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... as a girl's name

Origin: German
Meaning: Little Pearl

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Popularity Over Time: How Many Girls Have Been Named Gretchen

This chart illustrates how many Girls were named Gretchen in the U.S. since 1880.

A few facts about the girl's name Gretchen:

  • Records indicate that 51,773 girls in the United States have been named Gretchen since 1880.

  • The greatest number of people were given this name in 1973, when 1,352 people in the U.S. were given the name Gretchen. Those people are now 49 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 Gretchen

    85% Approval Rating
    Based on the comments submitted below
      22 Positive Comments

  • "My name is Gretchen Grunenberger. So please tell me you were teased LOL I love my name. My last name was so bad they didn't even pay attention to my first name except when the garbage pail kid came out "retchen gretchen" but I loved it and thought it was awesome because nothing ever had Gretchen on it LOL" Mar. 31, 2022: Report as inappropriate

  • "Gretchen is the most beautiful, feminine, melodic, and pretty name there is. It has such a beautiful, elegant yet strong sound to it and it pushes your mouth into a smile. I don't know why people think it sounds "ugly" or why people often cite it as an ugly name. No, really, I genuinely don't understand how it can sound ugly to people. How can anyone find such a beautiful name ugly? Especially one that pushes your mouth into a smile. They must hate to smile or something. Or maybe it's tall poppy syndrome, they gotta make the girl with the prettiest name feel insecure because they want to be jerks. Well, the truth is, Gretchen is the most gorgeous name to ever exist. I love the traditional and strong sound to it. It makes me think of a pretty blonde woman who loves wearing dresses, wears her hair up, smiles constantly. and has a bit of a cute accent. It sounds like happiness and sunshine to me. I love meeting women named Gretchen because I love hearing them say their beautiful name (usually with a smile while doing so). You ladies who are blessed with this gorgeous name, be thankful. I know I'm thankful that this name exists so I get to hear the beautiful sound that is the name "Gretchen"." Sep. 16, 2019: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Gretchen also. People don?t really tease me about it. They have mixed it up with Bridget at times. I hated it growing up, I even told my mom I would change it when I got older. Now I love my name though, being unique feels great." Apr. 1, 2019: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Gretchen and I am 43. I now love the name but hated it growing up. I often get Rachel or Bridget by mistake. I have a sister named Rachel so I always thought that was why but now that I read other comments I see that is very common. Must be the " ch" sound in the name. The german pronunciation is very pretty but the North American version is a bit harsh sounding." May. 22, 2015: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Gretchen Engel. Yes, I am part German. I've always loved having a unique name. People don't always spell it correctly or hear it properly the first time I tell them. I've been called Rachel and Bridgit, and once met a German Shepard named "Grechen" (without the T). I've only met two other (human) Gretchens in my life, one in middle school and a colleague's wife. I get lots of compliments on my name, and I've never had anybody outright tell me it was ugly, although I got teased a bit as a child (my brother always called me "Gretch the wretch - haha). No matter what name you have, children will find a way to make fun of it." Jul. 22, 2014: Report as inappropriate

  • "My Goddaughter's name is Gretchen. She turns 2 1/2 years old tomorrow and I can't imagine that her personality would entertain any other name. She's God's little pearl. I thank him for her every day. :-)" Feb. 11, 2014: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Gretchen Felder and i love it, i feel that it sounds like some kind of movie star hehe" Aug. 29, 2012: Report as inappropriate

