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Womens' Names and Their Meanings


(Source: The Illinois State Democrat - May 23, 1860
Transcribed by Sharon Wick)

- Mary, the commonest of all female names, is also one of the sweetest given to women. It is not strange that it prevails so universally. It signifies exalted; Maria and Marie - the latter French - are only other forms of Mary, and of course have the same meaning.

- Martha signifies bitterness

- Anne, Anna, and probably Nancy, are from the same source, and signify kind or gracious;

- Ellen was originally Helen - Helena, Latin, and Helene in French; according to some ctymologists it has the meaning of alluring, but others define it as one who pities.

- Jane, now generally familiarized into Jenny, signifies like Anna, kind or gracious.

- For Sarah, or Sally, there are two definitions. - a princess and the morning star.

- Susan signifies a lily, and is a fitting name for a tall, slender, flower like girl, of delicate complexion and native grace.

- Rebecca plump.

- Lucy signifies like light, and was anciently given to girls born at daybreak. It may also be considered as meaning brightness of aspect and applied accordingly.

- Bertha bright and Alberte all bright.

- Louisa - in French Louise - is the feminine of Louis, and signifies one who protects.

- Fanny or Frances means frank or free.

- Catherine or Katherine, pure or chaste, is one of the best of our female names.

- Sophia, from the Greek, means wisdom.

- Caroline and Charlotte, queens.

- Emma, tender, affectionate, motherly.

- Margaret, a pearl or a delay;

- Julia, soft haired;

- Juliet, and Julietta, are the same as Julia;

- Agnes means chaste

- Ameila, Amy and Amis, beloved

- Clara, clear and bright

- Eleanor, all fruitful

- Gertrude all bright

- Grace, favor;

- Laura, a laurel

- Matilda, a brave or noble maid

- Phebe, light of life.


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