Originally a transferred use of a famous surname, but long established as a given name. From medieval times it was often used as a pet form of Piers, and now often as a pet form of Percival. The surname originated as a Norman baronial name, borne by a family who had held a fief in Normandy called Perci (from Late Latin Persiacum, composed of the Gallo-Roman personal name Persius and the local suffix -acum). As a given name it was taken up in the early 18th century in the Seymour family, which had intermarried with the Percy family. The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822) was also distantly connected with this family, and it was partly due to his influence that the given name became more widespread. It is out of fashion at present.