Gender: Female Pronunciation: EV-uh-lin or EEV-lin Meaning of Evelyn: "desired; or water, island" Origin of Evelyn: English from French and German Evelyn's Popularity in 2019: #10

Evelyn Origin and Meaning

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

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.

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. All this despite having returned to the Top 40 for the first time since 1939 less than a decade ago.

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. Recently, Bruce Willis chose it for his fifth daughter, and more recently Carey Mulligan used it for hers.

16 names similar to Evelyn

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Rank in US: #10

- this week

Famous People Named Evelyn

Pop Culture References for the name Evelyn

Evelyn's International Variations

Aveline, Evaleen (Irish)


Isabella_188 Says:


I think this name is only usable for girls. NOT because of it's popularity for girls, but because it fits in perfectly with all of the other popular -Lyn ending names, such as Madelyn, Ashlyn, etc. I'm not trying to say you should not name your son Evelyn, I'm just stating my opinion.

molo2 Says:


I love this name but I have such a hard time because in the States we pronounce is Ev-uh-lyn, and I really don't care for that, however I've heard that in other places it's pronounced Eev- lyn, which to me is so much more flowy and graceful sounding. But I don't think I could ever name my kid something I knew people were always going to pronounce wrong.

CharlyMarbur Says:


My name is Evelyn. Actually, I'm a fourth generation Evelyn. My grandmother's grandmother was Evelyn Fransisca. Her daughter was Evelyn Fransisca. As was my aunt, Evelyn Fransisca. However, my parents changed my second name because 1) they hated the second name, and 2) all my predecessors died young. Family saw it as a curse. I also have a cousin whose name is Evelyn, but they changed her second name too. Still, I love my name.

Emma J Says:


Evelyn is so cute!!!

Daiseymae Says:


That is funny!

RoseFlower Says:


Very pretty! I want to use it as a middle name for my daughter Ashton Evelyn <3

Evelyn Says:


Mine name is Evelyn. I grew up when He-Man and She-Ra were popular cartoons. Kids making fun called me Evillyn lol. Some people still call me that. I always thought that was funny.

jessiefree Says:


This is my daughter's name: Evelyn Annalise. She is named for my grandmother. She goes by Evie, but we pronounce it (Eh-Vie not Eee-vie because 1: the name is pronounced Ev-uh-lyn not Eeevil-lyn and 2: my grandmother was strict about people calling her Evelyn...except my grandfather who was allowed to call her Evy...pronounced how we pronounce it). We also sometimes call her EvieAnne (a mix of her first and middle). This name was virtually unheard of...until I chose it for my daughter of course. But we still love it because of the family connection.

sunshinexoxo Says:


I really like the meaning behind the name but not a fan of how the name sounds though.

Daiseymae Says:


Very pretty name.

paulapuddephatt Says:


Stunning name, love it, and Eve or Evie as nicknames

paulapuddephatt Says:


I'm in UK and hear both. And I agree - love them both, too. 💗

Toya B Says:


my aunt always thought she couldn't have kids, due to some injury or something as a teen (never been told actually what), so when she finally had a kid, she named her Evelyn - wished for child. In the end, she has ended up with two (possibly going to be three) more, so the doctors sure did a good job!

Fluffykitten101 Says:


Its personal preference, but if I saw it then I would probably pronounce it EEV-lin, seeing as I live in England that is the most common pronunciation. If I lived somewhere else though I would pronounce it Eh-vuh-lin.

Fluffykitten101 Says:


EEV-lin is mostly the English pronunciation, and Eh-vuh-lin is the American pronunciation. I love both.

Impwood Says:


I much prefer Eveline or Evelina, since Evelyn is more of a surname / boy's name to me.

Emily McBride Says:


My understanding is that EEV-lin is usually for a man, like writer Evelyn Waugh, and that Ev-uh-lin is for a girl. EEV-lin certainly sounds more British-upper crust to me too.

Yo Says:


Those both mean the same thing...

Loveislife23 Says:


Where do people pronounce it like EEV-lin and where do they pronounce it like ev-uh-lin? I know Carey Mulligan and Bruce Willis used it for a daughter, but I have no idea if they pronounce it the same way and how they pronounce it.

headintheclouds Says:


I love that Evelyn has become so popular recently, though I'm also rather surprised. It's not entirely in the style of Sophia and Isabella, those frilly girly vintage names that have come to dominate the lists. It's also not quite the popular surnamey/originally male modern type girl names like Haley, Teagan, Harper, Ryan either. Evelyn's the rare name that's a mix of both, and maybe that's its main appeal? Or maybe everyone's just naming their daughters after Grandma Evelyn :b
Eve, Evie and Lyn are adorable nicknames (maybe Eve + Evie is also the main draw to Evelyn?), and Evelyn on its own is also lovely.

yvonne_virginia Says:


It says 'wished for child' here, yet on the boys' page it says 'desired'?

LittleGypsy Says:


Evelyn, yay, my favourite! <3 I was wondering if you saw this name if you would pronounce the E like Evie or Emma?

Leah3456 Says:


A pretty, classic name that is back in style! I love the nickname Evie!

GemmaLucy Says:


My daughter is named Evelyn Rae (nicknamed Evie). I think Evelyn is a beautiful name and feels classic like I've been transported back to the 1920s.

Catastroffy Says:


This is one of my cat's many names. But that doesn't mean I think it doesn't work for a child or a lady. I think it's lovely. (I pronounce it "ev-uh-lin".)

PineWarrior Says:


I've met an adorable first grader named Evelyn-her nickname was Evie :)

claraminta Says:


I rather like the name Evelyn. A fine comeback unisex name.

Zoey_Artemisia Says:


Then I guess it's just the parents personal preference isn't it? Like the spelling Madeleine could be pronounced Mad-ee-line or Mad-ee-lyn. Neither are wrong it's just what parents prefer.

SunKissedChild Says:


We pronounce it Eve-lyn, which is my point

Zoey_Artemisia Says:


Really? That's weird. My grandmothers name is Evelyn and everyone in Australia says it right, she says it like 'Ev-uh-lyn.

SunKissedChild Says:


Evelyn is my Nan's name, and my Mum's middle name. They both HATE their names. My Nan has always gone by Eve, because she hated being given a boy's name, and my Mum hates it because people are always confused about how to pronounce it! Apparently when my Nan was born in 1935 in England, boys pronounced their name Ev-er-lyn, and the girls pronounced it Eve-lyn as to not get confused. But when they moved to Australia in the 70's, no one had any idea on how to pronounce the name, and just said whatever they thought was right.

ClarissaTheBright Says:


You're right, the name have something on it =)

kitchi1 Says:


My Great Grandmother's sister's name is Evelyn. She's actually still living, though I've never met her. I have her first drawing, too, lol. My rabbit's name was Evelyn.

HatGirl Says:


I was almost named this. it's funy when i looked at the mean-wished for child which my mom did wish for me

MaryKathryn Says:


Evelyn is my sister's middle name (she's 27) and when I was younger I thought my mom was crazy for giving my sister such an old lady middle name! It's hilarious to see how many people love this name now. I don't really like it that much, the only reason why I would use it would be to honor my sister/great-grandmother.

Renee5322 Says:


This has been my absolute favorite female name for several years now. I'm really disappointed at how popular it's become, but that won't stop me from using it for my future daughter.