Peter is an upright young boy who always tries to do the right and brave thing, even when he is in doubt about the veracity of his sister Lucy’s account of the new world she has encountered. Once in Narnia himself, Peter adapts immediately and deports himself responsibly and courageously throughout all their fantastic adventures, eventually becoming High King Peter the Magnificent, and fearlessly battling the forces of evil.

Peter Rabbit is the delightfully humanized hero of the many Beatrix Potter stories, first appearing in 1902 in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Along with his sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail, Peter lives in a people-like-furnished rabbit hole and has various adventures, such as sneaking into Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden and availing himself of the bounty. Mischievous but well-meaning, Peter has been beloved of children and parents alike for over 100 years, and has been the inspiration for innumerable stories, TV series, movies, toys, dolls and artifacts.

Peter Keating is the antithesis of the hero, Howard Roark, in the Ayn Rand 1943 bestseller, The Fountainhead. Facile and quick, he is able to succeed based not upon his devotion to artistic principle, but on his ability to deliver what pleases others. Indeed, these attributes earn him success, a prestigious partnership, a socially prominent wife, and – you guessed it – a membership in the “I Sold Out Club”. Needless to say, he reaps the rewards of his folly and falls ignominiously from grace. (Nice ride while it lasted, though.)

Wendy Darling is the oldest of the three Darling children in J. M. Barrie’s well-known, oft performed and beloved 1904 play, “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”, as well as his 1911 novel, “Peter Pan and Wendy”. Wendy and her two younger brothers, John and Michael, live in London, where they are visited by the boy who never grew up, Peter Pan. Peter teaches them how to fly and leads them all across the night sky to Never Land. Wendy is a conventional, good little Edwardian girl who honors her parents and loves her little brothers, but she has an unfulfilled wish never to grow up, to remain a girl forever. Who better to befriend her than Peter, the forever boy? Peter introduces the Darling children to all the frights and delights of Never Land, and hopes to keep them (especially Wendy) there with him. Ironically, it is Wendy who finds her path to natural adulthood through these adventures, discovering that while it is to be cherished, childhood is also to be left behind in the natural order of things. Wendy mothers the Lost Boys of Never Land, and tends to them with loving care. It is obvious that she also harbors an innocent love for Peter. Ultimately, however, Wendy realizes the inevitability of maturing, growing and accepting responsibility, all the while maintaining a vestige of the magical powers of childhood. With a mixture of reluctance and anticipation, Wendy decides to return with her brothers to reality, to embrace what is to come but never to forget what has been.

Childrens Books


Noah's Ark by Peter Spier( - This multiple award winning children's book tells the biblical Noah's Ark story mainly by way of detail-packed, colorful illustrations. It's been called a "triumph." Recommended for ages 2-6.

Popular Songs


Where To Now St. Peter?
a song by Elton John

The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead
a song by XTC

Peter's Denial
a song from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar

Peter Piper
a song by Run DMC

Peter Gunn
a guitar version by Jimi Hendrix

Peter Bazooka
a song by The Dead Milkmen

My Friend Peter
a song by Alkaline Trio [explicit]

In search of Peter Pan
a song by Kate Bush

Black Peter
a song by the The Grateful Dead

Famous People


Peter Cetera (musician)
Peter Coyote (actor)
Peter Falk (actor)
Peter Fonda (actor)
Peter Frampton (musician)
Peter Gabriel (musician)
Peter Gallagher (actor)
Peter Jennings (newscaster)
Peter O'Toole (actor)
Peter Stastny (hockey player)
Peter Thomson (golfer)
Peter Abrahams (novelist)
Peter Arnett (journalist)
Peter Benchley (author)
Peter “Pete” Rose (baseball player)
Peter the Great (Russian Tsar)

