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Gender: F Meaning of Matilda: "battle-mighty" Origin of Matilda: German Matilda's Popularity in 2015: #535

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 36 in England and 20 in Australia, 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.

Famous People Named Matilda

Saint Matilda of Ringelheim, Queen consort of Henry I of Germany
Matilda of Flanders, Queen of England as wife of William the Conqueror
Matilda, Holy Roman Empress as wife of Henry V; claimant to the English throne
Matilda Electa Joslyn Gage, American suffragist
Matilda Coxe Stevenson, American ethnologist and author
Matilda Lowther, British model
Katherine Matilda "Tilda" Swinton, Anglo-Scottish actress
Matilda Rose Ledger (b. 2005), daughter of actors 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
Matilda Vettel (b. 2015), second daughter of Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel

Pop Culture References for the name Matilda

Matilda Wormwood, main character in Roald Dahl's "Matilda," book
Matilda, a house robot on TV's "Robot Wars"
Matilda Santiago, character in movie "Elysium"
Matilda "Mattie" Hunter, character from "Home and Away"
Matilda "Tilda" Price Browdie, character in "Nicholas Nickleby"
Matilda, character in "A Waltz for Matilda" by Jackie French.
"Matilda," song by British band Little Comets
Matilda "Mattie" Cook, in Laurie Halse Anderson's "Fever 1793""
Matilda, character in British comic strip "Dennis & Gnasher"
The Matildas, Australian Women's National Football (Soccer) Team
"Matilda," 1978 comedy about a boxing kangaroo
"Matilda," song by Harry Belafonte
"Matilda," song by British band Alt-J
"Waltzing Matilda," Australian popular song
Matilda "Miss Matty" Jenkys, character in Cranford
Matilda, a character in Horace Walpole's "The Castle of Otranto"
Matilda "Mattie" Ashby, character on American soap "The Young and the Restless"

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

Matilda's International Variations

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