The Origin and Meaning of the Name Peter

Have you thought of this option for your little one? Is this the name of someone you love? Discover the origin and meaning of the name Peter.
The Origin and Meaning of the Name Peter

Last update: 26 June, 2022

Do you want to know the origin and meaning of the name Peter? Although nowadays it’s become one of the worldwide options most chosen by future parents, its history goes back to the time of Jesus Christ.

If you want to learn all the details that illuminate this precious alternative, don’t miss the following article. Fall in love with this traditional name!

What’s the origin and meaning of the name Peter?

Etymology specialists from the University of Chile warn that, from Late Latin came the name Petrus. With the meaning of ‘stone’ or to refer to one who is ‘firm as a rock’, it follows the tradition of Christ. For it was Jesus himself who thus named the disciple who was to be the foundation of the Church. What perhaps few people know is that it comes from the Greek language and that it maintains the same meaning.

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

-Matthew 16:18, the Bible-

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The choice of the name for your baby is a special moment, as you seek in this word to transmit how special he is to you.

The history of the name Peter

Although there are different variants attested in Roman times (Petro, Petronius, Petrollus, among others), the history that forges the true origin of Peter goes back to the time of Christ.

Saint Peter was the most important disciple of Jesus Christ, who changed the name of Simon for this new one that was given to him by God. Therefore, Peter indicates in himself the task entrusted to him by Christ: to be the pillar of the institution that represents Christians.

However, as a study published in 2015 by the Pontifical Javeriana University (Bogota) shows, the divergences regarding the interpretations of the role of the apostle are as follows:

  • On the one hand, Catholics grant the bishop of Rome primacy over all churches. That is, the primacy of authority over those who are baptized by the Roman Catholic Church.
  • On the other hand, Protestants understand that the rock personified by Peter shows what lies behind it. Therefore, they point out the distinction between two rocks: Peter (from Petrus, masculine) and stone (from petra, feminine).

Saint Peter

As you may have already guessed, the name of Peter was spread by parents all over Europe since the Middle Ages. This was due to the following and prestige achieved by St. Peter, who was considered by all Christians as the first pope of Rome.

Furthermore, it’s said that Peter himself was martyred on the same day as St. Paul, but crucified upside down for not being considered worthy of dying in the same way as Christ.

Therefore, as the saints’ calendar points out, Peter’s feast day is celebrated on the same day as Paul’s: June 29th. Likewise, there are more than a hundred saints with this name.

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Your baby will carry the most beautiful name that you’ve ever imagined because it will be the one that captivates your heart just upon hearing it.

Enjoy this wonderful option now that you know the origin and meaning of the name Peter

Now that you know the origin and meaning of the name Peter, it’s time to choose this option for the future son of your house.

Despite being one of the most popular alternatives among parents, the truth is that it remains strong with the passing of time.

Besides, the best thing is that it’s a universal option that’s gaining prestige in other areas of the world. Some of its derivatives in other countries are the following:

  • Pere, in Catalan.
  • Kepa, in Basque.
  • Pierre, in French.
  • Pedro, in Spanish.
  • Pietro, in Italian

For this reason, don’t hesitate to choose the name Peter or any of its many variations.

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