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Origin, Meaning, And History Of Gertrude

Gertrude is a feminine name with Germanic roots, meaning ‘spear of strength’ or ‘strength of spear.’ The name is derived from Old German elements ‘ger,’ meaning ‘spear’, and ‘drud,’ meaning ‘strength,’ and the Old High German term for the name is Geretrudis. A diminutive of the term is Trudy, which means ‘ruler of the spear’ or ‘wholly beloved.’ The name also has a related meaning of spear maiden, referring to beautiful maidens who served the hammer-wielding German god Thor in Old Norse mythology.

Saint Gertrude of Helfta, also known as Gertrude the Great, was one of the most significant mystics of the 13th century and is historically associated with the name. She practiced ‘nuptial mysticism’ with her teacher Mechtilde and viewed herself as the Bride of Christ.

The name has numerous variations across languages, with many indicating the strength of the spear or a warrior poised for battle. Some major variations include Geertruida, Gertie, Geertje, Gertruida, Trudie, and Truus in Dutch; Geltrude in Italian; Gertrūda in Lithuanian; Gertrudes in Portuguese; Gertrudis in Spanish; and Gertraud in German-speaking countries. Some short forms or nicknames for the name include Gertie, Trudi, Trudie, and Trudy.

In fiction, Gertrude appears prominently in Shakespeare’s Hamlet as the queen of Denmark and mother of Hamlet. Her character’s speech in the play reveals her to be direct and insightful. Other fictional occurrences in modern media include Gertrude “Gigi” Hollingsworth in the Wizards of Waverly Place series, Gertrude Lescot in the Sims series, and Gertrude “Trudy” Hardy, the sister of Fenton Hardy in the famous Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon, David L. Robbins, and Frank Dixon. In the famous Duck family of Disney cartoons, Gertrude Gadwall is married to Clinton Coot. German-Swiss author Hermann Hesse has written a novel titled ‘Gertrud’ which also has a strong influence of Nietzsche, like many of his other works. The novel is in the format of a memoir of a renowned composer called Kuhn.


heart image
The might of the spear.
English, German
 g..  ga..  gar..  Gar..  Ger..  Gje..  Gur.. 

How To Pronounce Gertrude?


Famous People With The Name Gertrude

  • Gertrude BambrickAmerican silent film actress known for films like Two Daughters of Eve
  • Gertrude BergAmerican actress and screenwriter known for her comedy-drama The Rise of the Goldbergs
  • Gertrude AstorAmerican motion picture character actress known for her work in a Biograph short
  • Gertrude AlderferAmerican athlete and the first basewoman and catcher who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • Gertrude AbercrombieAmerican painter known for creating barren landscapes, self-portraits, and still-lifes
  • Gertrude Biggs ColburnAmerican dancer and sculptor known for her plaster cast of the hands of the American artist Adolfo Müller-Ury
  • Gertrude Barrows BennettAmerican fantasy and science fiction writer known for her books Claimed and The Citadel of Fear

Gertrude On The Popularity Chart

From the 1980s, the name’s popularity has been fluctuating but registering a slight increase in popularity. The graph shows that it reached a peak point in 2016 before declining again.

Popularity Over Time

Compared to 28 babies per million in 1980, the name touched a high of 36 babies per million in 2016.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

The name’s rank was the lowest in 1998 and 2009. Gertrude has recovered somewhat and was placed 4,623 in 2021.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Gertrude

Gertrude is a classic name and if you want to explore names that sound similar, here are some more options.

Popular Sibling Names For Gertrude

Names With Similar Meaning As Gertrude

Does the name’s meaning resonate with you? Use these options if you are still looking for names with this meaning.

Infographic: Know The Name’s Personality As Per Numerology


Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

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How To Communicate The Name In Other Languages

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Name Numerology For Gertrude

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