Arthur: Baby Name Meaning, Origin and Popularity

By Cris Rizk •  Updated: 06/09/23

Choosing the perfect baby name can be a daunting task for expectant parents. With the multitude of names and their meanings, it’s essential to find one that resonates with your family’s heritage and character. Arthur, a classic and timeless name, has been popular throughout different cultures and periods and is worth considering for your little one.

The name Arthur has a rich history and carries with it an intriguing blend of legend, royalty, and courage. This baby name’s meaning and origin hold significant weight, making it a strong contender among parents searching for a name with both historical and modern appeal. Even today, Arthur continues to be favored by many, ranking high in popularity.

In the following article, we will explore the meaning, origin, and popularity of the delightful baby name, Arthur. By delving into its fascinating background, we aim to provide prospective parents with valuable insights to make an informed decision when choosing their baby’s name.

The Meaning of Arthur

Arthur is a classic baby name with deep historical roots. Its meaning and origin have been widely debated by scholars and enthusiasts alike, but it’s generally believed that the name has Celtic roots. One theory suggests that Arthur is derived from the Welsh words arth (meaning “bear”) and uir (meaning “man”).

In addition to the Welsh origins, there are also some links to the Roman name Artorius, which could be another possible source. Though the meaning of this Roman name is uncertain, it could be connected to the Latin word “artus,” meaning “joint or limb.”

As a popular name throughout history, it’s not surprising that Arthur has many variations in different languages and cultures, such as:

When considering similar names with similar meanings, some suggestions include:

Some famous people bearing the name Arthur include:

In literature and legend, the name Arthur is most notably linked to King Arthur of Camelot, the legendary British ruler appearing in various medieval romances and folklore stories.

For those searching for sibling names that pair well with Arthur, some suggestions are:

With its intricate etymology and time-honored history, Arthur is a name that remains popular to this day. Its connections to royalty, legendary figures, notable authors, and great athletes only add to its appeal. An enduring classic, choosing the name Arthur for a baby is to bestow a name with strength, character, and timeless charm.

Origins of the Name Arthur

The name Arthur has a rich history that dates back centuries. It is believed to have originated from the Celtic language, specifically the word artos, which means “bear.” Additionally, some scholars argue that the name Arthur could be derived from the Latin name Artorius. Yet another theory suggests that it stems from the Welsh words arth (bear) and uir (man), indicating “bear-man.”

Regardless of its true origin, the name Arthur gained significant popularity through its association with the legendary British King Arthur, the central figure in Arthurian legends and folklore. This association has made the name Arthur synonymous with strength, nobility, and valor.

Across various cultures, the name Arthur has several variations and translations. Some of these include:

The name Arthur shares similarities with other bear-related names such as Orso, Bernard, and Bjorn. It might also be chosen as a sibling name for Guinevere, Morgana, or Lancelot, all names with an Arthurian connection.

There are numerous famous individuals who bear the name Arthur. Some notable examples include:

According to the Social Security Administration, Arthur ranked as the 230th most popular baby name in 2020 in the United States. The name’s popularity in England and Wales is higher, ranking 32nd in 2019, as per data from the Office for National Statistics.

Popularity RankingUnited StatesEngland and Wales
Recent Year (2020 or 2019)230th32nd

In conclusion, the name Arthur has a vibrant history with a variety of possible origins and cultural variations. Its strong association with the legendary King Arthur continues to drive its popularity, making it a timeless choice for parents looking for a classic name with a rich backstory.

Historical Figures Named Arthur

The name Arthur has been borne by many noteworthy individuals throughout history, including kings, writers, and military leaders. This classic name has gained lasting recognition and popularity thanks to the legendary King Arthur, the mythical British leader who led his knights in the defense against Saxon invaders. The name, in various forms, has also made its mark in other cultures and languages.

King Arthur is undoubtedly the most famous historical figure associated with the name. He is known for his legendary kingdom of Camelot and his Knights of the Round Table, including Sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad. King Arthur’s legendary sword, Excalibur, is said to possess mythical powers and is an enduring symbol of justice and heroism.

This timeless name has crossed cultures, gaining recognition in both the French and Spanish languages, among others. The French variation of Arthur is Artur, while the Spanish version is Arturo. Other languages that have adopted the name include Polish, Russian, and Welsh.

Notable figures in the world of literature also bear the name Arthur. Arthur Conan Doyle was the creator of the world-renowned detective, Sherlock Holmes. His vivid imagination and gripping storytelling captivated readers for generations.

