First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Pope

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Pope mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Pope

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Pope
  1. Any ecclesiastic, esp. a bishop.(Obs)
  2. The bishop of Rome, the head of the Roman Catholic Church. See Note under Cardinal.
  3. A parish priest, or a chaplain, of the Greek Church.
  4. [Zoöl] A fish; the ruff.

Etymology: AS. pāpa, L. papa father, bishop. Cf. Papa Papal

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. The head of the Roman Catholic Church
  2. English poet and satirist (1688-1744)

From Middle English pope, popa, from Old English pāpa, from Vulgar Latin papa (“title for priests & bishops, esp. & by 8th c. only the bishop of Rome”), from early Byzantine Greek παπᾶς (papâs, “title for priests & bishops, especially by 3rd c. the bishop of Alexandria”), from late Ancient Greek πάπας (pápas, “title for priests & bishops, in the sense of spiritual father”), from πάππας (páppas, “papa, daddy”).

  1. (Roman Catholicism and generally) An honorary title of the Roman Catholic bishop of Rome as father and head of his church.
    1. (by extension, now often ironic) Any similarly absolute and 'infallible' authority.
    2. (by extension) Any similar head of a religion.
    3. (uncommon) A theocrat, a priest-king, including (at first especially) over the imaginary land of Prester John or (now) in figurative and alliterative uses.
    4. (Britain) An effigy of the pope traditionally burnt in Britain on Guy Fawkes' Day and (occasionally) at other times.
    5. (US, obsolete) Pope Day, the present Guy Fawkes Day.
  2. (Coptic Church) An honorary title of the Coptic bishop of Alexandria as father and head of his church.
  3. (Eastern Orthodoxy) An honorary title of the Orthodox bishop of Alexandria as father and head of his autocephalous church.
  4. (Christianity, historical, obsolete) Any bishop of the early Christian church.
  5. (Britain) The ruffe, a small Eurasian freshwater fish (Gymnocephalus cernua); others of its genus.
  6. (Britain regional, Cumberland, Cornwall, Devon, Scotland) The Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica).
  7. (US regional) The painted bunting (Passerina ciris).
  8. (rare) The red-cowled cardinal (Paroaria dominicana).

By analogy with bishop (“mulled and spiced wine”).

  1. (alcoholic beverages) Any mulled wine (traditionally including tokay) considered similar and superior to bishop.

From Russian поп (pop), from Old Church Slavonic попъ (pop'), from Byzantine Greek as above.

  1. (Russian Orthodoxy) Alternative form of pop, a Russian Orthodox priest.

Of Onomatopoeic origin.

  1. (US, dialectal, obsolete) The whippoorwill (Caprimulgus vociferus).
  2. (US, dialectal, rare) The nighthawk (Chordeiles minor).

    pope was also found in the following language(s): French, Portuguese, and Spanish

    Notable Persons Named Pope

    Pope Pius XII was a pope. Pope was born on March 2nd, 1876. He passed away on October 9th, 1958.


    Pope John XXIII was a pope. Pope was born on November 25th, 1881. He left this life on June 3rd, 1963.


    Pope Julius II was a pope. Pope was born on December 5th, 1443. He died on February 21st, 1513.


    Pope Pius IX was a pope. Pope was born on May 13th, 1792. He died on February 7th, 1878.


    Pope Pius XI was a pope. Pope was born on May 31st, 1857. He died on February 10th, 1939.


    Pope Leo XIII was a pope. Pope was born on March 2nd, 1810. He breathed his last breath on July 20th, 1903.


    Notable Persons With the Last Name Pope

    Cassadee Pope is a country pop, pop rock, power pop, pop punk, and emo pop musician. She plays Guitar, Violin, Drum kit, and Vocals. Her most notable accomplishments were from 2008 to present. Cassadee was given the name Cassadee Blake Pope on August 28th, 1989 in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.


    Alexander Pope was a writer. Alexander was born on May 21st, 1688 in London, England. He breathed his last breath on May 30th, 1744.


    Tameka Cottle is a contemporary r&b, soul music, and hip hop music singer-songwriter and celebrity. She plays Vocals. She was most prominent from 1992 to 2005. Tameka was given the name Tameka Pope on July 14th, 1975 in College Park, Georgia, U.S. Tameka is also known as Tiny.


    Carly Pope is an actress. Her most notable accomplishments were from 1996 to present. Carly was born on August 28th, 1980 in Vancouver.


    Olivia Carolyn Pope is a lawyer, crisis management, and white house communications director.


    John Pope is a military person. His military service ended in 1886.


    Where is the name Pope popular?

    View popular names by state or region.

    Popularity of Pope as a last name

    The map shows the relative popularity of the name Pope as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in North Carolina, Georgia, or Alabama.

    Common last names for Pope

    • Hill

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Pope U.S.
      White 70.83% 64.26%
      African American 23.77% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.47% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 0.61% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 2.13% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 2.19% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Pope

    People with the last name Pope are most frequently White or African American

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Pope

    • How Popular is the name Pope? Pope is the 41,362nd most popular name of all time. As a last name Pope was the 528th most popular name in 2010.
    • How many people with the first name Pope have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 73 babies born with the first name Pope in the United States. That's more than enough people named Pope to occupy the territory of Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 66 (as of July 1, 2008).
    • What year were 5 or more babies first named Pope? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1914 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
    • When was Pope first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Pope is Sunday, September 4th, 1870.
    • What year had the most people named Pope born? The highest recorded use of the first name Pope was in 1918 with a total of 12 babies.
    • Random Pope Factoid: According to the 1921 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Pope is not a popular baby boy's name in Georgia. Imagine that, only 5 babies in Georgia have the same name as you in 1921.
    • Weird things about the name Pope: Your name in reverse order is Epop. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Peop. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Pope? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 63,881 people with the last name Pope.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Pope? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 22 of them will have Pope as their last name.

    What Popes Have Visited This Page?

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    Most Popular Names

    All Name Lists

    • 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.