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Gender: Female Meaning of Matilda: "battle-mighty" Origin of Matilda: German Matilda's Popularity in 2017: #521

The name Matilda is a girl's name of German origin meaning "battle-mighty". Matilda is ranked #521 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Old Lady Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Rotating Sibling Sets".

From the experts:

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.

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

Famous People Named Matilda

Saint Matilda of Ringelheim, Queen consort of Henry the Fowler of Germany
Matilda of Flanders, Queen consort of William the Conqueror
Matilda of Scotland, Queen consort of Henry I of England
Matilda, Holy Roman Empress consort of Henry V; daughter of Henry I and Matilda of Scotland; claimant to the English throne
Matilda of Boulogne, Queen consort of Stephen of England
Matilda of Savoy, Queen consort of Afonso Henriques of Portugal
Matilda of Holstein, Queen consort of Abel of Denmark
Matilda of England, Duchess of Saxony and of Bavaria; daughter of Henry II
Matilda of Tuscany, Italian feudal ruler and military leader
Matilda FitzRoy, several illegitimate daughters of Henry I of England
Matilda Electa Joslyn Gage, American suffragist
Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Italian model and actress
Matilda Anne Mackarness, English novelist
Matilda Agnes Heron, American stage actress
Mary Matilda Betham, English diarist and painter
Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, American operatic soprano
Matilda Sturridge, English actress; sister of actor Tom Sturridge
Matilda Mecini, Miss Albania 2008
Matilda Coxe Stevenson, American ethnologist and author
Matilda Moldenhauer Brooks, American biologist who studied carbon monoxide
Matilda Lowther, British model
Matilda "Tilly" Keeper, English actress
Matilda Mary "Tilly" Devine, English-Australian gangster and folk figure
Matilda Emily "Tilly" Bagshawe, English novelist
Matilda Shapland, English actress
Katherine Matilda "Tilda" Swinton, Anglo-Scottish actress
Matilda Brown, Australian 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 Clutterbuck, daughter 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

Pop Culture References for the name Matilda

Matilda Wormwood, main character in Roald Dahl's "Matilda"
Matilda, a house robot on TV's "Robot Wars"
Matilda Santiago, character in movie "Elysium"
Matilda Harriet Jane "Mattie" Hunter, character on Australian soap "Home and Away"
Matilda "Tilda" Price Browdie, character in Dickens' "Nicholas Nickleby"
Matilda, character in "A Waltz for Matilda" by Jackie French
Matilda "Mattie" Cook, character in Laurie Halse Anderson's "Fever 1793""
Matilda, character in British comic strip "Dennis & Gnasher"
Matilda Angelina Araminta Phelps, Tom Sawyer's baby cousin in Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Matilda "Miss Matty" Jenkys, character on TV's Cranford
Matilda, a character in Horace Walpole's "The Castle of Otranto"
Matilda "Mattie" Ashby, character on American soap "The Young and the Restless"
Matilda "Tillie" Binks, character in film "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"
Matilda "Matty" Webber, character on TV's "MacGyver"
The Matildas, Australian 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 McDuck, aunt of Donald Duck

Mattie, Mathilda, Maud, Tilde, Maudie, Mat, Makilde, Mahilda, Malkin, Matti, Tilli, Tillie, Maude, Tildie, Tildy, Tilly, Matty

Matilda's International Variations

Matelda, Mafalda (Italian) Mala, Tylda, Tila, Matylda, Macia (Czech) Matusha, Mati, Tilda, Matilde (Spanish) Mathilde (French) Mette, Mechtilde (German)


CherrieSue Says:


Matilda has been in my top three names for girls for well over ten years (I'm in my twenties), but now it seems that everyone is turning to this name. I'm slightly heartbroken, as I want to use uncommon names and it seems that Matilda no longer fits the bill. I had never met a Matilda a few years ago, but that's not the case anymore!

RoseFlower Says:


Love this name as a middle name for my little Ashie! Ashton Matilda Wilson <3

auroracallista Says:


I'm starting to love this name. Tillie is an all time favorite ❤️

lilymaberose Says:


it makes me think of mildew somehow and i dont know why

disqus_86FB79ar8B Says:


:) It's a fabulous name! My MK is 5 now and has been dubbed Tilda by her now 2 year old sister.

carmenandrea Says:


I know this is an old comment, but I have a 2yo named Matilda Kate who also goes by Tilly :)

bethlena Says:


Cute, but growing rapidly in popularity.

