ralph

[ralf]
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Origin of ralph

First recorded in 1970–75; apparently of expressive orig.

Ralph

[ralf or, esp. British, reyf, rahf, rahlf]
noun
  1. a male given name: from Old Norse words meaning “counsel” and “wolf.”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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Word Origin and History for ralph

Ralph

masc. proper name, shortened from Radulf, from Old Norse Raðulfr (Old English Rædwulf), literally "wolf-counsel," from rað "counsel" (see read (n.)) + ulfr "wolf" (see wolf (n.)). The Century Dictionary also lists it as English printers' slang for "An alleged or imagined evil spirit who does mischief in a printing house."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper