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 174 Names That Mean Ruler or Royal and discussed in our forums with posts like "Baby a Day".
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.