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See also: ethel and eþel


Alternative forms[edit]


Short form of names of Old English origin beginning with Ethel-, æþele (noble). First used in the 19th century. Cognate to the Germanic Adela and Adele.

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A female given name, popular at the turn of the 20th century.
    • 1855 William Makepeace Thackeray: The Newcomes. Bradbury and Evans 1855. page 95:
      If it is so false, and base, and hollow, this great world [] why does Ethel Newcome cling to it? Will you be fairer, dear, with any other name than your own?
    • 1979 Mary McMullen: But Nellie Was So Nice. Doubleday 1979. page 23:
      Charmian Lyle had given herself her first name at the age of sixteen, upon encountering it in an English novel. Her baptismal name was Ethel. When her husband Walter was extremely angry with her, he called her Ethel.
      Charmian, she thought, suited her much better. She didn't think she looked, felt, or sounded like Ethel. Nor like her middle name, which she really detested, Edna.

Related terms[edit]





From English Ethel, from Old English.



  1. a female given name