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The masculine first name Gregory derives from the Latin name "Gregorius", which came from the late Greek name "Γρηγόριος" (Grēgorios) meaning "watchful, alert" (derived from Greek "γρηγoρεῖν" "grēgorein" meaning "to watch").

Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great)
Word/nameGreek via Latin
Meaningwatchful, alert
Region of originworldwide
Related namesGreg, Gregg, Gregor, Grégoire, Grigory, Ory, Grzegorz, Ari, Craig, Graig, McGregor, MacGregor

Through folk etymology, the name also became associated with Latin grex (stem greg–) meaning "flock" or "herd". This association with a shepherd who diligently guides his flock contributed to the name's popularity among monks and popes.

Sixteen popes and two antipopes have used the name Gregorius, starting with Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great). It is tied with Benedict as the second-most popular name for pope, after John. Because of this background, it is also a very common name for saints. Although the name was uncommon in the early 20th century, after the popularity of the actor Gregory Peck it became one of the ten most common male names in the United States in the 1950s and has remained popular since.[1]


Name daysEdit

The Roman Catholic Church traditionally held the feast of Saint Gregory (the Great) on March 12, but changed it to September 3 in 1969. March 12 remains the name day for Gregory in most countries.

Gregory the Theologian (also known as Gregory of Nazianzus) is one of the Three Hierarchs (Ancient Greek: Οἱ Τρεῖς Ἱεράρχαι; Greek: Οι Τρεις Ιεράρχες). The other two are Basil the Great, also known as Basil of Caesarea and John Chrysostom. All three have separate feast days in January: Basil on January 1, Gregory on January 25, and Chrysostom on January 27. [2]

Forms in different languagesEdit


Religious leadersEdit



Indian (Malankara) Orthodox ChurchEdit

Other peopleEdit

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See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "United States Social Security Administration (SSA) Website where the statistics on baby names from 1900 to the present can be looked up)".
  2. ^
  3. ^ Gregory O'Malley Faculty Page. UCSC Retrieved 15 April 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Prix Enfance du Monde, 1958