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Meaning & History

Medieval diminutive of ÆÐELÞRYÐ. This was the name of a 7th-century saint, a princess of East Anglia who founded a monastery at Ely. It was also borne by a character in Shakespeare's comedy 'As You Like It' (1599). At the end of the Middle Ages the name became rare due to association with the word tawdry (which was derived from St. Audrey, the name of a fair where cheap lace was sold), but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was British actress Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993).
VariantsAudra, Audrea
Other Languages & CulturesÆðelþryð, Æthelthryth Anglo-Saxon Aldreda, Etheldred, Etheldreda Medieval English


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Entry updated July 2, 2017   Contribute