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

The name Ralph is a boy's name of English origin meaning "wolf-counsel". Ralph and is often added to lists like Old Man Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Make suggestions based on previous person's signature".

From the experts:

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.

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

Famous People Named Ralph

Ralph George Macchio, American actor
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American author
Ralph Lauren, American fashion designer
Ralph David Richardson, English actor
Ralph Nathaniel Twistleton Wykeham Fiennes, English actor
Ralph Nader, American consumer advocate and politician
Ralph David Abernathy, American civil rights leader
Ralph Edmund Stanley, American bluegrass musician
Ralph Vaughan Williams, English composer
Ralph Bakshi, American film director
Ralph Macfadyen, son of actor Matthew Macfadyen
Ralph H. Fowler, British physicist and astronomer
Ralph Waite, American actor
Ralph Wright, American animator and writer
(William Henry) Ralph Reader, British actor and Gang Show founder
Ralph Johnson Bunche, American political scientist, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
Ralph Marvin Steinman, Canadian immunologist, winner of the Nobel Prize
Ralph Neville, Bishop of Chichester and Lord Chancellor of England
Ralph George Houk, American baseball player and manager
Ralph Allen Garr, American baseball player
Ralph Moody Hall, U.S. Congressman from Texas
Ralph Abercromby, Scottish general and politician
Ralph Adams Cram, American architect
Ralph Gerald Backstrom, Canadian ice hockey player
Ralph Rexford Bellamy, American actor
Ralph Blane (born Ralph Uriah Hunsecker), American songwriter
Ralph Theodore Joseph Branca, American baseball player
Ralph William John Brown, English actor
Ralph Jose P. Burns, American songwriter and bandleader
Ralph Byrd, American actor
Ralph Cudworth, English Platonist philosopher
Ralph Horween, American NFL football player
Ralph Phillip Klein, Canadian politician, 12th Premier of Alberta
Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland, 4th Baron Neville de Raby
Ralph George Algernon Percy, 12th Duke of Northumberland
Vincent Ralph Pagano (b. 2015), son of Ralph Pagano
Ralph Shearer Northam, 73rd Governor of Virginia

Pop Culture References for the name Ralph

Ralph Kramden, main character on TV's "The Honeymooners"
Ralph Wiggum, character on TV's "The Simpsons"
Ralph, character in William Golding's "Lord of the Flies"
"Wreck-It Ralph," 2012 Disney movie and main character
Ralph "Ralphie" Parker, main character in movie "A Christmas Story"
Ralph Rover, main character in "Coral Island" (1858) by R. M. Ballantyne
Ralph Jones, main character in 1991 movie "King Ralph"
Ralph Dineen, boy genius on TV's "Scorpion"
"Ralph 124C 41+," science fiction novel by Hugo Gernsback
Ralph Theodore Guard, character on animated series "Animaniacs"
Ralph, giant wolf monster in the video game "Rampage"
Rotten Ralph, children's book series by Jack Gantos
Ralph, mouse in "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" by Beverly Cleary
Ralph E. Wolf, character in Warner Bros. cartoons
Ralph, character in comic strip "Drabble" by Kevin Fagan
Ralph Smith, character in G. A. Henty's, St. George for England
Ralph, character in comic strip "Sally Forth" by Francesco Marciuliano
Ralph Drang, character on TV's "Dear John"
Ralph Percy, main character in Mary Johnston's "To Have and to Hold"
Ralph Harcourt, character in G. A. Henty's "A Knight of the White Cross"
Randolph "Ralph" Dibny, AKA Elongated Man, DC Comics superhero and character on TV's "The Flash"

Ralf, Ralston, Raff, Rolphe, Rolfe, Raoul, Radolphus, Raul, Rolf, 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.