Earnest

First Name
59k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
8k
in the U.S.
in 2010
Girls
Boys
First
Last

How to Pronounce Earnest

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Meanings and Origins

What does the name Earnest mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Earnest

"Earnest" is a name of English origin, and it means "Diligent, Truthful". It's a name commonly given to boys.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Ear"nest
Seriousness; reality; fixed determination; eagerness; intentness.

Etymology: AS. eornost eornest; akin to OHG. ernust, G. ernst; cf. Icel. orrosta battle, perh. akin to Gr. 'orny`nai to excite, L. oriri to rise

adjective Ear"nest
Senses
  1. Ardent in the pursuit of an object; eager to obtain or do; zealous with sincerity; with hearty endeavor; heartfelt; fervent; hearty; -- used in a good sense; as, earnest prayers."An earnest advocate to plead for him." [Shak.]
  2. Intent; fixed closely; as, earnest attention.
  3. Serious; important.(Obs)"They whom earnest lets do often hinder." [Hooker.]
    synonyms: Eager; warm; zealous; ardent; animated; importunate; fervent; sincere; serious; hearty; urgent. See Eager.
verb Ear"nest
To use in earnest.
noun Ear"nest
Senses
  1. Something given, or a part paid beforehand, as a pledge; pledge; handsel; a token of what is to come."Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." [2 Cor. i. 22.]"And from his coffers Received the golden earnest of our death." [Shak.]
  2. [Law] Something of value given by the buyer to the seller, by way of token or pledge, to bind the bargain and prove the sale.
    synonyms: Earnest Pledge.

Usage: These words are here compared as used in their figurative sense. Earnest is not so strong as pledge. An earnest, like first fruits, gives assurance, or at least a high probability, that more is coming of the same kind; a pledge, like money deposited, affords security and ground of reliance for the future. Washington gave earnest of his talent as commander by saving his troops after Braddock's defeat; his fortitude and that of his soldiers during the winter at Valley Forge might rightly be considered a pledge of their ultimate triumph.

Etymology: Prob. corrupted fr. F. arrhes, L. arra arrha arrhabo, Gr. 'arrabw`n, of Semitic origin, cf. Heb. ērāvōn; or perh. fr. W. ernes, akin to Gael. earlas, perh. fr. L. arra. Cf. Arles Earles penny

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Something of value given by one person to another to bind a contract
  2. Not distracted by anything unrelated to the goal
  3. Characterized by a firm and humorless belief in the validity of your opinions ("both sides were deeply in earnest, even passionate")
  4. Sincerely earnest
Wiktionary

From Middle English ernest, eornest, from Old English eornest, eornost, eornust (“earnestness, zeal, seriousness, battle”), from Proto-Germanic *ernustuz (“earnest, strength, solidity, struggle, fight”), a derivative of Proto-Germanic *arniz (“efficient, capable, diligent, sure”), from Proto-Indo-European *er- (“to cause to move, arouse, increase”). Cognate with West Frisian earnst (“earnest, seriousness”), Dutch ernst (“seriousness, gravity, earnest”), German Ernst (“seriousness, earnestness, zeal, vigour”), Icelandic ern (“brisk, vigorous”), Gothic 𐌰𐍂𐌽𐌹𐌱𐌰 (arniba, “secure, certain, sure”).

  1. Gravity; serious purpose; earnestness.
  2. Seriousness; reality; actuality (as opposed to joking or pretence)

The adjective is from Middle English eornest, from Old English eornoste (“earnest, zealous, serious”), from the noun. Cognate with North Frisian ernste (“earnest”), Middle Low German ernest, ernst (“serious, earnest”), German ernst (“serious, earnest”).

  1. Gravity; serious purpose; earnestness.
  2. Seriousness; reality; actuality (as opposed to joking or pretence)

Of uncertain origin; apparently related to erres. Compare also arles.

  1. A sum of money paid in advance as a deposit; hence, a pledge, a guarantee, an indication of something to come.

earn +‎ -est

    Notable Persons Named Earnest

    Earnest Byner is a football player for the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Earnest was born on September 15th, 1962 in Milledgeville, Georgia.

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    Earnest Hooton was a scientist in the field of biological anthropology. Earnest was born on November 20th, 1887. He left this life on May 3rd, 1954.

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    Earnest Graham is a football player. Earnest was born on January 15th, 1980 in Naples, Florida.

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    Earnest Pugh is a gospel music singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor. He plays Vocals. He has been prominent since 1999. Earnest was born Earnest Pugh on November 23rd, 1971 in Memphis, Tennessee.

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    Earnest Elmo Calkins was an advertising executive. Earnest was born on March 15th, 1868. He breathed his last breath on October 4th, 1964.

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    Earnest Jackson is a football player. His career lasted from 1983 to 1988. Earnest was born on December 18th, 1959 in Needville, Texas.

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    Notable Persons With the Last Name Earnest

    Josh Earnest is a 30th White House Press Secretary. Josh was born on January 22nd, 1975 in Kansas City, Missouri.

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    Dakota Earnest is a famed human. Dakota was born on November 16th, 1993 in Lubbock, Texas.

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    James Earnest was a leading person. James was born in 1818. He breathed his last breath in 1900.

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    Prasanna Earnest is a Mayor of Kollam and Mayor of Kollam(Quilon). Prasanna was born in Kollam.

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    Conrad Earnest is a soccer player for the SUNY Ulster, Akron Zips, New York Eagles, and Cleveland Cobras. Conrad was born on December 20th, 1957 in Woodstock, New York.

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    G. Brooks Earnest was a fourth president of fenn college, cleveland state university, and fourth president offenn college. G. was born on October 2nd, 1902 in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, USA. He passed away on September 13th, 1992.

    Popularity:

    How popular is the baby name Earnest in the U.S.?

