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Gender: Male Meaning of Ernest: "serious, resolute" Origin of Ernest: English from German Ernest's Popularity in 2017: #967

The name Ernest is a boy's name of English origin meaning "serious, resolute". Ernest is ranked #967 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Old Man Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Release the 20 T.I.G.E.R.S. -- the anti-elimination game! (BOYS)".

From the experts:

Ernest is one of those sober, so-far-out-they're-beginning-to-be-reconsidered Great Uncle names. It was a Top 40 name from 1880 to 1926, and has never been completely off the Social Security list.

Ernest is probably the only name a whole play was based on—Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest—in which one character says, "There is something in that name that seems to inspire absolute confidence. I pity any poor woman whose husband is not called Ernest."

The most famous bearer of the name is novelist Ernest Hemingway—unless you want to count Bert's friend Ernie.

Changing the spelling to Earnest makes it a male virtue name.

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

Famous People Named Ernest

Saint Ernest, German abbot of Zwiefalten
Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover; son of George III of the U.K.
Ernest Miller Hemingway, American novelist (he said himself that he hated the name because of the connection to the play The Importance of Being Earnest)
Ernest I (born Ernst Anton Karl Ludwig Herzog), Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; father of Britain's Prince Albert
Ernest II (born Ernst August Karl Johann Leopold Alexander Eduard), Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; brother of Prince Albert
Ernest Borgnine (born Ermes Effron Borgnino), American actor
Ernest Rutherford, New Zealand-born physicist and Nobel laureate
Ernest Henry Shackleton, English Antarctic explorer
Amedee-Ernest Chausson, French composer
Ernest "Ernie" Banks, American baseball player
Ernest Jennings Ford aka Tennessee Ernie Ford, American country music singer
Ernest Edward "Ernie" Kovacs, American actor/comedian
Ernest Dale Tubb, American country music singer
Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton, Irish physicist and Nobel laureate

Pop Culture References for the name Ernest

Ernest P Worrell, main character in the Ernest film series
Ernest, a main character in comic strip "Frank and Ernest" by Bob Thaves
Ernest T. Bass, character on TV's The Andy Griffith Show
Ernest Denouement, character in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Ernest LeClerc, character on British TV series 'Allo 'Allo!
Ernest B. Raykes, character in Pixar's Cars
Ernest Baldwin, character in the video game Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams
Ernest Amano, character from "Ace Attorney"
Max-Ernest, character in the "Secret" book series
Ernest Perriclof, character in Alexandra Adornetto's The Strangest Adventures series
Ernest, name adopted by Jack Worthing (whose real name [spoiler] is actually Ernest) and Algernon Montcrieff in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest

Earnest, Erny, Ern, Ernie

Ernest's International Variations

Arnesto, Necho, Ernesto, Ernestino, Ernio (Portuguese) Erneszt, Ernö (Hungarian) Earnan (Irish) Estek (Polish) Ernst (Swedish)