Thursday, September 15, 2011


Today's name: Imogen (female)

Pronunciation: EE-mo-jehn, IM-o-jehn
Note: only some of the variants, such as Emogene and Imogene, can be pronounced "eh-muh-jean."

Potential nicknames: Gen, Imo, Genny, Immy, Ginny, Mogie, Enna, Genna

Variants: Emogen, Emogene, Imogene, Imogenia, Imogine, Imojean, Imojeen

Origin: Irish and Gaelic, meaning "maiden." It comes from the Celtic name Innogen, which was derived from "inghean." Shakespeare's character Imogen, in his play "Cymbeline," was intended to be spelled Innogen, the traditional Celtic way. It is possible he saw this spelling used by Raphael Holinshed, an English chronicler who Shakespeare used as a source of information for his plays, but his mistake in spelling it Imogen was successful. Imogen could have been misspelled before Shakespeare by Holinshed or anyone else in a misunderstanding that the name referred to "the last born," in Latin, "imo gens."

Popularity: Although it has never reached top 1000 popularity, in 2010 there were 100 baby girls born in the U.S. named Imogen, and 11 named Imogene. In 2011 there were 13 girls named Imogene and 106 named Imogen.

Fun fact: (1) Imogen was a female character in Sir Walter Scott's novel "The Heart of Midlothian." (2) You may recognize the name from famous singer Imogen Heap.

The last baby name I posted about that meant "maiden" was Cora. Here are even more names that mean "maiden":
Aluma, Azra, Berdine, Berengaria, Bertilde, Chorine, Maida, Mayda, Morwenna, Parthenia, Virginia



  1. Imogen is in the Top 30 here in England, so we're really smitten by her here. I think most of them I do know are referred to as Immy, which I find to be a slightly awkward nickname.

  2. I would love to start adding numbers for England and other countries. This is the only reference I can find: