English from German
"mind, intellect"

Hugh Origin and Meaning

The name Hugh is a boy's name of German, English, Irish origin meaning "mind, intellect".

Patrician to the core, Hugh was firmly in the Top 100 until 1903. It's never achieved those heights again, though it has always managed to remain in the Top 1000, scraping bottom at literally Number 1000 in 2006 before reversing course and heading back upwards.

Hugh has always been particularly prevalent among the Irish—there have been 20 Irish Saint Hughs, and it's traditionally associated with the O'Donnell clan. Hugh was an early immigrant to the New World, where there were two Hughs in the first English-speaking settlement in America. Hugh's biggest drawback is its sound, barely more than an exhaled breath.

Actor Hugh Jackman adds a dash of the romantic hero, and other prominent Hughs include Hugh Laurie (born James Hugh), Hugh Grant, and Hugh Dancy. Then there's Hugh Hefner, known to the world as Hef.

Hew and Huw are the distinctively—probably too distinctively—spelled Welsh forms.

A modern alternate option would be the surname Hughes.

# 785 in the US

Hugh Rank in US Top 1000

# 196 on Nameberry

Hugh Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Hugh Popularity

Famous People Named Hugh

  • Hugh DillonCanadian singer and actor
  • Hugh John Mungo GrantEnglish actor
  • Hugh CapetKing of the Franks
  • Hugh Richard Bonneville (Williams)English actor
  • (James) Hugh Calum LaurieEnglish actor and musician
  • Hugh Michael Horace DancyEnglish actor and model
  • (Peter) Hugh DennisEnglish actor/comedian
  • Hugh John LoftingEnglish children's novelist
  • Hugh Marston HefnerAmerican founder of Playboy
  • Hugh Malcolm DownsAmerican TV journalist, on ABC's 20/20
  • Hugh Everett IIIAmerican physicist
  • (Eugene) Hugh BeaumontAmerican actor
  • Hugh MartinAmerican composer
  • Hugh Brown BrownAmerican Mormon leader
  • Hugh Ramopolo MasekelaSouth African jazz trumpeter
  • Hugh Michael JackmanAustralian actor
  • Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall, English celebrity chef
  • Hugh Seymour WalpoleNew Zealand,English novelist
  • Hugh TrumbleAustralian cricketer
  • Hugh de Nevillechief forester under Kings Richard I, John, and Henry III of England
  • Hugh DuffyAmerican baseball player
  • Hugh Doggett ScottJr., U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
  • Hugh Leo CareyU.S. Congressman and 51st Governor of New York
  • Hugh Hu (Ge)Chinese actor
  • Hugh Howard Rosenbergson of actors Marg Helgenberger and Alan Rosenberg

Hugh in Pop Culture

  • Hugh of Borg(Third of Five) character on "Star TrekThe Next Generation" & on the upcoming series
  • Star Trek: Picard
  • Hugh of Harrowfieldcharacter in "Daughter Of The Forest" & "Son Of The Shadows" by Juliet Marillier
  • Hugh Normouscharacter on "Wizards of Waverley Place"
  • Hugh O'Connercharacter in video game 'Ace Attorney'
  • Hugh Stanburycharacter in "He Knew He Was Right" (1869) by Anthony Trollope
  • Hugh Collinscharacter from the tv Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
  • Hugh Apistoncharacter from Ransom Riggs' "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children"
  • Hugh Thanasiacharacter in "Sims" series
  • Hugh CulberMedical officer on the USS Discovery on the TV series, Star Trek: Discovery

Hugh in Nameberry Blog Posts