[ 1 syll. pau(l), pa-ul ] The baby boy name Paul is pronounced as PAOL (English), POWL (French), or PAWL (German) †. Paul is used predominantly in the Dutch, English, French, and German languages, and it is derived from Latin origins. A biblical name, it is derived from the element 'paulus' which means little, humble. Paulus (Latin) is an old form of Paul. Paulus was originally a Roman nickname, but it soon evolved into a given name after the Classical era. The name was borne in the Bible by Paul, known as the 'Apostle to the Gentiles'; before he converted to Christianity, his name was Saul. Together with Peter, he is considered the most notable of early Christian missionaries, and numerous books in the New Testament were written by him. The name has thus been traditionally popular with Christians; it was already in use by English speakers prior to the Norman Conquest. The name has been borne by six popes. The name Paula (English, French, German, Polish, and Spanish) is the female version of Paul.
The name Paul is used to a great extent; it has 67 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Paley, Paol, Pascha, Pashenka, Pasko, Pauel, Paulia, Paulis, Paull, Paulle, Paulot, Paulsen, Paulson, Paulus, Pauly, Paulys, Paúl, Pavlof, Pavlos, Pavlushka, Pol (used in Irish and Scandinavian too), Poll, Pollard, and Powell. The pet form Paulie is another English variant.
Foreign variants of Paul include Boghos (Armenian), Bulus (Arabic), Havel (Czech), Oalo (Spanish), Paavo (Finnish), Pabel (Russian), Pabla (Spanish), Pablo (Spanish), Pal (Hungarian and Scandinavian), Pali (Hungarian), Palika (Hungarian), Pall (Scandinavian), Paolo (Italian), Pashka (Russian), Pau (Catalan), Paule (French), Paulin (French, German, and Polish), Paulino (Spanish), Paulinus (Lithuanian), Pauliño (Spanish), Paulo (Hawaiian, Italian, Portuguese, Scandinavian, and Spanish), Paulos (Greek and Polish), Pauls (Latvian), Pavel (Czech, Russian, and Slavic), Pavils (Latvian), Pavle (Slavic), Pavlik (Russian), Pavlo (Russian and Ukrainian), Pawel (Polish and Russian), and Pawl (Russian and Welsh). Specific foreign variants include the pet forms Pasha (Russian), Pauli (Finnish), Pava (Russian), Pavlicek (Czech), Pavlík (Czech), Pavlousek (Czech), and Pusha (Russian).
Paul is a classic favorite. Today it is still popular as a baby name for boys, though not to the extent it was before. At the peak of its usage in 1964, 1.326% of baby boys were given the name Paul. Its ranking then was #16. The baby name has since suffered a substantial fall in popularity, and is currently of occasional use. In 2018, its usage was only 0.084% and its ranking #234, but it was nonetheless the most popular out of all boy names in its group. In 2018, Paul was twice as popular as the subsequent ranked name, Pablo. The name Paul has predominantly been a baby boy name, though it has also been given to girls in the past century. In 1969, baby boys named Paul outnumbered girls by 164 times.
† Pronunciation for Paul: P as in "pea (P.IY)" ; AO as in "ought (AO.T)" ; L as in "lay (L.EY)" ; OW as in "oak (OW.K)" ; AW as in "cow (K.AW)"
Details of famous persons named Paul:
Actor Paul Giamatti, born 6 June 1967, New Haven, Connecticut.
Actor Paul Lynde, born 13 June 1927 - 9 January 1982, Mount Vernon, Ohio.
Actor Paul Newman, born 26 January 1925, Cleveland, Ohio.
Actor Paul Reubens, born Paul Reubenfeld, 27 August 1952, Peekskill, New York.
Actor Paul Walker, born 12 September 1973, Glendale, California.
Artist Paul Klee, born 18 December 1879 - 29 June 1940, Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland.
Author Paul Bowles, born 30 December 1910 - 18 November 1999, Jamaica, New York.
Business Personality Paul Allen, born 1953, Mercer Island, Washington.
Filmmaker Paul Haggis, born 10 March 1953, London, Ontario, Canada.
Filmmaker Paul Schrader, born 22 July 1946, Grand Rapids, Michigan.