Naming the Fishes

A Blog For Name Lovers Everywhere


200px-Idris_the_prophetIdris is a name with both mythological and religious origins from two very different languages. This might be a pleasing discovery, especially for anyone who is looking for both in one name. Lets talk about why:

  • The first origin is Celtic, Idris is a Welsh name that means “ardent lord.” Using the Welsh elements udd “lord, prince” combined with ris “ardent, enthusiastic, impulsive”. In Welsh mythology Idris Fawr was a giant, the king of Merionnydd. A mountain range was named after him, Cadair Idris meaning “Idris’s chair.” He was said to have studied the stars on top of it, and the story goes if you spent a night upon it you would return either as a madman or genius. 
  • Idris is an Islamic prophet in the Qur’an, somewhat akin to Enoch in the Bible. He was one of the messengers and prophets sent by Allah to the humans to teach them the truth. It is considered that Idris is derived from the Arabic word dirash meaning “lengthy studying.”

In France Idris ranks at #447 and #603 in the UK (2010).

Notable Bearers Include:

  • Idris Shah, author and teacher
  • Idris of Libya, first and only king of Libya
  • Idris Cox, Welsh communist activist and newspaper editor
  • Idris Elba, English actor







5 comments on “Idris

  1. waltzingmorethanmatilda
    April 11, 2013

    This is a name which really appeals to me for some reason.

    There is a NRL footballer who has this name as a surname – Jamal Idris. He is a giant, just like the Welsh Idris – although I imagine his surname is from the other source.

    Also the famous Australian communist trade unionist, Idris Williams (born in Wales).

  2. namingthefishes
    April 11, 2013

    I like it too, its a handsome name for sure with interesting origins. That is probably why I chose to profile it.

    Thanks for pointing out other bearers of the name, I did not know that. ^^

  3. Pingback: Idris | Names |

  4. Liz Brownlee
    April 11, 2013

    I love this! I am really interested in names – since i was a little girl. i am quite old now – there used to be a magazine for girls called ‘Jackie’ – it was named, in a piece of trivia, after the children’s author Jaqueline Wilson. One week it gave a way a little booklet, it was green – it contained names and their meanings. I was hooked! I have about 7 name dictionaries, some Irish, two French… did you know that until very recently, the French had to choose their names from a restricted list of approved French names, nothing made up or new or foreign allowed? Fascinating.

    Good luck with the rest of the A-Z! I’m doing animal poems and facts and often a drawing as well, I like to make things hard for myself!


    • namingthefishes
      April 11, 2013

      I’m glad to see another name lover! As for French naming restrictions, I was aware that they did this in Quebec but not in France (so thanks for the info!). Other countries like Iceland still do this though (to preserve the language), and then there are countries like Australia and New Zealand where there are rules put in place to stop children being named for e.g Hitler, 99.

      Good luck with your A-Z too, I shall check it out!

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