A name for a peaceful ruler

King Frederick the Great (Friedrich II) of Prussia, 1712–1786

I’ve long adored the name Frederick in many of its international forms. It derives from a Germanic name meaning “peaceful ruler,” from the elements fridu (peace) and rih (ruler; power; king). Though it’s historically been very common in German-speaking areas, it took a long time to catch on in the Anglophone world.

The invading Normans brought this name to England in 1066, but it soon dropped from popularity. In the 18th century, it returned by way of the German-born House of Hanover inheriting the British throne.

American abolitionist, social reformer, writer, and orator Frederick Douglass (né Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey), 1817 or 1818–1895

Frederick was #33 in the U.S. in 1880 (its highest rank to date), and remained on the Top 100 till 1957. In 2021, it was #476. The name is much more popular in England and Wales, where it was #61 in 2021, and has been on the Top 100 since 2009. It was also Top 100 in 2005 and 2006.

Other forms of the name include:

1. Friedrich is German. Nicknames are Fritz, Fred, and Fiete.

2. Frederik is Dutch, Danish, and Afrikaans. Dutch nicknames are Frits, Freek (rhymes with rake and brake), Freddy, Fred, and Rik.

3. Fredrik is Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish.

4. Frédéric is French. Without accent marks, Frederic is Catalan.

5. Fryderyk is Polish.

6. Frederico is Portuguese.

7. Federico is Spanish and Italian.

8. Federigo is old Italian.

9. Frīdrihs is Latvian.

10. Fricis is also Latvian.

Polish composer Frédéric François (né Fryderyk Franciszek) Chopin, 1810–1849

11. Friderik is Slovenian.

12. Friðrik is Icelandic.

13. Frigyes is Hungarian. It’s kind of pronounced like FREED-yesh. The Hungarian letter GY is like the soft, barely perceptible DY in due, during, and endure.

14. Fridrik is Croatian.

15. Fridrikh is Russian.

16. Federicu is Corsican and Sardinian.

17. Federich is Piedmontese.

18. Fidericu is Sardinian.

19. Frederig is Breton.

20. Frydrykh is Belarusian.

Latvian Riflemen commander and colonel Frīdrihs Briedis, 1888–1918

21. Frydrichas is Lithuanian.

22. Fridrih is Serbian.

23. Frédéris is Norman.

24. Frederikas is Lithuanian.

25. Freadaraig is Scottish.

26. Federiku is Maltese.

27. Fríðrikur is Faroese.

28. Freiderikos is Greek.

29. Feardorcha is Irish.

30. Ffredrig is Welsh.

Italian Cardinal and Archbishop Federico Borromeo, 1564–1631

31. Fadri is Romansh.

32. Fretterat, or Fretterret, is Sami.

33. Priidik is Estonian. Nicknames include Priit and Priidu.

34. Peleke is Hawaiian.

35. Bedřich is Czech.

36. Rietrikki is a rare, archaic Finnish form.

Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia, later Duchess of York and Albany (1767–1820)

Female forms include:

1. Fredericka is English.

2. Frederica is Portuguese, Gascon, Provençal, Languedocian, Galician, and English.

3. Federica is Italian and Corsican.

4. Fredrika is Finnish and Swedish.

5. Fryderyka is Polish.

6. Frederikke is Danish.

7. Frédérique is French.

8. Friðrika is Icelandic.

9. Friederike is German. Nicknames include Fritzi, Rike, Friede, and Frieda.

10. Frédérika is French.

Finnish historical novelist and journalist Fredrika Runeberg, 1807–1879

11. Fridrika is Hungarian. Nicknames include Fridi and Frici.

12. Frederiek is Dutch, reflecting the French pronunciation of Frédérique.

13. Fredericke is German.

14. Frédérica is a rare Corsican form.

15. Freiderike is Greek.

16. Frideriki is also Greek.

17. Federika is a rare Hungarian form.

18. Bedřiška is Czech.

19. Perderike is Basque.


Peace names

“Peace” is such a beautiful meaning for a name, and there are numerous names meaning “peace” in all sorts of languages. While the English name Peace might strike some as too hippyish or Pilgrimy, those same people might like other names with the same meaning. A lot of what appeals or doesn’t appeal to us in a name often comes down to what we’re used to. One era or culture’s outlandish name is another culture or era’s normal or beautiful.

For the sake of brevity, I won’t be including all the Slavic names with the -mir(a) element, since there are so many of them. Those merit their own post. Since mir also means “world,” their meanings can be read multiple ways.


Kagiso is Tswana, a Bantu language spoken in Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Namibia.

Aştî is Kurdish.

Udo is Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria and parts of Equatorial Guinea.

Mtendere is Chewa, another Bantu language. It’s spoken in Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

Emem is Ibibio, a language spoken in southern Nigeria.

