- this week

Gender: Female Meaning of Ruth: "compassionate friend" Origin of Ruth: Hebrew Ruth's Popularity in 2017: #265

The name Ruth is a girl's name of Hebrew origin meaning "compassionate friend". Ruth is ranked #265 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Bible Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia".

From the experts:

Ruth, with its air of calm and compassion, was the third most popular name in the 1890s, remaining in the Top 10 through the 1920s. It's still in use today as some parents tiring of Rachel and Rebecca are giving Ruth a second thought. Some see such Old Testament girls’ names as Ruth and Esther rising on the heels of boy equivalents Abel and Moses.

The biblical Ruth was the loyal and devoted daughter-in-law of Naomi who, when electing to leave her people and stay with the older woman, speaks the famous lines, "Whither thou goest, I will go."

Ruth has had numerous notable namesakes, from Supreme Court justice Ginsburg to crime writer Rendell to sexologist Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

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

Famous People Named Ruth

Ruth, Biblical daughter-in-law of Naomi
Ruth Negga, Irish-Ethiopian actress and Academy Award nominee
Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Ruth Cleveland, daughter of U.S. President Grover Cleveland; inspiration for the Baby Ruth bar
Ruth Wilson, English actress
Dr. Ruth Westheimer (born Karola Ruth Siegel), German-American sex therapist
Ruth Ann Buzzi, American comedienne
Ruth Fulton Benedict, American anthropologist
Ruth Carter Stapleton, American Christian author
Ruth Flora Disney, sister of Walt Disney
Ruth Malcolmson, Miss America 1924
Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, aka Barbara Vine, English thriller novelist
Ruth Bell Graham, wife of evangelist Billy Graham
Ruth Payne, sister of Liam Payne of boy band One Direction
Ruth Roman, American actress
Ruth Crilly, English model and blogger
Ruth Wendy Langsford, English TV presenter
Ruth Pointer, singer with American R&B group The Pointer Sisters
Ruth Weinstein (b. 2002), daughter of film producer Harvey Weinstein
Ruth Ray De La luz 'Ruthie Ray' Leonard (b. 2019), daughter of Bekah Martinez and Grayston Leonard

Pop Culture References for the name Ruth

Ruth, eight book in the Bible
Baby Ruth, candy bar named for Ruth Cleveland
Ruth, main character in book/movie "Never Let Me Go"
Ruth Rose, main character in "A-Z Mysteries" by Ron Roy
Ruth Dead (née Foster), character in Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Ruth Anne 'Ruthie' Camden, character on TV's '7th Heaven' named after her grandmother Ruth
Ruth, pirate maid-of-all-work in opera "The Pirates of Penzance"
Ruth, professional bridesmaid in opera "Ruddigore"
Ruth Pinch, character in Dickens' "Martin Chuzzlewit"
Ruth, Zionist with whom Clarel falls in love in "Clarel" by Herman Melville
Mrs Ruth Stockwool, companion to Ann Avice Caro in "The Well Beloved" (1897) by Thomas Hardy
Ruth Jefferson, main character in Jodi Picoult's novel "Small Great Things"
Ruth Ann Torkelson, character on TV's "The Torkelsons"
Ruth-Anne Miller, character from TV series "Northern Exposure"
Ruth, archangel in Ghost Rider comics
Ruth, character in George Alfred Henty's, The Cat of Bubastes
Ruth, dragon in Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern novels
Ruth DeWitt Bukater, character in movie "Titanic"
Ruth O'Connor Fisher, character on TV's "Six Feet Under"
Ruth Fowler, character on British soap "EastEnders"
Ruth Evershed, character on British TV's "Spooks"
Ruth Winters, character on British TV's "Casualty"
Ruth Martin, mom on TV's "Lassie"
Ruth Martin, character on soap "All My Children"
Ruth Osborne, character on British soap "Hollyoaks"
Ruth Wilkinson, character on Australian soap "Neighbours"
Ruth Powers, character on TV's "The Simpsons"
Ruth "Zoya the Destroya" Wilder, character on TV's "GLOW"
Ruth, American Christian band
Tina Ruth Belcher, eldest daughter on Fox's "Bob's Burgers"

Ruthina, Ruthie, Ruthine, Routh, Ruthia, Ruthanne, Ruthi

Ruth's International Variations

Ruthven (Scottish) Rut (Scandinavian) Rút (Gaelic)


TechnoKitten Says:


This name never sounded feminine to me,like ever.

