Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Adelaide

Adelaide is a name of Germanic origin comprised of the ancient components “adal” meaning ‘noble’ and “heid” meaning ‘kind, sort’. The name was borne by one of the most prominent women of the 10th century, Saint Adelaide of Italy (although she was born in present day Switzerland). Her first marriage was a planned alliance during a time of great political chaos in Italy; however, her husband soon died and his usurper tried to force the young Adelaide (then barely 20) to marry his son. When she refused, she was forced to flee and threw herself at the mercy of Otto the Great of Germany. Otto had other plans – taking advantage of this precarious situation, he went ahead and conquered Italy himself and then married Adelaide. Husband and wife were soon crowned Emperor and Empress of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope John XII. Adelaide is the patron saint of some pretty interesting things: besides empresses, princesses, brides and widows, she is also the patron of exiles, second marriages and in-law problems. In any case, she was a much admired woman during medieval times. The name Adelaide didn’t become popular in England until the 19th century owing to the German-born wife of King William IV, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen (1792–1849). In fact, Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, is named after this pious woman. Queen Consort Adelaide was beloved by the British people for her modesty and charity – and they sympathized with her greatly due to her many failed childbirths and early deaths of children. It was her inability to produce an heir that led to the crowning of her niece-by-marriage, Queen Victoria. Adelaide is also the French spelling (rendered as Adélaïde and pronounced a-day-la-EED). Pet forms include Ada, Addie and Della. The original German name of Adalheidis has given the English a slew of “noble” names such as Alice, Allison and even Heidi.

All About the Baby Name – Adelaide

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME ADELAIDE

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME ADELAIDE

Adelaide was most popular in the United States at the end of the 19th century and first part of the 20th century. Over 100 years ago, this name was at relatively high levels of moderate usage, but by the 1940s it became apparent that Adelaide was on her way out. The name completely disappeared from the American female naming charts in 1949 and she would remain in darkness for another 50+ years not to reemerge until 2005. Obviously, her reappearance on the charts is following the trend of revival interest in old-fashioned names and Adelaide is definitely one of those. Somehow this name has a more genteel and regal sensibility about her along with that Germanic strength. And although Adelaide has been climbing the charts, she is still far from being overused. It’s so much classier and sophisticated sounding than Addison or Adelyn – so much more French with that certain joie de vivre. By itself, Adelaide is a beautifully “noble” name, and there are plenty of nickname options to “casualize” and “cuten” her up if you like (Addie, Ada, Della, Heidi or even Layla or Lady). This is a long-enduring, time-tested name that keeps on giving.

Quick Facts

ON ADELAIDE

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

321

PRONUNCIATION:

ADD-ə-layd

SIMPLE MEANING:

Noble one

Characteristics

OF ADELAIDE

Freedom-loving

Adventurous

Adaptable

Intellectual

Easygoing

Progressive

Sensual

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Adelaide

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME ADELAIDE

Miss Adelaide is one of the characters of Guys and Dolls, a 1950 Broadway musical based on the stories of Damon Runyon, which has seen many revivals and was also made into a film in 1955. Both original roles were played by Vivian Blaine. Adelaide is the long-time (14 years!) fiancé of big gambler Nathan Detroit, whose floating crap games keep getting in the way of the altar. She constantly nags him to “set a date”, and is convinced she has developed an ongoing psychosomatic cold as a result of her lack of success in this endeavor. She has actually told her mother that they have been long married and have five children with one on the way! How does one pull that off? Adelaide is a delightfully comic character, a chanteuse at the Hot Box night club and an all around Noo Yawker par excellence. This one has a happy ending, needless to say, and Miss Adelaide finally gets her man. We’re just not sure how she’s going to explain all those non-kids to her mom.

Popular Songs

ON ADELAIDE

Adelaide's Lament
a song by Frank Loesser (Guys & Dolls)

Adelaide
an opera by composer Nicola Porpora

Famous People

NAMED ADELAIDE

Adelaide of Italy (10th century saint, wife of Otto the Great)
Adelaide of Aquitaine (10th century Queen consort of the Franks)
Adelaide of Susa (11th century Marchioness of Turin/Susa)
Adelaide of Savoy (12th century Queen consort of the Franks)
Adelaide of Holland (13th century regent ruler of Holland)
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen (19th century Queen Consort of the United Kingdom)
Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (19th century Queen Consort of Portugal)
Princess Adelheid (Duchess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg)
Adelaide of Austria (19th century Queen consort of Sardinia)
Adelaide Anne Procter (English poet and philanthropist)

Children of Famous People

NAMED ADELAIDE

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Adelaide

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME ADELAIDE

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Adelaide