Thepandaprincess223 Says:


Its my dogs name so I could never bring myself to name a child Matilda and although we call her Tillie for short, I think Millie is a cute different variation.

She's a Killer Queen Says:


I love the nickname Tilda!

lizway Says:


I used to hate this name, it's growing on me now but it still feels like you're setting your child up to be teased :(

66letters Says:


Love this name for the strong and smart Roald Dahl character, and also for the nn Tilly. (Love the Millie/ Tilly nickname possibilities!)

cricketbell Says:


I love this name SO much!

Jazzy7 Says:


I really want to use this name! Matilda the movie was one of my favorites when I was little. I would call her Tilly or Tilda! I think it's so cute and not very popular. I hope my husband will let me have it! He likes Sophia more!

Hydra Says:


Heh,thanks.I don't hate it as much as I used too,but it's still not my favorite.

Fluffykitten101 Says:


Not at all Hydra! It's your opinion and should be respected. No opinion is wrong. :)

jaz.fortune Says:


I really like this name as well! Childhood memories! My daughter's middle name is Lavender after the character in Matilda so I think it would be cute for sisters, Matilda Belle and Fiona Lavender 🦄☄

-EagleEyes- Says:


This is such a beautiful name! It's feminine without being too frilly, and has a great meaning! The nickname Mattie is adorable, but other options include Tillie, Tilda, or Mat(t). The character from the Roald Dahl book, which is now also a Broadway musical, is a great namesake.

TheSlothPrincess Says:


I love this! Such a sweet, quirky name. I imagine a very vibrant girl.

Floris Says:


That's adorable <3

EW314 Says:


I really love this name! Lots of people have commented that it's dorky but I see it as beautifully, adorably clunky. It's got an awesome meaning and there are a ton of strong Matilda namesakes, from Empress Matilda to Tilda (Katherine Matilda) Swinton to Roald Dahl's Matilda Wormwood, who is a great role model for a little girl IMO.

My daughter (born in 2015) has Matilda as a middle name and we've received nothing but compliments on it so far. She was named primarily for the fictional character and I really hope she grows up to be as smart, spunky and sassy as Matilda Wormwood!

grace147 Says:


I only know one Matilda and her nickname is Tilly. Not my favorite but it is cute!

vintageisfave Says:


Matilda is a stunning name! I immediately associate it with the bright young girl from Matilda by Roald Dahl...also, the movie and the musical:) the nickname Tilly is the cutest, but Mattie is okay too; if I had a daughter named Matilda I would use both Tilly and Mattie.

frenchdreams Says:


This is name is amazing! Hopefully DH will fall in love with it as much as I have!

Zelliew Says:


It's not awful - just a bit dorky

Leah3456 Says:


I went back and forth on this name for awhile, but now I have come to like it. Tilly is such a cute nickname!

TheHumanCanvas Says:


I really want to love Matilda, but I just can't get on board. It feels so HEAVY to me.

mamaof12 Says:


Love this name!

Maudie Jane Merkle Says:


This is so cute because you can get called Tillie!!!! Adorable!

Muey Says:


My daughter is Matilda and she gets Tilda from us and Tildy from her friends. When she was younger she insisted on being Matilda but now she prefers Tildy... she is 10 and the only Matilda at her school (in Australia). She loves the association with the song Waltzing Matilda (she is named for it) and she has a koala that plays the song when you squeeze his paw!

taliawhat Says:


Tilly is SUCH a cute nickname! I definitely prefer it to Mattie, as it is too similar to Maddie and just feels very safe/common for such a striking name.

disqus_86FB79ar8B Says:


My 2 year-old daughter is Matilda Kate, often referred to as Tilly. It fits her to a T.

headintheclouds Says:


Matilda will always hold a special place in my heart due to the book character in the eponymous Matilda by Roald Dahl. As a little girl, it was my favorite book, and I admired Matilda and wanted to be her.

