Of Germanic origin.
It is combined by two elements: “ric” that is Germanic in origin and used in French, German and English, meaning ruler, leader, power and “hard”, meaning strong, brave.
It was brought to Britain from the Normans and it soon became very common.
Richard is also common in other languages: German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Dutch and Czech.
Richard the Lionheart, was one of three English king which bore the name.
Diminutives and other forms of the name are: Rick, Ricky, Richie, Rickey, Dick, Riccardo, Rikard, Riku,Ricardo, Ríkharð, Rico, Richárd, Rihards, Richado.
The name has a feminine form as well: Ricarda, Richardine, Richelle.
Famous bearers are Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Richard Cromwell, Richard Burton, Peter Sellers (real name Richard Henry Sellers), Richard Harris, Richard Gere, Little Richard, Ringo Starr (real name Richard Starkey), Moby (real name Richard Melville Hall), Richard Pryor, Richard Branson, Richard Attenborough, Richard Dreyfuss, Richard Ashcroft, Ricardo Montalban, Richard Linklater, Richard Avedon, Richard Nixon, Richard Wright, Richard Madden, Richard Widmark, Ricardo Arjona, Richard Fortus, Richard Belzer, Richard Clayderman, Richard Gasquet, Richard Jenkins, Richard Beckinsale, Kaká (full name Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite), Ricardo Carvalho, Ricardo Bofill.
Richard and/or Ricardo is a popular name in Italy, Mexico and Czech Republic.
Richard Strauss, German Romantic composer of the late 19th century, known for his operas and symphonic works, was an admirer of Mozart and Wagner, who composed one of the most recognized music pieces ever written in the world, “Also sprach Zarathustra”.
It was composed in 1896, inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical novel of the same title.
Stanley Kubrick used it for his epic science fiction film “2001: A Space Odyssey”, still considered one of the greatest films of all times.
This is the original trailer of the film, where you may listen to the introduction of Richard Strauss’s “Also sprach Zarathustra”: