Richard Best in the US

  1. #48,123 Patricia Wilcox
  2. #48,124 Patsy Taylor
  3. #48,125 Rachel Russell
  4. #48,126 Raymond Foster
  5. #48,127 Richard Best
  6. #48,128 Richard Garrison
  7. #48,129 Richard Strong
  8. #48,130 Rickey Williams
  9. #48,131 Robert Engle
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Meaning & Origins

One of the most enduringly successful of the Old French personal names introduced into Britain by the Normans. It is of Germanic (Frankish) origin, derived from rīc ‘power’ + hard ‘strong, hardy’. It has enjoyed continuous popularity in England from the Conquest to the present day, influenced by the fact that it was borne by three kings of England, in particular Richard I (1157–99). He was king for only ten years (1189–99), most of which he spent in warfare abroad, taking part in the Third Crusade and costing the people of England considerable sums in taxes. Nevertheless, he achieved the status of a folk hero, and was never in England long enough to disappoint popular faith in his goodness and justice. He was also Duke of Aquitaine and Normandy and Count of Anjou, fiefs which he held at a time of maximum English expansion in France. His exploits as a leader of the Third Crusade earned him the nickname ‘Coeur de Lion’ or ‘Lionheart’ and a permanent place in popular imagination, in which he was even more firmly enshrined by Sir Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe (1820).
8th in the U.S.
English, northern Irish, and French: from Middle English, Old French beste ‘animal’, ‘beast’ (Latin bestia), applied either as a metonymic occupational name for someone who looked after beasts—a herdsman—or as a derogatory nickname for someone thought to resemble an animal, i.e. a violent, uncouth, or stupid man. It is unlikely that the name is derived from best, Old English betst, superlative of good. By far the most frequent spelling of the French surname is Beste, but it is likely that in North America this form has largely been assimilated to Best.
850th in the U.S.

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