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Gender: F Meaning of Edith: "prosperous in war" Origin of Edith: English Edith's Popularity in 2013: #719

Popularity: this week.

Edith was a hugely popular name a hundred years ago that's being revived among stylish parents in London--iand is beginning to gain traction here among those with a taste for old-fashioned names with a soft but strong image.

The name of two American First Ladies, Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, as well as that of the wife of William the Conqueror, Edith is one of the oldest surviving Anglo-Saxon names. Widely used in nineteenth century novels, Edith was chosen by Louisa May Alcott for the heroine of her first novel The Inheritance, written when she was seventeen.

Edith Wharton makes a fine literary namesake, with other noted bearers including poet Edith Sitwell, iconic Hollywood movie designer Edith Head and, for francophiles, there is the reference to Edith Piaf. With the rise of so many other E-starting names from Ella to Evelyn and the adorable short form Edie, we predict that Edith will soon sound more like a cute toddler than a dated granny, especially with the emergence of one of the most interesting characters on Downton Abbey, Lady Edith Crawley.

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Famous People Named Edith

Edith Wharton, American author
Edith Piaf, French singer
Edith Cavell (1865-1915), British nurse executed by the Germans for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium
Edith Bowman, Scottish radio DJ
Edith Head, an American costume designer who won eight Academy Awards, more than any other designer
Matilda of Scotland, queen consort of Henry I of England, was born Edith

Pop Culture References for the Name Edith

Edith Bouvier-Beale, main-character in Broadway show Grey Gardens
Edith Bunker, Archie's wife on US show All in the Family
Lady Edith Crawley, a character in the TV series "Downton Abbey"
Edith, played by Dana Gaier in "Despicable Me"
Edith Moor, marries old Jolyon Forsyte in Galsworthy's "Forsyte" series
Edith Ann, character in Lily Tomlin's sketches
Edith Shaw Lennox, character in "North and South"
Edith Stanley, a character in Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance"
Edith Prior, an ancestor of Tris Prior of the Divergent trilogy

Eadie, Eadith, Ede, Edie, Edit, Edithe, Ediva, Edy, Edyte, Edyth, Edythe, Eidith, Eidyth, Eyde, Eydie, Eydith

Edith's International Variations

Edita, Ditka, Dita (Czech) Editha (German) Ekika, Edi (Hawaiian) Edetta, Editta (Italian) Edda, Edka, Edyta, Ita, Eda (Polish)