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Ruth is a Hebrew feminine name derived from Hebrew re'ut meaning "friend, companion". In the Old Testament, Ruth was the mother-in-law of Naomi who followed her even after the death of her husband and father-in-law, and was seen as a compassionate and generous woman.

Ruthie is an obvious nickname for Ruth.

Ruth is also derived from Middle English ruthe or reowthe which comes from a Proto-Germanic source meaning "ruth, sorrow" or "compassion pity", perhaps influenced by Old Norse hryggđ which is composed from hryggr (sorrow, grieved) and the Proto-Germanic noun suffix *itho (-th). It's where the surname Ruth is derived from. 

I've also seen Ruth listed as a male name in Limburgish, a short form of Rutger, the Dutch form of Roger meaning "famous spear".