Boy Baby Name


Rating :Good
3.5 / 5
6 Times rated
Add to My Favorites

Quick Facts on Ralph

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, German, Nordic
  • Number of syllables:
  • 1
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 953
Simple meaning:
Wolf counsel

Characteristics of Ralph

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

Etymology & Historical Origin - Ralph

Ralph is an English, German and Scandinavian masculine name from the ancient Norse Ráðúlfr. The name’s etymological meaning is essentially “wolf counsel” from the Old Norse elements “ráð” meaning “counsel” and “úlfr” meaning “wolf”. Early Scandinavian settlers brought the name Ráðúlfr to England pre-Middle Ages where it was adopted into Olde English as Rædwulf. Later when the Normans invaded England (1066) the name was further cemented by the French version Raulf. The name was adjusted to Ralf in Middle English and the classical “ph” replaced the “f” in the 18th century. Ralph is also pronounced as either RALF or RAYF and is most popular today in the Netherlands. The Italian, Portuguese and Spanish form of Ralph (Raúl) is much more common in the Spanish speaking world than Ralph is in the English.

Popularity of the Name Ralph

Poor old Ralph is barely hanging onto the American naming charts right now. But his sad, lowly position today is not reflective of his past glory days. In fact, at the turn of the 20th century more than 100 years ago, Ralph was the 31st most commonly used baby boy’s name in the country. And that wasn’t even his peak success. Between 1914 and 1917 Ralph was ranked at position #21 on the charts. For most of the first three decades of the 1900s Ralph was a top name choice among parents of baby boys. By the 1970s, however, it became clear that Ralph was going out of style. The name’s drops on the charts became much more pronounced by the 1990s and into the 21st century. It’s really only a matter of time before this name loses a place on the Top 1000 list completely. Perhaps this has something to do with Ralph’s characterizations on television over the years. The 1950s introduced us to the hot-headed, blue-collared abrasive husband Ralph Kramden from the “The Honeymooners”. The 1970s gave us the goofy adolescent girl-obsessed practical-joking Ralph Malph from “Happy Days” and finally in the 1990s the creators of “The Simpsons” debuted the character of Ralph Wiggum, the innocuous pants-peeing, nose-picking schoolyard weirdo who was once (we later learn) dropped on his head as a baby. Not the best pop-culture references, but do take solace in the fact that all of these characters share one thing in common: they despite their many eccentricities they are kind-hearted souls. We supposed Ralph may make a comeback after a few generations of retirement, but for now it seems this is a name reserved for dogs and grandpas.
Popularity of the Boy Name Ralph
You need Adobe Flash Player 6 (or above) to view the charts. It is a free and lightweight installation from Please click here to install the same.

Cultural References to the Baby Name - Ralph

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Ralph

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Ralph

    Ralph (Forever) Ralph is the um, er, well, uh, is the, well, he appears in Judy Blume’s 1975 young adult novel, Forever, and that’s his name. He shares the stage with the heroine, Katherine Danziger, a high school senior, who is in love with Michael Wagner, who knows Ralph quite well (because Ralph is the name given to Michael’s penis; there we said it). In time, Katherine gets to know Ralph quite well, also. Katherine and Michael fall in love, and so does Ralph, who is in on their many conversations leading up to the decision to “do it” or not to “do it”. Well, they “do it”, and so does Ralph. In fact, Ralph has the starring role. This caused a tremendous amount of consternation to the reading public at the time (and to many now), due to the book’s openness about teen sexuality, pre-marital sex , birth control and the use of blunt, descriptive language. The characters in the book did not take these subjects lightly, but they did not arrive at the hysterical level of much of the outside world. Through it all, Ralph comported himself with dignity and elan, at varying degrees. It is no surprise that the young lovers do not hold a monopoly on the concept of “forever”, and they mutually decide to part after a summer away from each other. Ralph is sad, but having no choice in the matter, leaves with one of the protagonists. And they all live happily ever after. Really. Because Ralph has the good taste not to be coy, like some people we are, er, that is, we mean.

    Ralph (Lord of the Flies) Ralph is the leading character in William Goldman’s 1954 classic, Lord of the Flies, about a group of wartime British schoolboys stranded after an evacuation airlift crashes over a tropical island. Ralph is the boy who is elected leader by the others as they make their way toward a microcosm of self-government, and he takes to the position as a duck to water. Ralph is an attractive, sensible and charismatic boy who takes his leadership duties seriously, appointing subordinates, forming survivalist teams, holding meetings and planning strategies for rescue from the island. All of Ralph’s sterling qualities are no match, however, for the collective mob mentality that gradually takes over the boys. Factions split off, superstitious paranoia prevails, and the hegemony of power lust falls into place. Soon Ralph finds himself in a battle for his very life against the darkest instincts of savagery, and even more disturbingly, he finds the kernels of this condition within himself. Rescue comes to Ralph and his island mates, but he can never be rescued from the knowledge of the beast that lies within.

