Adel (name)

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Prince Adel, son of Friso.png
Illustration of Prince Adel of Frisia (son of King Friso of Frisia) by Martini Hamconii
GenderMasculine and feminine
Name day
  • 20 October (Adeline)
  • 16 December (Adelaide)
  • 24 December (Adèle)
DerivationFrom proto-Germanic "aþalą" and "ōþilą"
MeaningNoble, nobility, elite
Region of originEurope Northern Europe
Other names
Variant form(s)Ådel, Ädel, Ádel, Adél, Adal, Adil, Adiel, Ædel, Édel, Edel
Pet form(s)Addy, Addie, Adels, Addles, Al
Related namesAdelson, Adeldaughter, Adelantis, Adelais, Adelaide, Adeliza, Adeline, Adelina, Adelle, Adella, Adelta, Adelia, Aderic, Adolf, Albert, Alice, Ethel, Ethelle

Adel is a prestigious given name of ancient European origins that evolved from words and retained its meaning through the ages. These words meant "noble", "nobility" or "elite", had linguistic similarities, and were combined with other words to form names.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

The words pertain to the languages of north-western Europe, which include English, French, Luxembourgish, German, Dutch, Frisian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Faroese, and Icelandic. Today, "Adel" is a gender-neutral given name and short form of given names with this combining element.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]

Nordic variants of the name include Ådel, Ädel, Ádel, and Ædel. German and Dutch variants of the name include Adal and Edel. French variants of the name include Édel and Adél (not to be confused with Adèle).

Adelson and Adelaide are notable masculine and feminine forms. Adelle (Adèle) is a popular feminine alternative.[26][27][28][5]

Although global, Adel remains prominent in north-western European countries. It can also be found as a family name with or without an affix (such as de Adel, den Adel, or van Adel). The Arabic equivalent of the name is Adil for which Adel can be an alternative transliteration. The Hebrew equivalent of the name is Adiel for which Adel can be an alternative transliteration.

The earliest known female to bear this name was Princess Adel of Liege, who was born circa 632 AD. The earliest known male to bear this name was King Adel of Sweden, who was born circa 572 AD. His son's name was Adelson.[29][30][31][32][33]

An old legend of a king to bear this name was of King Adel of Frisia, who is said to have been born circa 228 BC. His father's name was Friso, who is a legendary king of the Frisians and founder of the kingdom.[34][35][36]

Adel is an exemplar of a monothematic name. It is also the root of the names Adelais, Aderic, Adolf, Albert, and Alice, and their variants in other languages.


Ancient words[edit]

The name derives from Old Dutch "ōþil", Old German "adal", Old Norse "aðal", Old French "œ̄ðel", and Old English "æðel" by evolution of proto-Germanic "aþalą" (meaning "noble" and "kin") and "ōþilą" (meaning "inheritance" and "rule of the land").[37][38][39][40][41]

Today, "adel" is used throughout much of north-western Europe as the word for nobility. Aristocratic prestige is its very essense.[42][43][44][45][46]

Other origins include:



Adel was found over 4,000 times as a family name and over 15,000 times as a given name in 55 different countries. It is a relatively rare name. Aside from Nordic countries, it is most prominent in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.[47][48][49]


English: /ˈɑːdəl/ (About this soundlisten)


Other languages[edit]

English French Dutch German Danish Norwegian Swedish Finnish Icelandic Russian Arabic Hebrew Chinese Japanese Korean
Adel Adél Adel Adel Adel Adel Adel Adel Adel Адел عادل עדיאל 阿德尔 アデル 아델
Ethel Édel Edel Adal Ådel Ådel Ådel Ådel Ádel Adel عديل עאדל Adel Adel Adel
Ethèle Edel Ædel Ædel Ädel Ädel Ædel Adil Adiel
Adeel Adil
Adel Adel

Other forms[edit]

English French Spanish Italian Greek German Dutch Danish Norwegian Swedish Icelandic
Adelson Adelsohn Adelzoon Adelsøn Adelssønn Adelssön Adelssonur
Adeldaughter Adeltochter Adeldochter Adeldatter Adelsdatter Adelsdötter Adelsdóttir
Adelantis Adelantos Αδελάντης
Adelais Adélaïs Adalheidis
Adelaide Adélaïde Adelaida Adelheid Adelhart
Adeliza Αδελίζα
Adeline Adéline Adelína Adelhein
Adelle Adèle Adella
Adelta Adelíta Αδελτα
Adelia Adélia Adelía Adelía

Notable people[edit]

Family name[edit]

Given name[edit]




Literature and journalism[edit]



  • Adel Tankova (born 2000), Ukrainian-born Israeli Olympic figure skater

Fictional characters[edit]



