International Variations of Margaret

International Variations of Margaret

Margaret is among the most classic baby names, with a wide range of intriguing variations throughout the Western World. Familiar forms of Margaret such as Margot have become common independently of their mother name, although Margaret remains the most popular of all. Meghan, a variant of the Welsh name Megan, has risen in recent years thanks to Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s wife.

Along with Margot and Meghan, other international variations of Margaret in the US Top 1000 include Greta, Mae, Maggie, Maisie, Margo, and Megan. If you’re looking for a rarer international option, the German Gretel, Irish Mairead, Hebrew Margalit, or Estonian Meeri are fashionable options worth exploring. Marguerite, the French form of Margaret is also a floral name that means "daisy." Although not on this list, you could consider a daisy-related name to honor an ancestral Margaret, such as the Dutch Madelief or even Daisy itself. Margaret is a beautiful classic name, but if you’re looking for a creative update, a global variation may be right for your daughter. Look here for our entire roster of variations of Margaret from around the world, ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

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International Forms of Classic Names

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  1. Mae
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Mary or Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "bitter or pearl"
    • Description:

      Mae, a sweet and springlike old-fashioned name, hadn't been on the national charts in forty years, but finally made it back in 2010. Mae is derived from May, the month name that was chosen for its connection to Maia, the Roman goddess of growth and motherhood.
  2. Margot
    • Origin:

      French, diminutive of Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Margot is suddenly a star again. After a nearly-half century absence, it hopped back on the Top 1000 list in 2013 and is on the rise. The Margot spelling is now given to three times as many baby girls as the Margo one.
  3. Maisie
    • Origin:

      Scottish diminutive of Margaret or Mary
    • Meaning:

      "pearl or bitter"
    • Description:

      Maisie, a charming name long popular as a nickname for Margaret or Mary, entered the Top 1000 as itself ten years ago and continues to rise. Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams helped propel the name back into the limelight, along with the that of her character, Arya.
  4. Margaret
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Margaret is derived from the French Marguerite, which in turn came from Margarita, the Latin form of the Greek Margarites. Margarites was based on the Old Persian word margārīta, meaning "pearl."
  5. Greta
    • Origin:

      German, diminutive of Margarethe
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Greta is an Old World name long tied to the iconic Garbo. Along with other Old Hollywood glamour names, Greta seems to be showing slight signs of a comeback; it was chosen by David Caruso and by Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline for their daughters.
  6. Maggie
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Maggie is a cute, earthy short form that has been in style for several decades now, still sometimes used as an independent name by such parents as Jon Stewart. First used in Scotland, it got a large bump in popularity via the 1971 Rod Stewart hit song "Maggie May." Today's Maggie might just as well be short for a more adventurous name such as Magdalena or Magnolia as for the classic Margaret.

      Maggie Gyllenhaal was born Margaret.

  7. Megan
    • Origin:

      Welsh diminutive of Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Megan originally evolved from Meg, which itself derived as a nickname for Margaret. Margaret ultimately comes from the Greek word margarites, meaning "pearl." Megan is no longer a common nickname for Margaret—it is most often used as a full name. Other spellings include Meghan, Meagan, Megyn, and Meaghan.
  8. Margo
    • Origin:

      French, diminutive of Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Margo and Margot sound exactly the same, so why has the Margot spelling hopped back onto the Top 1000, outpacing Margo in numbers more than two to one? (Over 350 baby girls were named Margot in the most recent year, versus 150 named Margo.)
  9. Rita
    • Origin:

      Spanish, Hindi
    • Meaning:

      "pearl; truth, order"
    • Description:

      One of the glamour girl names of the Rita Hayworth 1940s, Rita was once a Top 50 name and stayed on the SSA list until 2002.
  10. Marjorie
    • Origin:

