Adel (name)

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Prince Adel, son of Friso.png
Prince Adel, son of Friso—later King Adel II Atharik of Friesland—as illustrated by Martinus Hamconius.
Pronunciation /əˈdɛl/
Gender Masculine
Name day
  • 20 October (Adeline)
  • 16 December (Adelaide)
  • 24 December (Adele)
Language(s) Proto-Germanic
Derivation From Old High German adal, from Proto-Germanic *aþalaz, whence also Old English æthel, Old Norse aðall
Meaning noble, nobility
Region of origin Europe Northern Europe
Other names
Alternative spelling Ådel, Ædel, Adell
Variant form(s) Edel, Adil
Nickname(s) Addy, Al
Related names Adela, Adelaide, Adele, Adelheid, Adolf, Aldo, Ethel

Adel (English: /əˈdɛl/ (About this sound listen)) is a Germanic monothematic given name native to Northern Europeans. The name means "noble" or "nobility". It is also found as a surname, sometimes with a prefix—such as den Adel or van Adel. Modern variants of the name include Norwegian Ådel, Danish Ædel and Yiddish Adell. It is the root of the names Adelheid, Adolf, Albert, Alice, and their variants in other languages.

It is most prevalent in West[1][2] and North Germanic-speaking countries

It is commonly used in Nordic countries as a short form for Adolf,[3][a] and in Muslim countries as an alternative transliteration of the name Adil (Arabic: عادل‎ or عديل, pronounced [ʕaːdɪl]).

Adele is a popular feminine variant.[4]


Derived from the Old English word æthel,[1] meaning "noble"—and by extension the Proto-Germanic word *aþalaz, meaning "nobility", the name itself is used throughout most of Germanic-speaking Europe as the word for nobility.[1][5][6]

Other possible origins include:


In the United States[edit]

The given name Adel reached the peak of its popularity in 2007. It is most prevalent in New Jersey.[9]

In 2000, there were only 466 people with the last name Adel living in the United States, making it a relatively uncommon surname.[10] As of 2016, that number has increased to 735.[11]

Historically, the last name has been most prevalent in the Midwest, with South Dakota having the most people named Adel per capita.[10]

Variations of the name[edit]

In other languages[edit]

Feminine forms[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Adel and its variants may refer to a number of notable people:


Given name[edit]




Literature and journalism[edit]



  • Adel Tankova (born 2000), Ukrainian-born Israeli Olympic figure skater

Fictional characters[edit]


  1. ^ It is also used as a short form of any of the various names containing adal as an element.


  1. ^ a b c Wells, Evelyn (1946). A Treasury of Names. Duell, Sloan and Pearce. pp. 167–168. ISBN 9780385001830. OCLC 1400921. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Martinus, Hamconius (1609). Frisia, seu, de viris rebusque Frisiae illustribus. Monasterii Westphal. ISBN 9781166365998. OCLC 730442. 
  3. ^ Otterbjörk, Roland (1979). Svenska förnamn: kortfattat namnlexikon. Almquist & Wiksell. ISBN 9789121109373. OCLC 258437884. 
  4. ^ a b Eseverri Hualde, Crisostomo (1979). Diccionario etimológico de helenismos españoles. Aldecoa, SL. p. 687. ISBN 9788470090721. OCLC 431915107. 
  5. ^ Campe, Joachim Heinrich (1807). Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache. Schulbuchhandlung. ISBN 9783487024691. OCLC 3497871. 
  6. ^ De Vries, Jan; De Tollenaere, Felicien (1963). Nederlands Etymologisch Woordenboek. Brill Publishers. ISBN 9789004083929. OCLC 1073712. 
  7. ^ Larousse, Pierre (1864). Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle. Tome 1. Larousse & Boyer. p. 88. ISBN 9782869711938. OCLC 489966495. 
  8. ^ "Adel-"Paid subscription required. Merriam-Webster: Dictionary and Thesaurus. Merriam-Webster, Inc. Retrieved 2016-11-12. 
  9. ^ "Adel – as a first name". Whitepages, Inc. Retrieved 2016-11-12. 
  10. ^ a b "Popularity of the Surname Adel". The Internet Surname Database. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  11. ^ "Adel – as a last name". Whitepages, Inc. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  12. ^ Förstemann, Ernst Wilhelm; Jellinghaus, Hermann; Seelmann, Emil Paul (1900). Altdeutsches Namenbuch. Bonn, P. Hanstein. ISBN 9781270754695. OCLC 6433213. 
  13. ^ Kruken, Kristoffe; Stemshaug, Ola (2013). Norsk personnamnleksikon. Det Norske Samlaget. ISBN 9788252173680. OCLC 857408033. 

See also[edit]