Today's name: Merrick (male)
Potential nicknames: Merr, Merri, Rick, Ricky/Ricki, Eric, Mick, Micky
Origin: The Anglicized version of Meurig, the Welsh variant of Maurice and ultimately the Latin maurus, meaning "dark skin." I have to say, Merrick beats Maurice any day of the week. Merrick means "moor." It is also possible the name came from an Old French personal name meaning "famous ruler," or a different French name, both with Germanic influences.
Popularity: Merrick is used more as a surname than a given name, but as a boys first name we see it as early as 1905 in the U.S. In 2010 there were 125 baby boys named Merrick, 11 named Merric, and 16 named Merrik. There were also 13 baby girls named Merrick. In 2011 there were 11 girls given the name, which has not been too unusual since the 1980's, and 7 boys named Meric, 7 Merric, 10 Merick, 12 Merik, 13 Merrik, 15 Merek, and 116 Merrick. It jumped to 191 boys named Merrick in 2015, then up to 208 boys in 2016 with a rank of #977.
Fun fact: (1) Beautiful (female) witch/vampire Merrick Mayfair from Anne Rice's novel Merrick. (2) A character in Michael Crichton's novel Timeline, played by Gerard Butler in the movie adaptation. (3) Merrick, New York. (4) There are two bands named Merrick. (5) Judge Merrick Garland.