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Gender: M Meaning of Ralph: "wolf-counsel" Origin of Ralph: English from German

Popularity: this week.

Ralph has two diametrically different images: there's the suave Ralph Fiennes-type Brit (often pronounced Rafe), and then there's the Jackie Gleason blue-collar, bowling blowhard Ralph Kramden bus driver. It's all in the eye of the beholder, though its hip factor did rise when it was chosen for his son by cool U.K. actor Matthew Macfadyen.

Ralph is a name that's been around for a thousand years, was in the Top 30 from the 1870s to the 1920s, and just could make a comeback.

Ralph has a number of notable namesakes, from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Ralph Abernathy to Ralph Lauren. In literature, Ralph is a Shakespearean name, appearing in Henry IV, is a pivotal figure in Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady and Ralph was one of the three main boys in Lord of the Flies. And let's not forget Ralphie in A Christmas Story.

Or you might prefer the French version--Raoul.

People who like Ralph also like:

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Famous People Named Ralph

Ralph Waldo Emerson, American writer
Ralph Lauren, American fashion designer
Ralph Abernathy, American civil rights leader
Ralph Nathaniel Twistleton Wykeham Fiennes, English actor
Ralph Nader, American political activist
Ralph Vaughan Williams, English composer
Ralph Bakshi, American film director
Ralph Macchio, American actor
Ralph Macfadyen, son of actor Matthew Macfadyen
Ralph H. Fowler, British physicist and astronomer
Ralph Waite, actor who portrayed the patriarch on TV's "The Waltons"
Ralph Reader, Gang Show founder
Ralph Bunche, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
Ralph M. Steinman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Pop Culture References for the Name Ralph

Ralph Wiggum, from "The Simpsons"
Ralph, from "Lord of the Flies"
Wreck-It Ralph, titular character of the 2012 Disney film
Ralph Rover, 15-year-old protagonist of "Coral Island" (1858), R. M. Ballantyne's best and most popular book for boys
King Ralph was a movie from the 90s
Ralphie, main character from "A Christmas Story"
Ralph Dineen, genius little boy in the TV series "Scorpion"

Radolphus, Rafe, Raff, Ralf, Ralpheal, Ralphel, Ralphie, Ralphy, Ralston, Raoul, Raul, Rolf, Rolfe, Rolle, Rolph, Rolphe