Annabelle Says:


I personally love this name!

I'm a Banana Says:


All surnames are you unisex unless you live in Iceland.

cabosanmucus Says:


Well, I don't think there are any left unless they're a grandpa.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I love this name. It's so sweet and classic.

connor Says:


Does it mean there are any boys with that first name?

VelvetEar Says:


I used to go to school with a girl who went by Ruth Ellen. I never really thought much of it then, but I've come to really love that name.

cabosanmucus Says:


According to the Social Security Administration, from 1892-1939 Ruth was on the Top 1000 for men.

connor Says:


Are there any boys with the first name of Ruth?

TheSlothPrincess Says:


Sounds old fashioned, but old is new again! I think Ruth on a modern little girl would be very different, and you could call her Ruthie until she grew into it.

EvaThyssen Says:


I'm not Christian, not even religious, but I really like this name. Classic, soft, simple and timeless :)

cabosanmucus Says:


I support Seth and Asher for a girl, so I might as well support Ruth for a boy to keep it equal. I like June on a boy.

Impwood Says:


I think that since that this is a classic female name dating back to Biblical times, it would be a bit difficult for a boy to carry. Thomas is a common surname, but not many of us would consider it for a girl on that basis.

molly Says:


All last names are unisex... Unless you're from some weird European country where they have last names like Hansdotter and Hanson...

connor Says:


Why is this name meant to only be a girls' name even though it is also a unisex surname?

FantasyandPrayer Says:


I know, but I love double middle names! My brother has 2 mn's but I only have one so I've always been jealous!! Also my granddad has two middle names and he is my most cherished relative, I think having 2 mn's would be a nice family tradition to carry on without having to reuse or reinvent a name I really don't like xx

EW314 Says:


I really like it. It's classic, unfrilly and strong, and I love the clear "oo" sound and soft "th". It's really rare nowadays too.

EW314 Says:


Ruth Clemency is beautiful just as it is! I don't think it needs a second mn - gorgeous!

Michaela Says:


No thank you!

FantasyandPrayer Says:


One of my all time favourites, so warm and friendly! I can imagine it on all ages, and even though I've gone on and off this name in the past I recently met a Ruth who is really lovely- that certainly helps :) my favourite combination at the moment is Ruth Clemency, I'm just looking for that perfect second mn to complete my list of dream names to keep in mind for the future.

Jo Jo Says:


It's such a soft, sweet name.

JessicaRK467 Says:



EleanorAll1 Says:


I love Ruthie as a nickname but I'm not a fan of Ruth on its own, unfortunately.

l_cotton Says:


Rutka is the Polish version, which I actually prefer for some reason.

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


I would love to like this name but it's so common around me. In addition, I knew one Ruth who was not a pleasant person in any sense of the word.

Nooshi Says:


I think this is beautiful- so soft and gentle sounding. Ruth was a great woman in the Bible too, and her name has a lovely meaning. All ticks!

Essa Says:


Oh I think Ruth is a gorgeous name, especially when named after someone you love. Maybe you could middle name it or maybe your great grandma had a middle name you could use instead? Or I'm sure there is a name out there with a similar sound or meaning to Ruth that you like better?

csd267 Says:


Maybe Rue could work for you? It sounds more modern

Alsace Says:


I want so badly to love this name. It was my great grandmother's name and she was such a strong, driven woman. She would be a perfect namesake for my daughter. But I just don't really like the name... I'm considering it for a middle name though.

lookingahead Says:


I think it is a pretty name though I have that problem that I knew a Ruth in high school and she turned out to be dishonest and back stabbing. So I just can't go there.

Plutophelia Says:


I love it. It is so sweet and has such an awesome meaning.

TheClockworkPrincess Says:


This is my mum's middle name, and she hates it. I don't think its that bad, but I have to admit it is a little old fashioned.

cherrymiami Says:


I will be the first to say that I love this name! I think it's perfectly refined, but makes a statement.