Matilda Origin and Meaning

The name Matilda is a girl's name of German origin meaning "battle-mighty".

Matilda is a sweet vintage name that has been gently climbing the popularity list for the past 15 years, after a half-century slumber. The spunky children's book heroine Matilda is one factor in its rise, along with others of its class like Eloise and Caspian.

The comeback of this sweet vintage name, one of the most stylish girls' names starting with M, 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.

Highly popular in England and 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.

# 437 in the US

Matilda Rank in US Top 1000

# 52 on Nameberry

Matilda Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Matilda Popularity

Famous People Named Matilda

  • Saint Matilda of RingelheimQueen consort of Henry the Fowler of Germany
  • Matilda of FlandersQueen consort of William the Conqueror
  • Matilda of ScotlandQueen consort of Henry I of England
  • MatildaHoly Roman Empress consort of Henry V; daughter of Henry I and Matilda of Scotland; claimant to the English throne
  • Matilda of BoulogneQueen consort of Stephen of England
  • Matilda of SavoyQueen consort of Afonso Henriques of Portugal
  • Matilda of HolsteinQueen consort of Abel of Denmark
  • Matilda of EnglandDuchess of Saxony and of Bavaria; daughter of Henry II
  • Matilda of TuscanyItalian feudal ruler and military leader
  • Matilda FitzRoyseveral illegitimate daughters of Henry I of England
  • Matilda Electa Joslyn GageAmerican suffragist
  • Matilda Anna Ingrid LutzItalian model and actress
  • Matilda Anne MackarnessEnglish novelist
  • Matilda Agnes HeronAmerican stage actress
  • Mary Matilda BethamEnglish diarist and painter
  • Matilda Sissieretta Joyner JonesAmerican operatic soprano
  • Matilda SturridgeEnglish actress; sister of actor Tom Sturridge
  • Matilda MeciniMiss Albania 2008
  • Matilda Coxe StevensonAmerican ethnologist and author
  • Matilda Moldenhauer BrooksAmerican biologist who studied carbon monoxide
  • Matilda LowtherBritish model
  • Matilda "Tilly" KeeperEnglish actress
  • Matilda Mary "Tilly" DevineEnglish,Australian gangster and folk figure
  • Matilda Emily "Tilly" BagshaweEnglish novelist
  • Matilda ShaplandEnglish actress
  • Katherine Matilda "Tilda" SwintonAnglo,Scottish actress
  • Matilda BrownAustralian actress; daughter of actress Rachel Ward
  • Matilda Kerwin (b. 1993)daughter of actor Brian Kerwin
  • Matilda Violet Roche (b. 1998)daughter of actress Nell Campbell and Eamonn Roche
  • Matilda "Tilly" Ramsay (b. 2001)daughter of TV chef Gordon Ramsay
  • Matilda Cole (b. 2002)daughter of actress Kate Isitt and director Nigel Cole
  • Matilda Louise Henricks (b. 2002)daughter of singer Zia McCabe of The Dandy Warhols and Travis Henricks
  • Matilda Rose Ledger (b. 2005)daughter of actors Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams
  • Matilda Martha Thykier (b. 2006)daughter of TV presenter Claudia Winkleman and Kris Thykier
  • Matilda Clutterbuckdaughter of actor Andrew Lincoln
  • Matilda Lily Nora Darling (b. 2008)daughter of actress Kaye Wragg and Jamie Darling
  • Matilda Kewell (b. 2008)daughter of actress Sheree Murphy and footballer Harry Kewell
  • Matilda Bethany Sidwell (b. 2009)daughter of actor Aaron Sidwell
  • Matilda Belle Pegg (b. 2009)daughter of actor Simon Pegg
  • Matilda Francis (b. 2009)daughter of actor/comedian Leigh Francis
  • Matilda Beau Albrighton (b. 2012)daughter of footballer Marc Albrighton
  • Matilda Smith (b. 2013)daughter of rugby player Cameron Smith
  • Matilda Vettel (b. 2015)daughter of racing driver Sebastian Vettel
  • Matilda Jessica Sinclair (b. 2015)daughter of actress Helen Flanagan and footballer Scott Sinclair
  • Matilda Joanne Adams (b. 2016)daughter of TV presenter Amelia Adams
  • Matilda (b. 2018)daughter of supermodel David Gandy
  • Matilda Philip(b. 1996) Nickname Tildatundra A Nigerian Blogger And A Writer

Matilda in Pop Culture

  • Matilda Wormwoodmain character in Roald Dahl's "Matilda"
  • Matildaa house robot on TV's "Robot Wars"
  • Matilda Santiagocharacter in movie "Elysium"
  • Matilda Harriet Jane "Mattie" Huntercharacter on Australian soap "Home and Away"
  • Matilda "Tilda" Price Browdiecharacter in Dickens' "Nicholas Nickleby"
  • Matildacharacter in "A Waltz for Matilda" by Jackie French
  • Matilda "Mattie" Cookcharacter in Laurie Halse Anderson's "Fever 1793""
  • Matildacharacter in British comic strip "Dennis & Gnasher"
  • Matilda Angelina Araminta PhelpsTom Sawyer's baby cousin in Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Matilda "Miss Matty" Jenkyscharacter on TV's Cranford
  • Matildaa character in Horace Walpole's "The Castle of Otranto"
  • Matilda "Mattie" Ashbycharacter on American soap "The Young and the Restless"
  • Matilda "Tillie" Binkscharacter in film "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"
  • Matilda "Matty" Webbercharacter on TV's "MacGyver"
  • The MatildasAustralian 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
  • "Matilda" song by British band Little Comets
  • "Waltzing Matilda" Australian popular song
  • Matilda McDuckaunt of Donald Duck

Matilda in Nameberry Blog Posts