      Scottish variation of Margery, diminutive of Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Scottish Marjorie and her English twin Margery were early twentieth century favorites that date back to medieval times, when it was popular among the royals. They were at their height in the 1920s, when they were seen as more lively versions of the old standard. Marjorie was always the preferred spelling, in the Top 25 from 1920 to 1927.
  11. Margaux
    • Origin:

      French spelling variation of Margo
    • Description:

      Yes, it's pronounced with a long o sound at the end, just like Margo and Margot. This spelling was popularized by supermodel, actress, and tragic Hemingway granddaughter Margaux, whose name spelling came courtesy of a bottle of French wine. (The original spelling of her name was Margot; she changed it when she heard her parents were drinking a bottle of Chateau Margaux the night she was conceived.) Margo itself is a diminutive of Margaret, which means "pearl" or, in its French version, "daisy." Margaret or Marguerite would be more stylish variations now.
  12. Mari
    • Origin:

      Welsh, Breton, Scandinavian, Hungarian, Estonian, and Basque variation of Maria or Mary
    • Meaning:

      "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
    • Description:

      Mari enjoyed some mid-century popularity as a nicknameish version of Mary, but now deserves a second look as a multicultural classic. Mari is the name of the Basque goddess of fertility and weather and is also, for unrelated reasons, popular in Norway. The biggest problem with the potentially-lovely Mari will be getting people to say it the way you want. While some Europeans pronounce it as Marie, that will only confuse things more. Better to make it its own individual name by pronouncing it MAH-ree. As one commenter pointed out, in Estonian the name is not a Mary variation but means "berry" – all the more reason for us to like it!
  13. Marguerite
    • Origin:

      French variation of Margaret; also a flower name
    • Meaning:

      "pearl; daisy"
    • Description:

      Marguerite is a classic French name with a remnant of old-fashioned Gallic charm; and is also a variety of daisy. Chic again in Paris, it's definitely ripe for revival here.
  14. Gretchen
    • Origin:

      German, diminutive of Margarethe
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Like Greta, Gretchen is a German Margaret diminutive that has become an American quasi-classic, though not much used today, having dropped off the list in 2009. She was at her high point in the 1970s, making it into the top 200.
  15. Peggy
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Margaret, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Just when we had written off Peggy as the eternal perky, pug-nosed prom-queen she projected from the 1920s into the fifties, along came Mad Men, with intriguing mid-century characters with names like Joan and Betty--and Peggy, causing a bit of a re-think. MM's proto-feminist Peggy Olson was followed by Amy Adams's strong Oscar-nominated Peggy Dodd character in The Master.
  16. Mairead
    • Origin:

      Irish, shortened fom of Mairghread, variation of Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Pronounced MAW-rayt or ma-REYD, Mairead is close enough to Maureen to be accepted here. The name became popular in Ireland due to admiration for the saint of that name. Peig and Peigi are its Irish-language nicknames.
  17. Mamie
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Mary or Margaret
    • Description:

      Mamie is back. Having finally shorn her Mamie Eisenhower bangs, this insouciant and adorable nickname name is perfect if you want a zestier way to honor a beloved aunt Mary. Meryl Streep's actress daughter, properly named Mary Willa, is called Mamie Gummer. You might think of Mamie as a sister of the stylish Maisie.
  18. Marit
    • Origin:

      Aramaic
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      An unusual and straightforward name with an attractive Scandinavian accent; a royal name in Norway.
  19. Mette
    • Origin:

      Norse, variation of Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      This is a Scandinavian variant of Margaret, and is pronounced MEH-teh or MET, rhyming with jet.
  20. Margarita
    • Origin:

      Spanish, Russian, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pearl, daisy"
    • Description:

      Margarita is an international form of Margaret that shares its meaning of "pearl", but also directly translates to "daisy" in Spanish and Greek. Despite being widely associated with the alcoholic beverage in English, it has a long history of use in Spanish, Greek and several Slavic languages — most notably being the name of the heroine of Mikhail Bulgakov's 1966 novel Master and Margarita. It currently ranks in the Top 30 girl names in Russia.