• 825k Ruth

Ruth

First Name
825k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
15k
in the U.S.
in 2010
Girls
Boys
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Last
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How to Pronounce Ruth

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Ruth mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Ruth

"Ruth" is a name of Hebrew origin, and it means "Friendship". It's a name commonly given to girls.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Ruth
Senses
  1. Sorrow for the misery of another; pity; tenderness.(Poetic)"They weep for ruth."Chaucer."Have ruthof the poor."Piers Plowman."To stir up gentle ruth, Both for her noble blood, and for her tender youth." [Spenser.]
  2. That which causes pity or compassion; misery; distress; a pitiful sight.(Obs)"It had been hard this ruth for to see." [Chaucer.]"With wretched miseries and woeful ruth." [Spenser.]

Etymology: From Rue (v.): cf. Icel. hryggð hrygð

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A book of the Old Testament that tells the story of Ruth who was not an Israelite but who married an Israelite and who stayed with her mother-in-law Naomi after her husband died
  2. A feeling of sympathy and sorrow for the misfortunes of others
  3. The great-grandmother of king David whose story is told in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament
  4. United States professional baseball player famous for hitting home runs (1895-1948)
Wiktionary

From Ruth the Moabite, Hebrew רות, of uncertain origin, possibly meaning "companion". Also associated with the English noun ruth by Puritans.

  1. A book of the Old Testament and the Hebrew Tanakh.
  2. Ruth, the resident of Moab around whom the text centers.
  3. A female given name.

Ruth was also found in the following language(s): Danish, Dutch, Estonian, German, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish

Notable Persons Named Ruth

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a judge. Ruth was born on March 15th, 1933.

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Bette Davis was an actress. She was most active from 1929 to 1989. Bette was given the name Ruth Elizabeth Davis on April 5th, 1908 in Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S. She left this life on October 6th, 1989.

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Ruth Negga is an actress. She was most active from 2004 to present. Ruth was born Ruth Negga in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Ruth Wilson is an actress. She has had major accomplishments since 2005. Ruth was born on January 13th, 1982 in Ashford, Middlesex, England.

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Ruth was born on December 9th, 1923 in Blackheath, London. Ruth is also known as First Lady of Botswana. She left this life on May 22nd, 2002.

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Ruth B is a musician. Her ongoing career started in 2013. Ruth was given the name Ruth Berhe on July 2nd, 1995 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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Notable Persons With the Last Name Ruth

Babe Ruth was a baseball player. Babe was born on February 6th, 1895 in Baltimore. He passed away on August 16th, 1948.

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Betsy was born on January 17th, 1985 in Ruskin, Florida, United States.

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Dorothy was born on June 7th, 1921. She died on May 18th, 1989.

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Roy Del Ruth was a film director. He was most active from 1929 to 1929. Roy was born on October 18th, 1893. He left this life on April 27th, 1961.

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Nancy Ruth is a Senator for Cluny, Ontario, and SenatorforCluny. Nancy was born on January 6th, 1942 in Toronto.

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Taylor was born on January 13th, 1905. She breathed her last breath on April 12th, 1984.

