Adela, Adele

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Germanic/Greek
Meaning: “noble; mud; secretive.”
Eng (uh-DEL-uh); (uh-DEL)

The most popular etymology for this name is that it is from the old Germanic word adal meaning “noble” however, other sources have linked it to the Anglo-Saxon word ádela (mud) and the Greek αδελος, (adelos), meaning “hidden; secretive.”

The name was borne by a 7th-century Frankish princess, known as St. Adela, she is noted for her establishment of a monastery in Pfazel, France. It was also borne by a daughter of William the Conqueror. Another notable bearer is British pop singer Adele

Adela has not ranked in the U.S. top 1000 since 1957 and Adele since 1969.

The Adela form is used in Catalan, English, Galician, German, Polish, Romanian, Slovakian and Spanish. Other forms of the name include:

  • Ethel (Anglo-Saxon/English)
  • Adéla/Etela (Czech-Slovak)
  • Della (English contraction)
  • Adèle (French: ah-DEHL)
  • Adele (German/English/Finnish/Italian)
  • Adél (Hungarian)
  • Etela/Etelka (Hungarian)
  • Adelia (Spanish)

The designated name-days are: July 8 (Latvia), June 30/October 20/November 23 (Lithuanian), December 22 (Slovakia), December 24 (France),



411px-Adelina_Patti_1863Gender: Feminine
Origin: French
Meaning: “noble”
Eng (AD-eh-LINE); Fr (ah-de-LEEN)

The name was a Medieval French diminutive form of Adéle which is from the Germanic Adela meaning “noble.” The name fell out of usage as a diminutive form and has been used as an independent given name in its own right since the late Middle Ages. The name enjoyed a trend in English speaking countries during the 18th and 19th-century. It has since then been creeping back into widespread usage. In 1999, Adeline stood at # 924 in the Top 1000 Female Names, it has risen all the way up to #361 in 2008. The name was borne by Blessed Adeline (b. 1125) a French nun known for her piety. It was also the nickname of Adelina Patti (born Adela Juana Maria Patti 1843). She was a famous opera singer of Italian descent. Other forms of the name excluding Adele are:

  • Aline (French: popularized by a 1950s French pop song sung by Christophe of the same name)
  • Alina (Polish/Russian/German/Finnish: diminutives in Polish include Alinka)
  • Adelina (Spanish/Italian/Romanian/Romansch/Portuguese/Finnish/Bulgarian)
  • Adelita (Spanish diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent given name, especially in Latin American Countries. It was popularized as an independent given name by a Mexican folk song of the same name)

Popular English nicknames include: Addie, Adele, and Del. In France, the designated name-day is October 20.