August 2, 2014 § 7 Comments
From the Germanic, meaning “strength in battle” or “mighty battle-maid”.
VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Malta, Mathilda, Mathilde, Matilde, Mattie, Matty, Maud, Maude, Maudie, Tilda, Tilde, Tillie, Tilly, etc.
REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Matilda, Miss Crawley (sometimes referred to as “Tilly”), is the wealthy relative on whom the entire Crawley family, Rawdon especially, pin their hopes, in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
– Matilda Crawley, daughter of Pitt and Lady Jane, in Vanity Fair.
– Matilda Crawley, one of the Rev. Bute Crawley’s daughters in Vanity Fair.
– Matilda Raggles, the young daughter of former butler Mr. Charles Raggles, able to attend boarding school on the strength of her father’s presumed prosperity as a landlord, in Vanity Fair.
– Matilda Sheepshanks, Lady Southdown, is mother to Lady Jane and her siblings, in Vanity Fair.
– “Matilda” is a calypso song dating back at least to the 1930s, and recorded by Harry Belafonte in 1953: “Matilda, she take me money and run Venezuela!”
– “Waltzing Matilda” is Australia’s most popular “bush ballad” (folk song), the “unofficial national anthem”, first written in 1895 by Banjo Paterson. The phrase is slang for traveling by foot, carrying your things in a sack (“Matilda”) on your back: “Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda, you’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me”