Name apparently coined by James Fenimore Cooper for one of the characters in The Last of the Mohicans (1826). It could represent a Latinized form of Greek Korē ‘maiden’. In classical mythology this was a euphemistic name of the goddess of the underworld, Persephone, and would not have been a well-omened name to take. Nevertheless, this has not proved an obstacle to its use in the English-speaking world.
English: from either of two Germanic personal names introduced to Britain by the Normans: Gerard, composed of the elements gar, ger ‘spear’, ‘lance’ + hard ‘hardy’, ‘brave’, ‘strong’; and Gerald, composed of the elements gār, gēr ‘spear’, ‘lance’ + wald ‘rule’.