Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Madeleine

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • French
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 278
ma-də-LEN (French)
Simple meaning:
Mary Magdalene, Tower

Characteristics of Madeleine

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Madeleine

Madeleine is the French spelling of Madeline (English) which originated from the Latin Magdalene, a title meaning ‘of Magdala’ (referring to Mary Magdalene from the Bible). Mary Magdalene is one of the more enduring characters from the New Testament, and so called Magdalene because she was from Magdala, a village on the sea of Galilee (Magdala comes from a Hebrew word meaning ‘tower’). In Luke 8:2 she was one of the women who had been “healed of evil spirits and infirmities”. Post-resurrection, Mary Magdalene was the first person to whom Jesus appeared. That Jesus would first appear to a woman is a notable event indeed! It underscores the importance of women to his ministry. Mary Magdalene became a popular saint in medieval times and so her name became quite common by the 1600s. Magdalene became Madeleine in French who helped popularize the name in England (where it’s traditionally spelled Madeline). Today, the French spelling of Madeleine is most popular in Canada (ranked #67 in British Columbia, 2010).

Popularity of the Name Madeleine

The traditional French spelling of Madeleine has not been the most popular (Madeline and Madelyn are in neck and neck competition for the most preferred spelling in the United States). Madeleine is the third most popular spelling of this old Latin favorite (coming from Magdalene). This French spelling has been around on the American charts since at least the 19th century, but always maintained mild popularity. In the 1960s and 1970s, Madeleine disappeared completely off the charts. No one seemed interested in the French version. But then this French beauty came out of hibernation by the 1980s and has once again ascended the charts. Madeline and all of her versions and spelling mutations together are given to about 10,000 baby girls a year (making it on the whole an extremely popular name). The spelling Madeleine gets about a 10% share of voice overall. We like the French spelling. It gives the name a slight edge in the sophistication department. Madeline is a cute name (thanks to the charming girl of the children’s book series). And the French spelling of Madeleine just makes her seem a little more grown-up.
Popularity of the Girl Name Madeleine
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Madeleine

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Madeleine

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Madeleine

    Madeline (Madeline) Madeline is the delightful, much-loved little Parisian girl of the series of seven books by Ludwig Bemelmans, the first of which was published in 1939, and is continued on today by his grandson, John Bemelmans Marciano. Madeline lives with eleven other girls in an old, vine-covered house with Miss Clavel, and they all go out walking in two exact straight lines. Madeline is the smallest, the most courageous, and perhaps the most mischievous. In her never-ending quest for adventure, Madeline may bend the rules a little, but she is always well-intentioned and respectful.

  • Popular Songs on Madeleine

    Popular Songs on Madeleine

    Madeleine - a song by Jacques Brel

    Madeleine - a song by The Zydepunks

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Madeleine

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Madeleine

    Library of Famous Women: Madeleine Albright (Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden) - Find out how the daughter of middle-class Czechoslovakian immigrants became the highest-placed woman in the United States government. She battled long and hard for her success, and her influence and achievements in foreign diplomacy have gained her worldwide recognition and respect. Recommended for ages 10-14.

    Madeleine (Ludwig Bemelmans) - French Edition. Set in picturesque Paris, this tale of a brave little girl's trip to the hospital is as appealing today as it was in 1940. The combination of spirited heroine, timelessly appealing art, cheerful humor, and rhythmic text makes "Madeleine" a perennial favorite with children of all ages. Full color. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Madeleine Takes Command (Ethel C. Brill) - This historical novel, set in 17th century New France, features Madeleine de Vercheres a teenage girl who takes up arms in defense of family, country, and faith against the Iroquois. Recommended for ages 10-14.

  • Famous People Named Madeleine

    Famous People Named Madeleine

    Famous People Named Madeleine - Madeleine Albright (U.S. Secretary of State); Madeleine L'Engle (author); Princess Madeleine (princess of Sweden); Madeleine de Scudéry (French writer)

  • Children of Famous People Named Madeleine

    Children of Famous People Named Madeleine

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

  • Historic Figures

    Madeleine - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Mary Magdalene (1st Century BC – 1st Century AD) - Mary Magdalene has the distinction of being the second-most well-known woman in the New Testament, after, of course, Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. She is honored as a saint by many Christian denominations. Because of the proliferation of the use of the name “Mary” in the New Testament, Mary Magdalene got the probably erroneous reputation early on of being a “bad” girl. This portrayal was furthered by early church fathers and emphasized by religious art over the centuries. There is, in fact, no evidence to associate her with the woman Mary who was the acknowledged sinner, but the confusion took hold and actually seems to have imbued her with a certain sympathetic identity. Who needs another saint, anyway? In the Gospels, Mary Magdalene is credited with three pretty big events: she witnesses the crucifixion of Jesus, his burial, and then the empty tomb from which Jesus rose after three days. These are solemn occasions, and they are unconnected to the stories of the woman from whom seven demons were exorcised, the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus, or the woman who dried her own tears with her sensuous long red hair. Contemporary Gnostic accounts go so far as to depict her as Jesus’ most beloved apostle who is called upon to spread his word, thus sparking an outrage of jealousy from the Apostles, particularly Peter. Who knows where legend ends and lies begin? Whatever her own truth, Mary Magdalene lives on today in a special aura, and we welcome the solicitude of one who was, perhaps, just like the rest of us – flawed and yet - ever striving.

Personality of the Girl Name Madeleine

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Madeleine

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