George (given name)

George (/ˈd͡ʒɔːɹd͡ʒ/ in English or /d͡ʒe̯ord͡ʒe/ in Romanian) is a masculine given name, of English and Romanian origin, derived from the Greek Geōrgios (Γεώργιος; Ancient Greek: [geɔ́ːrgios] Modern Greek: [ʝeˈorʝios]).[1][2] The name gained popularity due to its association with the Christian martyr, Saint George (died 23 April 303), a member of the Praetorian Guard who was sentenced to death for his refusal to renounce Christianity, and prior to that, it might have been a theophoric name, with origins in Zeus Georgos, an early title of the Greek god Zeus.[3][4] Today, it is among one of the most commonly used names in the Western world, though its religious significance has waned among modern populations. Its diminutives are Geordie and Georgie, with first limited primarily to residents of England and Scotland, and its feminine forms, used in the Anglosphere, are Georgeanna, Georgeanne, Georgene, Georgia, Georgiana, and Georgina.

American actor George Clooney
PronunciationEnglish: /ˈd͡ʒɔːɹd͡ʒ/ or JAWRJ
Romanian: /d͡ʒe̯ord͡ʒe/ or JYOR-jeh
Name dayApril 23
Region of originAncient Greece
Other names
Related namesAyub, Georges, Georgios, Georgius, Gheorghe, Giorgio, Göran, György, Jerzy, Job, Jorge, Joris, Jörg, Jörgen, Jørgen, Jørn, Jüri, Jurgis, Jurģis, Jürgen, Jurij, Juris, Örjan, Ørjan, Sjors, Yegor, Yrjö, Jyrki, Yuri/Yury


Etymology and origins

Its original Greek form, Georgios, is based on the Greek word georgos (γεωργός), meaning farmer. The word georgos itself is ultimately a combination of two Greek words, ge (γῆ), meaning earth, soil, and ergon (ἔργον), meaning work. Aelius Herodianus (fl. 2nd century CE), a Roman-era Greek grammarian and writer, determined Georgios to be a theophoric name, or a name created to honor of deity, a nod to Zeus Georgos, or "Zeus the Farmer" in English. In the early stages of Greek mythology, before Zeus took on a major role in the Greek pantheon as ruler of all the gods and goddesses, he was sacrificed to as an agricultural god, a patron of crops and harvests.[5] The name took on religious significance to followers of Early Christianity in 303 with the supposed martyrdom of Georgios, a Roman soldier of Greek heritage. While the story's historical accuracy is subject to debate, his character took on real importance to the Christian Church, with Georgios and its variants being used as baptismal names and by religious officials and Christian monarchs, though it did not become common among the laity until after the Middle Ages.


In other languages

Feminine forms

People with the given name

Late antiquity to early medieval

High to late medieval

Renaissance to modern

See: All pages with titles beginning with George

See also


  1. Campbell, Mike. "Meaning, origin and history of the name George". Behind the Name. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  2. γεωργ-ός, γεωργ-έω in Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  3. Jan N. Bremmer, Andrew Erskine, The Gods of Ancient Greece: Identities and Transformations, p. 104, Edinburgh University Press, 2010
  4. Michael York, Pagan Theology: Paganism As A World Religion, p. 132, NYU Press, 2005
  5. J.F. Boissonade, Herodiani partitiones (= Ἐπιμερισμοί, e codd. Paris. 2543 + 2570). London, 1819 (repr. Amsterdam: Hakkert, 1963), 172. Τὰ διὰ τοῦ ιος προπαροξύτονα ὀνόματα, κύριά τε καὶ ἐπίθετα, καὶ ἀπὸ τόπου λαμβανόμενα, διὰ τοῦ ἰῶτα γράφονται· κύρια μέν· οἷον· Γεώργιος· Δημήτριος· Ἀμμώνιος· ἐπίθετα δέ· οἷον· ἅγιος· κύριος· ὅσιος· λόγιος· ἄξιος· καὶ τὰ λοιπά· ἀπὸ τόπου δὲ λαμβανόμενα· οἷον· Ῥόδιος· Κύπριος· Βυζάντιος· καὶ τὰ ὅμοια.
  6. al-Maarri, Abu l-Ala. Epistle of Forgiveness: Hypocrites, Heretics, and Other Sinners. NYU Press. p. 282. ISBN 9780814768969.
  7. Halevi, Leor. Muhammad's Grave: Death Rites and the Making of Islamic Society. Columbia University Press. p. 20. ISBN 9780231511933.
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