Originally a pet form of Robert, from the short form Rob + the diminutive suffix -in (of Old French origin), but now nearly always used as an independent name. In recent years it has been increasingly used as a girl's name, partly under the influence of the vocabulary word denoting the bird.
English: patronymic from the personal name Robert. This surname is very frequent in Wales and west central England. It is also occasionally borne by Jews, presumably as an Americanized form of a like-sounding Jewish surname.