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  2. ^ Förstemann, Ernst (1856). Altdeutsches namenbuch. Verlag von ferd Förstemann.
  3. ^ Hellquist, Elof (1922). Svensk etymologisk ordbok. Gleerup.
  4. ^ Holmes, Urban; Schutz, Alexander (1938). A History of the French Language. Biblo & Tannen.
  5. ^ a b Hualde, Crisóstomo (1945). Diccionario etimológico de helenismos españoles. Imprenta Aldecoa.
  6. ^ Holthausen, Ferdinand (1948). Vergleichendes und etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altwestnordischen, Altnorwegisch-isländischen: einschliesslich der Lehn- und Fremdwörter sowie der Eigennamen. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
  7. ^ Schlaug, Wilhelm (1955). Studien zu den altsächsischen Personennamen des 11. und 12. Jahrhunderts. Gleerup.
  8. ^ Schlaug, Wilhelm (1962). Die altsächsischen Personennamen vor dem Jahre 1000. Gleerup.
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  10. ^ Lautin, Inger (1993). Hva skal barnet hete?. Schibsted Forlag.
  11. ^ Kruken, Kristoffer; Stemshaug, Ola (1995). Norsk personnamnleksikon. Samlaget.
  12. ^ Weitershaus, Friedrich (1998). Das große Vornamenlexikon. Orbis Verlag.
  13. ^ Brylla, Eva (2004). Förnamn i Sverige: kortfattat namnlexikon. Liber.
  14. ^ Seibicke, Wilfried (2007). Historisches Deutsches Vornamenbuch. De Gruyter.
  15. ^ Peterson, Lena (2007). Nordiskt runnamnslexikon. Reklam & Katalogtryck.
  16. ^ Willemyns, Roland (2013). Dutch: Biography of a Language. OUP USA.
  17. ^ "Adel (female name)". Nordic Names.
  18. ^ "Adel (male name)". Nordic Names.
  19. ^ "Adel (girl name)". Babble (Disney).
  20. ^ "Adel (boy name)". Babble (Disney).
  21. ^ "Adel (girl name)". Baby Name Science.
  22. ^ "Adel (boy name)". Baby Name Science.
  23. ^ "Adal (Germanic name element)". Nordic Names.
  24. ^ "Adél (combining name element)". Nordic Names.
  25. ^ "Adel (combining name element)". Nordic Names.
  26. ^ "Adelson (notable masculine form)". Names Encyclopedia.
  27. ^ "Adelaide (notable feminine form)". Names Encyclopedia.
  28. ^ "Adelle (notable feminine form)". Names Encyclopedia.
  29. ^ "Princess Adel of Liege". Geni Genealogy (MyHeritage).
  30. ^ The Catholic Encyclopedia. 1909.
  31. ^ "King Adel of Sweden". Geni Genealogy (MyHeritage).
  32. ^ The Swedish Chronicle (Vetus chronicon sveciæ prosaicum or Prosaiska krönikan). 1400s.
  33. ^ Peterson, Lena (2007). Lexikon över urnordiska personnamn (Lexicon of Nordic personal names before the eighth century). Swedish Institute for Language and Folklore.
  34. ^ Hamconii, Martini (1620). Frisia sev de viris rebvsqve Frisiæ illvstribvs. National Library of the Netherlands (original from the University of Amsterdam).
  35. ^ Sandbach, Wiliam (1876). The Oera Linda Book. Library of Alexandria.
  36. ^ "King Adel of Frisia". Geni Genealogy (MyHeritage).
  37. ^ Dale, Van (2005). Groot woordenboek van de Nederlandse taal (Great Dictionary of the Dutch Language). Van Dale Lexicografie.
  38. ^ Dale, Van (2007). Groot etymologisch woordenboek (Great Etymological Dictionary). French & European Publications.
  39. ^ Brachet, Auguste; Kitchin, George (1878). An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language. Clarendon Press.
  40. ^ Skeat, Walter (1882). An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. Courier Corporation.
  41. ^ Kluge, Friedrich (1891). An Etymological Dictionary of the German Language. George Bell & Sons.
  42. ^ "Adel (German-to-English translation)". (Oxford University Press).
  43. ^ "Adel (Dutch-to-English translation)". (Oxford University Press).
  44. ^ "Adel (Danish-to-English translation)". (Oxford University Press).
  45. ^ "Adel (Norwegian-to-English translation)". (Oxford University Press).
  46. ^ "Adel (Swedish-to-English translation)". (Oxford University Press).
  47. ^ "Adel (male-name statistics)". Nordic Names. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  48. ^ "Adel (female-name statistics)". Nordic Names. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  49. ^ "Adel (name statistics)". Names Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15 September 2018.

See also[edit]