Children of Famous People


We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Peter

Historic Figures


Born Pyotr Alekseyevich in Moscow, Russia, Peter was the fourteenth child of Tsar Alexis by his second wife, Natalya. Peter inherited the sovereignty along with his older half-brother Ivan from Alexis’ first marriage. Since Peter was only 10 years old, his mother served as regent. When Ivan died in 1696, Peter was officially declared Sovereign of all Russia. Now, in the late 17th century, Russia was not exactly a superpower. Peter inherited a nation that was extremely underdeveloped compared to the culturally and economically prosperous European countries. While the Renaissance and the Reformation swept through Europe, Russia rejected westernization and remained isolated from modernization. Peter would change all that. During his reign, the far-sighted Peter implemented extensive social, economic and military reforms for the purpose of establishing Russia as a great nation. He modernized the church, the schools, scientific advancement. He massively modernized Russia’s army and navy. He also localized government, expanded the Empire and gained access to the Black Sea. In the end, this brilliant (if autocratic and temperamental) leader managed to establish Russia as a major European power and his city, St. Petersburg, was considered a “window to Europe.”


Line Chart Peter

Determined • Good-Humored • Careful


Determined • Good-Humored • Careful

Peter has been used in the United States ever since 1880, with over 582689 boys given the name in the past 200 years. Peter gained the most popularity as a baby name in 1912, when it's usage went up by 128.87%. During this year, 1679 babies were named Peter, which was 0.1757% of the baby boys born in the USA that year. The most the names popularity ever grew to was 0.28%, in this year alone more than 12000 boys were named Peter.

Boys names starting with 'P'

Listed below are the 20 most commonly used baby names begining with P. These boys names are ordered by their overall popularity of recently named babies in the United states. Also listed is their their rank compared to other 'P' names, their over all rank among all boy names, the total number of baby boys expected to be given this name in 2021, and the total percentage of boys given this name.

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Unfairly Dated Names: Peter

Unfairly Dated Names are a subset of Spotlight Names most people don’t consider old-enough to recycle. Most of these names peaked around 15-60 years ago and are often typecast as parent and grandparent names. But their timeless and sometimes modern attributes make them stylish stand-outs for modern children. At one point these names were ahead of the trends, and likely will be again.

Unfairly Dated Name: Peter

Who was your favorite Brady? Peter was my favorite Brady. Greg and Bobby weren’t nearly as cute. Peter aged better than his brothers. Yes I had a crush on Peter Brady.

Let’s get something out-of-the-way. At 13 I wasn’t crushing on the then 30-something actor Christopher Knight who portrayed Peter Brady. I was crushing on the fictional Peter Brady in syndication. Yes, I know Peter Brady never aged, but Christopher Knight aged. I can only assume Peter Brady would have aged like Christopher Knight. Ahem. Now on to Peter, the name.

Peter is charming. Peter is a non-religious Biblical name that after years of common use has lost most of its Biblical connection. The diminutive Pete embodies quaint masculinity just like other classic diminutives, Jake and Hank. Peter is everyman.

Like its counterparts John, Paul, and Mark, Peter blends into the background, overlooked by most contemporary parents. For this very reason, Peter is unlike names of the moment. For those who want a different, yet classic name, this makes Peter a treasure.

Last year, Peter ranked at #197, its lowest rank ever, and has been steadily declining since its peak in the upper 30s / low 40s over half a century ago. Interestingly, Peter never really hit a dramatic peak, but rather just started to decline over the past three decades.

Before the 1980s, Peter was consistently popular, never reaching the top 30, but barely leaving the top 60* until 1987. (1880 is the first year data is available.) These numbers suggest Peter is a consistent performer with staying power.

Like George, Peter has become a part of our cultural lexicon. There is the nursery rhyme, “Peter, Peter pumpkin eater”. There is the exclamation, “For Pete’s sake!” The name is also a children’s book staple, appearing on Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit and J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.

Considering Peter’s solid history, Peter’s meaning is fitting, derived from “petros”, Greek for “stone” or “rock”. In the New Testament, Peter is a translation of “Cephas” meaning “stone” in Aramaic. Cephas was the name Jesus had given Saint Peter, who was originally named Simon. Besides the Apostle, Peter was the name of a couple of other Saints and Russian tsar, Peter the Great.

Like other ancient names such as John and Elizabeth, Peter has several forms, in several languages. These foreign variations may hold more appeal to the modern parent.

