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Gender: Male Meaning of Percival: "one who pierces the valley" Origin of Percival: French

The name Percival is a boy's name of French origin meaning "one who pierces the valley". Percival and is often added to lists like Unusual Boy Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia".

From the experts:

There are several Percivals scattered through the Harry Potter series, which might help transform the old-fangled, fussy image it has accrued. Actually, the original Percival was the one perfectly pure Knight of the Round Table, a worthy hero. The name was invented in the twelfth century by a poet named Chretien de Troyes, for his ideal knight in the poem Percevale, a Knight of King Arthur.

Percival is found in other forms of literature as well, including Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, and Tennyson's "Idylls of the King" contains a section devoted to Sir Percival. Wagner transformed the name to Parsifal for his opera.

Percy, which seems like a nickname for Percival but is really a stand-alone Norman place name, is beginning to attract some favorable attention from cutting-edge namers.

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

Famous People Named Percival

Percival Lawrence Lowell, American businessman and astronomer
Percival Everett, American novelist
Percival Green Spencer, English balloonist
Percival Leitch Hussey, Australian cricketer
Percival Drayton, U.S. Navy captain
William Percival "Percy" Harvin, American football player
Troy Percival, American baseball player
Neil Percival Young, Canadian singer-songwriter
Percival Serle, Australian biographer

Pop Culture References for the name Percival

Percival, ocelot in Achievement Hunter's "Let's Play Minecraft" series
Sir Percival, legendary Knight of the Round Table
Sir Percival Blakeney, main character in the "Scarlet Pimpernel" series
Sir Percival Glyde, character in "The Woman in White" (1860) by Wilkie Collins
Percival Ignatius "Percy" Weasley, character in the Harry Potter series
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, character in the Harry Potter series and son of Percival Dumbledore
Percival Pratt, wizard poet in the Harry Potter series
Percival Graves, character in "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" by J.K. Rowling
Percival Spence Parks, character in video game series "Resident Evil"
Percival "Perry" Cox, doctor on the TV show "Scrubs"
Percival, character on TV's "Little House on the Prairie"
Percival Wemys Madison, character in book/movie "Lord of the Flies"
Percival C. McLeach, villain in Disney's "The Rescuers Down Under"
Mr Percival, pelican in Australian movie "Storm Boy"
Percival Pettigrew Pennington Pitt, character in Jenny Nimmo's "The Children of the Red King" series
Percival Fredrickstein Von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III "Percy", a character in the Dungeons and Dragons series Critical Role
Charles Percival St. Cloud, main character in movie "Charlie St. Cloud"
Percival, Polish folk band
Percival, British aircraft company

Purcell, Parsefal, Percevall, Perce, Peredur, Percivall, Perc, Percy, Parsifal, Parzival, Parsafal, Percey, Perceval


CrystalJoy Says:


Percy is a given name, but some people use it as a nickname for name's like Percival.

MonikerWanderer Says:


God, I adore this name. It's gorgeous.

Leah_ Says:


I loved this when I read it in Lord of the Flies. I had never heard this name before. I had heard "Percy" but I thought it was a given name, not a nickname.

lesliemarion Says:


Anything that gets me to Percy or Perry for a male I love.