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GenderFeminine
UsageEnglish
PronouncedPron.MAHR-gr!t
, MAHR-gə-r!t
[key]

Meaning & History

Derived from Latin Margarita, which was from Greek μαργαριτης (margarites) meaning "pearl", probably ultimately a borrowing from Sanskrit मञ्यरी (manyari). Saint Margaret, the patron of expectant mothers, was martyred at Antioch in the 4th century. Later legends told of her escape from a dragon, with which she was often depicted in medieval art. The saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and her name has been widely used in the Christian world.

Other saints by this name include a queen of Scotland and a princess of Hungary. It was also borne by Queen Margaret I of Denmark, who united Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in the 14th century. Famous literary bearers include American writer Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949), the author of 'Gone with the Wind', and Canadian writer Margaret Atwood (1939-).
Other Languages & CulturesRetha Afrikaans Margarid, Margarit Armenian Margarita Bulgarian Margarida Catalan Margareta Croatian Markéta Czech Margareta, Margit, Margrethe, Grete, Grethe, Margarethe, Merete, Meta, Mette, Rita Danish Margareta, Margaretha, Margriet, Greet, Greetje, Griet, Margreet Dutch Maret, Margit Estonian Maarit, Margareta, Marketta, Margareeta, Reeta, Reetta Finnish Marguerite, Margaux, Margot French Margarida Galician Margareta, Margarete, Margaretha, Margarethe, Margit, Greta, Gretchen, Grete, Gretel, Margrit, Meta, Rita German Margarita Greek Margalit, Margalita Hebrew Margaréta, Margit, Gitta, Gréta, Rita Hungarian Margrét, Gréta Icelandic Mairéad Irish Margherita, Greta, Rita Italian Margarita Late Roman Margreet, Greet Limburgish Margarita, Greta Lithuanian Margaid, Paaie Manx Meggy Medieval English Margareta, Margit, Margrete, Margrethe, Grete, Grethe, Marit, Marita, Meta, Mette, Rita Norwegian Margarida Occitan Małgorzata, Gosia, Małgosia, Marzena Polish Margarida, Rita Portuguese Margareta Romanian Margarita Russian Maighread, Mairead, Maisie, Marsaili, Mysie, Peigi Scottish Margaréta, Margita, Markéta Slovak Margareta, Marjeta Slovene Margarita, Rita Spanish Margareta, Margit, Greta, Marit, Marita, Märta, Merit, Meta, Rita Swedish Marged, Mererid, Mared, Megan Welsh

Images

Depiction of Saint Margaret of Antioch from a manuscript (1440)Depiction of Saint Margaret of Antioch from a manuscript (1440)

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Entry updated December 8, 2017   Contribute