What would the Latin equivalent of Gerald (found also in French as Giraud, Géraud, etc.)? I found both Geraldus and Giraudus online.

  • Are you sure Giraud is a form of Gerald? And not Gerard?
    – Figulus
    Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 16:11
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    @Figulus l-vocalisation is a regular phenomenon in French, r-vocalisation is not. No doubt the two names got confused in practice, though.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 17:39
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    @Figulus I think Gérard and Giraud aren't etymologically related
    – user11281
    Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


The way to Latinize the name Gerald is definitely Geraldus:

  • Adding -us (or sometimes -ius) and treating the resulting word as a second-declension noun is not just a straight and simple way to Latinize male names (especially those ending in consonants), but also very time-honoured.
  • Geraldus is a well-established form; for example, the primary source on the life of St. Gerald (Gerald of Aurillac, French: Géraud d'Aurillac) is Odo of Cluny's Vita sancti Geraldi Auriliacensis. There are other St. Geralds; for example, Gerald of Ostia, a German saint who died in 1077, has no biography of his own, but is called Geraldus in the Vita prior sancti Udalrici prioris Cellensis).
  • There is no sensible explanation why you would Latinize Gerald as Giraudus. It is not an older form or precursor. It makes no sense to just change letters like that.

It would be different if you asked how to Latinize the name Giraud, because (while Giraudus would clearly be an option) we could then have a discussion whether it is not derived from an older form Gerald. (According to Wikipedia, it is not, but who knows. Certainly this would be true if you asked about Géraud instead.) When Latinizing names, it is not uncommon to look for precursors, which often have established Latinizations, and so you get Iacobus for James, Ioannes for John, etc. Another thing people do, if a name has a clear meaning, it can be translated, e.g. Pistor for Baker, etc. However, none of these approaches would lead us from Gerald to Giraudus.

(Which, by the way, you claim to have found "online," but it is apparently so rare on the Internet that Google thinks I mistyped and shows me results for "Giraudi" instead.)

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    Doesn't your Wikipedia link go to Gerard? What has that got to do with Giraud?
    – Asteroides
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 0:19
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    @Asteroides That article says that Giraud comes from Gerard and that Gerald is unrelated. However, there are no citations for those sections. Worse still that under the Giraud article, it cites some random "behind the name" website, and that also lacks any sources.
    – cmw
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 0:38
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    Oh, yeah, I missed that it describes it in the section on "patronymic surnames"
    – Asteroides
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 0:45
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    Nitpick about the last paragraph: wouldn't an attestation for "Giraudi" be equivalent to an attestation for "Giraudus"? After all you cite the Vita Sancti Geraldi for Geraldus.
    – Draconis
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 3:37
  • @Asteroides Sorry, I accidentally copied the wrong link. Fixed. Though, as cmw says, Wikipedia is hardly a reliable source in this case, and I don't see why Giraud could not just as well derive from Gerald. Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 6:20

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