Charity (name)

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Gender female
Word/name English via Latin
Meaning charity
Region of origin English-speaking countries

Charity is an English feminine given name derived from the English word charity. It was used by the Puritans as a virtue name. An earlier form of the name, Caritas, was an early Christian name in use by Romans.[1]

Charity is also the usual English form of the name of Saint Charity, an early Christian child martyr, who was tortured to death with her sisters Faith and Hope. She is known as Agape in Biblical Greek and as Caritas in Church Latin and her name is translated differently in other languages.

Faith, Hope and Charity, the three theological virtues, are names traditionally given to triplet girls, just as Faith and Hope remain common names for twin girls. One example were the American triplets Faith, Hope and Charity Cardwell, who were born in 1899 in Texas and were recognized in 1994 by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's longest lived triplets.[2]

Charity has never been as popular a name in the United States as Faith or Hope. It ranked in the top 500 names for American girls between 1880 and 1898 and in the top 1,000 between 1880 and 1927, when it disappeared from the top 1,000 names until it reemerged among the top 1,000 names in 1968 at No. 968. It was most popular between 1973 and 1986, when it ranked among the top 300 names in the United States. It has since declined in popularity and was ranked at No. 852 in 2011.[3]

This is a list of people and characters named Charity:


  • Charity Adams (1918-2002), pioneering African-American army officer
  • Charity Ogbenyealu Adule (born 1993), Nigerian footballer
  • Charity Bick (1926–2002), English civilian dispatch rider during the Second World War and youngest ever recipient of the George Medal
  • Charity Brown, Canadian film actress and singer active in the 1970s
  • Charity McGrath ( Born 1973) Canadian Writer and politically active business woman
  • Charity Ngilu (born 1952), Kenyan politician, Minister of Health from 2003 until 2007 and Minister of Water and Irrigation from 2008 to 2013
  • Charity Opara (born 1972), Nigerian former sprinter
  • Charity Rahmer (born 1979), American actress
  • Charity Shea (born 1983), American actress
  • Charity Waciuma (born 1936), Nigerian novelist
  • Charity Wakefield (born 1980), English actress
  • Charity Zisengwe, Zimbabwean contemporary Christian singer and songwriter
  • Charity Zormelo (1904-1945), first woman graduate from the Gold Coast and first woman from English-speaking West Africa to earn a B. S. degree

Fictional characters[edit]

  • Charity Bazaar, from the cartoon Histeria!
  • Charity Burbage, from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
  • Charity More, in Claudia Gray's novel Stargazer
  • Charity Standish, in the soap opera Passions
  • Charity Tate, a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale
  • Charity Hope Valentine, character in the musical comedy Sweet Charity and the film adaptation
  • Charity Bleak, from Grant Morrison's comics Seven Soldiers: Klarion the Witch-boy.