[ 2 syll. er-nes(t), ern-e-st ] The baby boy name Ernest is pronounced as AHR-NahST (English) †. Ernest is an English, French, and Slavic name of Germanic origin. It is derived from the element 'eornost' meaning earnest, seriousness, steadfastness, battle to the death. Arnest (Germanic), Arnust (Germanic), Ernestinus (Latin), and Ernestus (Latin) are old forms of Ernest. The name was first introduced to English speakers in the 18th century by the followers of Hanoverian George I, who was a Prince-Elector of the Roman Empire. In literature, it has appeared as the name of the fictional Ernest Worthing in Oscar Wilde's comedy The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). The name Ernesta (English, German, Italian, and Spanish) is the female equivalent of Ernest.
Ernest is a widely used name; it has 28 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Arnesto, Earnea, Earnee, Earnesto, Earney, Earni, Earnie, Earny, Ernea, Ernee, Erneste, Ernesto (used in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish too), Ernestus, Erney, Erni, and Erny. The short form Ern, the diminutive form Ernie, and the variant spelling Earnest are other English forms.
Foreign variants of Ernest include Arnost (Czech), Earnan (Irish), Ernestino (Spanish), Erneszt (Hungarian), Erno (Finnish and Hungarian), Ernö (Hungarian), Ernst (Dutch, German, and Scandinavian), and Neto (Spanish). Another foreign variant is the short form Arno (Czech).
Ernest is a classic favorite. Currently it is still somewhat popular as a baby name for boys, though not to the extent it was before. At the peak of its usage in 1906, 0.654% of baby boys were given the name Ernest. It ranked at #28 then. The baby name has since suffered a marked loss in popularity, and is in recent years of occasional use. In 2018, its usage was only 0.011% and its ranking #978. Out of the group of boy names directly linked to Ernest, Ernesto was the most frequently used. In 2018, it was used 56% more than Ernest.
† Pronunciation for Ernest: AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; R as in "race (R.EY.S)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; S as in "see (S.IY)" ; T as in "tee (T.IY)"
Details of famous persons named Ernest:
Actor Ernest Borgnine, born Ermes Effron Borgnino, 24 January 1917, Hamden, Connecticut.
Author Ernest Hemingway, born 21 July 1899 - 2 July 1961, Oak Park, Illinois.
Comedian Ernie Wise, born Ernest Wiseman, 27 November 1925 - 21 March 1999, Bramley, Leeds West Yorkshire, England.
Explorer Ernest Shackleton, born 15 February 1874 - 5 June 1922, Kilkee, Ireland.
Physicist Ernest O. Lawrence, born 8 August 1901 - 27 August 1958, Canton, South Dakota.
Physicist Ernest Rutherford, born 30 August 1871 - 19 October 1937, Brightwater, New Zealand.
Politician Ernest Bevin, born 27 July 1945 - 9 March 1951, Somerset, England.