Meaning and name origin
Ethel \e-thel\ as a girl's name is pronounced ETH-el. It is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Ethel is "noble". Short form of old names containing ethel like Etheldreda. First used as an independent name in the 1840s, and made somewhat popular then by a character named Ethel in Thackeray's novel "The Newcomes" (1855). Actresses Ethel Barrymore, Ethel Merman.
Ethel has 21 variant forms: Atal, Ehtel, Etel, Etelka, Eth, Etha, Ethelda, Etheleen, Ethelene, Ethelin, Ethelinda, Etheline, Ethelyn, Ethelynne, Ethill, Ethille, Ethlin, Ethlyn, Ethlynn, Ethyl and Ethyll.
Ethel is a very popular first name for females (#125 out of 4276, Top 3%) and a slightly less popular surname or last name for all people (#85367 out of 88799, Top 96%) (2000 U.S. Census).
Displayed below is the baby name popularity of the name Ethel for girls (2014 statistics).
Displayed below is a comparison of the popularity of the girl name Ethel and its variant forms. Popular variation forms ranked in the Top 1000/100 are Ethyl, Ethelyn, Ethelene, Etha and Ethel. (2014 statistics).
A suggested similar baby name is Erthel. This name tends to be less commonly used than Ethel.