Imogen (given name)

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Imogen - Herbert Gustave Schmalz.jpg
Pronunciation /ˈɪməən/
Gender Female
Word/name Celtic, Germanic
Meaning "maiden"
Region of origin England, Ireland, Scotland
Other names
Related names Imogene, Innogen (Ignoge, Inogene), Immy (nickname)

Imogen /ˈɪməən/, or Imogene, is a female given name. Often thought to have originated as a misspelling or variation of the name Innogen, itself a possible common Celtic name, cognate with the Old Irish Ingen meaning "maiden" or "girl".[1] It is chiefly used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Scandinavian countries.

Innogen was known as the name of a legendary British queen. The first recorded use of Imogen is by Shakespeare for a British princess in his play Cymbeline. Shakespeare may well have written Innogen, and it was printed as Imogen by mistake, thereafter becoming an accepted form of the name. On the other hand, it may have been a variation that already existed, and Shakespeare simply provided the oldest written record which survived. Many have considered it a misprint.[2] The form Innogen is rare.[3] Shakespeare used the older form Innogen for a ghost character in early editions of Much Ado About Nothing.

The legendary British queen Innogen was supposedly wife to King Brutus and mother of Locrinus, Albanactus and Camber.

In Australia, Imogen was the 35th most popular girls name from 2011–2013,[4] while in England and Wales it was the 34th most popular baby girl name in 2014.[5] As at July 2014, Imogen had never been in the top 1000 most popular baby names in the United States, with only 131 baby girls named Imogen in the US in 2013.[6] It was ranked 86th in popularity for baby girls in Scotland in 2007.[7]

List of people[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

References [edit]

  1. ^ Norman, Teresa (2003). A World of Baby Names. Penguin. p. 131. 
  2. ^ Stanley Wells and Michael Dobson, eds., The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 101.
  3. ^ John Pitcher, 'Names in Cymbeline', Essays in Criticism, v. 43(1), 1993, specifically pp. 3-8; subscription required.
  4. ^ Sullivan, Rebecca (5 May 2015). "Australia’s top 10 baby names". News Corp Australia. Archived from the original on 6 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "The 100 most popular baby names in England and Wales in 2014 – the full list". The Guardian. 17 August 2015. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. 
  6. ^ Redmond Satran, Pamela (9 July 2014). "The most popular baby names of 2014 so far are...". Today Parents. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. 
  7. ^ Behind the Name