Thursday, 13 October 2011

1821-1825: Emmeline, Marguerite and Millicent

 Here are three of my favourite names that appeared in The Gentleman’s Magazine list for the years of 1821-1825. Two of them won’t be any surprise since I already mentioned them in an earlier post.


Meaning: Work.

The name derives from the old French name of Amelina.

People often think the ‘line’ in Emmeline is pronounced like a line in a notepad, rather it’s pronounced like ‘Emma-LEEN’. If you say the name out loud it just sounds absolutely beautiful, soft, feminine and sophisticated. To me, the name has an instant Victorian Era feel to it. It’s a name that asks a lot of a little girl. It demands a sort of greatness, much like the names Maximilian or Magnus do for little boys. 

As well as the Victorian link, the name is connected to Emmeline Pankhurst, a leading suffragette and voice for women’s vote. 

It is a great alternative to the more popular names such as Emma, Emily or Emme. Also, there are delightful nickname possibilities, including Em, Emme, Emmy, Milly and Millie. 

Names you might also like: Henrietta, Hattie, Madeline, Josephine, Philomena, Florence and Cecilia.

Meaning: Pearl

Although Marguerite is now believed to mean Pearl, in French it is the word for daisy. For those who want to follow a ‘flower theme’ when naming their children, it is a perfect choice without being too obvious. 

For anyone wanting to use the name Margaret, such as to honour a family member, Marguerite is a much prettier and less traditional/common choice, and it has the same meaning. You could still use the nickname Maggie if you wanted.

In addition, there is no worry of the name becoming extremely popular over night. Currently, Marguerite does not rank in the US charts and has not done so since 1972.

Names you might also like: Amelie, Elodie, Isabelle, Marguax, Mathilde, Valerie, Margerie and Blanche.

Meaning: Strong in Work

The name derives from the old French name of Melisende which derived from the Germanic name of Amalasuintha.

I can’t tell you enough how much I love this name. Many think it is old-fashioned... as if that was a bad thing!  Millicent is a quaint, gentle and calm name, but it is also powerful. The Millicent I picture is a self-assured, intelligent and warm person.  For those who like their history, this name is thought to have been commonly used during the medieval ages in England. 

The nickname usually given is Millie or Milly. But when you have such a beautiful name like Millicent, why would you ruin it by shortening it?

 Millicent continues to be a hidden gem. It dropped off the US chart in 1965 when it was at number 997.

Names you might also like: Melisande, Elsbeth, Annis, Elinor, Cicely, Editha, Magdalene and Beatrix.


What did you think of my selection of names? Were they the wrong kind of old-fashioned? Could you see yourself ever using one? Do you think I'm slight unhinged for 'picturing' the kind of people that would have such names?

Image: Both paintings are by Walter Crane and Kate Greenawa