Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Edith

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 719
Simple meaning:
Prosperous war

Characteristics of Edith

  • Independent
  • Individualistic
  • Ambitious
  • Strong-willed
  • Inventive
  • Successful

Etymology & Historical Origin - Edith

Edith is one of the few Olde English female names that survived the Norman Conquest of 1066. Originally rendered as Eadgyð, Edith is ultimately derived from the elements “ead” meaning "riches, prosperity" and “gyð” meaning "war, strife". Edith (or Eadgyð as it were) was the illegitimate daughter of the 10th century King of England, Edgar the Peaceful. Edith’s mother was a young noblewoman whom Edgar took by force from a nunnery. As a child, Edith was returned to the nunnery as soon as her mother could escape the clutches of Edgar (the king would later do penance for his crime). Although Edith became a nun herself at a very early age, she had no qualms about adorning herself in fancy garments and, when reproached for her dress, she simply stated: “For pride may exist under the garb of wretchedness; and a mind may be as pure under these vestments as under your tattered furs.” Beautiful, noble, intelligent and pious, Edith was celebrated in both life and death. She would later become an important medieval saint throughout England and small miracles were attributed to her (her Feast Day is September 16). The name remained common during the Middle Ages in England but became unfashionable by the 16th century. It was later revived in the 19th century, particularly in the United States, but has since fallen from favor once again in more modern times. In Sweden, however, Edith is a Top 100 favorite girl’s name today.

Popularity of the Name Edith

Edith has maintained a spot on the American female charts since the U.S. government first began tracking naming trends in the late 1800s. In fact, Edith was a Top 50 name choice for little girls for at least 50 consecutive years. In 1894, Edith was the 26th most popular girl’s name in America. A true turn-of-the-century favorite, Edith was a soul-sister to names like Myrtle, Pearl, Hazel, Martha and Gertrude. Unfortunately, like these others, Edith has not held up against the test of time. Instead, old-fashioned names like Emma, Lillian and Ella are preferred today over “grandmotherly” names like Edith. Edith fell off the Top 100 list of most commonly used female names in the early 1940s and pretty much went into a free-fall decline from there. Non-interest in this name escalated more by the 1990s and its fall on the charts has since become more extreme. Today, the name Edith is given rarely at best. Parents have a hard time picturing this frumpy “old lady” name on a young child, but it’s really just perspective. When you think about it, Edith is an old Anglo-Saxon name with a long history of usage. And if you look hard enough, you’ll appreciate her charm.
Popularity of the Girl Name Edith
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Edith

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Edith

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Edith

    Edith Bunker (All in the Family) Edith Bunker is the beloved character played by Jean Stapleton, on the groundbreaking, iconic television series of the 1970’s, All in the Family (and its lesser successor, Archie Bunker’s Place). While her husband refers to her often as “Dingbat”, it is generally acknowledged that, while naïve about the workings of the world, Edith is wise in the ways of the heart. In episode after episode, she proves that Edith knows best, as she lovingly guides her husband, daughter and son-in-law in the ways of goodness and decency. This she does unerringly, but always hilariously, and the portrayal has carved out a special niche in our hearts for one of our all time favorite series’ characters. In just one example out of thousands of her endearing ways, in one episode Edith looks for a number in her address book under “G”, for “Gloria’s girlfiends”. You gotta love her. While the series treated such (up until then) sensitive subjects as racism, extramarital sex, menopause and rape (to name but a few), these themes were easily swallowed by the general public when offered with a spoonful of Edith’s sweetness, and the path was blazed for an entirely new generation of television fare.

    Edith Granger Dombey (Dombey and Son) Edith is the second wife of Paul Dombey in Charles Dickens’ novel, Dombey and Son, published serially between 1846 and 1848, which has gone through many movie, television and radio adaptations. Edith is a social-climbing, proud and haughty widow, who marries Paul Dombey in order to further her social and financial status in life. He is no catch himself, marrying her in the hopes of siring a male child to replace his dead son in inheriting his business, and totally neglecting his own loving daughter, Florence. Once married, Edith finds she has won no prize, but she does form a close and loving relationship with her step-daughter. This latter liaison is indicative of a finer nature beneath her shallow exterior, but even this cannot hold Edith back. Despising her husband and his overbearing ways, she plots with the firm’s manager, Mr. Carker, to run away with her to France, leaving Mr. Dombey to deal with the disgrace. Perhaps not the most virtuous or laudable of characters, Edith nonetheless earns our respect with her refusal to accept her Victorian lot, and her willingness to risk scandal rather than kowtow to the domineering personality of her husband.

