Chelsea (name)

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Pronunciation /tʃɛls/
Gender Female
Word/name Old English
Meaning Chalk wharf
Other names
Related names Kelsey, Chelsie, Chelsey

Chelsea was first a place name of Old English origin, and the most common theory of its meaning is chalk landing place, Cealc-hyð = "chalk wharf".

The Synod of Chelsea at Chelchith in 787 is often identified with Chelsea, London; but the first firm record is of a manor at Chelsea just before the Norman conquest. Today this original Chelsea is part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and is pronounced /ˈɛlˌsi/ CHELL-see. From this origin other usages and places have arisen. For example, Chelsea, Manhattan, takes its name from a Federal-style house in the area which had been named after the manor of Chelsea, London.

The personal name Chelsea is a 20th-century coinage and is also pronounced /ˈɛlˌsi/, /ɛlˈs/ or /ˈɛlsiə/, and sometimes spelled Chelsie or Chelsey. In the United States, the spelling "Chelsea" first entered the Social Security Administration baby naming data chart in 1969 at position 708. It rose in popularity among names for girls after 1980, peaking in 1992 at #15. As of 2009 it was ranked #231.[1]

This name is possibly linked with British pop culture of the late 1960s and Joni Mitchell's song "Chelsea Morning" (named after the Manhattan district). For example, Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former U.S. president Bill Clinton and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is named after the song as performed by Judy Collins.[2]

Notable Chelseas[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Social Security Administration Popular Baby Names Database
  2. ^ Unterberger, Richie (2008). "'Chelsea Morning' - Joni Mitchell", AllMusic. Retrieved June 29, 2008.