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Imogen

HeartIM-uh-jen
Celtic
"maiden"

Imogen Origin and Meaning

The name Imogen is a girl's name of Celtic origin meaning "maiden".
The story goes that Imogen originated as a Shakespearean printer's misspelling of the traditional Celtic name Innogen, used by him for a character in one of his last plays, Cymbeline. The Innogen of legend, who Shakespeare’s character was based on, was the wife of Brutus of Troy, the first king of Britain. Earlier versions of her name, including Ennoguent, Innoguend, and Innoguent, were found in Brittany from the 9th-11th centuries. They are probably derived from the Gaelic word inghean, meaning "daughter" or "maiden," and possibly have a connection to the Proto-Celtic word for "white," from which the suffixes -gwyn and -gwen evolved.

Even if Shakespeare did happen upon Imogen by accident, he wasn't the first person to use the name. The Latin name Imogenis, meaning "lowest-born," existed centuries before Shakespeare, and was first recorded in the 13th century.

Imogen has long been fashionable in England, and proved more popular in the US spelled and pronounced ihm-oh-GENE. Pronounced the British way — the initial i is short as in Kim, as is the final E as in Ken — Imogen is as pretty and classy as it is distinctive. Imogen also gained attention through its link to Grammy-winning musician Imogen Heap.

Though never in the American Top 1000, Imogen has gained a lot of favor in recent years among stylish parents, so you may find more little Imogens in your hip neighborhood than that statistic would suggest. Imogen is a contemporary classic in England and Wales, where it has ranked in the Top 100 ever since detailed naming records began in 1996. It's also a Nameberry favorite, consistently among the Top 100 most viewed girl names on our site.

Other pluses: Imogen has the wonderful namesake photographer Imogen Cunningham and also a meaning that can't be topped. Immy is the cute diminutive; in the book and movie Fried Green Tomatoes, the character Imogene's nickname was Idgie.
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Imogen Popularity

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20 Names Similar to Imogen

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Lists containing Imogen

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Famous People Named Imogen

  • Imogen BaileyAustralian model, actress & singer
  • Imogen BankierScottish badminton player
  • Imogen CairnsEnglish gymnast
  • Imogen CunninghamAmerican photographer
  • Imogen HassallEnglish actress
  • Imogen Jennifer HeapEnglish singer/songwriter, formerly of Frou Frou
  • Imogen Clare HolstEnglish composer and conductor
  • Imogen Anne Lloyd WebberBritish political commentator and author, daughter of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Imogen Lycett GreenEnglish writer, daughter of Candida Lycett Green (and sister to Lucy, Endellion, David and John)
  • Imogen Gay PootsEnglish actress
  • Imogen StubbsEnglish actress
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  • Imogen Mary ThomasMiss Wales 2003 and TV personality ("Big Brother")
  • Imogen Sheeranmother of singer,songwriter Ed Sheeran and jewelry designer
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Imogen in Pop Culture

  • Imogenmain character in Shakespeare's "Cymbeline"
  • Imogenimaginary friend on TV's 'The Nanny.'
  • Imogen Morenocharacter on TV's "Degrassi"
  • Imogen Dartie Cardigancharacter from "The Forsyte Saga"
  • Imogencharacter in the Ascendance trilogy by Jennifer Nielsen
  • Imogen Herondalecharacter in 'The Mortal Instruments' series by Cassandra Clare
  • Imogencharacter in the 'Pretty Little Liars' series
  • Imogen Willischaracter on Australian soap "Neighbours"
  • Imogencharacter in movie 'Down to You'
  • Imogen Drillcharacter on TV's "The Worst Witch"
  • Imogencharacter in "Bad Dreams" by Anne Fine
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  • Imogencharacter in "Bumface" by Morris Gleitzman
  • Imogencharacter in "The Rain Before It Falls" by Jonathan Coe
  • Imogen Bookcharacter in "Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox" by Eoin Colfer
  • Imogen Melfordcharacter in "The Time of the Ghost" by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Imogen Hazardcharacter in "Wise Children" by Angela Carter
  • Imogencharacter in movie "American Pie Presents: The Book of Love"
  • "Imogen's Puzzle" song by Psyopus
  • Imogencharacter in Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
  • Imogen Stewartcharacter on TV's 'Waterloo Road'
  • Imogen Reedcharacter in the video game SOMA
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