Derived from Latin Margarita, which was from Greek μαργαριτης (margarites) meaning "pearl", probably ultimately a borrowing from Sanskrit मञ्यरी (manyari). Saint Margaret, the patron of expectant mothers, was martyred at Antioch in the 4th century. Later legends told of her escape from a dragon, with which she was often depicted in medieval art. The saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and her name has been widely used in the Christian world.
Other saints by this name include a queen of Scotland and a princess of Hungary. It was also borne by Queen Margaret I of Denmark, who united Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in the 14th century. Famous literary bearers include American writer Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949), the author of 'Gone with the Wind', and Canadian writer Margaret Atwood (1939-).
Margaret has been a very popular name, ranking in the top 10 from 1880-1939 in the USA. Today it ranks #169 in the USA and is still common in many countries. Most of the ladies I know named Margaret go by their full name (one is Maggie, another is Mags) and are in their 50s or 60s.
I quite like the name Margaret, although I do like the French form Margot / Margaux, a bit better. I might consider using Margaret for a daughter, especially if it honored someone, but I like it as a middle name better. The heroine of one of the stories I'm writing is named Margaret Lesley, but her Scottish father calls her Peggy. I like the combos Margaret Ruth, Margaret Jean, Anna Margaret, Sadie Margaret and Helena Margaret.
What do you think of the name Margaret?
Do you know anyone with this name?
What other names would you pair it with?