"compassionate friend"

Ruth Origin and Meaning

The name Ruth is a girl's name of Hebrew origin meaning "compassionate friend".

Ruth, with its air of calm and compassion, was the third most popular name in the 1890s, remaining in the Top 10 through the 1920s. 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.

# 187 in the US

Ruth Rank in US Top 1000

# 259 on Nameberry

Ruth Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Ruth Popularity

Famous People Named Ruth

  • RuthBiblical daughter,in,law of Naomi
  • Joan Ruth Bader GinsburgU.S. Supreme Court Justice
  • Ruth NeggaIrish,Ethiopian actress and Academy Award nominee
  • Ruth Clevelanddaughter of U.S. President Grover Cleveland; inspiration for the Baby Ruth bar
  • Ruth WilsonEnglish actress
  • Dr. Ruth Westheimer (born Karola Ruth Siegel)German,American sex therapist
  • Ruth Ann BuzziAmerican comedienne
  • Ruth Fulton BenedictAmerican anthropologist
  • Ruth Carter StapletonAmerican Christian author
  • Ruth Flora Disneysister of Walt Disney
  • Ruth MalcolmsonMiss America 1924
  • Ruth Barbara RendellBaroness Rendell of Babergh, aka Barbara Vine, English thriller novelist
  • Ruth Bell Grahamwife of evangelist Billy Graham
  • Ruth Paynesister of Liam Payne of boy band One Direction
  • Ruth RomanAmerican actress
  • Ruth CrillyEnglish model and blogger
  • Ruth Wendy LangsfordEnglish TV presenter
  • Ruth Pointersinger with American R&B group The Pointer Sisters
  • Ruth Weinstein (b. 2002)daughter of film producer Harvey Weinstein
  • Ruth Ray De La luz 'Ruthie Ray' Leonard (b. 2019)daughter of Bekah Martinez and Grayston Leonard
  • Ruth HarknessAmerican explorer

Ruth in Pop Culture

  • Rutheight book in the Bible
  • Baby Ruthcandy bar named for Ruth Cleveland
  • Ruthmain character in book/movie "Never Let Me Go"
  • Ruth Rosemain character in "A,Z Mysteries" by Ron Roy
  • Ruth Dead (née Foster)character in Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • Ruth Anne 'Ruthie' Camdencharacter on TV's '7th Heaven' named after her grandmother Ruth
  • Ruthpirate maid,of,all,work in opera "The Pirates of Penzance"
  • Ruthprofessional bridesmaid in opera "Ruddigore"
  • Ruth Pinchcharacter in Dickens' "Martin Chuzzlewit"
  • RuthZionist with whom Clarel falls in love in "Clarel" by Herman Melville
  • Mrs Ruth Stockwoolcompanion to Ann Avice Caro in "The Well Beloved" (1897) by Thomas Hardy
  • Ruth Jeffersonmain character in Jodi Picoult's novel "Small Great Things"
  • Ruth Ann Torkelsoncharacter on TV's "The Torkelsons"
  • RuthAnne Miller, character from TV series "Northern Exposure"
  • Rutharchangel in Ghost Rider comics
  • Ruthcharacter in George Alfred Henty's, The Cat of Bubastes
  • Ruthdragon in Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern novels
  • Ruth DeWitt Bukatercharacter in movie "Titanic"
  • Ruth O'Connor Fishercharacter on TV's "Six Feet Under"
  • Ruth Fowlercharacter on British soap "EastEnders"
  • Ruth Evershedcharacter on British TV's "Spooks"
  • Ruth Winterscharacter on British TV's "Casualty"
  • Ruth Martinmom on TV's "Lassie"
  • Ruth Martincharacter on soap "All My Children"
  • Ruth Osbornecharacter on British soap "Hollyoaks"
  • Ruth Wilkinsoncharacter on Australian soap "Neighbours"
  • Ruth Powerscharacter on TV's "The Simpsons"
  • Ruth "Zoya the Destroya" Wildercharacter on TV's "GLOW"
  • RuthAmerican Christian band
  • Tina Ruth Belchereldest daughter on Fox's "Bob's Burgers"

Ruth in Nameberry Blog Posts