There is the Greek Petros; the Latin Petrus or the Basque Petri (for those who can overlook the petri dish association). There is also, of course, the French Pierre, which is exotic, yet familiar to most Americans. There is a feminine form, Petra, also the name of an ancient city.

Peter is very similar to the now stylish Porter, an occupational surname revival name. Peter still ranked higher than Porter last year, which ranked at #450 but while Peter is gradually trending down, Porter is trending up. Porter’s usage history is a lot more dramatic than Peter’s. Porter peaked over a century ago just outside the top 200s, declined to its lowest point mid-century (outside the top 1000) and is positioned to reclaim, possibly surpass, its former popularity.

Peter has a similar sound to Porter, but has a less volatile usage history, its recent decline notwithstanding. While Peter is not an occupational surname, it shares the -er ending found in many other fashionable occupational surnames, such as Carter, Fletcher, and Miller. Peter is the perfect unfairly dated name because it’s trend-proof and also happens to be more unique than it has ever been – usage-wise. These qualities make Peter a great choice in 2012, a pleasant surprise on a newborn boy.

The only legitimate drawback, in my opinion is the unflattering slang connotation for Peter, but I still feel that term isn’t nearly as unfortunate as that nickname for Richard. Anyone concerned about suggestive slang, can use the diminutive Pete on its own. Some days I actually prefer Pete as a given name as a fresher alternative to Jack.

*Note: Peter was at #62 in 1904 & 1905 and #61 in 1934.

Readers: Which form of Peter do you like the best?

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Probability Comparison: How Common Is Your Name?


Peter is derived from the Greek Petros, meaning “rock” or “stone.” One of the most important figures in the Christian hagiography is Saint Peter, keeper of the Gates of Heaven. Born Simon bar Jonah, he was given the nickname Peter by Jesus, to signify that he would be the rock on which Christ would build Christianity. Centuries later, there was Peter the Great, the czar who developed Russia as a major European power.

For generations, there have been pleasant childhood associations with this classic New Testament name, what with Peter Rabbit, Peter Pan, et al. But as user-friendly as this makes the name, it has a solid, traditional side as well.

Never as widely used as some of the more traditional Anglo-Saxon stalwarts, Peter retains an enduring appeal to parents seeking a less-used classic, with those nice childhood associations. Peter also has some interesting derivatives: The Brits like Piers; the Irish, Pierce and Pearse; the Italians, Piero and Pietro; the Spanish, Pedro; the French, Pierre; and the Dutch, Piet.

One potential problem: in some parts of the world, "peter" can be a slang term for "penis".


Name popularity peter

What is the meaning of the name Peter?

The name Peter is primarily a male name of Greek origin that means Rock.

In the Bible, Peter was an apostle of Christ.

Famous Peters include Peter Jennings, newscaster. Peter Sellers, actor/comedian. Pete Wentz, musician. Peter Dinklage, actor. Peter Gabriel, singer/songwriter. Peter Krause, actor.

Peter Pan, children's storybook character who didn't want to grow up.

People who like the name Peter also like:

Henry, Benjamin, Oliver, Theodore, Thomas, William, Jacob, Violet, Charlotte, Amelia, Alice, Eleanor, Genevieve, Elizabeth

Names that sound like Peter:

Pedro, Petra, Phaedra, Pietro, Piotr, Potter, Pyotr

Stats for the Name Peter

Songs about Peter

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God, Saint Peter and the Guardian Angel - Carter USM


Hey, St. Peter - Flash and the Pan


Introduction (Peter And The Wolf) - "Weird Al" Yankovic


My Friend Peter - Alkaline Trio


Peter And The Wolf - "Weird Al" Yankovic


Peter Gunn - Henry Mancini, Art of Noise, Duane Eddy, Jimi Hendrix, Emerson, Lake and Palmer


Peter Lorre - The World/Inferno Friendship Society


Peter Pan - Patty Griffin


Peter Pan - Terry Kitchen


Peter Piper - Run DMC


The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead - XTC


Victory Over Peter Bones - Reel Big Fish

Probability Comparison: How Common Is Your Name?