Ning and Ping are Chinese.

Ufuoma is Urhobo, an Edoid language spoken in southern Nigeria.

Yasu is Japanese.

An is Vietnamese and Chinese.

Akpofure means “life is peaceful” in Urhobo.


Shalom is Hebrew.

Avshalom, Abshalom, or Absalom means “my father is peace” in Hebrew.

Barış is Turkish.

Dietfried means “peace of the people” in German.

Fredenand means “brave peace” or “daring peace” in Ancient Germanic.

Frederick (one of my favoritest names!) is the English form of Friduric, a name meaning “peaceful ruler” in Germanic. Other forms of the name include Friedrich (German), Fryderyk (Polish), Frigyes (Hungarian), Frederik (Danish and Dutch), Frédéric (French), Fredrik (Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish), Friderik (Slovenian), Federigo (Italian), Federico (Spanish), Frederico (Portuguese), Fricis (Latvian), and Friðrik (Icelandic). The German name Friedhold has the same meaning.

Fridenot is Ancient Germanic for “need peace.”

Fridumar is Ancient Germanic for “famous peace.”

Manfred is a German, Dutch, and Polish name composed of the elements “strength” and “peace.”

Wilfred is an English name meaning “desiring peace,” from Old English origins.

Xolani is Zulu.


Enkhtuya means “ray of peace” in Mongolian.

Enkhjargal means “peace blessing” in Mongolian.

Irene is an English name which comes from the original Greek Eirene, the goddess of peace. Other forms are Irène (French), Irén (Hungarian), Irena (Polish, Croatian, Lithuanian, Czech, Dutch, Serbian, Slovenian), Irina (Russian, Bulgarian, Georgian, Macedonian, Romanian, Finnish), and Iryna (Ukrainian). While I know this name was most popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, I’ve never considered it dated like some people do. It’s consistently been in the Top 1000, and has never gone lower than #695 in 2010.

Mirembe is Luganda, a language spoken in Uganda.

Pacífica means “peacemaker” in Spanish.

Pax is Latin, after the goddess of peace.

Paz is Spanish.

Rauha is Finnish.

Sakina means both “calmness” and “peace” in Arabic.

Salome is an English name derived from the Hebrew word shalom. Other forms are Salomé (French, Portuguese, Spanish) and Salomea (Polish). Though many people associate this name with the daughter of King Herod who asked for John the Baptist’s head on a platter, no name is actually given in the Bible itself. It was the historian Josephus who named her as Salome, and many modern-day scholars believe much of Josephus’s writings were politically motivated instead of entirely factually accurate.

Shanti is Sanskrit.

Shlomit and Shulamit mean “peaceful” in Hebrew.

Yên means “calm” and “peaceful” in Vietnamese.

Francesca and Frederick


Francesca da Rimini, by William Dyce

Francesca da Rimini (1255–85) appears in Canto V of The Divine Comedy, as she tells Dante her tragic story. She and her lover Paolo Malatesta are condemned to the Second Circle of Hell, for carnal sinners.

Francesca was the daughter of Guido I da Polenta of Ravenna, who forced her to marry Giovanni Malatesta for political reasons. Their families had been at war, and Guido felt this marriage would solidify the peace which had recently been negotiated. After Francesca moved to Rimini upon marriage, she fell in love with Giovanni’s younger brother Paolo, who was also married.

Francesca and Paolo carried on a love affair for ten years, until Giovanni discovered what was going on somewhere between 1283–86, though probably about 1285. Giovanni surprised the couple in Francesca’s bedroom and murdered them both. Over the years, many legends about them sprung up. In Dante’s imagining of Hell, they’re trapped in an eternal whirlwind, symbolic of the passion they were swept away by. Dante is so moved by their story, he faints.

Francesca is the Italian and Catalan feminine form of the Late Latin name Franciscus (Francis), which means “Frenchman.”

Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (26 December 1194–13 December 1250)

Three Emperor Fredericks feature in The Divine Comedy—Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor (Frederick Barbarossa) (1122–10 June 1190); Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor; and King Frederick III of Sicily (13 December 1272–25 June 1337).

Frederick is the English version of a Germanic name meaning “peaceful ruler,” from the elements frid (peace) and ric (ruler; power). I’ve always absolutely loved this name, and all the foreign versions—Friedrich, Frederik, Frédéric, Fredrik, Federigo, Frigyes, Fredrikh, Fryderyk, Friderik. I’m particularly fond of the nicknames Fritz and Freddie, though the nickname Fred feels kind of dated.

There have been so many awesome Fredericks through history (with the name’s various forms), from all sort of fields—politics, philosophy, music, kings, emperors, science. As a classic rock lover, there’s also the association with Freddie Mercury, who still sang like a god as he was dying. (And yes, I know his real name was Farrokh, not Frederick!)