English and Hungarian Petúr, from Greek "a rock, a stone". The original name given to St Peter by Jesus Christ was the Aramaic Cephas or Kephos which has the same meaning; NT Matthew 16:17-18, John 1:42.
- Note: The Hungarian form is accented: Péter.
Petrus, a Latin form of Peter, is often found in older official documents, with appropriate case endings.
In Scotland the two names Patrick and Peter are often interchangeable due to the similarity of Peter to the Gaelic Pàtair [Anglicized as Patrick]. Although not strictly synonyms, the interchangeability is so common across Scotland that we classify them as such.
A correspondent [AW2] has noted the same usage for a man born in Galway, Ireland in 1835:
"I have a great grandfather who was referred to as both Peter and Patrick,
depending on the document viewed. He signed his naturalization papers as
Patrick though, and seemed to prefer that name."
The surname Patterson may be derived from either Peter or Patrick. A correspondent [RD] has noted the use of the name Petrick in Belhelvie parish in Aberdeenshire and used as a common name for both Peter and Patrick.
The 1841 Census of Aberdeenshire had several occurences of Petter and very rare occurrences of Peyter and Pitter, and the abbreviation Petr.
Care should be taken when searching indexes and older records for Peter to take these variations, as well as Patrick, into account.