Margaret (name)

Margaret (name)
St. Margaret of Antioch.jpg
Margaret the Virgin is one of many saints named Margaret.
Gender female
Word/Name Greek or Persian
Meaning Pearl
Other names
Related names Maggie, Mags, Madge, Marge, Meg, Megan, Meggie, Greta, and Peggy.

Margaret is a female first name, derived from the Greek word margarites (μαργαρίτης) meaning "pearl." It may have originally been derived from the Sanskrit word मञ्यरी mañjarī.[1]

Alternately, it might be of Persian origin, derived from the Persian language marvârid (مروارید), a pearl or daughter of light. The word is related to Marg from Marq or Marka meaning "chicken" (مرغ), probably because pearls looked like small bird eggs.[citation needed]

Margaret has been an English name since the 11th century, and remained popular throughout the Middle Ages. It became less popular between the 16th century and 18th century, but became more common again after this period, becoming the second most popular name in the United States in 1903. Since this time, it has become less common, but is still the ninth most common name for women of all ages in the United States as of the 1990 census.

It has a large number of diminutive forms in many different languages, including Maggie, Madge, Marge, Meg, Megan, Mog, Moggie, Rita, Daisy, Greta, Gretel, Gretchen, Magee, Marg, Margot, May, Molly, Margo Sanna, Meggie, Peggy and Peg.[2]


Variant forms

Alternate forms of Margaret, including short forms and pet names, includes:

People called Margaret

This is a list of notable people with the first name Margaret:

Artists and authors

Educators and scholars


Other notable uses of this name

Royal figures

Belgium and the Netherlands (the Low Countries)

  • Margaret of York, (1446–1503), Duchess of Burgundy and wife of Philip the Bold, Regent of France
  • Margaret(e) of Austria, (1480–1530)
  • Margaret of Parma, (1522–1586)


  • Margaret I, (1353–1412)
  • Margrethe II (born 1940):




  • Margaret Maultasch, (1318–1369)








Religious figures

Several Saints Margaret exist:

  • Saint Margaret the Virgin - the oldest and much the most prominent; also known as Margaret of Antioch
  • Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (see Marie Alacoque)
  • Saint Margaret of Cortona
  • Saint Margaret of Scotland
  • Saint Margaret of Hungary (1242–1270)
  • Margaret of Clitherow



  • Margherita Peak in East Africa, which is named for Queen Margherita of Italy.

Shakespearean characters

Goethe's character

  • Margarete (or Gretchen) in Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy

Bulgakov’s character

Name Margaret in other languages

Nicknames of Margaret



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  • Margaret — f English and Scottish: an extremely common medieval given name, derived via Old French Marguerite and Latin Margarīta from Greek Margarītēs, from margaron pearl, a word ultimately of Hebrew origin. The name was always understood to mean ‘pearl’… …   First names dictionary

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