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Meaning & History

Short form of names beginning with the Old English element æðel meaning "noble". It was coined in the 19th century, when many Old English names were revived. It was popularized by the novels 'The Newcomes' (1855) by William Makepeace Thackeray and 'The Daisy Chain' (1856) by C. M. Yonge. A famous bearer was American actress and singer Ethel Merman (1908-1984).
Other Languages & CulturesAdela, Adelina, Alda Ancient Germanic Adelina Bulgarian Adéla Czech Aada, Ada, Adele Finnish Adèle, Adeline, Aude, Aline, Line French Adele, Adelina, Alina German Adél, Ada Hungarian Adele, Adelina, Alda, Ada, Alina Italian Adela, Alina Polish Adelina, Alda, Aldina Portuguese Aline Portuguese (Brazilian) Adela, Adelina, Alina Romanian Adela, Adelia, Adelina Spanish Adelita Spanish (Latin American)


Ethel Merman in the movie 'Alexander's Ragtime Band' (1938)Ethel Merman in the movie 'Alexander's Ragtime Band' (1938)


actresses, American Horror Story characters, Archie Comics characters, currently out of the US top 1000, Downton Abbey characters, I Love Lucy characters, literature, mascots, nobility, short forms, singers, storms, television, top 10 in the US
Entry updated October 20, 2016   Contribute