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User-Submitted Photos of Ethel
Popularity Over Time: How Many Girls Have Been Named Ethel
This chart illustrates how many Girls were named Ethel in the U.S. since 1880.
A few facts about the girl's name Ethel:
Records indicate that 277,033 girls in the United States have been named Ethel since 1880.
The greatest number of people were given this name in 1918, when 8,072 people in the U.S. were given the name Ethel. Those people are now 101 years old.
So ... how do we know this stuff? Baby Names Hub identifies trends by analyzing vast amounts of data made available by the U.S. government and other public sources. This data, including social security statistics, provides detailed information on baby name popularity and trends in the United States.
Comments about the name Ethel
Based on the comments submitted below
9 Positive Comments
"Ethel is my name and I love it as it is so unusual I was called after a writer Ethel M.Dell and I became a writer too. People I know geerally dont need my suranme. I really like being the only person in the world with my rare surname added sAccording to the Daily Mail years ago : ethel is obsolete/ Lily Allen called her baby Ethel a few yeasrs ago and the papers were full of it" Apr. 24, 2019:
""Believe it or not, I became an Ethel! I got tired of being one in a million Caitlins (or is it Kaitlin or Katelin??!!) I had just lost my beloved Aunt Ethel and wanted to keep the name going in the family. So I simply changed my name to Ethel Caitlin Leigh. It took a lot of convincing my family and friends of the name change but I won them over. Call me Ethel!!!" Jun. 3, 2012:
"my name is also Ethel, and I love it because it is unique, not that many people have it and in all my life i have only meet 1 person with that name and another person who was named after me. Ethel is the best name ever, so i don't know what you guys are complaining about. Just as you think Ethel is this and that, don't forget someone might think the same of your name......" May. 13, 2010:
"I'm an Ethel and I love it! I'm the only Ethel in my school and some of the boys (and a few girls) think it's funky! Move over, all you Caitlins and Britneys and Lindsays...Ethel is here!" Nov. 16, 2009:
"Assuming the woman in the photo is an Ethel, it's time to welcome this name back. She is HOT!" Nov. 9, 2009:
"This always seems to be a name that everybody associates with Ethel Merman or Ethel Mertz! I noticed when I did a Google search on "Ethel" that a lot of Filipino women have this name. Give them credit for bringing this good name back for a new generation!" Aug. 26, 2009:
"My ladyfriend is an Ethel and I think it's funky! She's not a Jennifer or a Brittany or any other trendy name. I should also mention she's HOT!!!" Jul. 30, 2009:
"I love this name so much. Even though I will probably die a virgin because of it, LOLLLLL!" Feb. 24, 2009:
"Its my name.I all 23 years of my life i met only one or two persons with the name,(although i have been out there in the world travelling).All older.people spell it wrong all the time.People never get it the first time.people find it strannge but sweet.It makes me all unique.I love my name.It makes me just what it means!" Oct. 30, 2006:
2 Negative Comments
"Too horrible and stuffy and also makes me think of that compound chemical 'ethyl' (also pronounced as 'eethill') as well as those primary TV characters of Mesdames Skinner and Mertz in EastEnders and I Love Lucy respectively. It's just as out-of-date as such elaborations that were not at all common (such as Ethelwyn, Ethelbert, Ethelred, Ethelburga, and Ethelinda), but it was very popular in 1900 when American actress Ethel Barrymore and British writer Ethel M. Dell were around." Apr. 23, 2008:
"Whenever I mention this name I think of Ethel Skinner, that dithery pensioner in the British soap opera 'EastEnders', or any other elderly woman in general. Personally, this name has worse connotations than the similar-looking name Edith, which is generally another name associated with old ladies." Jan. 20, 2007:
13 Neutral Comments
"It?s my name - it has grown on me over the years, but as a kid I hated it. Usually when I say my name, the common response is ?what?? Then I have to repeat it for them- sometimes spell it... the worst is when they think I?m saying apple. Oh well- could be worse I guess." Jan. 8, 2018:
"Never really liked the name and was wondering if it would ever come back. My aunt (married to my late father's brother) is Ethel though and she's really cool, a bronze, silver and gold medal winner year after year in the Senior Olympics. She is 86 years old and still competing." May. 29, 2013:
"Famous bearers of the name Ethel:
i) Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959) U.S. actress
ii) Ethel Merman (1909-1984) U.S. actress/singer
iii) Ethel Mertz, 'I Love Lucy' character
iv) Ethel Skinner, fictional dithery senior citizen from 80s/90s episodes of British soap opera 'EastEnders'
v) Ethel Parks, fictional red-haired maid from Edwardian/WW1-set UK period drama 'Downton Abbey'" Jul. 9, 2012:
"This is my name. Really, I'm 14 now so whenever people find out my name for the first time they're elike .____. never heard of that name before. A lot of people pronounce it wrong, like "Ee-thel" or "E-thel".. I just want to be called "Eh-thel". It's easier if I put it like that. And plus... it's the name of the woman with the most smallest waist and my friends tease me about it because i have a waistline of 19 to 20 inches, as compared to Ethel Granger with 13 inches. -.- Kinda annoying really... but it's ok I guess because about 90% of the time all the people I know have only met one Ethel in their whole life, me. (:" Feb. 20, 2012:
"My name is Ethel I have never liked it worst still I do not have a middle name to fall back on.Many years ago when I was in my late 20s I went to meet my older sister in town at Helena House (a department type store),as I did every Friday,this Friday in question I had arrived a little late due to the bus service.As I arrived at our usual meeting place my sister was mortyfied,she ranted at me,asking why I was late.
