Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Peter

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, Greek
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 208
Simple meaning:
Stone, rock

Characteristics of Peter

  • Independent
  • Individualistic
  • Ambitious
  • Strong-willed
  • Inventive
  • Successful

Etymology & Historical Origin - Peter

The name Peter is ultimately derived from the Greek word “pétros” meaning ‘stone, rock.’ The name is borne in the New Testament by one of Christ’s apostles, a fisherman and brother of Andrew (another disciple). Originally called Simon, he was given the nickname Peter or ‘rock’ by Jesus himself (Pétros in Greek and Cephas in Aramaic), and is therefore often referred to as Simon-Peter. In Matthew 16:17-18, Jesus says explicitly “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah!...And I tell you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.” Clearly, Jesus played favorites and Peter was his main man. Not only Is Peter considered the founder of the Christian Church (the rock upon which it was built), but he is also regarded as the first pope in Roman Catholic tradition since Jesus gave Peter “the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” In fact, it is Saint Peter that Christians expect to meet at the pearly gates of heaven one day. The name Peter has enjoyed enduring popularity since the Middle Ages throughout Europe. Some familiar forms of the name Peter include Pedro in Spanish, Pietro in Italian and Pierre in French.

Popularity of the Name Peter

Peter has been a long time favorite boy’s name in the United States. For over 100 years, the name has averaged on the Top 50 list of most-commonly used boy names. It wasn’t until the last 20 years that Peter started to display signs of fatigue on the charts. The stability and constancy it once enjoyed is waning for now. Peter is a time tested name of endurance so we don’t expect it to go very far down the charts. It’s a risk-free choice as a boy’s name and you’d be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t at least like this name. What’s not to like? The name’s only perceived weakness might be its commonness against the current trend of using other lesser known Biblical names (Ethan, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Levi, and Josiah). Peter seems crushingly plain against these more exotic choices. However, we will say this. Peter transcends all trends, and you might not be able to say the same for those other names. Peter is strong as a ‘rock’ so we weren’t surprised that the name is associated with the number One in numerology.
Popularity of the Boy Name Peter
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Peter

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Peter

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Peter

    Peter Keating (The Fountainhead) Peter Keating is the antithesis of the hero, Howard Roark, in the Ayn Rand 1943 bestseller, The Fountainhead. Facile and quick, he is able to succeed based not upon his devotion to artistic principle, but on his ability to deliver what pleases others. Indeed, these attributes earn him success, a prestigious partnership, a socially prominent wife, and – you guessed it – a membership in the “I Sold Out Club”. Needless to say, he reaps the rewards of his folly and falls ignominiously from grace. (Nice ride while it lasted, though.)

    Peter Pan (Peter Pan) Peter Pan is the immortal “forever-boy” creation of Scottish writer J.M. Barrie. His main appearance was in the 1904 play, Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up. Since then he has made his indelible mark on our hearts through countless books, cartoons, stage adaptations, movies, toys, etc. By turns selfishly cocky and generously helpful, Peter is a link between the vagaries of childhood and the necessarily more stable environs of adulthood. He appeals to our sense of imagination, magic and everlasting fun, while at the same time he “warns” us of the fleeting nature of life itself and the need to accept the responsibilities that come with it.

    Peter Pevensie (Chronicles of Narnia) Peter is the oldest of the four Pevensie children who find their way into the magical kingdom of Narnia, in C. S. Lewis’ timeless The Chronicles of Narnia, first introduced in the 1950’s, most notably in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Becoming wartime wards of Professor Kirke, the children (led by Lucy) find their way into the Kingdom of Narnia through the wardrobe door. Peter is an upright young boy who always tries to do the right and brave thing, even when he is in doubt about the veracity of his sister Lucy’s account of the new world she has encountered. Once in Narnia himself, Peter adapts immediately and deports himself responsibly and courageously throughout all their fantastic adventures, eventually becoming High King Peter the Magnificent, and fearlessly battling the forces of evil.

    Peter Rabbit (Tales of Peter Rabbit) Peter Rabbit is the delightfully humanized hero of the many Beatrix Potter stories, first appearing in 1902 in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Along with his sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail, Peter lives in a people-like-furnished rabbit hole and has various adventures, such as sneaking into Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden and availing himself of the bounty. Mischievous but well-meaning, Peter has been beloved of children and parents alike for over 100 years, and has been the inspiration for innumerable stories, TV series, movies, toys, dolls and artifacts.

