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I love the title I chose for my blog, and as time goes by, it seems to be growing into its name even better. Although I don’t suffer from one ounce of name regret, an unintended side effect of its title is that it when people Google anything to do with the name “Matilda”, they often seem to be guided to Waltzing More Than Matilda.

They have been sent here under false pretences, because the blog isn’t dedicated to the name Matilda, or people named Matilda, or the song Waltzing Matilda. Even though Matilda is a Featured Name, in the wider scheme of things, it doesn’t rate too many mentions at all on the blog. I feel bad that so often, the information they are looking for just isn’t here.

So this is my attempt to answer as many of the Googled questions as I can about the name Matilda. They are all genuine questions, but I have added punctuation and corrected the odd typo to make things easier (it seemed fair enough as people don’t write their Google searches for publication). I’ve added information in brackets to make questions clearer, and where there were several questions asking similar things, I have amalgamated them into a generic enquiry.

I hope you enjoy learning more about Matilda; I ended up learning a great deal myself!

Matildas in the Bible/What is the Biblical significance of the name Matilda?

There aren’t any, and there is none.

Is Matilda the name of an angel?

No. Angels are always given male Hebrew names by tradition.

Is Matilda a saints name?

Yes. Saint Matilda was the wife of King Henry I of Germany, and she was therefore Queen Matilda too. She is said to have been very beautiful and virtuous, and was famous for her devotion to prayer and works of charity. Her feast day is March 14, and she is the patron saint of parents with large families, although she only had five children herself – Hedwig, Otto, Gerberga, Henry and Bruno.

Is there a character named Matilda in Shakespeare?

No.

Is there a star or constellation named Matilda?

No.

Is there a rose named Matilda?

Yes. There’s a hybrid named Rosa “Matilda” which was registered in France in 1988. It’s a hardy perennial shrub, and its scentless blooms are white with delicate pink edges.

Is Matilda an Irish or an Australian name?

Neither – it’s the Latinised form of a Germanic name, Mahthildis.

What is the Irish form of Matilda?

Maitilde. It was never a common name in Ireland though.

Why do Australians claim Matilda (as their own)? It’s not really Australian

It’s because of our national song, Waltzing Matilda. I’m sorry if it annoys you – you sound annoyed. You’re right that it’s not Australian, it’s German originally, but a German migrant to Australia helped to inspire the song.

What was Waltzing Matilda‘s first name?

As far as I know, the song’s title was always Waltzing Matilda.

Is Waltzing Matilda a train?

Not that I know of.

Did James Cook have a kid named Matilda?

No. His children were called James, Nathaniel, Elizabeth, Joseph, George and Hugh.

Were any of the convicts named Matilda?

When I searched the Australian Convict Collection at Ancestry.com.au, I got almost 2000 hits for the name “Matilda”. Some of those would be middle names, and some would be doubled-up entries, so maybe around 1000 convicts had the name Matilda.

There was also a convict ship named the Matilda; she came out in 1791 as part of the Third Fleet. However, she only carried male convicts, so there were no Matildas on the Matilda, alas.

How popular is the name Matilda in Australia?

It made #19 on the national chart for 2011.

A beautiful rocking Australian girl named Matilda?

I’m sure there’s absolutely tons of them.

Is there an Aboriginal name that’s the equivalent of Matilda?

It depends what you mean by “equivalent”. If you mean, Is there an Aboriginal girl’s name with the same meaning as Matilda?, then I don’t think so. Matilda means something like “strong in battle”, as the ancient Germanic tribes had a warrior culture. Aboriginal names tend to be inspired by nature.

However, if you mean, Is there a girl’s name of Aboriginal origin which, like Matilda, is considered to be a stereotypically Australian girl’s name?, then I would suggest that the name Talia fits that description, and Allira seems to be preparing to take its place.

Famous people named Matilda

One of the most notorious in Australia is Matilda Mary “Tilly” Devine, who was a prostitute and madam prominent in the 1920s and ’30s. The press called her “The Worst Woman in Sydney” and “The Queen of the Night”. Her colourful career continued until the late 1960s, and she died relatively well off.

Celebrity babies named Matilda

Matilda Esma Birmingham – Simon Birmingham (2011)

Matilda Thomson – Craig Thomson (2009)

Matilda Kewell – Harry Kewell and Sheree Murphy (2008)

Matilda Rose Ledger – Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams (2005)

Matilda Elizabeth Ramsay – Gordon Ramsay (2002)

In what year was Matilda a name?

Wow, that’s very specific. The name’s origins go back to the Dark Ages, but I’m not sure at which point it was Latinised as Matilda. I do know that it became an English name in 1066, as this was the name of William the Conqueror’s wife. However, her name was pronounced Maude. I think the modern-day pronunciation dates to the 18th century.

There must be a “first Matilda” – the first person with both the modern spelling and pronunciation of the name – but who she is, and what year she was born, I’m afraid I cannot say. I welcome input and suggestions from others more knowledgeable than myself.

Is Matilda too trendy?

No, I don’t think so. It’s trending downwards in Australia and the UK, and is still underused in the United States.

Will Matilda reach Top 100 in North America?

It’s been back on the US Top 1000 for only four years, and you are already worrying about it getting into the Top 100? Sheesh. It’s not even going up in popularity very quickly! If it does, it won’t be for years and years, so quit stressing already.

Is Matilda a boy or a girl name?/Matilda as a boy’s name/Any boys named Matilda?

It’s a girl’s name, and although you are free to use it on a boy, it’s an idea that doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve never heard of a boy named Matilda; they may all call themselves Matt to avoid terminal embarrassment.

What’s a good boy’s name to match with Matilda?

Angus, Banjo, Barnaby, Charlie, Darcy, Harry, Henry, Jack, Jasper, Lachlan, Liam, Sam, William

What girl names go good with Matilda?

Adelaide, Alice, Charlotte, Clementine, Harriet, Edith, Emmeline, Lucy, Poppy, Rose, Ruby, Sophie

An Aussie-style sibset for Matilda?

I think the quintessential Australian sibset is Jack, Matilda, Lachlan, and Ruby.

Names to go with the middle name Matilda?

Annabel Matilda, Caroline Matilda, Eloise Matilda, Jane Matilda, Phoebe Matilda, Violet Matilda

A boy’s name that rhymes with Matilda?

Bob the Builder? Seriously, I don’t think there is one.

Name of story about mean stupid couple who have nice smart kid called Matilda?

Matilda, by Roald Dahl. It was originally published in 1988, made into a film in 1996, and adapted as a musical in 2012.

What’s that song at the start of (the movie) Matilda where she makes stuff spin round?

Little Bitty Pretty One. It was written and originally recorded by Bobby Day; the movie features the 1957 version sung by Thurston Harris.

What are the cast of (the movie) Matilda all doing now?

The whole cast? For flip’s sake, that’s dozens of people! Go look it up at the Internet Movie Database or something.

Matilda is an awesome name

Too right it is!

(Image from Flickr)

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