- this week

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 "Name Association Game".

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)


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.