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Gender: M Meaning of Percival: "one who pierces the valley" Origin of Percival: French

Popularity: this week.

There are several Percivals scattered through the Harry Potter series, which might help transform the old-fangled, effete image it has accrued. Actually, the original Percival was the one perfectly pure Knight of the Round Table, a worthy hero. The name was invented in the twelfth century by a poet named Chretien de Troyes, for his ideal knight in the poem "Percevale, a Knight of King Arthur."

Percival is found in other forms of literature as well, including Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, and Tennyson's "Idylls of the King" contains a section devoted to Sir Percival. Wagner transformed the name to Parsifal for his opera.

Percy, which seems like a nickname for Percival but is really a stand-alone Norman place name, is beginning to attract some favorable attention from cutting-edge namers.

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Famous People Named Percival

Percival Everett, American writer
Troy Percival, Pro Baseball Player
Neil Percival Young, Canadian singer-songwriter and musician

Pop Culture References for the Name Percival

Sir Percival Blakeney, protagonist of the "Scarlet Pimpernel" books
Sir Percival Glyde, from "The Woman in White" (1860) by Wilkie Collins
Percy was one of the Weasley brothers in "Harry Potter"
--Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore in "Harry Potter" by J. K. Rowling (Percival Dumbledore was his father's name)
--Percival Pratt was a wizard poet who has a portrait hung in Hogwarts Castle's Grand Staircase
Percival Spence Parks, character in "Resident Evil"
Dr. Percival "Perry" Cox, doctor on the TV show "Scrubs"
Nellie's husband, Percival, on "Little House on the Prairie"
Percival Wemys Madison, of the Vicarage, Harcourt St. Anthony from William Goldings nobel peace prize award winning novel, "Lord of the Flies"

Parsafal, Parsefal, Parsifal, Parzival, Perc, Perce, Perceval, Percevall, Percey, Percivall, Percy, Peredur, Purcell