EV-uh-lin or EEV-lin
English from French and German
"desired; or water, island"

Evelyn Origin and Meaning

The name Evelyn is a girl's name of English origin meaning "desired; or water, island".

After decades of disuse, soft and feminine Evelyn has returned to the baby name stage in a huge way. It reached the Top 10 for the first time in 2017. Evelyn has now surpassed its former heights, joining a legion of contemporary little Evas, Avas, Eves, Evies, and Evelines.

Evelyn derives from the French feminine given name Aveline, which is from an obscure Germanic root which may mean "desired, wished for" or "water, island". The name Aveline was brought over to England by the Normans, but it first became popular as a masculine name – a transferred use of the surname Evelyn, which comes from the same source. Variations include Evaline, Evalyn, Evelin, and Eveline.

Formerly a predominantly masculine name, its most famous bearer is writer Evelyn (EEV-lin) Waugh. (Trivia note: Evelyn Waugh was married to a woman named Evelyn, and they were known as 'He-velyn" and "She-velyn'.) Its quiet persona was reversed with the character Evelyn Salt, played by Angelina Jolie. Bruce Willis chose it for his fifth daughter and Carey Mulligan used it for hers.

# 9 in the US

Evelyn Rank in US Top 1000

# 27 on Nameberry

Evelyn Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Evelyn Popularity

Famous People Named Evelyn

  • Evelyn AshfordAmerican Olympic sprinter
  • Evelyn Margaret AyMiss America 1954
  • Evelyn Louise KeyesAmerican actress
  • Evelyn Brent (born Mary Elizabeth Riggs)American actress
  • Evelyn "Champagne" KingAmerican R&B singer
  • Evelyn Elizabeth Ann GlennieScottish percussionist
  • Evelyn Beatrice LongmanAmerican sculptor
  • (Florence) Evelyn NesbitAmerican model; wife of architect Stanford White
  • Ellen Lucille "Evelyn" ThomasAmerican disco singer
  • Evelyn StevensAmerican cyclist
  • Evelyn LozadaAmerican reality television personality ("Basketball Wives")
  • Evelyn Murphy67th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
  • Evelyn WardAmerican actress; mother of singer David Cassidy
  • Evelyn M. WitkinAmerican geneticist
  • Evelyn LearAmerican operatic soprano
  • Evelyn Masefirst wife of Nelson Mandela
  • (Elsie) Evelyn LayeEnglish actress
  • Evelyn García (Marroquín)Salvadoran cyclist
  • Evelyn O'RourkeIrish broadcaster
  • Evelyn VerrasztóHungarian Olympic swimmer
  • Evelyn Lee Marie "Everlyn" SampiAustralian actress
  • Evelyn Knightknown for her involvement in the Abscam sting operation
  • Evelyn KnightAmerican pop singer
  • Evelyn Francis McHaleAmerican subject of a 1947 photograph depicting "the most beautiful suicide"
  • Evelyn McGeeColbert, wife of TV personality Stephen Colbert
  • Evelyn Day Bentley (b. 2008)daughter of singer Dierks Bentley & Cassidy Black
  • Evelyn Gabel (b. 2009)daughter of singer Laura Jane Grace & Heather Hannoura
  • Evelyn Tierneydaughter of actors Indira Varma and Colin Tierney
  • Evelyn Morneau (b. 2010)son of baseball player Justin Morneau
  • Evelyn Penn Willis (b. 2014)daughter of actor Bruce Willis
  • Evelyn Grace Mumford (b. 2015)daughter of singer Marcus Mumford and actress Carey Mulligan
  • Evelyn Renee Flacco (b. 2016)daughter of NFL player Joe Flacco
  • Evelyn Mae Forsyth (b. 2020)daughter of reality tv personalities Joy Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth of “Counting On”

Evelyn in Pop Culture

  • Evelyn Robincharacter in "Winnie,the,Pooh" series
  • Evelyn Mulwraycharacter in 1974 film "Chinatown"
  • Evelyn Saltmain character in film "Salt"
  • Evelyn Smytheaudio companion of the Sixth Doctor from Doctor Who
  • Evelyncharacter in film "The Ring 2"
  • Evelyn "Evie" Carnahancharacter in film "The Mummy"
  • Evelyn Gardenercharacter in film "A League of Their Own"
  • Evelyn Johnsona main character in 2004 film "Pearl Harbor"
  • Evelyn Eatoncharacter in the Divergent Trilogy
  • Evelyn Harpercharacter on TV's 'Two and a Half Men'
  • Evelyn Vogelcharacter on TV's "Dexter"
  • Evelyn "Button" Petersmain character in"The Book of Bright Ideas" by Sandra Kring
  • Evelyn Peerbaughcharacter in the 'Sister Circle' series
  • Evelyn Couchcharacter in Fannie Flagg's "Fried Green Tomatoes"
  • Evelyn "Eva" Lelandcharacter in the Elsie Dinsmore series
  • Evelyn "Artemis" SharpCharacter from DC Television Universe's "Arrow"
  • Evelyn Ferrarsmother of Juliette Ferrars from Tahereh Mafi's "Shatter me" trilogy
  • Crabtree and Evelynretailer of bath and body products
  • Evelyn Deavorcharacter in "Incredibles 2"
  • Evelyn and Evelyn Nevillefictional conjoined twin sisters portrayed by Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley as a musical duo
  • Evelyn Hugomain character of "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo"

Evelyn in Nameberry Blog Posts