Family name origins & meanings
- English : from the Middle English female personal name Mau(l)d, a reduced form of the Norman name Mathilde, Matilda, composed of the Germanic elements maht ‘might’, ‘strength’ + hild ‘strife’, ‘battle’. The learned form Matilda was much less common in the Middle Ages than the vernacular forms Mahalt, Maud and the reduced pet form Till. The name was borne by the daughter of Henry I of England, who disputed the throne of England with her cousin Stephen for a number of years (1137–48). In Germany the popularity of the name in the Middle Ages was augmented by its being borne by a 10th-century saint, wife of Henry the Fowler and mother of Otto the Great.