What Does The Name Herbert Mean?


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Will Martin answered
This very English-sounding boy's name is in fact Old French in origin (the French pronunciation is Air-Bair), based like many old French names on Germanic words. These are heri or hari "army" and berth "bright" or "famous."

There was an Old English name Herebeorht, with the same meaning, but like many Old English names it died out after the Norman Conquest. After the Conquest Herbert became a surname (as it often still is) and was the name of a very prominent aristocratic family whose members included the Earl of Pembroke and the metaphysical poet George Herbert.

It is no longer common in Britain, though there was a revival in the 19th century; it used to be rather more popular in the US, where it is often shortened to Herb. For generations, the pet form Herbie is associated with the much-loved car in the films of that name.

Famous Herberts include the late actor Herbert Lom.

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