  • Popular Songs on Ralph

    Popular Songs on Ralph

    Happy Birthday Ralph - a song by Atom and His Package

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Ralph

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Ralph

    Ralph Tells a Story (Abby Hanlon) - Nothing ever happens to Ralph. So every day when it’s time to write stories, Ralph thinks really hard. He stares at his paper. He stares at the ceiling. But he has no stories! With the help of his classmates, Ralph realizes that a great story can be about something very little...and that maybe he really does have some stories to tell. Debut author/illustrator Abby Hanlon’s endearing text and charming watercolor and colored pencil illustrations prove that writing can be fun! This story works nicely with Lucy Calkins’ Writer’s Workshop model of teaching. Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Rotten Ralph Children's Book Series (Jack Gantos) - Ralph, a very, very nasty cat, finally sees the error of his ways -- or does he? Rotten Ralph is a children's book series about a mischievous red cat who enjoys playing mean, practical jokes on his family. It was written by Jack Gantos, illustrated by Nicole Rubel and published in 1976. Titles in the Rotten Ralph series include: Rotten Ralph; Rotten Ralph Helps Out; Rotten Ralph Feels Rotten; Best in Show for Rotten Ralph; Three Strikes for Rotten Ralph; Rotten Ralph’s Show and Tell; Not So Rotten Ralph; Rotten Ralph’s Rotten Romance; Happy Birthday Rotten; Back to School for Rotten Ralph; and The Nine Lives of Rotten Ralph. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    RRRalph (Lois Ehlert) - Would you believe that Ralph the dog can talk? Yip, yip, yip--it's true! With bestselling author Lois Ehlert's simple, funny, call-and-response text and bold, playful collage illustrations, this fresh, young book is sure to get little ones laughing (and talking to their dogs!) Recommended for ages 2-5.

    The Ralph Mouse Collection (Beverly Cleary) - All your favorite Ralph Mouse tales in one boxed set. The Mouse and the Motorcycle: Boy!" said Ralph to himself, his whiskers quivering with excitement. "Boy, oh boy!" Feeling that this was an important moment in his life, he took hold of the handgrips. They felt good and solid beneath his paws. Yes, this motorcycle was a good machine all right. Ralph the mouse ventures out from behind the piney knothole in the wall of his hotel-room home, scrambles up the telephone wire to the end table, and climbs aboard the toy motorcycle left there by a young guest. His thrill ride does not last long. The ringing telephone startles Ralph, and he and the motorcycle take a terrible fall - right to the bottom of a metal wastebasket. Luckily, Keith, the owner of the motorcycle, returns to find his toy. Keith rescues Ralph and teaches him how to ride the bike. Thus begins a great friendship and many awesome adventures. Once a mouse can ride a motorcycle...almost anything can happen! In the next book Runaway Ralph: "The rousing notes of the bugle and the laughter and shouting increased the feeling of rebellion within Ralph. As the last strains of the bugle call hovered in the clear mountain air, Ralph made up his mind. He knew now what he was going to do. He was going to run away. Fed up with his timid mother and uncle and his squirmy little cousins, Ralph hops onto his toy motorcycle and zooms down the road to summer camp. It turns out camp is not all peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fun. A strict watchdog, a mouse-hungry cat, and a troubled boy named Garf lead Ralph on some fur-raising escapades. Perhaps home isn't such a bad place to be, if only Ralph can find a way to get there again. Ralph S. Mouse is not like the other mice at Mountain View Inn. He is always looking for excitement! Recommended for ages 8-11.

  • Famous People Named Ralph

    Famous People Named Ralph

    Famous People Named Ralph - Ralph Waldo Emerson (American philosopher/poet); Ralph Lauren (fashion designer); Ralph Fiennes (actor); Ralph Waldo Ellison (American author); Ralph Abernathy (Civil Rights leader); Ralph Nader (consumer rights activist); Ralph Maccio (actor); Ralph Vaughan-Williams (British composer); Ralph Richardson (English actor)

  • Children of Famous People Named Ralph

    Children of Famous People Named Ralph

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Ralph - Ralph Abernathy (Civil Rights leader)

  • Historic Figures

    Ralph - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Ralph Waldo Emerson (25 May 1803 – 27 Apr 1882) - Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American writer, lecturer, philosopher and leader of the Transcendentalist movement of self-reliance of the mid- 19th century, whose number included Henry David Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, Louisa May Alcott, Walt Whitman and Margaret Fuller. Praising the relationship between man and nature, Ralph Emerson asserted that this was important to man’s essential soul, and that in pursuing the path of virtuous individualism, he paved the way to infinity. He also outraged the Christian community with his solid belief in the goodness of the Christ figure, but not the absolute divinity. In his view, everything and everyone is connected to God, therefore, all is divine. During the Civil War, Emerson was an active abolitionist, often harboring its proponents in his home in Concord, Massachusetts. Admiration of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s character and the unencumbered nature of his philosophy of the human condition are almost as widespread today as they were in his times. In his own words, he embraces a philosophy that resonates as strongly with us today as it did with his contemporaries: “I dare attempt to lay out my own road/That which myself delights in shall be Good/That which I do not want – indifferent,/That which I hate is Bad.”

Personality of the Boy Name Ralph

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 - Ralph

Copyright © 2019 Oh Baby! Names