Why do so many old names end in -ric?

Anyone who has read much fantasy has likely encountered someone whose name ends in ‘ric’ (sometimes Anglicised to rick or rich or even riche). I doubt many people thought much about the name other than the fact that it was a cool sounding fantasy name. But I recently found out that there is a meaning behind the suffix (suffix being an ending letter or letters that is added to a word to modify it).

I was listening to The History of Barbarians podcast when he mentioned that the suffix ‘ric’ actually means king. So I decided to take a look at that more closely and this is what I found.

The suffix ‘ric’ is believed to have derived from the Proto-Germanic word rīkiją meaning rich or powerful.

The current meaning refers to jurisdiction, or a district over which government is exercised. Such as bishopric or archbishopric, but also used in words such as atmospheric and numeric.

Just a little something to think about the next time you hear about the barometric pressure dropping!