Derek - Meaning of Derek
[ 2 syll. de-rek, der-ek ] The baby boy name Derek is pronounced as DEH-RehK †. Derek is primarily used in the Dutch, English, and German languages, and its language of origin is Gothic. The name is of the meaning ruler of the people. A two-element name, it is derived from the elements 'thiuda' meaning people, race ; 'reiks' rich, powerful, ruler. An old form of Derek is Diederich (Germanic). The name was first introduced by Flemish cloth traders and immigrants, who settled in Britain around the 15th century. In the 16th and 17th centuries, a variant of the name was known from Thomas Derrick, a notable English executioner who devised a system for the hangings; thus the term 'derrick' came to be used for the frame of the hangman's noose and subsequently the modern day cranes.
Derek is a contraction of the English name Theodoric.
The name Derek is used to a great extent; it has 51 forms that are used in English and other languages. Forms used in English include Darek, Darick, Darik, Darrek, Darrik, Dedreck, Dedrek, Dedrik, Der, Derak, Derec, Deric, Derik, Deriq, Derrck, Derrec, Derrek, Derrig, Derryck, Derryk, Deryk, Deryke, Dierck, Dieric, Dirke, Dirkk, Dyrk, Dyrke, Rick, and Ricky. Other English forms include the contractions Del, Derk (used in Dutch and as well), and Dirk (used in Dutch, Flemish, and German as well), the pet form Derry, and the variant spellings Darrick, Dereck, Derick, Derreck, Derrick, Derrik, and Deryck.
Foreign forms of Derek include Diederick (German), Diederik (Dutch), Dieter (German), Dietreich (German), Dietrich (German and Romanian), Ditrik (Hungarian), Dorek (Polish), and Tiede (Dutch). Specific foreign forms include the contractions Dierk (German) and Tjark (Frisian).
Derek is popular as a baby name for boys. The name jumped in popularity from the 1940s up to the 1980s. At the modest peak of its usage in 1987, 0.423% of baby boys were given the name Derek. Its ranking then was #54. The baby name has since declined in popularity. In 2018, its usage was only 0.072% and its ranking #257, but it was nonetheless the most popular out of all boy names in its group. In 2018, Derek was twice as popular as the 2nd most popular name, Derrick.
Baby names that sound like Derek include Dereck, Derrec, Derreck, D'Arcy, Darah, Darcee, Darcey, Darci, Darcie, Darcy, Darek, Darick, Darik, Daris, Dariusz, Darko, Darkoe, Darkow, Darkowe, and Daroosh.
† Pronunciation for Derek: D as in "day (D.EY)" ; EH as in "ebb (EH.B)" ; R as in "race (R.EY.S)" ; K as in "key (K.IY)"
Details of famous persons named Derek:
Actor Dirk Bogarde, born Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde, 28 March 1921 - 8 May 1999, West Hampstead, London, England.
Baseball Player Derek Jeter, born 26 June 1974, Pequannock, New Jersey.