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From Old French Perceval, name of a knight in a twelfth century Arthurian romance by the French poet Chrétien de Troyes. Shaped like Old French perce ‎(pierce) + val ‎(valley), but probably representing some Gaulish or Old Welsh name, possibly related to Welsh Peredur, from ber ‎(spear, lance), from Proto-Celtic *beru ‎(spit) + dur ‎(hard metal, steel). Cognate with German Parsifal.

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A male given name.
  2. A patronymic surname​.


  • 1953 Agatha Christie, A Pocket Full of Rye, page 20:
    Lancelot Fortescue! What a name! And what was the other son - Percival? He wondered what the first Mrs Fortescue had been like? She had a curious taste in Christian names...