Percy is a short form of Percival, first created by French poet Chrétien de Troyes for his poem Perceval, the story of the Grail in the 12th century. It’s likely the name was based on Welsh Peredur meaning “hard spear” though the spelling of the name was altered to resemble Old French percer val “to pierce the valley”. Percival is one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legends. Percy could also be a nickname for Perseus, a figure from Greek mythology (son of the Greek god Zeus); though the etymology behind his name in uncertain, it has been linked to Greek perthein meaning “to waste, ravage, sack, destroy”.
Percy is also a surname derived from the name of a Norman town called Percy-en-Auge which may originally have been a Gaulish name Latinized as Persius, which is also a Roman family name though it may also be from Old French percer (to pierce, to breach) and haie (hedge, enclosure), perhaps given to a soldier who breached a fortification or a poacher who hunted in a private park.
Origin: Welsh, Old French, Greek
- Peredur (Welsh)
- Percival (English)
- Perseus (Greek)