The name is thus usually taken to mean "one ruler", "autocrat", "eternal ruler" or "ever powerful," etc.
The most common spelling in Scandinavia is Erik. In Norway, another form of the name (which has kept the Old Norse diphthong) Eirik is also commonly used. In Finland, the form Erkki is also used. The modern Icelandic version is Eiríkur, while the modern Faroese version is Eirikur. Éric [eʁik] is used in French, and in Germany Eric, Erik and Erich are used.
Although the name was in use in Anglo-Saxon England, its use was reinforced by Scandinavian settlers arriving before the Norman Invasion. It was an uncommon name in England until the Middle Ages, when it gained popularity, and finally became a common name in the 19th century. This was partly because of the publishing of the novel Eric, or, Little by Little by Frederick William Farrer in 1858.