Etymology
Advertisement
Margaret 

fem. proper name (c. 1300), from Old French Margaret (French Marguerite), from Late Latin Margarita, female name, literally "pearl," from Greek margaritēs (lithos) "pearl," which is of unknown origin.

OED writes, "probably adopted from some Oriental language" [OED]. Beekes writes, "An oriental loanword, mostly assumed to be from Iranian" and cites Middle Persian marvarit "pearl." He adds, "The older view" derives it from Sanskrit manjari "pearl; flowering bead," "but the late and rare occurrence of both the Skt. and Greek form is no support for a direct identification." He also reports a suggested origin in Iranian *mrga-ahri-ita- "born from the shell of a bird" = "oyster."

Arabic marjan probably is from Greek, via Syraic marganitha. In Germanic languages the word was widely perverted by folk-etymology, for example Old English meregrot, which has been altered as if it meant literally "sea-pebble." The word was used figuratively in Middle English for "that which is precious or excellent, a priceless quality or attribute." Derk margaryte was "a corrupted conscience."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Maggie 

fem. name, a diminutive of Margaret (q.v.).

Related entries & more 
Peggy 

fem. familiar proper name, an alteration of Maggie (see Margaret).

Related entries & more 
Margery 
fem. proper name, from Old French Margerie, related to Late Latin margarita "pearl" (see Margaret).
Related entries & more 
Margarita (n.)

cocktail made with tequila and citrus fruit juice, 1963, from the fem. proper name, the Spanish form of Margaret. Earlier in English it meant "a Spanish wine" (1920).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Mag 

common pet form of the fem. proper name Margaret, attested since Middle English. Compare magpie. Mag's tales "far-fetched stories, nonsense" is from early 15c.

Related entries & more 
Madge 

fem. proper name, an assibilated form of Mag, pet form of Margaret. Also used as the name of a barn-owl and a magpie.

MADGE. The private parts of a woman. [Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," London, 1785]
Related entries & more 
Meg 
fem. proper name; before the late 20c. rise in popularity of Megan it typically was a pet form of Margaret, and was "used dial. to indicate a hoyden, coarse woman, etc." [OED]
Related entries & more 
Gretchen 

fem. proper name, German diminutive of Greta, a German and Swedish pet form of Margaret. Sometimes used as a typical German female name, also sometimes in reference to the name of the simple girl seduced by Faust.

Related entries & more 
margarite (n.)

"a pearl," late Old English, from Late Latin margarita (see Margaret). Figuratively, "that which is precious or excellent, a priceless quality or attribute;" also used as an epithet for Christ, Mary, etc., late 13c. Also margerie (mid-14c.). Related: Margaritic.

Related entries & more