09/09/2014 22:10 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Arthur - The Meaning, Origin And Other Facts About The Name


The origins of the name Arthur are not clear. Some scholars suggest the word Arthur derives from a Roman family name, while others point to a Celtic British name which means 'bear-king' while the Welsh have long claimed the name as their own, explaining it as a combination of the words 'arth' meaning bear, and 'gwr' meaning man. A suitable name for a legendary warrior!

It is still unknown if any of the Arthurian legends are based on a real historical figure, but the enormous popularity of poems and stories featuring King Arthur and his knights made Arthur a common name across Europe in the medieval era, and it has remained in use ever since.

Famous people called Arthur:
King Arthur, mythical British king and hero of many legends
Arthur Miller, American playwright
Arthur Conan Doyle, British author and creator of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, better known as the Iron Duke
Arthur William Baden Powell, founder of the Scout movement

Can be shortened to:
Art, Artie

Surnames to avoid Arthur with:
Surnames beginning with an 'R' sound, like Riley or Richards, might cause problems as when said aloud this combination of sounds may result in elision – when two words slurred together end up sounding like one.

Similar names:
Foreign variants include Arturo (Italian/Spanish), Arto (Finnish), Artur (German) and the Scottish Artair. Similar English names include Archie, Arnold, Aaron and Arlo.

Female variations:
In Welsh, the girl's name Arthes is the feminine form of Arthur. Similar sounding names include Amber, Amara and Ariana.

Celebrities who named their baby Arthur:
David Cameron
Groucho Marx
Selma Blair