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English First Names of the Middle Ages

Can you guess the most common given names of English people living in the years 1107–1600.
According to a study by Janell Lovelace. source
More than 75% of people would have had one of these names!
Hint: Think of names from Tudor history
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: December 7, 2019
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First submittedFebruary 10, 2017
Times taken37,601
Average score47.4%
Rating4.26
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%
Women
14.9
Elizabeth
11.4
Joan
11.1
Margaret
9.2
Anne
7.9
Alice
5.9
Agnes
4.1
Isabel
3.4
Mary
3.0
Jane
3.0
Katherine
%
Men
29.7
John
14.2
Thomas
13.8
William
7.3
Richard
6.4
Robert
3.4
Henry
2.6
Nicholas
1.9
Edward
1.7
Walter
+3
Level 79
Feb 10, 2017
You must be John, right? Would be easier to remember names!
+2
Level 64
Feb 11, 2017
John? (if no) No, Thomas? (if no) Oh sorry, I meant William! (then they're in the botton 50%)
+2
Level 63
Mar 27, 2017
I imagined this as someone saying "Hey, remember me?" and the other person answering "John, right?" "No... Thomas, was it?" "Now I got it! William!"
+1
Level 89
Feb 10, 2017
I got on a roll with the short forms being accepted... until Cathy wasn't. :(
+1
Level ∞
Feb 10, 2017
Cathy will work now. :)
+2
Level 73
Feb 10, 2017
Funny how they're all still perfectly normal today, with the exceptions of Agnes and Walter which sound a little old fashioned.
+1
Level 72
Jun 18, 2017
I've never met someone named Joan before. Although that might be because i don't live in England?
+2
Level 70
Jun 18, 2017
I used to have a neighbour named Joan (I live in Wales) :) The name's fallen out of fashion now but you do still sometimes meet older ladies named Joan in the UK.
+4
Level 71
Jun 19, 2017
Joan Rivers, Joan Baez, Joan of Arc, Joan Fontaine, Joan Collins, Joan Sutherland, Joan Plowright, just to name a few.
+4
Level 78
Jun 19, 2017
Joan Cusak, Joan Jett, Joan Crawford, Joan Lunden.
+1
Level 76
May 6, 2020
Two of my first cousins married women named Joan and there was a Joanie in my class, but I don't hear the name in younger generations in the US.
+1
Level 88
Jun 14, 2022
My grandmother's name was Joan.
+1
Level 77
May 6, 2020
It's interesting that Agnes and Walter fell out of favor both in the English and German-speaking world at around the same time, while many of the other names stayed popular.
+1
Level 38
Feb 12, 2017
Very interesting, thanks!!!
+1
Level 64
Jun 18, 2017
Like the way you allow people to only have to type Ed or Rich!!
+7
Level 83
Jun 18, 2017
Surprised Dingo and Zoot weren't listed under the female names.
+2
Level 56
Jun 18, 2017
What about Anthrax?
+2
Level 77
Jun 18, 2017
Dweezil and Moon Unit are missing too.
+1
Level 67
Jun 18, 2017
Loved this quiz!
+1
Level 43
Jun 19, 2017
Wow, only 10 names contributed to the ~75% of the female population!
+1
Level 68
Jun 19, 2017
It's about the same for the male?
+5
Level 44
Jun 29, 2017
It makes Tudor history a SERIOUS pain, because there's a bazillion people with the same first name... "Wait, was it this Mary, this Mary, this Mary, or that Mary?" (I mean FFS, THREE of Henry VIII's five wives were named Catherine...)
+2
Level 43
Aug 31, 2019
the house of normandy had so many matildas
+2
Level 86
May 6, 2020
@JBrommit - Good point, but Henry VIII had 6 wives. Of the remaning three, 2 were Annes, leaving Jane as the odd wife out, as it were.
+1
Level 75
Feb 15, 2021
five wives?
+1
Level 35
Jan 23, 2019
It's sad how Edward is the only Old English name there :(
+1
Level 76
May 6, 2020
Clue: Think of the family of Henry VIII
+7
Level 67
May 6, 2020
I'm reading the Wolf Hall trilogy and every other man is called Thomas (Cromwell, Cranmer, Wolsey, More, Howard) and every other woman is called Mary (Boleyn, Tudor, Howard, Shelton. Very confusing!
+1
Level 71
May 6, 2020
Good quiz. I managed to miss most answers but it made me think, I like this kind of quiz.
+2
Level 53
May 6, 2020
Can you make it so Eliza would work for Elizabeth

also cool that Betty works for Elizabeth lol

+2
Level 76
May 6, 2020
Reminds me of the old nursery rhyme riddle, "Elizabeth, Elspeth, Betsey, and Bess, all went together to seek a bird's nest. They found a nest with five eggs in, they each took one and left four in." How?
+2
Level 57
May 20, 2020
I like how "Mary" and "Jane" end up right next to each other.
+2
Level 27
Jan 5, 2021
My name is Nicholas and I missed it
+2
Level 89
Apr 29, 2021
I guess George came into prominence later on?
+1
Level 53
Nov 6, 2021
Can you accept Isobel for Isabel (most people couldn't spell anyway!)
+1
Level 78
Nov 21, 2021
Sure, and Wulleim instead of William.
+2
Level 61
Jun 14, 2022
Interesting how the monarchs in those days had very common names. Imagine if we did the same today and had Queen Olivia or King Noah lol
+1
Level 81
Dec 19, 2022
The two have seemed to contribute to each other in recent times. There are so many little Georges and Charlottes now in the UK. And likewise the Royal Family has been known to choose currently popular names like Archie.
+2
Level 71
Jun 14, 2022
shakespeare had seven siblings and two of them were called joan
+1
Level 75
Jun 14, 2022
Very interesting. Sixteenth century is not medieval anymore though.
+1
Level 68
Jun 14, 2022
I'm somewhat surprised (but not shocked) that some of the major writers of the New Testament -- Matthew, Mark, Luke, Paul -- are missing. I suppose when sermons are given in Latin, everything (including names) tend to go over the heads of parishioners. Also missing is the George, the patron saint of England. All this is to say that my entire logic was basically useless.
+1
Level 26
Jun 14, 2022
margaret agnet????????
+1
Level 71
Jan 10, 2023
Isabel is just the spanish form of Elizabeth, shouldn't it be the same name?