  • "We are considering this name for our daughter, due in a few far the majority of the people we've shared it with have had a positive response." Jul. 10, 2012: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Gretchen, and I couldn't be happier with it. I think it describes me perfectly, and any other name just wouldn't work." Nov. 22, 2009: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Gretchen & I am 32 years old. I have met only 2 Gretchens in my life so far. I struggled w/ the name when I was younger not liking it & having a "normal" name or getting anything as a kid with my name on it. Whenever goin out/or ordering food people rarely spell it right. When people forget my name they ALWAYS say RACHEL.. I think they remember the CHH sound. My friends call my Gerty, Gretch, Gretchie or AGretchen." Jun. 13, 2009: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Gretchen and as a little girl I used to HATE it! But I've come to love it because there are not a lot of Gretchen's out there. I have met two other Gretchen's in my life and I'm 20 yrs old. However people used to call me Meghan or Bridget and the worst... Richard! Thats not even a girls name! But people compliment my name all the time when i met my best friend she said my name is like a princess name. :) Gretchen is a little pearl ***" Jun. 6, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Gretchen and I have always liked my name. Even as a child I liked it because it was not common. I have met 4 other Gretchen's in my 34 years. I have only had one person say it was a horrible name. It was an older gentleman who couldn't hear very well! I took that with a grain of salt." May. 15, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "I love my name. I used to dislike it when I was younger, but I grew to appreciate its uniqueness as an adult. I find that people often mix it up with Rachel, Bridget, Ginger - and even Richard!" Mar. 30, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "Well, we named our daughter Gretchen, so obviously we like it. LOL I love old fashioned uncommon names the best, and Gretchen fits the bill. Our daughters also a bit spunky and the name fits her personality very well." Jan. 2, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "I named my daughter Gretchen and she is a fabulous person!" Oct. 24, 2007: Report as inappropriate

  • "We named our daughter Gretchen! We love her name, it fits her perfect. Whenever we tell people her name, they love it. Very few people share her name!" Mar. 8, 2007: Report as inappropriate

  • "I am 39 and Gretchen is my name. I love the name, not a lot of people have it and I usually don't have to leave my last name for friends because it isn't common. Gretchen Wilson rocks too!" Jan. 13, 2007: Report as inappropriate

  • "hello my name is gretchen king i live in lexington tennessee. i live with my mom and my brother and my dad passed away 6 years ago. people miss spell my name alot.. like grechen or gretchin and other ways too. i wish i can met others gretchens, but i think i met one when i 10 and it was my moms high skool teacher her name was gretchen too. love my people at skool calls me gretchen wilson all the time well g2g ttyl" Nov. 7, 2006: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Gretchen and I couldn't imagine it being anything else. It's nice that I never had to deal with nicknames and short names because there's no way to shorten it without it being awkward. I haven't met too many Gretchens in my life time and I like that. I love my name." Sep. 29, 2006: Report as inappropriate

  • "I absolutely love my name Gretchen! I rarely run into people with my name." Jul. 26, 2006: Report as inappropriate

  • "Love the name!! This is what we are naming our baby if it's a girl!" Feb. 12, 2006: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Gretchen. My dad chose the name because he heard it when lived in Germany for a couple of years. I like my name." Dec. 23, 2005: Report as inappropriate

      4 Negative Comments

  • "My name is Gretchen and I always hated it and now, I'm just resigned to it. I was the only girl among brothers who teased me mercilessly about it, which didn't help. When my family relocated to another state when I was a teen, I took advantage of the opportunity to tell people to call me Meg - which I felt better represented my rich Scots-Irish heritage. After several years of being asked "how do you get Meg from Gretchen, I just gave up, plain and simple. I planned to change my name as an adult, but my mother threw a fit every time I brought it up. My problem with it is purely the English pronunciation. The German and Dutch pronunciations are LOVELY. I've only ever had one person mishear my name as Bridget, and it was over the phone. However, it was much more unusual when I was born in 1958. There are a lot more Gretchens now. I have been called Gretch,, GretchWretch, Gretch the Wretch, Gertrood, and Retchin Gretchen. However, when I was going by Meg throughout my teens, I was called Mag, Mug, Murgatroyd, Magpie, among others. Someone will always find a way to shred your name! But I really dislike the way English-speakers pronounce it. The only time I liked it was when I visited my parents when they lived in Germany for a time - my name sounded almost musical when spoken by Germans. I'm glad other Gretchens like their name, or have grown to like it. I've just grown resigned to it, after all these many years (and there are still a lot of people who call me Meg)." Sep. 10, 2015: Report as inappropriate

