Let's Get Ready for Baby! Sign up for our monthly pregnancy email series, and you'll get regular updates on your baby's development, helpful timelines to get ready for their arrival, must-have baby needs and so much more! PLUS, you'll get instant access to the MomsWhoThink "Ultimate Guide to Baby Naming in 2022." CLICK HERE to get started!

Ethel is a classic English baby name for girls. Often associated with upper-crust society, this name appeared frequently in popular culture. Ethel Starsea Elemental is the name of a main character in the Duel Masters manga franchise, and Ethel Mae Mertz was a main character in the I Love Lucy series. Keep reading to learn more about this name.

Meaning of the name Ethel:

Old English: Noble

Origin of the name Ethel:

Ethel is an Old English name that originates from the Anglo-Saxon element æðel (meaning “noble”).

Symbolism of the name Ethel:

Ethel originates from the Old English element æðel (meaning “noble”). The symbol of Anglo-Saxon nobility was the runic seal. This emblem helped nobles legitimize decrees or statues regardless of the literacy status of the populace. Along with Edith, Ethel is one of the most famous Anglo-Saxon feminine names that survived the Norman Conquest of 1066. Ethel thrived for centuries and was a definitive name for American girls during the 1890s and early 1900s.

Style of the name Ethel:

Classic

Gender of the name Ethel:

Ethel is a girl's name.

Pronunciation of the name Ethel:

ETH-əl

Number of syllables in the name Ethel:

Two

Emotion evoked from the name Ethel:

The name Ethel evokes feelings of ethereal elegance.

Alternative spellings for the name Ethel:

  • Ethelle
  • Ethyl

Nicknames for the name Ethel:

Popularity of the name Ethel:

According to the Social Security Administration index, Ethel was the 889th most popular baby name for girls in 1975.

Related names for the name Ethel:

Great middle names for Ethel and their meanings:

  • Amanda (lovable, worthy of love)
  • Blakeley (dark meadow)
  • Bree (power, strength, exalted one)
  • Cassandra (excelling above men)
  • Jennifer (fair goddess, white wave)
  • Katelyn (pure lake)
  • Kendall (person from Kent River valley)
  • Meredith (great ruler)
  • Rosaline (beautiful rose)
  • Taryn (yew tree, thunder, hill)
  • Willow (deciduous shrub, slender, graceful)

Famous people with the name Ethel:

  • Ethel Campbell Louise Anderson (poet)
  • Ethel Isabel Armitage (archer)
  • Ethel Barrymore (actress)
  • Ethel Hannah Catherwood (Olympic athlete)
  • Ethel Charlotte Chase Hatch (artist)
  • Ethel Ann Hoefly (brigadier general)
  • Ethel Agnes Merman (actress)
  • Ethel Lois Payne (journalist)
  • Ethel Lily May Thorpe (nurse)
  • Ethel Lilian Voynich (writer)

Ethel in popular culture:

  • Ethel Starsea Elemental (main character in the Duel Masters manga franchise)
  • Ethel Hallow (character in The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy)
  • Ethel Mae Mertz (character in the I Love Lucy series)
  • Ethel Skinner (character in the EastEnders series)