Pet form of Patricia or Patrick. It is generally a girl's name; as a boy's name it is almost completely restricted to Irish communities. Its popularity does not seem to have been seriously affected by its use in derogatory senses in the general vocabulary, in America meaning ‘a dupe’ and in Australia ‘a homosexual’. It is sometimes used as an independent girl's name.
English (especially Yorkshire) and Scottish: occupational name for a fuller, Middle English walkere, Old English wealcere, an agent derivative of wealcan ‘to walk, tread’. This was the regular term for the occupation during the Middle Ages in western and northern England. Compare Fuller and Tucker. As a Scottish surname it has also been used as a translation of Gaelic Mac an Fhucadair ‘son of the fuller’.