Gretchen: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Gretchen

Gretchen

Pronunciation: GREH-chən (key)

Origin of the name Gretchen:

A popular form of Margarethe (a pearl), Gretchen is commonly bestowed as an independent given name.

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Related Names:

Greta, Gretel

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US Popularity of Gretchen Over Time

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Comments and insights on the name Gretchen: | Edit
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Personal experiences with the name Gretchen: | Edit

I never thought Gretchen was that hard a name to spell (I mastered it at about the age of 3), but you'd really be surprised to hear how many people leave out the C when writing it. The T, I'd understand, but the C? Otherwise, great name. I've always loved being the only Gretchen people know (or at most one of two). A note to parents considering this name: Gretchen does not hold up well to Pig Latin...but for me, at least, the emotional scars have healed and I'd still recommend it :).

Just like the previous post, I always liked (and still do!) being the only Gretchen. The misspellings are rampant. "Gretchin" or even "Grethen" are common. In my experience, when relatives or new acquaintances are trying to come up with my name, they think it's "Rachel." Something about the hard "ch," I guess! Other weird things: people like to name their German shepherds Gretchen, and a fun rhyme for mean high-school kids was "Stretchin' Gretchen." Other than those oddities, I like having a traditional German name and I think it lends itself to more of a bookish or serious personality.

Nicknames for Gretchen: | Edit

"Gretch." Funny people like to just say "G."
"Gretchie"

Meanings and history of the name Gretchen: | Edit

Gretchen is a diminutive for the German name Margarete, meaning "pearl" It is the German equivalent of Maggie, but in Germany usually only used for children.

Famous real-life people named Gretchen: | Edit

Gretchen Mol, actress, "The Notorious Bettie Page", "Rounders"
Gretchen Vogelzang, co-creator with Paige Heninger, of MommyCast
Gretchen Wilson, country singer
Gretchen Rubin, happiness expert and author of "The Happiness Project" book and blog
Gretchen Carlson, Fox News anchor and Miss America 1989

Gretchen in song, story & screen: | Edit

Gretchen Ross, character in the 2001 film "Donnie Darko".
Gretchen Wieners, character in the 2004 film "Mean Girls".
Gretchen Morgan, villainous character on the TV series "Prison Break."
Gretchen is the love interest in Goethe's classic novel "Faust". She symbolizes innocence, pure love, and redemption.

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76
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Smart?

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Sexy?

65
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Friendly?

68
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Creative?

73
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Strong?

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Young?

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Sophisticated?