The Meaning and Origin of the Name “Gulliver” in 2023

Are you curious about the meaning and origin of the name “Gulliver”? Look no further! In this article, we’ll dive deep into the history and significance of this intriguing name.

Who is Gulliver?

“Gulliver” is usually used as a first name for boys. It is an English name that has been around for centuries. Over time, it has become associated with the literary character Lemuel Gulliver from Jonathan Swift’s famous novel “Gulliver’s Travels.”


  • Typically used as a first name for boys
  • English in origin
  • Associated with the fictional character Lemuel Gulliver from “Gulliver’s Travels”

What Does the Name “Gulliver” Mean?

The meaning of the name “Gulliver” is not entirely clear. However, there are a few theories about where the name came from and what it might signify.

One theory is that it comes from the old French word “goulu,” which means “glutton.” This could be because the character Lemuel Gulliver was known for his insatiable appetite in “Gulliver’s Travels.”

Another theory is that the name is a variation of the name “Coliver,” which was used in medieval times. “Coliver” comes from the Old English words “col,” meaning “cool,” and “eofor,” meaning “boar.”


  • Unclear meaning
  • May come from the French word “goulu” or the Old English name “Coliver”

When Was the Name “Gulliver” First Used?

The exact origin of the name “Gulliver” is unknown, but it has been in use since at least the 17th century. It gained popularity after the publication of “Gulliver’s Travels” in 1726, which cemented the character’s name in literary history.

How to Choose “Gulliver” as a Name?

If you’re considering naming your child “Gulliver,” there are a few things to keep in mind. First, be aware of the name’s association with the character from “Gulliver’s Travels.” While this may be a positive for some, others may not want their child to be associated with a satirical and often controversial literary figure.

It’s also important to consider the potential nicknames that may arise from the name “Gulliver,” such as “Gully” or “Gull.” Make sure you’re comfortable with these options before committing to the name.


  • Consider the association with the character from “Gulliver’s Travels”
  • Be aware of potential nicknames

Pros and Cons of Choosing “Gulliver” as a Name

Like any name, there are both pros and cons to choosing “Gulliver” for your child. Here are a few to consider:


  • Unique and distinctive name
  • Literary association with a classic work
  • Uncommon name, likely no other kids with the same name in school


  • Potential for negative associations with the character from “Gulliver’s Travels”
  • Difficult to spell and pronounce
  • May be perceived as odd or eccentric by others



  • Unique and distinctive
  • Literary association
  • Uncommon


  • Negative associations
  • Difficult to spell/pronounce
  • Perceived as odd or eccentric

Alternatives to the Name “Gulliver”

If you like the sound of the name “Gulliver” but aren’t sold on it completely, there are a few alternatives to consider. Here are some similar names to “Gulliver”:

  • Oliver
  • Caliver
  • Gunner
  • River
  • Clover


  • Oliver, Caliver, Gunner, River, and Clover are similar names to “Gulliver”

Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing a Name

Choosing a name for your child can be an overwhelming process. Here are some steps you can take to help make the decision easier:

  1. Make a list of names you like: Start by brainstorming names that you like. Write them down so you can refer back to them later.
  1. Consider family names: If there are any family names that you like, consider using them as inspiration or incorporating them into your child’s name.
  1. Think about the meaning: Consider the meanings behind the names you’re considering. Do they have any special significance or symbolism?
  1. Say the name out loud: Practice saying the names you’re considering out loud. This can help you get a feel for how they sound and whether they flow well with your last name.
  1. Get feedback: Share your list of names with friends and family members. Getting their input can be helpful in makinga final decision.
  1. Consider the long-term: Remember that your child will grow up with this name, so think about how it will sound for a baby, a child, a teenager, and an adult.
  1. Narrow down your list: After considering all of the above factors, narrow down your list to your top choices.
  1. Sleep on it: Take some time to reflect on your final choices before making a decision. You may find that you have a change of heart after some time has passed.


  • Make a list of names you like
  • Consider family names
  • Think about the meaning
  • Say the name out loud
  • Get feedback
  • Consider the long-term
  • Narrow down your list
  • Sleep on it

Comparing “Gulliver” to Other Names

To get a better idea of how “Gulliver” stacks up against other popular names, here are some comparisons:

  • Gulliver vs. Oliver: Both names have similar sounds but “Oliver” is much more popular and well-known.
  • Gulliver vs. River: Both names have a unique and distinctive sound, but “River” is more commonly used as a unisex name.
  • Gulliver vs. Gunner: Both names have a strong and masculine feel, but “Gunner” is more popular in the United States.


  • Compared to “Oliver,” “River,” and “Gunner,” “Gulliver” is less common and distinctive.

Tips for Naming Your Child

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when naming your child:

  • Avoid names with negative connotations or potential for teasing.
  • Consider how the name will sound with your last name.
  • Make sure the name isn’t too difficult to spell or pronounce.
  • Keep in mind any cultural or familial traditions related to naming.
  • Don’t feel pressured to choose a name that’s currently popular or trendy.


  • Avoid negative connotations
  • Consider the sound with your last name
  • Choose a name that’s easy to spell/pronounce
  • Remember cultural/familial traditions
  • Don’t feel pressured by trends/popularity

The Best Middle Names for “Gulliver”

If you’ve decided to name your child “Gulliver,” you may be wondering what middle names would pair well with it. Here are some options to consider:

  • Gulliver James
  • Gulliver Henry
  • Gulliver Alexander
  • Gulliver Michael
  • Gulliver William


  • James, Henry, Alexander, Michael, and William are good middle name options for “Gulliver”


  1. Is “Gulliver” a common name?
  2. No, “Gulliver” is not a very common name.
  1. What is the origin of the name “Gulliver”?
  2. The origin of the name “Gulliver” is unclear, but it is thought to come from the old French word “goulu” meaning “glutton” or from the Old English name “Coliver.”
  1. What is the literary significance of the name “Gulliver”?
  2. “Gulliver” is the name of the main character in Jonathan Swift’s famous novel “Gulliver’s Travels.”
  1. What are some alternative names to “Gulliver”?
  2. Some similar names include Oliver, Caliver, Gunner, River, and Clover.
  1. What are some good middle names for “Gulliver”?
  2. Some good options include James, Henry, Alexander, Michael, and William.


In conclusion, the name “Gulliver” has an interesting and unique history, but may not be the right fit for everyone. When considering this name or any other for your child, it’s important to think about the potential pros and cons, as well as how it fits with your family and cultural traditions. Remember to take your time and choose a name that you and your child will love for years to come.

I am Patricia Mann, an experienced professional in the art of naming children. With a wealth of knowledge in the field of baby names, I aim to assist parents in choosing a meaningful and beautiful name for their little ones. My expertise lies in the Name Meaning section, where I delve deep into the origins and significance of names, providing valuable insights that I hope will be beneficial for parents.

Understanding the profound impact a name can have on a child's life, I strive to offer comprehensive guidance. The Name Meaning section is not just a repository of information but a resource where parents can discover the rich tapestry of meanings associated with different names. It is my belief that a child's name is more than just a label; it encapsulates the desires, hopes, and love of the parents.

In this journey of baby naming, my goal is to make the process enjoyable and meaningful for parents, ensuring that the chosen name resonates with the family's values and cultural background. I invite you to explore the Name Meaning of Impeccable Nest section as we embark on the delightful and important task of naming the newest members of your family.

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