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Gender: Female Meaning of Geraldine: "ruler with the spear" Origin of Geraldine: German and French, feminine variation of Gerald

The name Geraldine is a girl's name of German, French origin meaning "ruler with the spear". Geraldine and is often added to lists like Old Lady Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Girls Makeover - Two Middles".

From the experts:

Though twin brother Gerald is still in baby name limbo, Geraldine is in line to follow the path of Josephine to imminent revival—even though Gerry is not as spunky a nickname as Josie.

Geraldine was at its hottest from the 1910s through the forties, peaking at Number 38 in 1931. It was invented in the time of Henry VIII by a noble poet who fell in love with a Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald and, taking off from her surname, referred to her as the "Faire Geraldine."

Geraldine has the distinction of being the name of the first woman to be a major party vice presidential candidate, Geraldine Ferraro. Other notable bearers include actors Fitzgerald, Chaplin, and Page, and Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.

Trivia notes: Geraldine is the middle name of Ramona Quimby. And Geraldine was the name of the sassy female character played by Flip Wilson on his popular TV variety show.

Find other names based on Geraldine using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Geraldine

Géraldine Margit Virginia Olga Mária Apponyi de Nagy-Appony, Queen consort of Zog of Albania
Geraldine Brooks, Australian-American novelist
Geraldine Leigh Chaplin, American-British actress, daughter of Charlie Chaplin
(Alice) Geraldine Farrar, American operatic soprano and actress
Geraldine Anne Ferrarro, first American woman vice presidential candidate
Geraldine Mary Fitzgerald, Irish-American actress
Geraldine Estelle "Geri" Halliwell aka Ginger Spice, singer of English group Spice Girls
Geraldine Hunt, American R&B singer
Geraldine James, English actress
Geraldine Jane Kemper, Dutch actress
Geraldine McEwan, English actress
Geraldine Sue Page, American actress
Geraldine Pailhas, French actress
Geraldine Brooks, American actress
Geraldine Ann "Geri" Jewell, American actress
(Annie) Geraldine Ulmar, American singer and actress
Audre Geraldine Lorde, Caribbean-American writer and activist
The Fair Geraldine aka Elizabeth FitzGerald, Countess of Lincoln

Pop Culture References for the name Geraldine

Geraldine McQueen, fictional singer played by Peter Kay
Boadicea Geraldine "Gerry" Granger, character on TV's "Vicar of Dibley"
Geraldine, beloved of Jack Wilton in "The Unfortunate Traveller: or, the Life of Jack Wilton" (1594) by Thomas Nashe
Geraldine, character in Coleridge's poem "Christabel" (1797-1801)
Ramona Geraldine Quimby, character in novels by Beverly Clearly
Geraldine, character in "Jemima J"
Geraldine, samurai sword on TV's "Lost Girl"
Geraldine Raymond, character in "Anne of Windy Poplars" by L.M. Montgomery
"Geraldine," song by Glasvegas
"Geraldine," an opera by Michael William Balfe
"Geraldine and John," song by Joe Jackson
Geraldine Waxelplax, a character in the Nickelodeon cartoon "The Fairly OddParents"
Geraldine Grundy, character from "Riverdale"
Helga Geraldine Pataki, character on "Hey Arnold"

Geraldine's International Variations

Geralda, Geraldina (Spanish) Giralda (Italian) Gerhardine (German) Gearóidin (Irish Gaelic)


Daiseymae Says:


There have been much worse names.

Floris Says:


A colleague of mine is called Géraldine, she has an Italian last name... It's a beautiful name imo and she's one of the prettiest women I've ever seen.

We also live in a German speaking town, but seeing as we live in Switzerland everybody knows at least some French. And French names are also somewhat common...

I think it's a gorgeous name. Maybe not in a country where French names are uncommon, but that obviously wouldn't apply to everybody :)

I think Géraldine is feminine but still serious and strong, which I really like.

RainbowCherry Says:


That's my name and I wouldn't recommend giving it to your little girl...
I'm from Germany and currently 16 years old, and still, nobody around here is able to pronounce it correctly. Plus, my parents chose the French spelling which would be "Géraldine". So, everybody keeps forgetting the accent on the first e, but it's important because it indicates the French pronounciation, so when I was younger and someone forgot the accent, I got really mad...and I HATED my name when I was younger, because 1) nobody was able to pronounce it
2) they made things like "Gerlinde" out of it or they pronounced it 100% German
3) I don't have a middle name, so I always got horrible nicknames
4) it never fit in the box on classtests/worksheets where we should write our names
5) New teachers always spell it the total wrong way
6) When my mom called my name at the supermarket, all heads turned and I got weird looks for my exotic name
7) Everybody asked me whether I was French
8) It just looks ridiculous together with my extremely German last name
9) When the Italian teachers from my school watched the movie "Some Like It Hot" they couldn't walk past me without laughing (because the character of Daphne was originally called Geraldine but then changed it because she hated the name)

Today I usually go by the nickname of Cherry and I don't even try to teach people the right pronounciation. The biggest shock was definately when even my French teacher was unable to pronounce it...
I would say it could work as a middle name in honor of a grandmother for example, or, if you really want it as a first name, make sure you either live somewhere where people speak French or give a middle name your child can use at school or where ever nobody is able to pronounce the name.

juliabrowneyes Says:


"Geraldine is in line to follow the path of Josephine to imminent revival." Okay, I really like Geraldine, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

lesliemarion Says:


Geraldine is a WONDERFUL name! Strong and lively.

madmaddie Says:


I pronounced the ending -line for ages, but oddly, I pronounce Emmeline with the -leen ending.