Italian: from the medieval religious name Romeo ‘pilgrim to Rome’ (Late Latin Romaeus, a derivative of Roma; compare Romolo). For his romantic tragedy, Shakespeare derived the name of the hero, the lover of Juliet, from a poem by Arthur Brooke, The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet. This is ultimately derived from a story by the Italian writer Matteo Bandello (1485–1561), whose works are the source of the plots of several Elizabethan and Jacobean plays. The sudden rise in frequency of the name in Britain may have been influenced at least in part by David and Victoria Beckham, who bestowed it on their second son (b. 2002). The reasons for their choice are not known.