Meaning “serious”, this name is probably considered terribly out of fashion to many. Most. But I find it nerdy enough to be cool! I would swoon if I met a little boy named Ernest, it’s just so sweet and unexpected. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about the nickname Ernie, which I feel is inevitable. But the nickname could grow on me. (I didn’t like the nickname Lulu either and now it’s my daughter’s primary nickname!) I also like Ernesto, and think Nesto would be a sweet nickname.
My primary association with the name is the Oscar Wilde play, The Importance of Being Earnest. A comical play that pokes fun of social obligations, and life’s general priorities, especially regarding love and marriage. I love that this play is purely satire, just lighthearted and fun!
Another strong association is Ernest Hemingway. A Nobel prize and Pulitzer prize winner, Hemingway is one of the 20th century’s most notable writers. Another Pulitzer prize winner is Ernest Poole.
Ernest carries a lot of literary cred, but it’s also a popular name amongst athletes. A basketball hall of famer and several Olympic medalists answer to Ernest. A saint, a few actors, politicians, and a notable explorer as well as physician.