Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Hugh

Hugh is an English masculine name with Frankish (Germanic) roots, derived from the Old French “Hugues” borne from the Gothic “hugs” which meant “heart, mind, spirit”. Hugo was a name adopted by the aristocracy of medieval France no doubt due to the name’s favorable meaning, i.e., an intelligent person, or one who is bright in heart, mind and spirit (also courageous). The French introduced the name to Britain via the Normans after the conquest of 1066. Hugh became a Top 10 most consistently used name in medieval England and was also often used as an anglicized version of the Gaelic “Aodh” (the ancient name which gave us Aidan and means “fire”). Saint Hugh of Lincoln (12th century) and Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln (13th century) were two well-known English saints of the Middle Ages who served to further cement the name’s popularity (see historical figures below for more information). Surprisingly, the two-syllable Hugo has been enjoying a bit of a revival in Europe (it’s a Top 10 favorite in Spain, Sweden, France and Belgium). The one-syllable Hugh is no longer ranked anywhere, except barely in America.

All About the Baby Name – Hugh

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME HUGH

The number Eight personality has everything to do with power, wealth and abundance. Somehow, this personality has been blessed on the material plane, but their authoritative and problem-solving traits provide evidence that their good fortunes are not just the luck of the lottery. They are well earned. This is the personality of CEOs and high-ranking military personnel. Eights are intensely active, hard-driving individuals. Success is only meaningful to them after a job well-done.  They are remarkable in their ability to see the larger picture right down to the smallest details, and organize a strategy around success. They then have the ability to direct a group around them toward any goal, and realize individual potential to get the most out of their team.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME HUGH

Hugh is a name whose popularity has clearly come and gone (at least for the time being). Back in the late 19th century, Hugh was actually quite common. It was a Top 100 favorite coming into the 20th century and averaged around position #131 out of 1000 for the first five decades. The latter half of the 20th century was less kind to old Hugh as he slowly fell out of style. Probably considered too old-man-ish by the late 1900s. Today the name is hanging out at the very bottom of the U.S. charts accumulating cobwebs. Turn-of-the-century “grandpa” names haven’t fared as well as old-lady names like Ruby, Lily and Evelyn. But there is a revival interest in these antique rocking chairs, just less so with masculine names. A lot of European countries have rediscovered the benefits of “heart, mind and spirit” in Hugo, so perhaps English-speaking countries will come back around to Hugh. We’ll have to wait and see. It can be a sexy name, too, when you think of some notable Hughs: Hugh Jackman, Hugh Grant, Hugh Laurie and even Hugh Hefner!

Quick Facts

ON HUGH

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

1

RANKING POPULARITY:

915

PRONUNCIATION:

HUE

SIMPLE MEANING:

Heart, mind, spirit (intelligent)

Characteristics

OF HUGH

Authoritative

Powerful

Tough

Tenacious

Wealthy

Problem-solver

Achiever

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Hugh

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME HUGH

Popular Songs

ON HUGH

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


Famous People

NAMED HUGH

Hugh Laurie (actor)
Hugh Jackman (actor)
Hugh Grant (actor)
Hugh Hefner (Playboy magazine founder)
Hugh Capet (10th century King of the Franks)
Hugh Martin (musical theatre composer)
Hugh Masekela (musician)
Hugh Downs (news anchor)

Children of Famous People

NAMED HUGH

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME HUGH

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