Similarly, the name Arthur is linked with legendary musicians such as Arthur “Art” Tatum, an influential jazz pianist, and Arthur “Art” Garfunkel, an American singer, poet, and actor best known for his partnership with Paul Simon.

These historical figures showcase the prominence of the name Arthur:

Suggested sibling names for Arthur could include Ariadne, Elinor, Matilda, or Theodore. Some similar names related to Arthur are:

With such a wide array of famous figures and cultural adaptations of the name, it’s clear that Arthur has an enduring legacy in a range of fields and societies.

Popularity of the Baby Name Arthur

The baby name Arthur has seen varying levels of popularity over the years. Though it’s steeped in history and mythology, the name has both risen and fallen in the rankings. In recent years, however, there has been a resurgence in the name’s popularity.

According to data from the Social Security Administration (SSA), Arthur ranked 162 among male baby names in the United States in 2020. While not high on the list, the name has been experiencing a steady climb since the 2000s. Here’s a brief breakdown of its position over the past two decades:


This surge in popularity across the years reveals a renewed interest in classic, timeless names. In 2018, the birth of Britain’s Prince Louis Arthur Charles also sparked a trend for royal-themed names, including Arthur.

Within other cultures and languages, variations of the name Arthur can also be seen:

The name Arthur has connections with biblical and historical figures, too. Famous people named Arthur include:

For parents considering the name Arthur, they may also take an interest in similar baby names or those that pair well with it as sibling names. Some options include:

Though the baby name Arthur isn’t currently topping the charts, its rich history and cultural significance have proven it capable of standing the test of time. With its gradual rise in popularity since the early 2000s, it should come as no surprise if this classic name continues gaining traction for years to come.

Famous Arthurs in Pop Culture

Taking a closer look at the name Arthur, it’s easy to see its impact on popular culture. From esteemed historical figures to beloved characters in literature and film, numerous Arthurs left an indelible mark on the world.

One of the most well-known Arthurs in history is King Arthur, the legendary British leader, who’s been immortalized in countless tales and legends. Often depicted as a brave and noble ruler, King Arthur’s story has been adapted in various forms of media, including the iconic musical, Camelot and T.H. White’s classic novel, The Once and Future King.

Many famous Arthurs can be found in literature as well. In literature, Arthur Conan Doyle is highly regarded as the creator of the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Another Arthur who made significant contributions to literature is Arthur Miller, an esteemed playwright known for works such as Death of a Salesman and The Crucible.

Film and television have also given us their share of notable Arthurs. For instance, Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli entertained audiences in the classic TV series Happy Days. Moreover, fans of the cult sci-fi classic movie, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, will immediately recognize Arthur Dent as the story’s befuddled yet endearing protagonist.

In other languages and cultures, the name Arthur has different variations:

Similar names, such as the biblical name Artaxerxes, also evoke the essence of Arthur.

Suggested sibling names for someone named Arthur include:

Here are a few famous people named Arthur:

In conclusion, the name Arthur has made its mark across various aspects of popular culture, from literature and film to real-life historical and public figures, proving the lasting significance and popularity of this timeless name.

Conclusion: Considering the Name Arthur

Delving into the details of the baby name Arthur, it becomes evident that this classic and sophisticated name has a lot going for it. With intriguing historical connections, notable persons, and associated meanings, there’s plenty to consider when pondering about this distinguished name for a child.

Arthur has a rich background, steeped in the tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. As a name with Celtic and possibly Latin origins, Arthur means “bear” or “bear king.” It is widely recognized across different languages and cultures, such as Artur in Portuguese or Arturo in Spanish, lending the name a global appeal.

Parents searching for a name with a strong historical legacy may find Arthur particularly appealing. Countless famous, inspirational people share this name, including:

Families considering the name Arthur might also want to consider similar names or names with biblical origins, such as:

When it comes to selecting sibling names, pairing Arthur with names that share its elegance and classic charm could work well. Some suggestions include:

In summary, Arthur is a timeless name with a rich history and notable namesakes. It’s a classic choice that exudes sophistication and strength, making it a worthy option for parents to consider for their child. With its versatile variations and natural pairings with sibling names, Arthur stands as an endearing choice for any family.

Cris Rizk

Hey there! I'm Cris, a proud mom who recently went through the rollercoaster of finding the perfect name for my newborn. It was such a challenging experience that I decided to create!

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