Peter Name Popularity

Charts | Table | About | By Year

How popular is Peter?

In 2018 the somewhat popular name Peter, ranked the 211th Most Popular Boys Name in the United States.

Presently one of the top 250 most popular, Peter has been a top 250 placer since the Social Security Administration began keeping records in 1880.

Position 31, its highest popularity RANKING, was reached in 1880.

But, the greatest number of babies were given the name in 1957 with 11,592 occurrences.

In any year, the least number of babies named Peter was 343 in 1901.

Peter, decisively moved upwards in popularity around the years 1905-1916, 1933-1942, 1944-1947, and 1949-1956, whereas unequivocal downward movement occurred about 1959-1962, 1968-1973, 1989-1992, 1995-2001, and 2004-2009.

The popularity trend for Peter has been moving downward for a while. Of late however, the number of parents selecting the name Peter for their newborn has remained about the same.

What does the future hold for the popularity of Peter?

Peter's popularity is at a very low point when measured against its most notable year.

The name Peter is favored by many parents and has recently started to plateu at its present level but may also begin to make a more decisive move up or down.

*Mouse over the charts or scroll down to the table for data details.

Mouse over or Click for Percentages.
  Peter (Girl)Peter (Boy)
Year%No. of Babies Given NamePopul. RankNo. of Babies Given NamePopul. Rank
2018 < 5 -- 1,812211
2017 < 5 -- 1,791213
2016 < 5 -- 1,921207
2015 < 5 -- 1,933205
2014 < 5 -- 1,919204
2013 < 5 -- 1,851206
2012 < 5 -- 1,865204
2011 < 5 -- 1,837197
2010 < 5 -- 1,932193
2009 < 5 -- 2,008190
2008 < 5 -- 2,185181
2007 < 5 -- 2,336177
2003 < 5 -- 2,803146
2002 < 5 -- 2,868134
2001 < 5 -- 2,948133
1999 < 5 -- 3,435105
1998 < 5 -- 3,387111
1910 < 5 -- 63156
1909 < 5 -- 53956
1908 < 5 -- 54253
1907 < 5 -- 47361
1905 < 5 -- 40962
1904 < 5 -- 39562
1903 < 5 -- 37258
1902 < 5 -- 43351
1901 < 5 -- 34357
1900 < 5 -- 44358
1898 < 5 -- 40954
1897 < 5 -- 39751
1896 < 5 -- 40252
1895 < 5 -- 41253
1894 < 5 -- 39155
1893 < 5 -- 39254
1892 < 5 -- 46545
1891 < 5 -- 39645
1890 < 5 -- 41045
1889 < 5 -- 42545
1888 < 5 -- 49841
1886 < 5 -- 43742
1885 < 5 -- 51633
1884 < 5 -- 52434
1883 < 5 -- 45036
1882 < 5 -- 46136
1881 < 5 -- 42837
1880 < 5 -- 49631

Now discussing:




“Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater.” Everyone knows him from the nursery rhyme, but there’s more to Peter than just his love for gourds. Historically, Simon Peter was the most important apostle to Jesus, who gave him the name Peter, which comes from the Greek “petros” (rock), to signify Peter’s role as the dependable one who would help Jesus grow Christianity; as a result, his name became well-known to Christians everywhere. Other Peters who have brought fame to this solid, traditional name are Peter Rabbit, Peter Pan and Peter Dinklage of “Game of Thrones.”


Famous Peters

Wondering who else shares this name? Check out these well known people who made this baby name famous.

  • Peter

    Princess Anne and Mark Philips

  • Peter Benchley


  • Peter Criss


  • Peter Facinelli


  • Peter Gabriel


  • Peter Jackson


  • Peter Jennings

    TV Anchor

  • Peter Mark Roget


  • Peter Max


  • Peter Sellers


  • Peter Thiel


  • Peter Tosh


Popularity Trend Chart

Roll over the visual for detailed rankings by year.

Source: Social Security Administration

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