[ 2 syll. e-dit(h), ed-i-th ] The baby girl name Edith is pronounced IYDih-TH in English or EHDihT in German †. Edith's origin is Old English, and its use, English and German. The meaning of the name is 'rich in war'. It is derived from ead + gyth which mean 'wealth, blessed' + 'fight, battle' respectively. Eadgyth (Old English) and Otgunde (Germanic) are older forms of Edith. Edith was an Old English two-element name in use before the Norman Conquest. The name was popular among medieval English speakers, promoted by the fame of Saint Edith of Wilton (961-984), daughter of the English king Edgar the Peaceful. Her name bore the same element ead (meaning 'wealth, blessed') as was consistent with the family naming practice then. The name dropped off in use after the Middle Ages but saw a revival in the late 19th century when Saxon names were popular.
Edith is a widely used name; it has 41 variations that are used in English and foreign languages. Variations of the name used in English include Dita (also used in Czech and Spanish), Eadgyth, Eadie, Eadith, Ede, Edelina, Edeline, Edelyna, Edelyne, Edette, Editha (also used in German), Edithe, Ediva, Edyt, Edyte, Edytha, Edytta, Eruini, Eyde, and Eydie. Other English forms include the contraction Edi (also used in Hawaiian), the familiar forms Eda (also used in German, and Polish), Edee, Edie, and Edy, and the variant spellings Edyth and Edythe.
Foreign variations include Ditka (Czech), Duci (Hungarian), Edda (Polish), Edetta (Italian), Edit (Hungarian), Edita (Czech, Italian, Lithuanian, Slavic, and Spanish), Edite (Latvian and Portuguese), Editta (Italian), Edka (Polish), Edyta (Polish), Ekika (Hawaiian), Édith (French), and Ita (Polish). Another foreign variant is the familiar form Ditte (Scandinavian).
Edith is an all-time favorite. Today it is still somewhat popular as a baby girl name, but not to the degree it was previously. At the height of its usage in 1901, 0.733% of baby girls were given the name Edith. It was #32 in rank then. The baby name has seen a marked decline in popularity since then, and in recent years it is of only modest use. In 2012, it ranked at #762 with a usage of 0.019%, but it was nonetheless the most popular within all girl names in its family. Edith has primarily been a girl name, although in the last century it has also been used for boys. In 1910, 92 times as many girls than boys were given the name Edith.
† Pronunciation for Edith: IY as in "eat (IY.T)" ; D as in "day (D.EY)" ; IH as in "it (IH.T)" ; TH as in "theme (TH.IY.M)" ; EH as in "ebb (EH.B)" ; T as in "tee (T.IY)"
Details of famous persons named Edith:
Actress Edith Evans, born Edith Mary Evans 8 February 1888 - 14 October 1976, London, England.
Actress Norma Shearer, born Edith Norma Shearer August 10, 1902 - June 12, 1983, Montreal, Canada.
Author Edith Wharton, born Edith Newbold Jones 24 January 1862 - 11 August 1937, New York, New York.
Author Edith Nesbit, born 15 August 1858 - 4 May 1924, Kennington, Surrey, England.
Author Ellis Peters, born Edith Mary Pargeter September 28, 1913, Horsehay, Shropshire, England.
Fashion Designer Edith Head, born 28 October 1897 - 24 October 1981, San Bernadino, California.
Jurist Edith Brown Clement, born 29 April 1948, Birmingham, Alabama.
Nurse Edith Cavell, born Edith Louisa Cavell 4 December 1865 - 12 October 1915, Norfolk, England.
Poet Edith Sitwell, born Edith Louisa Sitwell 7 September 1887 - 9 December 1964, Scarborough, England.
Singer Edith Piaf, born Edith Giovanni Gassion 19 December 1915 - 11 October 1963, Paris, France.