Gender: Male Meaning of Ralph: "wolf-counsel" Origin of Ralph: English from German

Ralph Origin and Meaning

The name Ralph is a boy's name of English origin meaning "wolf-counsel".

Ralph has two diametrically different images: there's the suave Ralph Fiennes-type Brit (often pronounced Rafe), and then there's the Jackie Gleason blue-collar, bowling blowhard Ralph Kramden bus driver. It's all in the eye of the beholder, though its hip factor did rise when it was chosen for his son by cool U.K. actor Matthew Macfadyen.

Ralph is a name that's been around for a thousand years, was in the Top 30 from the 1870s to the 1920s, and just could make a comeback.

Ralph has a number of notable namesakes, from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Ralph Abernathy to Ralph Lauren. In literature, Ralph is a Shakespearean name, appearing in Henry IV, is a pivotal figure in Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady and Ralph was one of the three main boys in Lord of the Flies. And let's not forget Ralphie in A Christmas Story.

Or you might prefer the French version--Raoul.

16 names similar to Ralph

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

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- this week

Famous People Named Ralph

Pop Culture References for the name Ralph

Raul, Rolf, Raff, Rolphe, Rolfe, Raoul, Radolphus, Ralf, Ralston, Ralpheal, Ralphel, Ralphy, Rafe, Ralphie, Rolph, Rolle


Vicky 101 Says:


My father in law, husband and son are all named Ralph. I never really cared for it. When I was pregnant with our son my father in law passed away suddenly. I decided to honor him by naming our son Ralph. Though he goes by his middle name.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I agree. We actually had a pet finch called Ralph, but I only recently realised that this name was coming back into style. It made the recent top 1000, which is great. I really like it, too.

Stella2007 Says:


It actually sounds so fresh again! I haven't heard the name for years. Time for the rebirth of Ralph I think. I really like it!

oliviamcdonald Says:


I think of the Simpsons character

snowsbeloved Says:


Sorry...I will not name my son after my favorite super market. But Rafe is alright, as long as you spell it Rafe and not this Ralph-pronounced-Rafe business! Haha

Bobcat108 Says:


There was a story in one of the Readers' Digest Condensed Books back in the mid-'60s that was called Rafe. It was about a preteen boy in Oklahoma, IIRC. I don't remember for sure, but I think Rafe was a nn for Ralph, not Raphael or anything like that.

Essa Says:


Strange. I do love Ralph though. Rafe just sounds silly.

OliviaSarah Says:


Yeah, I've only heard it used by veeeerrry upperclass circles. Or as like, a satire of them lol. But it's got quite a big history here.

Essa Says:


New love! Hated it until recently. I think it may have something to do with finally getting over the the annoying Ralph I grew up with.

Essa Says:


I'm from England, I've never heard of Rafe before...

Essa Says:


I'm from England, I've never heard of Rafe before...

OliviaSarah Says:


Haha I know, Ralph said Rafe is quite common in England; it comes from people have a certain type of posh accent and eventually just changed the recognised pronunciation (and so Rafe was born). And because social-class here is such a major thing people stick to it to prove they're in the right crowd, so to speak. I guess it's an affectation in many ways.

NaomiNY Says:


My thoughts exactly :)

Guest Says:


Ikr I get so confused when I hear his name on tv and stuff I'm like "it's supposed to be Ralph!" Lol

CocoWhite Says:


Maybe the 'L' is supposed to be silent, like the 'L's in "tortilla." In which case you'd be left with Raph, which looks like it should be pronounced like Rafe.

NaomiNY Says:


I always think of Ralph Cramden from the old TV show "The Honeymooners".

NaomiNY Says:


He pronounces it Rafe? But it doesn't look like Rafe :/

Guest Says:


I can't for the life of me understand how Ralph Fiennes pronounces this Rafe.