  • "Sorry folks, being named Gretchen was not fun for me, not an ego-booster. Growing up in the 50s and 60s in the US, I figured one day I would like it, but no. It didn't even match my first given name, and even though my mother smiled and explained I was named after a good friend's wife they admired Gretchen seemed wrong for me. Funny story: when I needed my birth certificate a few years ago, as one sometimes does, for the first time I really read it carefully, and lo & behold I noticed (finally) that my assumed middle name Gretchen WAS NOT THERE! Turns out my parents had only THOUGHT they had registered me with that middle name / a middle name! Think, on all my school and college forms, driver licence, passport, marriage certificate, and so on-- I've falsely written Gretchen! What a joke! Since discovering his, and since my dear parents have passed away, I now only go by my first name, maiden & married names! Life is funn." Mar. 24, 2014: Report as inappropriate

  • "I dont like the name gretchen very much because it and i agree it isnt feminine. mabye if it was greta or something." May. 3, 2009: Report as inappropriate

  • "You cannot say the name Gretchen without saying the word(s) 'retch' - to spit, or 'wretch' - a despicable or vile person. This gives the name such a negative sound. Plus it doesn't seem very feminine, and there are no common nicknames. Use this as a middle name if you must, othewise....EW!" Apr. 7, 2009: Report as inappropriate

      10 Neutral Comments

  • "I am 51 and I love my name and always have! I like that it unique but not so unique they have not heard it! To all you little girls with the name embrace and love it!!" Nov. 2, 2020: Report as inappropriate

  • "When I was in kindergarten it seemed like such a long unusual name compared to names like Sandy, Vathy, Brenda, Susie. I always thought of them as cute names. As I grew older it never bothered me and now at 70 I am so happy to have such an unusual name, I've always liked my name and have met only 2 other people named Gretchen." Jan. 7, 2019: Report as inappropriate

  • " is Gretchen and I'm 47.I also hated my name my mom is German and said that it was a beautiful name.She was actually going to name me Gretyl.Thank goodness for that .growing up I never got teased except due to the garbage pail kids stickers Gretchen Retchin.but then everyone had a sticker. Only adults when I was in my teens would tell me how horrible my name was or that there dog was named Gretchen but never any of my friends or boyfriend's .I actually have met 10 Gretchen's and hired a Gretchen or somebody I would meet knew a Gretchen so see the names not so bad .I just hadn't met any in the 80's.Ive learned to love my name and think it sounds professional." Sep. 2, 2018: Report as inappropriate

  • "Hi my name is Gretchen and i am 11 years old. I love m name!!! HEHE :)" May. 29, 2011: Report as inappropriate

  • "It is hillarious to read the above comments. I too hated my name growing up, and go through the same spelling mistakes. People DO always mix it up with Rachel, Bridget, and Christian. As with the other Gretchens out there, as an adult I love my name =)" Mar. 19, 2011: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Gretchen and I am 32 years old. My name added to the teasing I received growing up. I used to hear a lot "I had a dog named Gretchen." The name is okay, but I used to wish I had a more girly name. The name fits me well as an adult though. People call me by my full name, but at work some people refer to me as "G" or "G-ned" (part of last name). I've only met a couple of Gretchen's in my travels. It's nice to know when someone is really calling your name." Jun. 7, 2010: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Gretchen and I'm 35 years old. People used to laugh at me when I was little because they thought it was an ugly name. I have to say I used to hate telling people my name because I, too, thought it was ugly. But now I love it and get compliments quite often on my name - even from those of the younger generation." Mar. 18, 2010: Report as inappropriate

  • "I named My daughter Gretchen because it is the german version of margaret which is my sisters middle name and 2 of my aunts name. I also wanted a name that was different than the norm but not so unusual that it would be all people remembered her by." May. 1, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "I used to really love my name. Then I married. His mother has the same name. Ruined my name and my mariage. I'm thinking about Grýte or Greta, or even Rachel." Oct. 8, 2007: Report as inappropriate

  • "I find that children can't say "Gretchen" very well. I've been called "Bridget," "Getchem," "Gr- Gr-.. um.. what's your name again?" and many more. However, whenever I introduce myself, many people remark on how lovely the name is. -Gretchen, Boston, MA" Apr. 11, 2006: Report as inappropriate

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