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St. Margaret of Antioch.jpg
Margaret the Virgin is one of many saints named Margaret
Gender Female
Name day May 23 or January 25
Word/name Persian
Meaning Pearl
Other names
Related names Maggie, Mairead, Madge, Margarete, Marge, Margie, Meg, Megan, Rita, Gretchen, Gretel, Greta, Peggy, Molly

Margaret is a female first name, derived via French (Marguerite) and Latin (Margarita) from Greek Margarites, derived from the noun margaron meaning 'pearl'.[1] The Greek is derived through contact from the Old Persian word for pearl *margārīta- (compare Modern Persian morvārīd "pearl"), which was cognate to the Sanskrit मञ्जरी mañjarī meaning "pearl" or "cluster of blossoms".[2][3][4][5]

Margaret has been an English name since the eleventh century, and remained popular throughout the Middle Ages. It became less popular between the sixteenth century and eighteenth century, but became more common again after this period, becoming the second-most popular female name in the United States in 1903. Since this time, it has become less common, but was still the ninth-most common name for women of all ages in the United States as of the 1990 census.

Margaret has a large number of diminutive forms in many different languages, including: Maggie, Mairead, Madge, Margarete, Marge, Margie, Meg, Megan, Rita, Gretchen, and Peggy.[6]



Belgium and the Netherlands[edit]


England, Scotland, and United Kingdom[edit]




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  1. ^ Hanks, Patrick, Kate Hardcastle, and Flavia Hodges, Oxford Dictionary of First Names. Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ "View Name: Margaret". Behind the Name. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Margaret". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary". Universität zu Köln (University of Cologne). Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  5. ^ "مروارید". Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  6. ^ Cecil Adams (8 January 1993). "Why is Peggy the nickname for Margaret?". The Straight Dope. Retrieved 13 August 2012.