Usage: English, Spanish, Italian
Pronounced: SEEL-yə (English), SEE-lee-ə (English), THE-lyah (Spanish), SE-lyah (Latin American Spanish), CHE-lyah (Italian) [key]
Feminine form of the Roman family name CAELIUS. It was used by Shakespeare in his play 'As You Like It' (1599), which introduced the name to the English-speaking world. It is sometimes used as a short form of CECILIA
Usage: German, Danish, English, Biblical, Biblical Greek, Biblical Latin
Other Scripts: Μαγδαληνη (Ancient Greek)
Pronounced: mahk-dah-LE-nə (German), MAG-də-lən (English), MAG-də-leen (English) [key]
From a title which meant "of Magdala". Mary Magdalene, a character in the New Testament, was named thus because she was from Magdala - a village on the sea of Galilee whose name meant "tower" in Hebrew. She was cleaned of evil spirits by Jesus and then remained with him during his ministry, witnessing the crucifixion and the resurrection. She was a popular saint in the Middle Ages, and the name became common then. In England it is traditionally rendered Madeline, while Magdalene or Magdalen is the learned form.