Evelyn:Longed for

Name Space

Two theories exist about the origin of the name Evelyn. Some say it started off as a last name that derives from the French surname Aveline. But others say Evelyn is a portmanteau of Eve (meaning "alive" in Hebrew) and Lynn (meaning "lake" in Welsh). Whatever the origin, Evelyn has been a favorite among parents for hundreds of years.

Aveline, which Evelyn is thought to have derived from, itself is derived from the feminine name Ava, a medieval Germanic name that doesn't have a clear meaning. Aveline also means "hazelnut" in modern French.

Interestingly, Evelyn was originally a name given to boys. This strongly supports the last-name theory of Evelyn, given that parents probably weren't naming their sons a combination of the names Eve and Lynn. It remained popular for boys until the early 1900s – right around when the name started gaining more popularity for girls. By the mid-1900s, girls named Evelyn officially outnumbered boys with the name.

Evelyn has been in the top 500 most popular names for girls since at least 1900, according to the Social Security Administration. It's spent most of the past century in the top 100 names – the most notable dip being between the 1950s and early 2000s. It's been on the rise since 2002, though, even breaking into the top 10 for the first time in 2017 and peaking at number 9 in 2020.

The most popular spelling variation of Evelyn in the U.S. is Evelynn, though many alternate spellings exist. And there are plenty of nickname opportunities, including Eve, Evie, and Lynn.

Regardless of where it came from, Evelyn has proved to be an enduringly popular name. It's one of many old-fashioned names making a comeback in modern times, and its timeless nature is sure to charm parents for decades to come.

The Five Elements:
Also Spelled Like...:
Evaleen Evalin Evaline Evalyn Evalynn Evalynne Eveleen Evelin Eveline Evelyne Evelynn Evelynne
Famous Evelyn:

Evelyn M. Anderson : American physiologist and biochemist who helped discover a thyroid hormone in 1934

Evelyn Ashford : American track and field runner; 1984 Olympic champion in the 100-meter dash

Evelyn Beauchamp : British daughter of Earl George Herbert, an archaeologist; one of the first people in modern times to enter the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen

Evelyn Bryan Johnson : American pilot who broke the Guinness world record for most flying hours for a woman

Evelyn Keyes : American actress known for playing Suellen O'Hara in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind

Evelyn "Champagne" King : American musician known for her 1970s disco hit "Shame"

Evelyn Cisneros Legate : American ballerina considered the first prima ballerina of Hispanic heritage in the U.S.

Evelyn Ay Sempier : American beauty pageant winner (Miss America 1954)

Evelyn Pickering De Morgan : English painter associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement

Evelyn Taft : meteorologist

Evelyn Keyes : actress

Evelyn Waugh : novelist