Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Pierre

Pierre is the French form of Peter. The names Peter and Pierre are 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 Pierre has enjoyed enduring popularity since the Middle Ages in France as has his linguistic brothers throughout Europe: Peter (English), Pedro (Spanish), Pietro (Italian), Pier (Dutch), Pyotr (Russian) and so on. A perennial favorite, Pierre remains a Top 100 most commonly used boy’s name in France today.

All About the Baby Name – Pierre



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.



Pierre is to France what Patrick is to Ireland. In other words, it’s an ethnic defining name. Pierre is a name that embodies everything we believe to be French that it’s almost clichéd to the average American. Sophisticated? Oui. Chic and stylish? Oui. Handsome and debonair? Oui. Très français? Oui. Pierre is a name that dates back to the 19th century in the United States and has maintained low to moderate success in terms of usage. People of French heritage only make up about 4% of the U.S. population and are mainly descended from “New World” sources such as Acadian, Cajun, or Louisiana Creole (originating from early French settlers in modern-day Quebec, Canada). The United States has seen little immigration directly from France as we have with Italians, Irish and Hispanics. Seriously, who wants to leave France anyway, right? Therefore, we’re guessing Pierre is probably used most heavily in states where we might find the American version of the French, such as in northern states which border eastern Canada like New England, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. And of course our French-speaking friends in Louisiana. Pierre is not a popular name in America and he’s coming dangerously close to dropping off the Top 1000 list altogether. Unless you’re a bonafide French-speaking American, naming your son Pierre might come off as snobby or pretentious. It’s like putting your kid into a French immersion preschool. Really? You think French is a more helpful language to know than, say, Spanish or Chinese? Well, to the refined and cultured it is. And we get it.

Quick Facts













Rock, stone










Cultural References to the Baby Name – Pierre

Literary Characters


Pierre Glendinning is the title character in Herman Melville’s 1852 novel, Pierre: or, The Ambiguities, which was a huge financial and critical failure for its author. That alone makes it worthy of scrutiny, as the writer of Moby- Dick is generally considered sacrosanct. Perhaps a misunderstood parody on contemporary melodramatic literature, Pierre’s story only seems to enhance the genre – whatever can happen to the guileless and innocent protagonist – does happen. Pierre is in line to his deceased father’s estate, but is at the mercy of his domineering mother. He does not marry her choice for him, Lucy, and instead runs off with a mysterious woman, Isabel, whom he believes to be his half-sister. He loses both the estate and Lucy’s hand to a cousin, and is unable to eke out a living by writing, no longer finding a connection between the grim realities of life and the soaring pretensions of acceptable literature. At novel’s end, he is a murderer, and he takes his own life. Poor Pierre – not much ambiguity there!

Pierre Michel is a character in Agatha Christie’s 1934 classic, Murder on the Orient Express, which was also made into a very stylish movie in 1974, with French actor Jean-Pierre Cassel playing the part. In the menagerie of characters that makes up the drama on the train, Pierre is the stoic Conductor who uses the duties of his job as his alibi for the night of the murder, and seems not to be involved. As the plot unfolds, however, Pierre’s connection to the victim becomes apparent, as does a potential motive. Pierre was the father of a nursemaid who committed suicide years earlier after being suspected in the kidnapping and death of her young charge, little Daisy Armstrong. The victim on the train was the actual murderer of the little girl, and had gotten off on a technicality. Is Pierre guilty, and if so, did he act alone? No spoilers here, but we’re pretty sure everyone already knows how this little masterpiece plays out.

Pierre Bezukhov is the main character in Leo Tolstoy’s great novel about the Napoleonic invasion of Russia in 1812 and its lasting consequences, War and Peace, first published in 1869. Pierre (largely considered to be the voice of Tolstoy) is the awkward and inept illegitimate son of an aristocrat who unexpectedly comes into a fortune – voila! – he is suddenly all the rage and no longer an outcast – ah, the power of mammon! Pierre himself is a good and kind young man, unpretentious and dangerously emotional. His initial involvement with the beautiful Helene is proof enough of that. In addition, his high-mindedness leads him to believe he will be of great assistance to humanity as the assassin of Napoleon Bonaparte. Altogether a bold-spirited young man! But as we know, life and its laws have many things in store for us: Pierre fights the good fight, but learns the lessons of humility and decency from a humble peasant. Beckoned toward a life of questioning and philosophizing, Pierre, against the backdrop of one of the most important world battles, come face-to-face with his own soul. Ultimately, he triumphs, as much as one man can, marries the beautiful Natasha and finds love and comfort within her arms. As portrayed by the beautiful young Henry Fonda in the 1956 film, there can be no finer fate.

M. Pierre Morrel is a character in Alexandre Dumas’ beloved adventure novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, completed in 1844. Pierre is a wonderful character – he is kind, gentle and honorable. He always looks out for those for whom he cares. The plot concerns the wrongs done to Edmond Dantes and his subsequent efforts to avenge himself; in the midst of this, our Pierre is a shining beacon of decency and valor, always striving for the highest good. Once the employer of Dantes, he does all he can in his power to help the young man. When his own fortunes fall to the wayside, he blames no one but himself and he sees no honorable way out but suicide; happily, he is allayed in this endeavor by Dantes. The world needs more M. Pierre Morrels in its midst – make no mistake of that!

Pierre Cosway is a character in Jean Rhys’ purported prequel to Jane Eyre, "Wide Sargasso Sea", a 1966 novel in which she sets the background for Mr. Rochester’s “madwoman (wife) in the attic”, Antoinette Cosway (Bertha Mason in the classic novel). Poor Pierre – sweet and innocent child that he is, his only part in the great drama is to be a foil for his sister, Antoinette, in that he is the much more beloved of their mother. That being the case, his illness and subsequent death drive his mother insane, and provide the catalyst for Antoinette’s future misadventures. Hardly an appropriate epitaph for one’s headstone, but such are the vagaries of fate.

Childrens Books


We cannot find any childrens books with the first name Pierre

Popular Songs


a song by Stephen Lynch [explicit]

Coeur de Pierre
a song by Tina Arena

Famous People


Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French painter)
Pierre Abelard (French philosopher)
Pierre Curie (Nobel Prize winning physicist)
Pierre Cardin (French fashion designer)
Pierre Omidyar (founder of eBay)
Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco (royalty, third in line to the Monaco throne)
Pierre Trudeau (former Prime Minister of Canada)
Pierre Bouvier (lead singer in the band Simple Plan)
Pierre Garçon (football player)
Pierre Salinger (former Press Secretary to JFK)
Pierre Thomas (football player)
Pierre de Coubertin (Father of the modern Olympic games)
Pierre Turgeon (hockey player)
Pierre Boulez (French composer)
Pierre Chouteau, Jr., (American fur trader after whom Pierre, South Dakota was named)

Children of Famous People


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

Historic Figures


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