What does the name Robert mean?



Have you ever met anyone named Robert?

According to Behind the Name, it was the 62nd most popular name in the English-speaking world in 2016. About 0.3% of newborn babies were named Robert.

This is a lot less than the peak of the name’s usage, which was between the 1920s and 1950s, when the percentages of babies (the vast majority were boys) being named Robert was higher than 4.5%! It has slowly become less popular over time.

Nevertheless, you will run into Roberts all the time. What do their names mean?

The name Robert is actually a combination of two different words, “fame” and “bright”. The roots of the name come from Germanic, which is a predecessor of German and was spoken in the northern European and Slavic countries.

As a result, many historical leaders were named Robert, such as Robert I of Normandy. The diversity of its origin also explains why there are so many different variations of the name. These include:

  • Robo
  • Bert
  • Bertie
  • Robin
  • Dobby
  • Rupert
  • Roban

And there are many different variations of the name in different languages (such as Roberto in languages such as Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese). The feminine version of the name is Roberta.


People who are named Robert can choose several different nicknames. Some common nicknames include Rob or Bert.

Less common nicknames are Robbie or Robby, Bob, and Bertie for boys. Though girls are usually not named Robert, nicknames for girl Roberts or Robertas include Bobbi, Robina, Berta, Bobbie, and Rob.

Famous People Named Robert

  • Robert de Niro: An American Actor, well known for his parts in movies such as Goodfellas, Raging Bull, and The Godfather Part II, for which he was awarded an Academy Award.
  • Robert Redford: An American actor and the founder of the Sundance Film Festival. He is known for many different roles, including in movies such as The Candidate, All the President’s Men, and Ordinary People. He won many awards for his roles, including Emmys, Golden Globes, and several Oscars.
  • Robert F. Kennedy (RFK): brother of former US President John F. Kennedy, and US senator. He was running for president when he was shot and assassinated in 1968.
  • Robert Downey, Jr. (RDJ): An American actor who is most well known for his parts as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sherlock Holmes, Weird Science, and Back to School. He has won Golden Globe and Academy Awards for his performances, and in 1985 was a regular cast member of Saturday Night Live.
  • Robert Langdon: the main protagonist of the Da Vinci Code series of books, in which the fictional character is asked to solve several mysteries related to history and religion by using his knowledge of ancient symbols
  • Robert the Magnificent: The Duke of Normandy (France) between 1027 and 1035. He deposed his brother to become Duke, and was succeed by his illegitimate son, William the Conqueror.


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