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

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born Ranking
1880 234 234 0 #93 girl name
1881 275 275 0 #84 girl name
1882 323 323 0 #80 girl name
1883 387 387 0 #73 girl name
1884 442 442 0 #74 girl name
1885 511 506 5 #70 girl name
1886 581 581 0 #66 girl name
1887 632 627 5 #62 girl name
1888 850 850 0 #59 girl name
1889 1,073 1,073 0 #46 girl name
1890 1,200 1,195 5 #46 girl name
1891 1,857 1,857 0 #19 girl name
1892 3,302 3,290 12 #5 girl name
1893 3,670 3,658 12 #3 girl name
1894 3,387 3,372 15 #6 girl name
1895 3,558 3,551 7 #6 girl name
1896 3,917 3,905 12 #5 girl name
1897 3,898 3,878 20 #5 girl name
1898 4,264 4,249 15 #5 girl name
1899 3,921 3,912 9 #5 girl name
1900 4,781 4,765 16 #5 girl name
1901 3,989 3,974 15 #5 girl name
1902 4,401 4,384 17 #5 girl name
1903 4,531 4,518 13 #5 girl name
1904 4,915 4,900 15 #5 girl name
1905 5,088 5,068 20 #5 girl name
1906 5,159 5,140 19 #5 girl name
1907 5,588 5,573 15 #5 girl name
1908 6,200 6,180 20 #4 girl name
1909 6,526 6,509 17 #4 girl name
1910 7,247 7,212 35 #5 girl name
1911 8,032 8,003 29 #5 girl name
1912 11,323 11,280 43 #5 girl name
1913 12,641 12,608 33 #5 girl name
1914 15,885 15,839 46 #5 girl name
1915 21,926 21,880 46 #5 girl name
1916 23,244 23,189 55 #5 girl name
1917 23,617 23,567 50 #5 girl name
1918 25,582 25,535 47 #5 girl name
1919 24,628 24,565 63 #5 girl name
1920 26,155 26,101 54 #5 girl name
1921 25,840 25,782 58 #5 girl name
1922 23,702 23,629 73 #5 girl name
1923 23,699 23,637 62 #6 girl name
1924 23,671 23,600 71 #6 girl name
1925 22,326 22,249 77 #6 girl name
1926 20,293 20,220 73 #6 girl name
1927 19,504 19,413 91 #6 girl name
1928 17,930 17,863 67 #6 girl name
1929 16,084 16,014 70 #8 girl name
1930 15,010 14,940 70 #10 girl name
1931 13,189 13,128 61 #11 girl name
1932 12,328 12,252 76 #11 girl name
1933 11,189 11,137 52 #13 girl name
1934 10,630 10,565 65 #13 girl name
1935 10,041 9,989 52 #15 girl name
1936 9,255 9,212 43 #16 girl name
1937 9,653 9,604 49 #15 girl name
1938 9,344 9,301 43 #21 girl name
1939 9,109 9,059 50 #22 girl name
1940 8,922 8,886 36 #24 girl name
1941 8,901 8,862 39 #28 girl name
1942 9,359 9,316 43 #33 girl name
1943 9,409 9,367 42 #33 girl name
1944 8,707 8,675 32 #32 girl name
1945 8,062 8,043 19 #33 girl name
1946 8,502 8,472 30 #38 girl name
1947 8,506 8,481 25 #44 girl name
1948 7,917 7,903 14 #45 girl name
1949 7,672 7,651 21 #47 girl name
1950 7,138 7,128 10 #49 girl name
1951 7,088 7,077 11 #53 girl name
1952 6,965 6,948 17 #57 girl name
1953 6,586 6,577 9 #62 girl name
1954 6,576 6,568 8 #66 girl name
1955 6,202 6,185 17 #70 girl name
1956 6,086 6,073 13 #77 girl name
1957 5,686 5,666 20 #84 girl name
1958 5,260 5,247 13 #90 girl name
1959 5,063 5,051 12 #97 girl name
1960 4,960 4,943 17 #97 girl name
1961 4,903 4,891 12 #96 girl name
1962 4,315 4,293 22
1963 3,887 3,870 17
1964 3,653 3,636 17
1965 3,242 3,230 12
1966 2,858 2,847 11
1967 2,435 2,420 15
1968 2,156 2,148 8
1969 1,911 1,903 8
1970 1,829 1,818 11
1971 1,640 1,628 12
1972 1,383 1,383 0
1973 1,288 1,274 14
1974 1,305 1,300 5
1975 1,235 1,230 5
1976 1,209 1,198 11
1977 1,197 1,189 8
1978 1,219 1,208 11
1979 1,209 1,201 8
1980 1,262 1,254 8
1981 1,272 1,266 6
1982 1,193 1,178 15
1983 1,135 1,124 11
1984 1,174 1,163 11
1985 1,125 1,116 9
1986 1,096 1,083 13
1987 1,040 1,031 9
1988 1,012 998 14
1989 997 985 12
1990 913 906 7
1991 990 985 5
1992 853 853 0
1993 862 857 5
1994 879 879 0
1995 856 850 6
1996 801 801 0
1997 856 856 0
1998 850 850 0
1999 867 867 0
2000 902 902 0
2001 940 940 0
2002 900 900 0
2003 888 888 0
2004 905 905 0
2005 906 906 0
2006 889 889 0
2007 957 957 0
2008 929 924 5
2009 912 912 0
2010 928 928 0
2011 898 898 0
2012 926 926 0
2013 985 985 0
2014 1,054 1,054 0
2015 1,099 1,099 0
2016 1,081 1,081 0

Explain the Trends

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Where is the name Ruth popular?

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Popularity of Ruth as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Ruth as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, or North Dakota.

Popularity of Ruth as a last name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Ruth as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Delaware.

Common last names for Ruth

  • Smith
  • Johnson
  • Miller
  • Brown
  • Jones
  • Williams
  • Davis
  • Anderson
  • Wilson
  • Moore
  • Taylor
  • Thompson
  • Martin
  • White
  • Thomas
  • Clark
  • Harris
  • Nelson
  • Lewis
  • Jackson

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Ruth U.S.
  White 82.54% 64.26%
  African American 11.83% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.84% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.49% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 1.57% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.73% 16.26%

Of Last Name Ruth

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

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Ruth

  • How Popular is the name Ruth? Ruth is the 60th most popular name of all time. As a last name Ruth was the 2,414th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Ruth have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2016, the Social Security Administration has recorded 825,110 babies born with the first name Ruth in the United States. That's more than enough people named Ruth to occupy the country of Guyana with an estimated population of 784,894 (as of July 1, 2010).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Ruth? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 234 new born babies.
  • When was Ruth first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Ruth is Thursday, May 12th, 1825.
  • What year had the most people named Ruth born? The highest recorded use of the first name Ruth was in 1920 with a total of 26,101 babies. That's a lot of babies named Ruth!
  • Random Ruth Factoid: According to the 1947 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Ruth ranks 32nd in popularity as a baby girl's name in Kentucky. Imagine that, 218 babies in Kentucky have the same name as you in 1947.
  • Weird things about the name Ruth: Your name in reverse order is Htur. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Htru. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Ruth? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 15,012 people with the last name Ruth.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Ruth? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 5 of them will have Ruth as their last name.

What Ruths Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Ruth

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  • 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.