- masc. personal name, from Late Latin Georgius, from Greek Georgos "husbandman, farmer," from ge "earth" + ergon "work" (see urge (v.)).
The name introduced in England by the Crusaders (a vision of St. George played a key role in the First Crusade), but not common until after the Hanoverian succession (18c.). St. George began to be recognized as patron of England in time of Edward III, perhaps because of his association with the Order of the Garter (see garter). His feast day, April 23, was made a holiday in 1222. The legend of his combat with the dragon is first found in "Legenda Aurea" (13c.). The exclamation by (St.) George! is recorded from 1590s.