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Gender: F Meaning of Ruth: "compassionate friend" Origin of Ruth: Hebrew Ruth's Popularity in 2013: #329

Popularity: this week.

Ruth, with its air of calm and compassion, was the third most popular name in the 1890's, then gradually faded away, though it's still in use today as some parents tiring of Rachel and Rebecca are giving Ruth a second thought. Some see such Old Testament girls' names as Ruth and Esther rising on the heels of boy equivalents Abel and Moses.

The biblical Ruth was the loyal and devoted daughter-in-law of Naomi who, when electing to leave her people and stay with the older woman, speaks the famous lines, "Whither thou goest, I will go."

Ruth has had numerous notable namesakes, from Supreme Court justice Ginsburg to crime writer Rendell to sexologist Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

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Famous People Named Ruth

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice of the USA
Ruth Cleveland, daughter of President Grover Cleveland
Ruth Wilson, English actress
Ruth Weinstein, daughter of Harvey Weinstein
Ruth Westheimer, German-American sex therapist
Ruth Buzzi, American comedian and entertainer
Ruth Benedict, American anthropologist
Ruth Nortje, American canoeist
Ruth Carter Stapleton, American Christian author
Ruth Flora Disney, sister of Walt Disney
Ruth Malcolmson, Miss America 1924
Ruth Bell Graham, wife of Christian evangelist, Billy Graham
Ruth Payne, Liam Payne's sister (Liam Payne being in British/Irish boyband 'One Direction)
Ruth Crilly, British model and blogger

Pop Culture References for the Name Ruth

Baby Ruth, candy bar
Babe Ruth, baseball player
Ruth, one of the main characters of 'Never Let Me Go'
Ruth Rose, one of the main characters in 'A-Z Mysteries'
Ruthie Camden from '7th Heaven'
Ruth, pirate maid-of-all-work in 'The Pirates of Penzance' (1880 opera)
Ruth, professional bridesmaid in 'Ruddigore' (1887 opera)
Ruth, Tom Pinch's pretty sister, engaged to John Westlock, in 'Martin Chuzzlewit' (1844) by Charles Dickens
Ruth, Zionist with whom Clarel falls in love in 'Clarel' (1876), Herman Melville's poem of 3,500 octosyllabic couplets about faith and doubt (inspired by its author's visit to the Holy Land in 1856)
Mrs Ruth Stockwool, companion to Ann Avice Caro in 'The Well Beloved' (1897) by Thomas Hardy
Ruth Ann Torkelson, one of the kids from American TV show "The Torkelsons"
Ruth is also the Cornish word for "red"
Ruth-Anne Miller, character from TV series "Northern Exposure"

Routh, Ruthanne, Ruthi, Ruthia, Ruthie, Ruthina, Ruthine

Ruth's International Variations

Rút (Gaelic) Rut (Scandinavian) Ruthven (Scottish)