Eric comes from the Old Norse, ei rikr which means "complete ruler". According to babynamer.com, the name Eric was first popularized as an English name in the 1800's by the writer Frederic Farrar (whom I have never heard of). In the 1990 census, "Eric" ranked 33rd among all males (or 0.544%, so one out of every 184 boys in America is an Eric). Suprisingly "Eric" also ranks 2425th among females! That's 0.002% or about 5,500 girl-Erics in America. I don't know what to make of this. Perhaps there are a lot of gender-confused Erics around. As a last name, "Eric" is statistically insignificant, ranking 64,275th.
No one ever made fun of my name when I was growing up (no doubt because there were plenty of other things to make fun of), but two mean things kids can say are "Hysteric" and "Erect". Apparently, in Britian, "Eric" is slang for "nerd".
Alternative spellings include "Erik" and "Erick". A nickname for "Eric" is "Rick" (although I don't see what's so great about that since they both are four-letter words.)
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