Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Cedric

Cedric is another example of a literary name invention; this time the name was coined by Scottish author Sir Walter Scott in his classic 1819 novel “Ivanhoe”. Set in medieval 12th century England, Cedric of Rotherwood is the father of the novel’s central character Ivanhoe, around whom the plot’s action takes place. Cedric is a powerful Saxon landowner bitterly living among the Normans who successfully conquered England in 1066 (a century earlier) and took over the country’s monarchy and most of its land from the Anglo-Saxons. It is believed that Cedric was modeled after a real-life historical figure named Cerdic of Wessex (Sir Walter Scott may have inadvertently misspelled the name). The historic 6th century Cerdic is credited as the first King of Wessex and the first forebearer of the House of Wessex – a ruling Saxon family of the kingdom of Wessex (southwestern England); the same lineage that later came to rule over a unified England starting with Alfred the Great, King of the Anglo-Saxons, in the late 9th century. Edward the Confessor was the last King of England from the House of Wessex who ruled up until 1066 just before the Normans crossed the English Channel to come kick some Anglo-Saxon butt. So in essence, the House of Wessex (also known as the House of Cerdic) had almost omnipotent ruling power over all of England and all of the Anglo-Saxons for two centuries before the Normans arrived to upset the apple cart. It’s no wonder that Scott chose the name Cedric, a character who symbolizes the “good ole days” for the Anglo-Saxons and a man who desperately hates the Normans in general. Etymologists believe that Cerdic is a name of Celtic origin (from the Brythonic language, rather than the Gaelic one, representing the pre-Anglo-Saxon Britons such as the Welsh and Cornish people) – coming from the ancient Celtic name Caratācos which itself is derived from the Celtic element “car” meaning “love”. What’s ironic is that the character Cedric of “Ivanhoe” represents “hatred” for the Normans in England – or, conversely, “love” for his Saxon people (it’s no accident that Sir Walter Scott chose this name for his character). In some ways Cedric is the ultimate Anglo-Saxon name and therefore WASPy and erudite by nature. The name Cedric also entered the American imaginations with the publication of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s children’s novel “Little Lord Fauntleroy” (1886) featuring the central character of Cedric Errol – a rags-to-riches hero for late 19th century children, and whose popularity was on par with Harry Potter of today (see literary references below). Today the name Cedric is rarely used although he appears on some European naming charts (Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and France) – it’s ironically uncommon among English speakers.

All About the Baby Name – Cedric



Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.



If you’re a parent looking for a thoughtful, intelligent name as well as a neglected hidden gem, then Cedric is certainly a name to consider. This name has had a long history of usage in America, dating back to the late 19th century (probably influenced by the success of “Little Lord Fauntleroy”); but Cedric didn’t really adhere to the charts until 1939. As the decades progressed, the name climbed to its peak popularity during the 1970s hitting its highest point on the Top 1000 list at position #230 in 1974. Never a heavy-hitter or an ultra-trendy choice, Cedric reached positions of respectable moderation before systematically reversing his course in the 1990s. Today Cedric is still on the decline and seems to be nearing the bottom on the charts. We thought maybe the modern-day character of Cedric Daniels from “The Wire” (2002-2008) might propel the name back into the American consciousness, but no such luck. All the better for parents who are looking for uncommon, original name choices for their baby boys – this one is quietly being forgotten. Cedric is a great name to consider for the thoughtful parent. It’s a name with a lot of substance and dimension. For one, it’s Celtic in origin with one of the most positive meanings on the charts (i.e., “love”). Two, it’s loaded with important British and/or Anglo-Saxon history (Cedric’s forerunner name, Caratācos, was borne by a 1st century Briton/Celtic chieftain who led the battles against the invading Roman Empire, not to mention Cerdic of Wessex already discussed). Three, Cedric holds a lot of literary clout for parents who like to show off their smarts. This name is noble, regal, handsome and intelligent – one for the discerning parent to think about. Every once in a while our research turns up a needle in the hay stack, and Cedric is one of the best examples of a true hidden gem in our opinion.

Quick Facts























Cultural References to the Baby Name – Cedric

Literary Characters


Cedric Errol is the title character in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1886 novel, Little Lord Fauntleroy. Young Cedric is living with his impoverished, widowed mother, spreading light and cheer wherever he goes, when he is tapped by his (hitherto unknown) paternal grandfather, the Earl of Dorincourt, to leave America for England and learn to be a proper British earl. So young Cedric takes that sweetness and light across the pond and spreads it around the earldom. Soon all the local folks love him as well, and even the crusty old Earl himself begins to soften. Cedric is so pure and innocent a child that he believes his grandfather to be a loving and kind person. Soon, of course, Grandpa morphs into that very person by trying to live up to the boy’s expectations. Even with a fraudulent pretender to the earl-ship muddying the waters, everything ends happily. The Fauntleroy suit, as described in the book, became an instant fashion for little American boys of the day. It wouldn’t go over too well today, being a black velvet number with a white lace collar, but it apparently worked for turn-of-the-century boys. Concentrate on the “Cedric” part, not Fauntleroy.

Cedric the Saxon is the father of Wilfred of Ivanhoe in Sir Walter Scott’s very popular 1820 historical novel, Ivanhoe. Cedric is a Saxon nobleman who has disinherited with his son because of the latter’s allegiance to the Norman king, Richard I, having accompanied him to the Crusades. Cedric also opposes his son’s proposed marriage to Cedric’s ward, Lady Rowena, wishing to marry her to the powerful Saxon, Athelstane. Talk about interfering in other people’s lives! But that’s Cedric – he is a diamond in the rough, headstrong , stubborn and loyal. At the end of the day, after many trials, battles, crusades, carousals, kidnappings, jousts, tournaments and assorted medieval treachery, Cedric is persuaded (by King Richard, no less) to forgive his son and to bless his marriage to Rowena. This Cedric does in remarkably good humor, considering his earlier insistence on the importance to the Saxon claim to the throne. We guess a guy’s got a right to change his mind.

Childrens Books


We cannot find any childrens books with the first name Cedric

Popular Songs


We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Cedric

Famous People


Cédric Pioline (French tennis player)
Cedric Hardwicke (English actor)
Cedric the Entertainer (b. Cedric Antonio Kyles, American entertainer)
Cedric Gibbons (Irish-American production designer influential on the motion picture industry)
Cedric Benson (football player)
Cedric Bixler-Zavala (musician)
Cédric Klapisch (French film director)

Children of Famous People


We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Cedric

Historic Figures


We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Cedric