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.

Austria
Early New High German
1439 Parzifal (nom) ChronSH p. 33
England
Latin
1529 Percivallo (dat) WillsInv LXXIX
Early Modern English
1543 Percivall OrpingtonKe p. 75; 1556/57 Persevell PRThirsk p. 1; 1567 Parsiual OrpingtonKe p. 2; 1572/3 persefoll SurMus p. 163; 1573 Persevall StAnthonlin p. 23; 1578 Parsevell COmar-vol2 p. 48; 1581 Percevall RegPat p. 2; 1582 Percivall ibid. p. 34; 1589 Percival DEmar-vol2 p. 19; 1590 Perceyvall RegPat p. 4; 1591 Percivell ibid. p. 38; 1593 Percivall ibid. p. 39; 1597 Percivall ibid. p. 41
France
Middle French
1392 Perceval MemBret-II col. 605; 1418 Perceval HGParis p. 383
Italy
Latin
1265x1339 Persevalli (gen) BBC-Berg 30; 1376 Percivale (abl) DouGen1 p. 38
Cite as: A. Brown, S.L. Uckelman. "Percival". In S.L. Uckelman, ed. The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, Edition 2020, no. 1. http://dmnes.org/2020/1/name/Percival.