Evelyn Name Meaning

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Evelyn was originally an English surname, an anglicized form of the Norman French name Aveline, which has various meanings including hazelnut, desired, life, and island. Later, Evelyn was used as a given name for both boys and girls. It became more common as a feminine name, perhaps because of its resemblance to the name Eve.

The name Evelyn also is considered to come from combining the names Eve and Lynn, which mean life or mother of life and lake. Taken together, the name Evelyn has come to mean desired child, island in the water, life, little bird, strength. and wished for.

  • Origin: Evelyn comes from the Norman French name Aveline, which was itself a diminutive form of the name Ava.
  • Gender: Evelyn can be used as a masculine or feminine name, though it has been far more common as a girl name for at least a century.
  • Pronunciation: EV-uh-lin

Although baby names are frequently separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex need not play any role in your name selection process. You should select the name that you feel best suits your new baby.

How Popular Is the Name Evelyn?

Evelyn was a popular name for girls in America in the early 20th century, remaining in the top 20 from 1907 to 1930, peaking during this run in the year 1915 at No. 10. It was less popular for almost an entire century and did not return to the top 20 until the year 2013. It has steadily climbed in the rankings for the past decade, reaching its peak popularity in 2020 when it ranked as the No. 9 name for girls in the U.S.

Although the name Evelyn is more typically used as a girl's name, it also has been used as a boy's name, and there have been notable men named Evelyn. Moreover, it can be used any way you see fit, as sex doesn't have to be a part of your name selection process.

Name Variations

There are a plethora of variations for the name Evelyn:

  • Avelina
  • Aveline
  • Evaline
  • Evalyn
  • Eveleen
  • Evelien
  • Evelin
  • Evelina
  • Eveline
  • Evelyne
  • Evelynn
  • Ewaline

Evelyn can also be shortened to Ev, Evie, or Evy. 

Similar Names

The name Evelyn is one of many English names with the -lyn suffix, such as Ashlyn, Carolyn, Jocelyn, Kaitlyn, or Marilyn. Like Evelyn, these names tend to have many variations in spelling, sometimes ending in -lin, -line, -lynn, or -lynne.

Other girl names starting with E:

  • Edith
  • Eleanor
  • Elizabeth
  • Ellen
  • Elsa
  • Eloise
  • Emily
  • Emma
  • Erica
  • Erin
  • Esmerelda
  • Estella
  • Esther

Other traditional English names:

  • Alice
  • Anna
  • Beatrice
  • Catherine
  • Clara
  • Grace
  • Helen
  • Margaret
  • Mary

Other names that are unisex or gender-neutral:

  • Adrian
  • Cameron
  • Dana
  • Dylan
  • Jesse
  • Kelly
  • Kendall
  • Lane
  • Parker
  • Robin

Suggested Sibling Names

Names that may pair well with Evelyn include:

  • Daniel
  • George
  • James
  • John
  • Robert
  • Samuel
  • William
  • Dorothy
  • Leah
  • Lillian
  • Miriam
  • Rebecca
  • Rose

Famous People Named Evelyn

Lots of famous people have dawned the name Evelyn over the years.

Famous Female Evelyns

  • Evelyn M. Anderson (1899–1985), American physiologist and biochemist known for helping discover adreno-cortical thyroid hormone (ACTH)
  • Evelyn Ashford, American sprinter, an Olympic gold medalist
  • Lady Evelyn Leonora Almina Herbert (1901–1980), one of the first people in modern times to enter the tomb of King Tutankhamun
  • Evelyn Berezin (1925–2018), American computer designer known for developing the first computer-driven word processor
  • Evelien Gerrits, Dutch cricketer
  • Evelyn Hatch (1871–1951), English muse of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
  • Evelyn Hart, Canadian ballerina
  • Evelyn Keyes (1916–2008), American actress known for her role as Suellen O'Hara in the film "Gone with the Wind"
  • Evelyn “Champagne” King, American R&B and disco singer
  • Evelyn Lincoln (1909–1995), personal secretary to President John F. Kennedy
  • Evelyn Mase (1922–2004), the first wife of South African President Nelson Mandela
  • Evelyn Nesbit (1884–1967), American model, chorus girl, and actress
  • Evelyn Preer (1896–1932), African American actress and blues singer
  • Gwyneth Evelyn "Gwen" Verdon (1925–2000), American actress and dancer
  • Evelyn Wells (1899–1984), American biographer of the ancient Egyptian royals
  • Evelyn Wood (1909–1995), American educator and advocate of speed reading

Famous Male Evelyns

  • Evelyn Baring (1841–1917), 1st Earl of Cromer, British statesman and diplomat
  • Evelyn Barker (1894–1983), British Army officer in World War I and II
  • Evelyn Owen (1915–1949), Australian inventor of the Owen submachine gun
  • Evelyn de Rothschild, British financier and member of the prominent Rothschild family
  • Evelyn Waugh (1903–1966), English author, best known for satirical novels such as "Decline and Fall," "A Handful of Dust," and "Brideshead Revisited"

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options:

3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Nameberry. Evelyn.

  2. Nameberry. Aveline.

  3. Social Security Administration. Get Ready for Baby: Popularity of a Name.

Additional Reading

By Wendy Wisner
Wendy Wisner is a lactation consultant and writer covering maternal/child health, parenting, general health and wellness, and mental health. She has worked with breastfeeding parents for over a decade, and is a mom to two boys.