  • Popular Songs on Edith

    Popular Songs on Edith

    Edith and the Kingpin - a song by Joni Mitchell

    She Thinks She's Edith Head - by They Might Be Giants

    You Can't Have Your Kate and Edith Too - The Statler Brothers

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Edith

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Edith

    Edith and Mr. Bear: A Lonely Doll Story (Dare Wright) - Mr. Bear's expensive clock fascinates Edith. She just has to touch it. But when she does, it falls down with a crash. Unable to admit that she has broken it, Edith's guilty conscience makes her so unhappy that she can't even enjoy her birthday party. In fact, Edith feels so badly about lying to Mr. Bear that she contemplates running away. What happens next makes for a timeless story that will resonate with anyone who has ever tried to cover up the truth. Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Edith Herself (Ellen Howard) - Orphaned by her mother's death, Edith goes to live with her older sister and her dour husband in their stern Christian farming household, where the strain of adjusting seems to aggravate her epileptic seizures. Recommended for ages 8-12.

    Edith Nesbit: A Woman of Passion (Julia Briggs) - Edith Nesbit is one of the greatest children's writers of the century known mainly as the author of "The Railway Children", "The Treasure Seekers" and many other stories of magic and adventure. Her readers loved to think of her as a reassuringly aunt-like figure, but this biography reveals her as a willful, demanding and adventurous woman, a true Bohemian who broke all society's rules in her search for love. Recommended for ages 10-14.

    Saint Edith Stein: Blessed by the Cross (Mary Lea Hill) - A biography of the Jewish philosopher and convert to Catholicism who was put to death at Auschwitz during World War II and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1998. Recommended for ages 10-14.

    Silent in an Evil Time: The Brave War of Edith Cavell (Jack Batten) - Dutiful nurse, hospital matron, courageous resistance fighter, Edith Cavell was all of these. A British citizen, the forty-eight-year-old Cavell was matron of an institute for nurses in the suburbs of Brussels at the outbreak of World War I. Dedicated to the methods of Florence Nightingale, her intelligence and ferocious sense of duty had transformed the institute into a leading training center. When the Germans captured Belgium in the fall of 1914, an organization was formed to assist British and French soldiers trapped behind German lines. Edith was asked to help and she didn’t hesitate. From that moment forward, Edith sheltered escaping soldiers in her hospital, using trickery to keep the suspicious Germans from discovering them. She helped arrange a secret route to neutral Holland and back to England at great personal risk, enabling soldiers of all ranks to slip through German lines. Using the institute as part of an elaborate Allied escape route, Edith Cavell was responsible for one thousand soldiers eventually making their way home. But Cavell’s role was discovered and a German military court put her on trial in Brussels, where she was sentenced to be executed by firing squad. On October 12, 1915, she put on her nurse’s uniform and met her fate, immediately becoming a worldwide martyr and rallying point for the British in their war against Germany. In this riveting account, author Jack Batten brings an incredibly brave woman and her turbulent times to life. Recommended for ages 10-14.

  • Famous People Named Edith

    Famous People Named Edith

    Famous People Named Edith - Edith Wharton (author); Edith Roosevelt (former First Lady); Edith Head (Hollywood costume designer); Edith Piaf (French singer); Edith “Edie” Sedgwick (Andy Warhol muse); Edith “Edie” Falco (actress); Edith Frank (Anne Frank’s mother); Edith Cavell (British nurse and WWI patriot); Edith “Big Edie” Ewing Bouvier Beale (Jacqueline Kennedy’s aunt); Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale (Jacqueline Kennedy’s first cousin); Edith González (Mexican actress); Edith Nesbit (children’s book author); Edith Bowman (Scottish radio and TV personality); Edith Stein (Catholic saint); Queen Matilda of Scotland (born Edith, wife of King Henry I); Edith Wilson (former First Lady)

  • Children of Famous People Named Edith

    Children of Famous People Named Edith

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Edith - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Edith.

Personality of the Girl Name Edith

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Variations of the Baby Name - Edith

  • No Variations Found.
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