Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Pierce

Pierce is the anglicized form of Piers which developed into an English surname from the French personal name Pierre (Peter in English). Piers was a regularly used vernacular form of Pierre in medieval England, brought there after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Pierre (like Peter) is a name derived from the Greek word “pétros” meaning ‘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 Piers was featured in a 14th century poem called “William’s Vision of Piers Plowman”, written by William Langland and widely considered one of the most significant works of medieval English literature. The lengthy poem is a Christian allegory wherein Piers Plowman is the virtuous, hard-laboring, Christ-like figure who serves as a guide to Truth, imploring his society to live righteously and saving them from the consequences of sin. Given St. Peter’s popularity as a favorite medieval saint, it’s not surprising that Langland gave his character this name; like his namesake, Piers demonstrates an unwavering steadfastness to his faith. Piers/Pierce became an English surname dating back to 12th century England.

All About the Baby Name – Pierce

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME PIERCE

The number 11 is a Master Number, and embodies heightened traits of the Two. This personality is on a life journey to find spiritual truth. They are extremely idealistic and intuitive. Elevens have a rare and exceptional spiritual energy that brings a sense of obligation to illuminate the world around them. It's a very powerful responsibility, but these people have far more potential than they know. It's important that they surrender to higher ideals. They have the capacity to see the bigger picture, and they possess the skills to inspire others spiritually. Elevens have strong diplomatic skills and can become great peacemakers. Master numbers can be both a blessing and a curse, as they walk the fine line between greatness and the potential for self-destruction.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME PIERCE

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Pierce was a name only lightly used and often fell off the charts altogether. By the 1940s, this name retreated into the shadows completely and remained off the American male naming charts for the next 40+ years. Pierce finally returned in 1984 which was most likely influenced by the very handsome Irish actor, Pierce Brosnan, who was then the dashing star of the TV drama “Remington Steele”. The name got another bump up the male naming charts in 1996, the year after Pierce Brosnan was named the fifth James Bond. While the tall, dark and handsome actor with his charming Irish brogue has not sent his name into the stratospheres of popularity, he has brought an attractive quality to it. Pierce is a modest one-syllable name with unassuming confidence. Solid like a “rock”.

Quick Facts

ON PIERCE

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

1

RANKING POPULARITY:

463

PRONUNCIATION:

PEERS

SIMPLE MEANING:

Rock

Characteristics

OF PIERCE

Inspirational

Highly Intuitive

Spiritual Teacher

Extremely Bright

Uplifting

Truth-seeker

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Pierce

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME PIERCE

Mildred Pierce is the protagonist of James Cain’s novel of the same name, published in 1941. It was also made into a 1945 Oscar-winning movie starring Joan Crawford, as well as an Emmy-winning miniseries in 2011, starring Kate Winslet. Mildred is a one-of-a kind woman – tough as nails, but also soft at the core, especially when it comes to her duplicitous daughter, Veda. Caught in economic straits as a divorced mother of two, Mildred works her way up from waitressing to owning her own successful restaurants, all the while shelling out the dough so Veda can have all the advantages. Veda takes the money, of course, but scorns the type of work that makes it possible. All that Mildred does is done for Veda, and as may be expected, she is treated thanklessly by her ungrateful daughter. The plot throws some devastating missiles at Mildred, and we are left with a great deal of admiration for this determined and resourceful woman, who always seems to rise to the occasion.

Popular Songs

ON PIERCE

I'm In Love with Paula Pierce
a song by The Mr. T Experience

Mildred Pierce
a song by Sonic Youth

Under The Gun (For Jeffrey Lee Pierce)
a song by Blondie

Famous People

NAMED PIERCE

Pierce Brosnan (Irish actor)
Pierce Butler (Founding Father)
Pierce Butler (Supreme Court Justice)
Pierce O'Leary (Irish soccer player)

Children of Famous People

NAMED PIERCE

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME PIERCE

Franklin Pierce served as the 14th President of the United States between 1853 and 1857. "Handsome Frank" was loved by everyone. So much so, the presidency was practically handed to him on a silver platter. Unfortunately for this charming, out-going and charismatic guy, he was also an indecisive leader and a heavy drinker. Franklin Pierce's big boo-boo was known as the Kansas-Nebraska Act, designed to repeal the Missouri Compromise and let Nebraska and Kansas decide for themselves on the slavery issue. In fact, Abraham Lincoln was so outraged, he created the Republican Party in retaliation, bringing himself squarely into the political narrative (phew). Once loved, Pierce ended his term reviled and ruined. He died an alcoholic recluse; a victim of cirrhosis.