[ 2 syll. ger-tru-de, ge-rtr-ude ] The baby girl name Gertrude is pronounced in English as GAHR-TRuwD or in Dutch as K-ahR-TRUY-Dah †. Gertrude is used predominantly in Dutch, English, French, German, and Italian, and its origin is Germanic. A two-element name, it is derived from the elements 'ger' which means spear ; 'trud' strength, power.
The name was borne by Saint Gertrude of Nivelles (626-659), whose cult first popularized the name. She was an abbess of the Benedictine monastery of Nivelles in present-day Belgium. She is venerated as the patron saint of cats, and is invoked against mice. Saint Gertrude the Great (1256-1302) was an influential Benedictine nun and mystic writer in Helfta near Eisleben, Germany. Due to her fame, the name Gertrud became widely popular in Germany. Among English speakers, the name was first introduced in the 15th century by settlers from the Low Countries who were in the cloth trade. The name saw a revival in the Romantic revival of the 19th century, but it is today seen as rather outdated. Its popularity could have been diminished by the use of the nickname 'Dirty Gertie'. In literature, the name has been used by Shakespeare for the incestuous mother of the titular character in Hamlet (1599-1601).
Gertrude is a widely used name; it has 49 variations that are used in English and other languages. English variations include Geertruda, Geertruide, Geltruda, Geltrudis, Gerte, Gertea, Gerteah, Gertey, Gerti, Gertina, Gertmda, Gertraude, Gertrudia, Gertrut, Gertruyd, Gertruyde, Gertude, Gertudis, Gerty, and Traudl. Other English variants include the contracted form Gert, and the diminutive forms Gertha, Gertie, Rudy, Trudi (used in German as well), Trudie (used in Dutch and as well), and Trudy (used in Dutch and German as well).
Variations of Gertrude used in other languages include Geerta (Dutch and German), Geertruida (Dutch), Geltrude (Italian), Gertraud (German), Gertruda (Polish), Gertrudes (Portuguese and Spanish), Gertrudis (Spanish), Gertruida (Dutch), Gertrúd (Hungarian), Gesina (Frisian and German), Gesine (Frisian and German), and Kerttu (Finnish). Specific foreign forms include the contracted form Trude (German), the diminutive forms Geertje (Dutch), Geertke (Dutch), Gerda (German), Gerdi (German), Gerta (German), Gesa (Frisian and German), Gesche (Frisian and German), and Gese (Frisian and German), and the spelling variant Gertrud (German).
Gertrude is unusual as a baby name for girls. In 1900, 0.812% of baby girls were named Gertrude. It ranked at #23 then. The baby name has since markedly slipped in popularity, and is currently of irregular use. Among all girl names in its group, Gertrude was nevertheless the most popular in 2012. Gertrude has mostly been a baby girl name, though in the past century it has also been used for boys. In 1911, the name Gertrude was given to 121 times as many baby girls than boys.
Baby names that sound like Gertrude include Gertraude, Gertrud, Gertrut, Gertruyd, Gertruyde, Geertruide, Gertruda, and Gertrúd.
† Pronunciation for Gertrude: G as in "grin (G.R.IH.N)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; R as in "race (R.EY.S)" ; T as in "tee (T.IY)" ; UW as in "two (T.UW)" ; D as in "day (D.EY)" ; K as in "key (K.IY)" ; UY as in "rue (French)"
Details of famous persons named Gertrude:
Actress Gertrude Lawrence, born Gertrud Alexandra Dagmar, 4 July 1898 - 6 September 1952, London, England.
Author Gertrude Stein, born 3 February 1874 - 27 July 1946, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.
Garden Designer Gertrude Jekyll, born 29 November 1843 - 8 December 1932, Mayfair, London, England.
Swimmer Gertrude Ederle, born 23 October 1905 - 30 November 2003, New York, New York.