[ 1 syll. mer-le, me-rle ] The baby boy name Merle is sometimes used as a girl name. Its pronunciation is MKERL †. Merle is used chiefly in the English and French languages, and it is derived from Old French and Celtic origins. Old French origin, English use: It is derived from the elements 'merle' meaning blackbird ; 'merula' blackbird. See Merle for more information.
In addition, Merle is a contraction of the name Merlin (English, German, and Welsh) in the French language.
Merle is also a variant of the name Merrill (English).
Merle has 18 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Meriel, Merl, Merla, Merlina, Merline, Merlo, Merola, Merrill, Meryl, Meryle, Murl, Murle, Myrl, Myrle, Myrleen, Myrlene, and Myrline. A variant of Merle in other languages is Merel (Dutch).
Merle is rare as a baby name for boys. At the modest peak of its usage in 1918, 0.076% of baby boys were given the name Merle. Its ranking then was #170. The baby name has since substantially declined in popularity, and is today of infrequent use. Out of all boy names in its group, Merle was nonetheless the most popular in 2018. Though Merle is currently more often than not a baby boy name, there was a period before 1900 when more girls were given the name. From 1901 on, increasingly more baby boys than girls were named Merle. In 1956, Merle as a baby boy name outnumbered its use as a girl name by 3 times.
Baby names that sound like Merle include the names the name Merl and the name Myrle.
† Pronunciation for Merle: M as in "me (M.IY)" ; K as in "key (K.IY)" ; ER as in "hurt (HH.ER.T)" ; L as in "lay (L.EY)"
A famous person named Merle is Country Singer Merle Haggard, born 6 April 1937, Bakersfield, California.