Gender: Male Meaning of Ernest: "serious, resolute" Origin of Ernest: English from German

Ernest Origin and Meaning

The name Ernest is a boy's name of English origin meaning "serious, resolute".

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.

16 names similar to Ernest

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Ernest. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Ernest, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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


- this week

Famous People Named Ernest

Pop Culture References for the name Ernest

Earnest, Erny, Ern, Ernie

Ernest's International Variations

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


IrinaNicolaStrong Says:


Definitely due for revival!

TechnoKitten Says:


Very pretty and old fashioned

ms.carroll Says:


One of my son's middle names is Ernest, because of the bear in "Ernest and Celestine". I just love how down-to-earth and warm like a lit fireplace this name feels. As someone said here, it's a sweet and mellow name and for me it is perfectly fitting with my quiet and shy little boy.

Wittyusername103 Says:


It just me reminds me of Ernest Granger the lovely character in Are you being served? Just lovely!

Wittyusername103 Says:


Funny. That's what I think of Sebastian.

RoddyThlayli Says:


I like Everest better.

KassemJ Says:


I'd really like to meet a little boy named Ernest, it's such a friendly-sounding name. I'd congragulate the parents who still use this neighborly, old-fashoined gem.

headintheclouds Says:


As a kid, there was this older boy named Ernest in my neighborhood I had a huge crush on. He was handsome, captain of the soccer team and a straight-A student leader, + he was a nice-to-little-kids-and-old-ladies type of nice. So now I ADORE this name, and associate it with all the good qualities a boy/ man should have. It's vintage and dashing and handsome, plus the nickname Ernie is cute.

headintheclouds Says:


I love your boys' names! Ernest and Everett have such great names and they go well together, and Emmett + Everett sound nice too :)

Essa Says:


Loving this right now! Shame a friend of mine has just named their dog this, makes it a lot less usable for me!

Guest Says:


I knew this mean little boy named Ernest when I was in 6th grade and it completely turned me off. And Ernie sounds so corny. Ernest Hemingway really hated his own name? I'm trying to open up to old man names. I love Oscar lately.

lnxn09 Says:


We have an Emmett and my husband is loving Ernest/ Ernie lately! I thought it might be too close to Emmett but if you have an Everett it makes it seem more usable to me!

Theosmum Says:


Our eldest boy has this for a middle name.

Vicki Says:


Happy that this is the name of the day for boys! Have been loving it recently :)

violet77 Says:


We just named our son Ernest Henry and are calling him Ernie for a nickname. He joins big brother Everett Curtis. Ernie is serious looking as his name describes. He is so sweet and mellow. This little guy just looks like an Ernest/Ernie, nothing else could fit him and we knew that right away.