Audrey - Meaning of Audrey
[ 2 syll. au-drey, aud-r-ey ] The baby girl name Audrey is also used as a boy name, though it is far more popular for girls. It is pronounced AO-DRiy- †. Audrey's origin is Germanic and Old English, and its use, English and French. From Old English roots, its meaning is 'noble strength'. It is a two-element name derived from aethel and thryth with the meanings 'noble, honorable' and 'strength, power' respectively.
The name was borne by Saint Etheldreda, a 7th-century English saint and East Anglian princess. The name Audrey first arose as a shortened version of Etheldreda in the early 16th century and the saint came to be known as Saint Audrey. In the Isle of Ely where she was an abbess, the annual St Audrey fair selling lace and trinkets was held, as the saint was traditionally known to have a liking for fine necklaces in her youth. The name of the fair gave rise to the word 'tawdry' in reference to the low quality goods being sold there. This was especially so in the 17th century when Puritans despised lacy attire, resulting in a decline in the use of the name Audrey by association. Audrey has also appeared as the name of a country girl in Shakespeare's pastoral play As You Like It (1599), reflecting its rustic and unfavorable associations then. In the 19th century it enjoyed a revival, spawning variants such as Audra. The name has since lost much of its previous associations, and is now famous from the actress Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993).
In addition, Audrey is a form of the German Edeltraud in the English language.
Audrey is also a form of the English Etheldreda in the English and French languages.
Audrey is a widely used name; it has 39 forms that are used in English and foreign languages. English forms of the name include Adrey, Auda, Audee, Audelia, Audene, Audey, Audra (used in French too), Audray, Audre, Audrea (used in French too), Audreah, Audreana, Audreanna, Audreanne, Audreen, Audrene, Audri, Audria, Audriana, Audrianna, Audrianne, Audrielle, Audrienna, Audrienne, Audrin, Audrina, Audriya, Audrye, and Audy. Other English forms include the shortening Aud, the familiar forms Addy, Aude, Audi, Audie, Audrie, and Audry, and the spelling variant Audree. Forms used in foreign languages include the German Audelina and the German Audris.
See also the related form, the name Audrey Maud.
Audrey is very popular as a baby girl name, and it is also perceived as trendy. At the modest height of its usage in 1929, 0.386% of baby girls were named Audrey. It was #58 in rank then. The baby name has seen a marked decline in frequency since then. In 2012, it ranked at #41 with a usage of 0.274%, experiencing a small resurgence in the recent decade. Within all girl names in its family, Audrey was the most popular. Audrey was used 15 times more than the 2nd most popular name, Audriana, in 2012. Although there were times from 1902 to 1920 that Audrey was more popular with boys, today it is used more commonly as a baby girl name. In 1939, 53 times more baby girls than boys were given the name Audrey.
† Pronunciation for Audrey: AO as in "ought (AO.T)" ; D as in "day (D.EY)" ; R as in "race (R.EY.S)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)"
Details of famous persons named Audrey:
Actress Audrey Hepburn, born Audrey Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston 4 May 1929 - 20 January 1993, Brussels, Belgium.
Actress Audrey Tautou, born 9 August 1978, Beaumont, France.