Learn English – the meaning of “Dick” when it is a person’s name?


Some people are named "Dick". What does "Dick" mean when it is a name?

Best Answer

Dick is a nickname for Richard. When it’s not a name, dick is slang for a penis or an unkind person. There are a lot of jokes about this.

From Behind the Name:

Means “brave power”, derived from the Germanic elements ric “power, rule” and hard “brave, hardy”. The Normans introduced this name to Britain, and it has been very common there since that time. It was borne by three kings of England including Richard I the Lionheart, leader of the Third Crusade in the 12th century. Famous bearers include two German opera composers, Richard Wagner (1813–1883) and Richard Strauss (1864–1949), as well as British explorer Sir Richard Burton (1821–1890) and American musician Little Richard (1920–).

In the Middle Ages, it was common to use rhyming nicknames of this sort, many of which live on:

  • Richard → Rick → Dick
  • Edward → Ed → Ned
  • Robert → Rob → Bob
  • William → Will → Bill

See Name Nerds for a list of these and other nickname patterns.