Muriel (given name)

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The Brisons from Nanven.jpg
Muriel is an English name derived from Celtic elements meaning "sea" and "bright"
Pronunciation /ˈmjʊəriəl/
Gender Feminine
Language(s) English
Language(s) Celtic
Other names
Cognate(s) Muireall (Scottish Gaelic), Muirgheal (Irish)

Muriel /ˈmjʊəriəl/[1] is a feminine given name in the English language.


The name is derived from a Celtic language name composed of word elements meaning "sea" and "bright". Forms of Muriel are found in the Breton, Irish, and Scottish Gaelic languages. In the form Merial, the name was very common in mediaeval England. Muriel was mainly used in Scotland at first, although the name became popular outside the country in the early 20th century.[2]

A Scottish Gaelic form of the name is Muireall; and Irish form of the name is Muirgheal.[2]


The name's modern usage in the English speaking world dates from the mid-19th century being initiated or augmented by its appearance in Dinah Craik's 1856 novel John Halifax, Gentleman in which the title character's daughter is named Muriel; born in 1802 Muriel is said to be named "after the rather peculiar name of John's mother."[3]

Usage of Muriel peaked in the early 1920s and has subsequently declined.[4]

List of persons with the given name[edit]

List of fictional characters with the given name[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Muriel,, retrieved 4 February 2011  which cited: Unabridged, Random House .
  2. ^ a b Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, pp. 199, 352, 406, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1 .
  3. ^ Dinah Craik John Halifax, Gentleman Kessinger Publishing p. 262
  4. ^