Eric \e-ric\ as a boy's name is pronounced AIR-ik. It is of Old Norse origin, and the meaning of Eric is "forever or alone, ruler". The original form is Erik, which has been borne by nine Danish kings. Scandinavian legend relates that the Viking sea rover Ericson (son of Eric the Red) landed on the shores of America 500 years before Christopher Columbus. The name was not widely used among English-speaking people until 19th-century British fiction writers Frederic Farrar (in "Eric", or "Little by Little") and H. Rider Haggard (in "Eric Brighteyes") used it in popular literature. Eriq is the French spelling; Erich is a popular German form. Author Erich Segal; musician Eric Clapton; skater Eric Heiden; actors Eriq La Salle, Eric McCormack.
For more information, see also the related name Frederick.