Apparently a member of staff from the store had come outside and asked if anyone was waiting for her sister named Ethel,my sister said she was waiting for her sister of that name,the shop assitant then told my sister that her sister Ethel was in the store and that she'd had a funny turn.My sister followed the shop assistant into the store,to find an 80 year old woman sat on a stool drinking a glass of water.She was livid with me,it was'nt my fault,my name had got me in trouble again.n" Dec. 21, 2011:
"This was my nana's name. She was the third daughter of another Ethel and went on to use the name Ethel as a middle name for my aunt. It is a pity that this name is dying out. However I don't think I would be brave enough to use it for a modern child. I did choose another old fashioned name for my daughter - Veronica. I think that works better as both an old and modern name.
Having said that, there was a blonde love interest Ethel in the 90s British kids series Press Gang and I thought that was a pretty cool name for her. It would be hard for someone not stunning looking to get away with the name Ethel though." Nov. 29, 2009:
"In my last comment just a few days ago (16 November this year) when I said that I'm not one to name a child of mine Ethel (or Edna or Gertrude) incase I or someone else would in some cases dread having a grandchild called Joyce or Barbara, I was meant to say "great-grandchild" in terms of the popular 1970s names such as Tracy and Stephanie (Joyce and Barbara were rather more common in the 1930s/40s but Ethel, Edna, and Gertrude are definitely 1900s names, at any rate ones which should stay in that decade)." Nov. 22, 2009:
"According to a survey in August 2008 about old-fashioned names on the verge of dying out in the United Kingdom, Ethel made third place on the female endangered list, preceded by Edna at no.2 and Gertrude at no.1. Personally, all three names aren't that nice - I still think of Ethel Merman or even that chemical called "ethyl". I'm not one to give a name like Ethel (much less Edna or Gertrude) to a child of mine - I may end up having a grandchild called Joyce or Jean or Barbara or Janet and then a grandchild called Tracy or Angela or Jennifer or Stephanie." Nov. 16, 2009:
"my name is ethel but im from latinamerica so we pronounce it like etel cause the "h" is sound less. I like it" Apr. 19, 2009:
"The wife of Jeeves And Wooster creator P.G. Wodehouse was called Ethel and she lived until 1984, dying at the age of 99. Her husband, whom she married in 1914, died in 1975 aged 94. There was also Ethel Le Neve, who died in 1967 aged 84, but who in 1910 was both the secretary and lover of the American-born killer Dr Crippen (21 years her senior), who was arrested with Miss Le Neve in 1910 after they were tracked down through radio while on board a ship pretending to be father and, well, son rather than daughter, yet Dr Crippen was the one who was hanged for the murder of his wife Cora Turner (an actress under the stage name of Belle Elmore) while Miss Le Neve was acquitted. Lastly, there was Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg, born in 1915 and married to Julius Rosenberg, born in 1918, and both were executed for espionage in 1953." Jun. 3, 2008:
"Talking of singers or actresses or hotel/restaurant manageresses or party hostesses or whatever over the years who were forenamed Ethel or perhaps Edith or Mabel or Gertrude or even Patricia or Joyce or Barbara or Janet (I don't think a Tracy or a Lisa or a Karen would have become any of those until recently), who can forget Ethel Merman who was a well-known singer and actress in her day? But unfortunately, around the time Miss Merman sang 'There's No Business Like Show Business' in the Fifties, the TV series 'I Love Lucy' came on air with actress Vivian Vance in the role of Ethel Mertz, and the "ethyl" associations perhaps discouraged use as well. On the British side of the Atlantic, the name has since 1985 been associated with one of the original characters of the soap 'EastEnders', the dithery Ethel Skinner, always asking "Where's Willy" (as in her pug dog named after the character's late husband). I think going back to the old-fashioned names can in some cases be just as silly as choosing made-up names because no matter what name you choose, regardless of whether they have history or are recent, ANY of those names can become dated again after a few years. Though other "older" names like Grace, Lily, Daisy, Ella, and Ruby are now popular again (and Sarah, Laura, Rebecca, and Rachel were other ones becoming fashionable again in the preceding generation - it was probably bad enough in some cases but not in others choosing THOSE names, let alone the ones of today), I can only picture old ladies of today called Ethel (including Madame Skinner), who may have been middle-aged women in the Fifties/Sixties and youngsters around 1910 or 1920. Even if some of us are actually looking forward to having grandchildren named Patricia or Janet or Shirley and great-grandchildren called Tracy or Lisa, it'd be better to name your daughter Margaret or Beatrice or Mabel or Edith or Violet rather than Ethel - even though, as said, going back to "older" names can, according to some, be just as silly as those Madison/Caitlin/Ashley type names. I don't think a name like Ethel is one to overcome the negative associations anytime soon, and perhaps Edith still has some negative associations of its own (remember Edith Bunker in the U.S. sitcom 'All In The Family'?)." May. 17, 2008:
"But just think - calling your child Ethel may result in having a grandchild called Maureen or Shirley and then a great-grandchild called Karen or Tracey. A name like Ethel will forever make me think Ethel Skinner in EastEnders (not to mention Ethel Mertz in I Love Lucy the '50s television sitcom on the American side of the Atlantic). Edith may be a better choice than Ethel (partly because of Edith Bowman on radio 1) but, as said, a grandchild called Maureen and then a great-grandchild named Karen may follow." Mar. 4, 2008:
"My mother, who's now 94, is called Ethelwyn, a very unusual name. Are there any others around?" Nov. 29, 2006:
What do you think about the name Ethel?