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Gender: M Meaning of Ernest: "serious, resolute" Origin of Ernest: English from German Ernest's Popularity in 2015: #956

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.

Famous People Named Ernest

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 by Oscar Wilde)
Ernest Borgnine, American actor
Amedee-Ernest Chausson, French composer
Ernest Rutherford, New Zealand-born physicist and Nobel prize winner in Chemistry
Ernest Shackleton, English explorer on The Endurance

Pop Culture References for the name Ernest

Ernest Amano, character from "Ace Attorney"
Max-Ernest, character in the "Secret" book series
Ernest P Worrell, the not-so-bright star of his own set of movies
Ernest Baldwin, character in the video game Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams
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)