Strength in battle

Polish–Russian prima ballerina Matilda Kschessinskaya (née Matylda Krzesińska), 1872–1971

Matilda, a name used in English, Romanian, the Scandinavian languages, Finnish, Estonian, German, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Czech, Slovak, Slovenian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Basque, and Croatian, traces its etymology back to Ancient Germanic. Its genesis, Mahthildis, derives from roots maht (strength, might) and hild (battle).

During the Middle Ages, Matilda was a quite popular name among European royalty, particularly in England. It arrived there via the Normans, one of whom was William the Conqueror’s wife.

Matilda remained popular till the 15th century, often in the form Maud. In the 19th century, both Maud and Matilda returned to widespread usage.

The variation Matildá is Sami.

Queen Matilda of England, née Princess of Boulogne (ca. 1105–1152)

Other forms of the name include:

1. Matilde is Spanish, Galician, Catalan, Scandinavian, Latvian, German, Dutch, Latvian, Estonian, Portuguese, and Italian.

2. Mathilde is German, Dutch, French, and Scandinavian. The E is silent in the French form.

3. Mechtilde is German.

4. Mechthild is also German.

5. Mathilda is German, Dutch, and Scandinavian.

6. Matylda is Polish and Ukrainian.

7. Matsilda is Belarusian.

8. Mafalda is Italian, Galician, Catalan, and Portuguese. I’m not fond of names where an F replaces a T or TH!

9. Matild is Hungarian.

10. Mallt is Welsh.

Italian opera singer Mafalda Salvatini, 1886–1971

11. Métilde is Acadian–French.

12. Matelda is Medieval Italian.

13. Maitilde is archaic Irish.

14. Mathide is Norman.

15. Mathild is Medieval Flemish and English.

16. Matthildur is Icelandic.

17. Mathila is Medieval English.

18. Emetilda is Creole.

One thought on “Strength in battle

  1. This is a really nice name. Not one I would use for my own child if I ever had one, but it’s so regal, elegant, strong but to me also a bit playful, and I love the Scandi feel of it. Also here in Poland it’s not that very popular – though I see more and more people being interested in Matylda on baby naming forums.
    I usually also don’t really like names with f instead of t or th, they have a bit of a childish/sluggish feel to me as someone not used to such spellings, but strangely Mafalda is a bit of an exception. I don’t love it and wouldn’t use it either because it’s not really in line with my general style but I like my very vivid synaesthetic association that I have with it – which is some very creamy kind of ice-cream. – It also makes me think of a very impressive, influential, rich and strong-willed woman, very authoritarian, bossy and cold-hearted but also extremely intelligent and wise, definitely a ruler type.

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