  • Popular Songs on Peter

    Popular Songs on Peter

    Black Peter - a song by the The Grateful Dead

    In search of Peter Pan - a song by Kate Bush

    My Friend Peter - a song by Alkaline Trio [explicit]

    Peter Bazooka - a song by The Dead Milkmen

    Peter Gunn - an instrumental by Henry Mancini

    Peter Gunn - a guitar version by Jimi Hendrix

    Peter Piper - a song by Run DMC

    Peter's Denial - a song from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar

    The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead - a song by XTC

    Where To Now St. Peter? - a song by Elton John

    Yes Mr. Peters - a song by Roy Drusky

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Peter

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Peter

    Peter and the Starcatchers (Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson) - Humorist Dave Barry and suspense writer Ridley Pearson have clearly taken great delight in writing a 400-plus page prequel of sorts to Scottish dramatist J.M. Barrie's beloved Peter Pan stories. The result is a fast-paced and fluffy pirate adventure, complete with talking porpoises, stinky rogues, possible cannibals, a flying crocodile, biting mermaids, and a much-sought-after trunk full of magical glowing green "starstuff." Ever hear of Zeus? Michelangelo? Attila the Hun? According to 14-year-old Molly Aster they all derived their powers from starstuff that occasionally falls to Earth from the heavens. On Earth, it is the Starcatchers' job to rush to the scene and collect the starstuff before it falls into the hands of the Others who use its myriad powers for evil. This book is the first in a very popular series. Other books include: Peter and the Shadow Thieves, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, and Peter and the Sword of Mercy. Recommended for ages 9 and up.

    Peter and the Wolf (Sergei Prokofiev) - Since its premiere in 1936, Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf has become a classic beloved by generations of children and adults. For this enchanting new version of the story, the musician Bono and his childhood friend Gavin Friday have collaborated on a stunning boxed set that includes a clothbound book and enhanced CD. The beautifully produced hardback book contains 64 pages of Bono's original paintings-with help from his daughters Jordan and Eve-to illustrate the story. And the enhanced CD features a fresh and funny rendition of the musical score, narrated in a sly and hilarious reading by Gavin Friday and performed by the Seezer Ensemble. Royalties from the project will benefit the Irish Hospice Foundation. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes (Jonathan Auxier) - Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is the utterly beguiling tale of a ten-year-old blind orphan who has been schooled in a life of thievery. One fateful afternoon, he steals a box from a mysterious traveling haberdasher—a box that contains three pairs of magical eyes. When he tries the first pair, he is instantly transported to a hidden island where he is presented with a special quest: to travel to the dangerous Vanished Kingdom and rescue a people in need. Along with his loyal sidekick—a knight who has been turned into an unfortunate combination of horse and cat—and the magic eyes, he embarks on an unforgettable, swashbuckling adventure to discover his true destiny. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Peter Pan (J. M. Barrie) - Revisit enchanted Neverland with J. M. Barrie's timeless tale. Join Wendy, John, and Michael Darling as they follow Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up, to a world where fairies live and children can fly. But beware -- danger abounds in this magical land of mermaids, Indians, and fairy dust. Captain Hook and his pirate crew want all children to walk the plank, especially Peter Pan. There is always an adventure to be had in Neverland. So come along with the Darling children as they soar into the night sky -- second to the right and straight on till morning! Recommended for all ages.

    Peter the Great (Diane Stanley) - Peter the Great, crowned tsar of Russia at the age of ten, believed that whatever he wanted he should have -- and the sooner the better. What he wanted most was to bring his beloved country into the modem world. He traveled to the West to learn European ways -- the first tsar ever to leave Russia -- disguised as a common soldier. He explored the West with excitement and curiosity and returned home ready to undertake a series of momentous social reforms. And to satisfy his boyhood dream of a Russian naval port, he began to build, on a freezing swamp, a glittering new capital to be named St. Petersburg. Recommended for ages 7-10.

