Image by hartlandmartin via Flickr

She brings to mind a shoe-shopping politician’s wife, but her roots are far deeper.

Thanks to Christina for suggesting Imelda as our Baby Name of the Day.

On sound alone, Imelda has some possibility.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. Having spent 3 of my elementary years living in the Philippines, I don’t think I could ever recommend that anyone use this name. To me, Imelda solidly owns it the way Hitler, Lenin, and Madonna have made their names unusable. The politics in the PI are really corrupt and anyone even remotely familiar with its history will be mildly shocked if you name your child Imelda. It would just be very strange.

  2. I’m not a fan of Imelda. It makes me think of “Esmerelda” which I also don’t care for. I agree with another person about the “meld” part of the name… it doesn’t sound very pretty.

  3. I went to school with a girl named Imelda. She moved into our area from Honduras during the time the Marcos were still newsworthy (1987?) While I thought her name sounded “old” for a 12 year-old, but I don’t remember anyone giving her grief about her name or asking her about shoes.

    While I think Imelda is a wearable name, I don’t love the “-meld-” sound.

  4. I can’t say I’ve ever come across the name Imelda before. It is somewhat similar to my mother’s name Milda with the M with an L syllable followed by a DA

    My mom has always hated her name and has even made me and my sisters swear we’ll never name a child after her. I can’t say Imelda has a very appealing sound to me :\

  5. Unfortunately, the only Imelda’s I know are ugly, broken dolls with incorrects numbers of limbs and eyes (’tis a family joke to redub broken dolls as Imelda), which somewhat ruins this name for me.

    I can appreciate her potential, since I adore Demelza, which has a similar sound to Imelda, but alas, it’s not for me.

  6. I have a family member named Imelda; her immediate family calls her Mela (MEL-la), which could just as well be written Mella, which rhymes with…Ella!

    I’ve always liked the sound of Imelda and when Mrs. Marcos’ penchant for shoes was revealed, my young self thought would ruin the name forever.

    Thanks for covering her.

  7. Despite my long time love for Zelda, I find Imelda mildly appealling too. My first thought was Blessed Imelda, which horrified my seven year old self to no end! Marcos made me giggle as a teen, but she’s a wonderful lady, doesn’t really hurt the name. While I’d rather use Zelda, Imelda gets a solid :thumbsup:, she’s lovely! 😀

  8. Imelda is the name of a close family friend and former co-worker of my parents — my siblings and I served as flower girls and ring bearer in her wedding — so I have a soft spot for the name. I can’t use it myself since it ends in a, but I’d love to see it on more little girls. Personally, I think the name is entirely wearable today.