I do like this name but I actually only like it in its full form- I cringe thinking of any nicknames for it such as Mattie and Tilly and Tilda. This is one of the names where I like to see other people using it, but I wouldn't use it for my own kid.

Princessnawal Says:


Better choose madeline instead of matilda

Caroline Says:


I like it, but I wouldn't name my child this!!

ebboo8 Says:


If my parents had had another daughter they would have named her Matilda, with the nickname Mattie. I would probably use the nickname Tilly rather than Mattie.

PinkBerry Says:


This name is a little bit dorky to me, Matilda I definitely picture with glasses and a notebook, but it's also very classic and quirky, so if that's what you're going for, go for it.
As for nicknames, BY FAR I prefer Tilly to Mattie.

Marlz81 Says:


Hate this name! So ugly:(

TG Says:


My name is Matilda and admittedly it did take me a while to really appreciate the name, but i love it now. The only times I've been teased about it is when people get a bit drunk and start singing "waltzing Matilda" or variations of the song. But its all in good humour and it doesn't worry me. If you like the name - go for it! It doesn't matter who or what has been called Matilda in the past as long as you like the name and think it's the best for your little girl, she will love you for choosing it for her.

Caroline Says:


I prefer Maud!

Princessnawal Says:


Matilda sounds like a bit of a old name even helga or Bertha, no offense but I would be sad if that was my name

Guest Says:


Trying to get my mom to warm up to the possibility of this. It'll be an uphill battle 😂

*Battle-mighty get it? 😜

SunKissedChild Says:


I'm Australian and I'm planning to use it, I really don't think the song is a big deal. Matilda is currently top 20 in Australia so I guess other people agree with me.

Zoey_Artemisia Says:


"Waltzing Matilda" I'm sorry, I'm Aussie so this is the first thing I think of. The second is the book by Roald Dahl. But your child will have to face some teasing if she comes to Australia (even friendly banter).

Emmilou Says:


Love this name

Periberry Says:


i think of a witch when i see this name. it's not appealing to me. i respect why others would like it though

SunKissedChild Says:


Yeah I totally agree. I am planning on using Matilda for a future daughter, and I love everything that the character was, clever, mischievous, kind, etc. And as a parent of such a special little girl as Matilda, I would want to be the parents that Matilda deserved, and not the ones she had. So no, I wouldn't call it harsh at all. I think Matilda would finally be getting the loving parents that she wanted all along :)

ShannonLim Says:


Well, I'm sure parents who choose the name 'Matilda' for their child will be better parents than the one in the novel :) Plus its the child that matters most - a brave, clever and passionate child.. who wouldn't love a child like Matilda?

strawberrydino Says:


Yeah she's great, but her parents weren't

grackym Says:


It is far from harsh, many of the names that people like May be from troubled backgrounds. If you've seen the movie you know that Matilda was a brave, clever and passionate child - surely that is a wonderful namesake!

strawberrydino Says:


... Why would anyone wanna name their kid Matilda (if you're naming it after the movie) her parents were so cruel! People like me would think that you hate your child (if you've seen the movie).. I mean it's a cute name but seriously don't you think that's a little harsh? :/

Jrbaker87 Says:


I'm starting to really love this name, but I've been getting such negative feedback :(

Hydra Says:


Is it wrong that I really hate this?

Haili73 Says:


This is kind of my name now - it's been my nickname for years. I love it so much I'm tempted to go by Matilda. There are more Michaila's in the world than I realized...

cherrymiami Says:


Our sweet Matilda Rose was born in 2012. We call her Mattie. :)

Guest Says:


I went from thinking this name was so hideous--like Mildred or something--to loving it. I think Michelle and Heath made me like it. Matilda Ledger is such a cutie :)

Plutophelia Says:


I love Matilda! and the nickname Mattie is adorrrable!

Giinkies Says:


I like this name, but I guess that is because I absolutely loved the movie (and book) as a child.

LadyVanRaven Says:


I love the connection to William the Conqueror's wife: Matilda of Flanders and Empress Matilda (who *nearly* became the first English queen to rule in her own right). Because of those connections I think more of a regal, sophisticated, strong minded, dark haired Norman woman.

SunKissedChild Says:


I adore this name! My husband and I are planning to use this name one day (hopefully soon), with the gorgeous nickname Mattie :)