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Gender: F Meaning of Matilda: "battle-mighty" Origin of Matilda: German Matilda's Popularity in 2013: #645

Popularity: this week.

The comeback of this sweet vintage name has been prompted by a boomlet of starbaby Matildas, beginning with chef Gordon Ramsey's in 2002 and Moon Unit Zappa's two years later, but the renaissance of this name of the charming Roald Dahl heroine was assured when Michelle Williams and the late Heath Ledger chose Matilda for their daughter.

Matilda was introduced to the English-speaking world by the eleventh century Matilda of Flanders, queen of William the Conqueror, then used for his granddaughter, known as Maud. In literature, Matilda appeared in Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby. Trivia tidbit: The Matilda in the Australian song 'Waltzing Matilda' refers not to a person but to the knapsacks that swing, or waltz, on the backs of itinerant laborers as they walk along.

Currently Number 45 in England and Sweden and 34 in Germany, Matilda has a choice of great nicknames: Tillie for the bold, Mattie for the shy, Tilda for the slightly more eccentric, such as Tilda Swinton, born Katherine Matilda.

Molly Ringwald used the spelling Mathilda for her daughter.

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Famous People Named Matilda

Matilda Joslyn Gage, 19th century American feminist
Matilda Stevenson, American ethnologist and author
Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror
Empress Matilda, Lady of the English
Matilda Rose Ledger (b. 2005), daughter of the late Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams
Matilda Clutterbuck, daughter of British actor Andrew Lincoln
Matilda Pegg (b. 2009), daughter of British actor Simon Pegg
Matilda Kerwin (b. 1993), daughter of American actor Brian Kerwin
The Matildas, the Australian Women's National Football (Soccer) Team

Pop Culture References for the Name Matilda

"Matilda," song by British band Alt-J
"Waltzing Matilda," Aussie song
Matilda Wormwood, character in novel, musical & movie "Matilda"
Matilda, a house robot in the television series Robot Wars
Matilda Santiago, character in the film "Elysium"
Matilda Hunter, character from Australian TV soap "Home and Away"
Matilda "Tilda" Price Browdie, character in "Nicholas Nickleby"
Matilda from novel Australian novel "A Waltz for Matilda" by Jackie French.
"Matilda," song by British band Little Comets
Matilda Wormwood, main character in "Matilda" by Roald Dahl

Mahilda, Makilde, Malkin, Mat, Mathilda, Matti, Mattie, Matty, Maud, Maude, Maudie, Tilde, Tildie, Tildy, Tilli, Tillie, Tilly

Matilda's International Variations

Mala, Tylda, Tila, Matylda, Macia (Czech) Mathilde (French) Mette, Mechtilde (German) Matelda, Mafalda (Italian) Matusha, Mati, Tilda, Matilde (Spanish)