    Peter's Chair (Ezra Jack Keats) - Generations of children have read, re-read, and loved Ezra Jack Keats's award-winning, classic stories about Peter and his neighborhood friends. Now, for the first time, Peter's Chair, A Letter to Amy, and Goggles! are available in paperback exclusively from Puffin. "A more charming or contemporary child than hard to bring to mind." Recommended for ages 4-8.

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter) - The quintessential cautionary tale, Peter Rabbit warns naughty children about the grave consequences of misbehaving. When Mrs. Rabbit beseeches her four furry children not to go into Mr. McGregor's garden, the impish Peter naturally takes this as an open invitation to create mischief. He quickly gets in over his head, when he is spotted by farmer McGregor himself. Any child with a spark of sass will find Peter's adventures remarkably familiar. And they'll see in Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail that bane of their existence: the "good" sibling who always does the right thing. One earns bread and milk and blackberries for supper, while the obstinate folly of the other warrants medicine and an early bedtime. Recommended for ages baby to preschool.

    Walt Disney's Peter Pan (RH Disney) - Peter Pan and his fairy friend Tinker Bell are back in this vintage Little Golden Book! Featuring gorgeous illustrations from 1952. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Whistle for Willie (Ezra Jack Keats) - Oh, how Peter wished he could whistle! Then he could whistle for his dog, Willie, and Willie would come running. But while he's trying to learn, there is a whole neighborhood for Peter to explore - spinning, drawing, hopping, and running through the pages of this delightful book. A tried-and-true friend, Whistle for Willie will keep attracting fans in this new board book edition designed with the very youngest readers in mind. The New York Times Review says: “Mr. Keats's illustrations boldy, colorfully capture the child, his city world, and the shimmering heat of a summer's day". ALA Notable Children's Book. Full-color illustrations. Recommended for ages 3-7.

  • Famous People Named Peter

    Famous People Named Peter

    Famous People Named Peter - Peter Cetera (musician); Peter Coyote (actor); Peter Falk (actor); Peter Fonda (actor); Peter Frampton (musician); Peter Gabriel (musician); Peter Gallagher (actor); Peter Jennings (newscaster); Peter O'Toole (actor); Peter Stastny (hockey player); Peter Thomson (golfer); Peter Abrahams (novelist); Peter Arnett (journalist); Peter Benchley (author); Peter “Pete” Rose (baseball player); Peter the Great (Russian Tsar)

  • Children of Famous People Named Peter

    Children of Famous People Named Peter

    Famous People who Named their Son Peter - Allen Funt (TV personality); Dom Deluise (comic); Fred Astaire (actor/dancer); Henry Fonda (actor); Jack Wagner (actor); Julie Harris (actress); Kirk Douglas (actor); Loretta Young (actress); Mike Wallace (TV journalist); Mikhail Baryshnikov (ballet dancer); Olympia Dukakis (actress); Pete Rose (baseball player); Phyllis Diller (comic); Princess Anne (royalty); Sally Field (actress); Stephanie Seymour (model)

  • Historic Figures

    Peter - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Peter the Great (9 Jun 1672 - 8 Feb 1725) - Born Pyotr Alekseyevich in Moscow, Russia, Peter was the fourteenth child of Tsar Alexis by his second wife, Natalya. Peter inherited the sovereignty along with his older half-brother Ivan from Alexis’ first marriage. Since Peter was only 10 years old, his mother served as regent. When Ivan died in 1696, Peter was officially declared Sovereign of all Russia. Now, in the late 17th century, Russia was not exactly a superpower. Peter inherited a nation that was extremely underdeveloped compared to the culturally and economically prosperous European countries. While the Renaissance and the Reformation swept through Europe, Russia rejected westernization and remained isolated from modernization. Peter would change all that. During his reign, the far-sighted Peter implemented extensive social, economic and military reforms for the purpose of establishing Russia as a great nation. He modernized the church, the schools, scientific advancement. He massively modernized Russia’s army and navy. He also localized government, expanded the Empire and gained access to the Black Sea. In the end, this brilliant (if autocratic and temperamental) leader managed to establish Russia as a major European power and his city, St. Petersburg, was considered a “window to Europe.”

Personality of the Boy Name Peter

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Variations of the Baby Name - Peter

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