Madeleine (name)

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Mariya Magdalena.jpg
Mary Magdalene, the saint responsible for the popularity of the name Madeleine, in a painting by Frederick Sandys.
Pronunciation /ˈmædlɪn/ MAD-ə-lin
/ˈmædlɛn/ MAD-ə-len
French: [madəˈlɛn]
/ˈmædln/ MAD-ə-lyn
Meaning "from Magdala", "tower", "elevated, great, magnificent"
Other names
Related names Madeline, Madelyn, Magdalena, Magdalene, მაგდა (Geo:Magda), Maddalena, Maddie, Maddy
Popularity see popular names

Madeleine is a feminine given name. It is a form of Magdalene, well-known because of Saint Mary Magdalene. In the United States, this name often appears under the spelling Madeline.


Madeleine and Madeline are forms of Magdalene, which is well known as a name because of Saint Mary Magdalene. Magdalene means "from Magdala". Mary Magdalene's name is thought to be derived from Magdala – a village on the sea of Galilee. In Aramaic, "magdala" means "tower" or "elevated, great, magnificent". Additionally, in German, Mädelein means "little girl".

Madeline variants and popularity[edit]

Madeline is a popular girls' name. It is the usual North American English spelling of the French Madeleine, the French spelling being generally preferred in Britain.[1]

It has ranked as one of the 100 most popular girls' names in the United States for the past decade. Madeline was the 61st most popular name for baby girls born in the United States in 2007, while its spelling variant Madelyn was ranked as the 104th most popular name given to baby girls born in 2007 and spelling variant Madeleine was ranked as the 290th most popular name given to girls born in 2007. Variant Magdalena was ranked as the 867th most popular name given to girls born in 2007 in the United States. Madeline was the 85th most popular name given to girls born in British Columbia, Canada in 2005 and the 93rd most popular name for girls born in New South Wales, Australia in 2007.[2] Madeleine was the 80th most popular name given to girls born in England and Wales in 2007.[1]

A common shortened version of the name is Maddy or Maddie.

People named Madeleine[edit]

People named Madeline[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

  • Madeline, heroine of the book series of the same name by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Monsieur Madeleine, an alias used by Jean Valjean in the novel Les Misérables
  • Madeline Bassett, a recurring character in the Jeeves stories of P. G. Wodehouse
  • Madeline Bray, the wife of Nicholas Nickleby in the novel of that name by Charles Dickens
  • Madeleine Elster, the mysterious central character in Hickcock's film, Vertigo
  • Maddie Fitzpatrick (Madeline), in Disney's TV series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody
  • Madeleine Gotto, from the Canadian children's animated television series Mona the Vampire
  • Madeleine Hanna, the heroine of Jeffrey Eugenides' 2011 book The Marriage Plot
  • Madeline Hatter, daughter of the Mad Hatter in the Mattel doll franchise Ever After High
  • Madeline "Mads" Ryback, in the television show The Lying Game
  • Madeline Westen, in the television series Burn Notice

Related names[edit]

  • Alena – German, Czech, Slovak
  • Alenka – Slovenian
  • Leena – Finnish, Estonian
  • Lena – Scandinavian, German, Russian
  • Lene – German, Danish, Norwegian
  • Leni – German
  • Lenka – Czech, Slovak
  • Lone – Danish
  • Madlen – Welsh
  • Madailéin – Irish
  • Madalena – Portuguese
  • Mădălina – Romanian
  • Madalyn – English
  • Madylin – English
  • Madalynne – English
  • Madalin – English
  • Maddalena – Italian
  • Maddie – English
  • Maddy – English
  • Madelaine – Irish
  • Madelene – Swedish
  • Madeleine – French, English
  • Madelina – English
  • Madelon – Dutch
  • Madelen – English
  • Madlenka – Czech
  • Madlyn – English
  • Madoline – English
  • Madzia – Polish
  • Magda – German, Dutch, Scandinavian, Czech, Polish, Romanian, Portuguese, Slovak, Greek, Hungarian
  • Magdalen – English
  • Magdaléna – Czech, Slovak, Hungarian
  • Magdalena – German, Dutch, Scandinavian, Spanish, Czech, Polish, Bulgarian, Romanian
  • Magdalene – German, Danish, English, Biblical
  • Magdalone – Danish
  • Magdolna – Hungarian
  • Mahdalyna – Ukrainian
  • Maialen – Basque
  • Majda – Slovenian
  • Majdoline – Persian
  • Malen – Basque
  • Malena – Spanish, Swedish
  • Malene – Danish, Norwegian
  • Malin – Swedish
  • Marla – English
  • Marleen – English, Dutch
  • Marlena – English, Polish
  • Marlene – German, English
  • Marlyn – English
  • Matleena – Finnish
  • Matxalen – Basque
  • Magdaliní – Greek
  • Molly – Irish


  1. ^ a b UK Office for National Statistics
  2. ^ Behind the Name