    Click Here to Show Chart Data
    Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
    1880 88 0 88
    1881 92 0 92
    1882 104 0 104
    1883 87 0 87
    1884 109 0 109
    1885 120 0 120
    1886 105 0 105
    1887 99 0 99
    1888 138 0 138
    1889 101 0 101
    1890 122 0 122
    1891 114 0 114
    1892 149 0 149
    1893 132 0 132
    1894 131 0 131
    1895 143 0 143
    1896 144 0 144
    1897 148 0 148
    1898 166 5 161
    1899 146 0 146
    1900 223 0 223
    1901 131 0 131
    1902 159 0 159
    1903 140 0 140
    1904 189 0 189
    1905 172 0 172
    1906 183 0 183
    1907 225 0 225
    1908 230 0 230
    1909 255 0 255
    1910 255 0 255
    1911 283 0 283
    1912 486 0 486
    1913 528 7 521
    1914 645 7 638
    1915 824 0 824
    1916 789 9 780
    1917 930 7 923
    1918 1,092 9 1,083
    1919 1,077 13 1,064
    1920 1,102 10 1,092
    1921 1,143 15 1,128
    1922 1,107 19 1,088
    1923 1,082 19 1,063
    1924 1,158 14 1,144
    1925 1,117 15 1,102
    1926 1,160 10 1,150
    1927 1,077 15 1,062
    1928 1,056 14 1,042
    1929 1,011 14 997
    1930 1,002 11 991
    1931 925 12 913
    1932 886 13 873
    1933 865 8 857
    1934 936 13 923
    1935 897 16 881
    1936 829 14 815
    1937 843 10 833
    1938 844 17 827
    1939 826 18 808
    1940 808 12 796
    1941 831 19 812
    1942 848 11 837
    1943 956 18 938
    1944 905 9 896
    1945 826 20 806
    1946 862 11 851
    1947 992 12 980
    1948 910 10 900
    1949 905 18 887
    1950 908 18 890
    1951 815 12 803
    1952 827 13 814
    1953 804 17 787
    1954 786 17 769
    1955 709 10 699
    1956 734 12 722
    1957 644 12 632
    1958 644 12 632
    1959 575 14 561
    1960 610 17 593
    1961 534 11 523
    1962 498 0 498
    1963 471 5 466
    1964 424 7 417
    1965 454 12 442
    1966 433 10 423
    1967 390 10 380
    1968 390 0 390
    1969 384 5 379
    1970 392 9 383
    1971 371 8 363
    1972 338 5 333
    1973 306 0 306
    1974 281 0 281
    1975 291 6 285
    1976 281 0 281
    1977 265 0 265
    1978 220 0 220
    1979 250 5 245
    1980 256 5 251
    1981 235 0 235
    1982 256 0 256
    1983 210 0 210
    1984 174 0 174
    1985 178 0 178
    1986 195 0 195
    1987 170 0 170
    1988 157 0 157
    1989 169 0 169
    1990 145 0 145
    1991 126 0 126
    1992 135 0 135
    1993 92 0 92
    1994 116 0 116
    1995 92 0 92
    1996 84 0 84
    1997 88 0 88
    1998 98 0 98
    1999 77 0 77
    2000 68 0 68
    2001 68 0 68
    2002 63 0 63
    2003 50 0 50
    2004 56 0 56
    2005 49 0 49
    2006 59 0 59
    2007 50 0 50
    2008 51 0 51
    2009 44 0 44
    2010 37 0 37
    2011 53 0 53
    2012 50 0 50
    2013 31 0 31
    2014 37 0 37
    2015 33 0 33
    2016 24 0 24

    Where is the name Earnest popular?

    View popular names by state or region.

    Popularity of Earnest as a first name

    The map shows the relative popularity of the name Earnest as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in Mississippi, Alabama, or Arkansas.

    Popularity of Earnest as a last name

    The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Earnest as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Alabama, Pennsylvania, or Texas.

    Common last names for Earnest

    • Williams
    • Johnson
    • Smith
    • Jones
    • Brown
    • Davis
    • Jackson
    • Taylor
    • Wilson
    • Moore
    • Thomas
    • Walker
    • Miller
    • Harris
    • White
    • Robinson
    • Martin
    • Thompson
    • Lewis
    • Carter

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Earnest U.S.
      White 85.72% 64.26%
      African American 9.45% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.74% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 0.34% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 1.51% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 2.25% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Earnest

    People with the last name Earnest are most frequently White

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Earnest

    • How Popular is the name Earnest? Earnest is the 890th most popular name of all time. As a last name Earnest was the 4,452nd most popular name in 2010.
    • How many people with the first name Earnest have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2016, the Social Security Administration has recorded 58,868 babies born with the first name Earnest in the United States. That's more than enough people named Earnest to occupy the territory of Greenland (Denmark) with an estimated population of 56,749 (as of January 1, 2012).
    • What year were 5 or more babies first named Earnest? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 88 new born babies.
    • When was Earnest first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Earnest is Saturday, February 25th, 1871.
    • What year had the most people named Earnest born? The highest recorded use of the first name Earnest was in 1926 with a total of 1,150 babies. That's a lot of babies named Earnest!
    • Random Earnest Factoid: According to the 1923 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Earnest ranks 77th in popularity as a baby boy's name in Florida. Imagine that, 28 babies in Florida have the same name as you in 1923.
    • Weird things about the name Earnest: Your name in reverse order is Tsenrae. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Anestre. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Earnest? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 7,968 people with the last name Earnest.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Earnest? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 3 of them will have Earnest as their last name.

    What Earnest's Have Visited This Page?

    Name poster for Earnest

    Name poster for Earnest(click to save the high quality version)

    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
    • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
    • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
    • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
    • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.