[ 2 syll. mu-riel, mur-i-el ] The baby girl name Muriel is also used as a boy name, though it is far more popular for girls. It is pronounced M-erYEHL- †. Muriel is of Hebrew and Celtic origin. It is used mainly in English, French, German, and Irish. From Celtic roots, its meaning is 'sea-bright'. It is from muir which means 'sea' ; geal 'bright'. The name is derived from the Irish Gaelic Muirgheal, the Scottish Gaelic Muireall, and other Breton forms. The name was first used in Ireland, Scotland, and Brittany. It was introduced to medieval English speakers and later saw a revival in the 19th century. The name has been made known by a fictional character in Dinah Craik's popular novel John Halifax, Gentleman (1856).
In addition, Muriel is a form of the English Mary.
Muriel is also a form (English) of the Scottish Muireall.
Muriel has 22 forms. Forms of the name include Mariel, Merial, Meriel (used in Welsh as well), Merill, Merille, Meriol, Merral, Merrall, Merril, Merrill, Miureall, Muire, Murel, Murial, Muriell, Muriella, Murielle (used in French as well), Muryel, and Muryell. Other English variants include the contracted form Merle, and the familiar forms Meryl (used in Welsh as well) and Muggins.
Muriel is rare as a baby girl name. At the peak of its usage in 1922, 0.192% of baby girls were named Muriel. It was #112 in rank then. The baby name has markedly slipped in popularity since then, and is currently used only on a very modest scale. Out of the family of girl names directly related to Muriel, Mary was the most frequently used in 2012. Muriel has in the last century been primarily given to baby girls.
Baby names that sound like Muriel include Murielle, Maral, Mariell, Marielle, Marla, Marlea, Marlee, Marley, Marli, Marlie, Marlo, Marly, Maurelle, Mearl, Mearle, Merel, Merelle, Meriel, Merill, and Merille.
† Pronunciation for Muriel: M as in "me (M.IY)" ; ER as in "hurt (HH.ER.T)" ; Y as in "you (Y.UW)" ; EH as in "ebb (EH.B)" ; L as in "lay (L.EY)"
A famous person named Muriel is Muriel Spark, Author, born February 1, 1918 - April 13, 2006, Edinburgh, Scotland.