Animals, C names, Elements, Female, Lion, Literature, Names from Shakespeare's plays, Nature, Proto-Indo-European, Virtues/Attributes, Water


Cordelia is the name of the heroine of Shakespeare’s tragic play, King Lear (1606), the youngest of King Lear‘s three daughter and his favorite, though that didn’t stop him from banishing her when she didn’t shower him with affection as her older sisters did for one third of the kingdom to be divided among them. Shakespeare based it on a real figure, Leir of Britain who lived around the 8th century BC, who also had 3 daughters: Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. It’s a variant of Cordeilla, a Celtic name of uncertain meaning. It’s been associated with Latin Cordula meaning “heart” via cor, cordis. The name has also been linked to Welsh Creiddylad, made up from Welsh craidd (heart) and dylad, an ancient Welsh word for water; the first element has also been associated with creu (to engender, create) or creir (a token, jewel, sacred object). I’ve also seen it associated with the French expression coeur de lion meaning “heart of a lion”.

Nicknames: Cord, Cordy, Cora, Delia

Origin: Proto-Indo-European



  • Kordelia (English)
  • Cordeilla (Celtic)
  • Cordella (English)
  • Cordilla (English)
  • Cordellia (English)
  • Cordyla (English)
  • Cordylla (English)
  • Cordélie (French)


1 thought on “Cordelia”

  1. Cordelia is beautiful. I love it because it’s similar to another of my favourites, Cornelia, as well as because it has lovely meanings, and I like that it’s Shakespearean and has possible Celtic origin. Also Anne Shirley association makes it dear to me. And I love it nicknamed to Delia.


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