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See also: ralph



From Middle English Radulf, from Old English Rǣdwulf (also as Raulf), from Proto-Germanic *Rēdawulfaz. Reinforced by similar forms brought to England, e.g. Old Norse Ráðúlfr, then in the Norman form Old French Radulf, Radulph. For the sense relating to vomiting, see ralph.


  • IPA(key): /ɹælf/
    • Rhymes: -ælf
    • (file)
  • (older UK) IPA(key): /ɹeɪf/

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A male given name.
    • 1594 William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew: Act IV, Scene I:
      There were none fine but Adam, Ralph, and Gregory: / The rest were ragged, old, and beggarly
    • 1998 The Spectator, 7 March 1998, page 55 ("Dear Mary..."):
      Regarding the correct pronunciation, especially of the name Ralph: according to a friend at the BBC, the possibilities of this name - either aristocratic 'Rafe' or vulgar, almost Australasian 'Ralff' - lie in its potential for wilful mispronunciation against type. I saw him cast confusion into an over-confident studio guest by introducing him as 'Sir Rafe Halpern'. This was nothing to the consternation, almost disintegration of the personality, of the artistic, aloof actor brought on as 'Rolf Fiennes' ('Fiennes', naturally, pronounced superbly).
  2. A patronymic surname​.
  3. (slang) Fictional person used in references to vomiting.
    He's outside calling Ralph [i.e. vomiting].

Derived terms[edit]




Proper noun[edit]


  1. A male given name borrowed from English, more often spelled Ralf.