Dictionary of Medieval Names
from European Sources

Percival m. French perce 'pierce' + French val 'valley', 'pierce the valley'. This name was apparently invented by Chrestien de Troyes, who used it as the name of one of King Arthur's knights.

The name does not appear to have been used in England before the end of the 14th century.

1529 Percivallo (dat) WillsInv LXXIX
Early Modern English
1543 Percivall OrpingtonKe p. 75; 1556/57 Persevell PRThirsk p. 1; 1567 Parsiual OrpingtonKe p. 2; 1573 Persevall StAnthonlin p. 23; 1578 Parsevell COmar-vol2 p. 48; 1589 Percival DEmar-vol2 p. 19
Middle French
1392 Perceval MemBret-II col. 605; 1418 Perceval HGParis p. 383
1265x1339 Persevalli (gen) BBC-Berg 30; 1376 Percivale (abl) DouGen1 p. 38
Cite as: S.L. Uckelman. "Percival". In S.L. Uckelman, ed. The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, Edition 2016, no. 4. http://dmnes.org/2016/4/name/Percival.