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Evelyn Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Evelyn including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Evelyn Overview

  • Meaning: “Evelyn” is connected to the names “Ava,” “Éibhleann,” and “Eve,’ which may mean “water,” “beauty,” and “living,” respectively.
  • Gender: “Evelyn” is traditionally a female name, but can apply to boys as well.
  • Pronunciation: Evelyn is pronounced, “EH-vu-lin.”
  • Popularity: Evelyn is a very popular girl name in the United States.
  • Nicknames: “E,” Ellie, Eva, Evie, Lynnie.
  • Variations: Avelina, Éibhleann (Irish), Eveleen, Evelina, Eveline, Evelyn.
  • Namesakes: Evelyn King, Evelyn Underhill, Evelyn Waugh, and more.

What Does Evelyn Mean?

Evelyn is a beautiful name with both a classic charm and modern appeal. Its meaning is uncertain, but it is related to the German name “Ava,” the Irish name “Éibhleann,” and the Latin name “Eve” (1).

The first name may mean “water,” the second means “beauty,” and the third, associated with the Biblical figure Eve, means “living.”

What is the Origin of the Name Evelyn?

The name “Evelyn” has a lengthy history. As a result, it is difficult to know its origin for certain.

The name Evelyn first appeared when French Norman kings ruled over England in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Evelyn was an English version of the Norman French name Aveline, an affectionate form of the Germanic Ava. This name is of uncertain origin, but may be connected with an old Germanic word for water.

An additional wrinkle in the origin story of Evelyn is its Irish roots. Evelyn was possibly a translation of the Irish girl names Evlin or Éibhleann. The origin of these names is not completely clear, but they are associated with the Old Irish word “óiph,” which means radiance or beauty.

Finally, the name Evelyn is adapted from Eve in many contemporary uses. Eve, the English version of the Latin Eva, originates from the Hebrew word Havva, which means “living” or “animal,” related to Genesis 3:20: “Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living”.

How Popular is the Name Evelyn?

Currently, Evelyn is a very popular name in the United States. In 2020, it was the ninth most popular name for female babies and has floated around the top 100 for nearly two decades (2).

In the long term, the name Evelyn has seen some undulations in popularity. It dropped precipitously in the middle of the 20th century, but then shot back up in the 21st.

In 1900, it was the 70th most popular name. Its popularity dropped considerably in the second half of the century, hitting a low point as the 289th most popular name for babies in the United States.

Since 1987, however, the name has seen a steady rise in popularity. By the turn of the millennium, it was the 150th most popular name, and in 2017 and 2020 it was the ninth most popular–the most popular that it has ever been.

How Do I Pronounce Evelyn?

Evelyn is pronounced, EH-vu-lin. Variations of the name, however, may alter the ending sounds. Eveline, for instance, might be pronounced Eh-vu-leen.

Is Evelyn a Boy or Girl Name?

Evelyn is usually a female name. However, it has historically applied to boys or girls, and it is entirely possible to assign a version to any baby.

Variations of Evelyn

There are several variations of the name Evelyn. Some are Latinate, Irish, or Germanic variations, while others are shorter or longer forms.

Possible variations of Evelyn include:

  • Aibhilín (Irish)
  • Aveline (French)
  • Avelina (French)
  • Éibhleann (Irish)
  • Eveleen (English)
  • Evelina (Latin)
  • Eveline (English
  • Evelyne (English)
  • Ewaline (English)

Nicknames for Evelyn

If you are looking for a nickname for a baby named Evelyn, There are plenty of choices. They might play on the word’s various associations.

Possible nicknames for “Evelyn” or its variations include:

Similar Names to Evelyn

If you appreciate the name Evelyn, you might also like other Germanic, French, or Irish names. With that broad swath of cultures, there are lots of names you might pick.

Similar names to Evelyn include:

Middle Names for Evelyn

Several middle names would work well with the first name Evelyn. You might choose a similarly classic name or simply a name that sounds good paired with Evelyn.

Some middle name ideas for Evelyn include:

Sibling Names for Evelyn

If you name your child Evelyn and want to give their siblings a name that meshes well with their own, you have a wide variety of options at your disposal. Feel free to pick from traditional girl names and timeless classics to find the perfect name.

Sibling names for a brother:

Sibling names for a sister:

Famous People Named Evelyn

Since Evelyn is such an old name, there are numerous Evelyns littered throughout history, from medieval times to today.

Famous people named Evelyn include:

  • Evelyn Beauchamp, one of the first people in modern times to enter the tomb of King Tut
  • Evelyn Nesbit, actress
  • Evelyn Keyes, actress
  • Evelyn “Champagne” King, R&B and disco singer
  • Evelyn Underhill, poet
  • Evelyn Waugh, novelist

Evelyn in Popular Culture

The name Evelyn is just as common in popular culture, with numerous appearances in television, film, and print.

Characters named Evelyn in popular culture include:

  • Evelyn Carnahan, a character in The Mummy
  • Evelyn Deavor, a character in The Incredibles 2
  • Evelyn Harper, a character in Two and a Half Men,
  • Evelyn Cross Mulwray, a character in Chinatown
  • Evelynn, a character inLeague of Legends
  • Ted Evelyn Mosby, the protagonist of How I Met Your Mother.

Evelyn FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the name Daniel.

Is Evelyn a Name in the Bible?

Technically, no. Though some variations of the name arise from Eve, the name “Evelyn” does not appear in the Bible.

Is Evelyn a Unique Name?

Although it is not necessarily a common name in the cultural imagination, the name Evelyn has become very common.

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