- this week

Gender: Male Meaning of Derek: "the people's ruler" Origin of Derek: English from German form of THEODORIC Derek's Popularity in 2017: #239

The name Derek is a boy's name of German origin meaning "the people's ruler". Derek is ranked #239 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Names That Mean Ruler or Royal and discussed in our forums with posts like "Three Strikes, You're Out -- Boys".

From the experts:

Derek started out as a sophisticated Brit, but the name became so common over the last decades of the twentieth century that it lost much of its English accent, along with its stylish edge. Derek was a Top 100 name in the U.S. for 25 years, from 1970 to 1995.

Derek was introduced into Britain during the Middle Ages by immigrant Flemish weavers. Baseball star Derek Jeter spawned a whole new generation of namesakes.

Find other names based on Derek using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Derek

Derek Sanderson Jeter, American baseball player
Derek Hough, American dancer, actor and singer
Derek Anthony Klena, American actor and singer
Derek George Jacobi, English actor
Derek Harold Richard Barton, English chemist; winner of the Nobel Prize
Derek Alton Walcott, Saint Lucian poet and playwright
Derek Lamar Fisher, American basketball player and coach
Derek Dallas Carr, American NFL player
Derek Matthew Anderson, American NFL football player
Derek Hardman, American NFL football player
Derek Steven Hagan, American NFL football player
Derek Newton, American NFL football player
Derek Sinclair Cox, American NFL football player
Derek Landri, American NFL football player
Derek Christopher Lowe, American baseball player
Derek Keith Barbosa aka Chino XL, American rapper
Derek Taylor, English journalist and press officer for The Beatles
Derek Daly, Irish racing driver
Derek Rae, Scottish football commentator
Derek Walsh Webb, American singer-songwriter of band Caedmon's Call
Derek Thompson, Northern Irish actor
Derek Roland Clark, English MEP
Derek Vaughan, Welsh MEP
Derek Alexander Muller, Australian/Canadian vlogger, focusing on science
Temuera Derek Morrison, New Zealand actor
Derek Krahn, social media personality 'BigCatDerek'

Pop Culture References for the name Derek

Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd, character on TV's "Grey's Anatomy"
Derek Bailey Shepherd, son of Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd on the show "Grey's Anatomy"
Derek Venturi, main character on TV's 'Life With Derek'
Derek Hale, character on TV's "Teen Wolf"
Derek Morgan, character on TV's "Criminal Minds"
Derek Clifford Simmons, character in video game "Resident Evil 6"
Derek Reese, character on TV's "The Terminator : The Sarah Connor Chronicles"
Derek Noakes, main character on British TV series "Derek"
Derek Vinyard, character in film "American History X"
Derek Malloy, character on TV's "The Client List"
Derek Sommers, Peyton Sawyer Scott's half brother on "One Tree Hill"
Prince Derek, Princess Odette's love interest in "The Swan Princess"
Derek, character in "Barney's Backyard Gang"
Derek "Nursey" Nurse, character in webcomic "Check Please!"
Derek Arden, character in anime "Black Butler"

Derek's International Variations

Dedrick, Diederick, Dietrich, Darrick, Dedric (German) Derrig, Derrik (Irish) Derick, Derrick, Diederik, Derk, Derrek (Danish) Daric (Persian) Dirk (Dutch)


Vicky 101 Says:


My husband is named Derek too.

Eliza1303 Says:


I think this name is really strong. It’s also a name that I think doesn’t sound weird on a grownup or child. Meaning, the name isn’t a cute baby name but it also isn’t a super formal one either.

headintheclouds Says:


Derek is the quintessential all-American boy next door jock type of name to me, along with Jared, Eric, Kyle, Brett, Brock, Zachary etc, you know the type. Derek has a clean-cut to-the-point air of confidence to it, and I really like the meaning and origin of the name.

cabosanmucus Says:


My mom was going to name me this if I was a boy. I'm glad I'm a girl. Derek clashes with my last name in my view.

thesaltypeach Says:


This name is so pedestrian to me.

shelbynh Says:


I always wanted to name a little boy this - and then I met my husband...and turns out, this is his name! I love his name.

Saffron_Rice Says:


Derek is a strong, handsome name that deserves more attention - I can totally see it on a boy today.