What does the name Christopher mean?

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What does Christopher mean?

He who holds Christ in his heart.

The name Christopher, a very common first name in the English language often shortened to Chris, literally means “bearing Christ” and comes from the Greek words Χριστός (Christos) meaning “Christ” and φέρω (phero) meaning “to bring, to carry.”

Many words in English, including people’s names, come from Ancient Greek, which was hailed as a prestigious, academic register. As a result, a lot of complex vocabulary related to fields like science and medicine contain Greek roots. So how about the words Christos and phero? Where else can we see them used in English?

Christos should be obvious since it refers to Jesus Christ. You can see it in words like Christianity (one of the most popular religions in the world) , Christmas (a Christian holiday), christening (a baptism), and the name Christina.

What about phero? Well, this root isn’t quite that common, but its Latin cognate fero, which also means “to bring, to carry” has several English derivatives:

  • Conference: a large meeting for discussion. (Or a bringing together of people)
  • Inference: a conclusion made indirectly from given evidence. (Think of bringing forth a conclusion)
  • Fertile: capable of reproducing. (Or capable of bearing a child)
  • Interfere: to get in the way of or prevent a process from continuing or occurring. (Think of bringing yourself into an unwanted situation)
  • Offer: to present something to someone in order to be accepted or rejected. (Or bringing someone to someone)
  • There are many more!

What’s the meaning behind your name? Does it contain roots from another language that you can find elsewhere in English?


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