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Up until 2018, Ernest was a pretty popular baby name for boys in the United States. These days, it sounds more like a “grandpa name,” even though it has plenty of pop culture and literary influences that could help it make a comeback soon. We love the way it sounds with classic middle names like Alexander, Theodore, or Charles.

Meaning of the name Ernest:

English: Serious

Origin of the name Ernest:

Ernest is an English name that came to England via the Norman French. It's derived from the Old Germanic word “eornost,” which means “serious business.” It's also an alternative spelling of an English vocabulary word.

Symbolism of the name Ernest:

Because of its meaning, new parents may see the name as a symbol that their baby will be stoic and take his life's goals seriously. It's also a name that has been associated with nobles and royalty through the years. It could also have literary symbolism, thanks to Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde who included a character named Ernest in his work “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Style of the name Ernest:

Traditional

Gender of the name Ernest:

Ernest is a boy's name.

Pronunciation of the name Ernest:

EARN-est

Number of syllables in the name Ernest:

Two

Emotion evoked from the name Ernest:

The baby name Ernest evokes images of someone who is creative and adventurous.

Alternative spellings for the name Ernest:

  • Earnest

Nicknames for the name Ernest :

  • Ern
  • Ernie

Popularity of the name Ernest:

According to the Social Security Administration, Ernest was a top 1,000 baby name for boys from at least 1900 up until 2018. It was even a top 100 name until 1956. It last ranked at number 969 in 2018.

Related names for the name Ernest:

Great middle names for Ernest and their meanings:

Famous people with the name Ernest:

  • Ernest Hemingway (author)
  • Ernest Tubb (musician)
  • Ernest Hughes (football player)
  • Ernie DiGregorio (basketball player)
  • Ernest Borgnine (actor)

Ernests in popular culture:

  • Ernest T. Bass (character from the “The Andy Griffith Show”)
  • Ernest(character in the “Series of Unfortunate Events” books and movie)
  • Ernest P. Worrell (main character in the “Ernest” films)
  • Ernest Otter (character on the cartoon “PB&J Otter”)
  • Ernest (character in “The Swiss Family Robinson”)