The name Megan originated in Wales as a pet form of Margaret. Margaret can be traced back to the Greek word margarites, which means pearl.
Megan is a popular baby name in England and Wales, ranking 15th there in 2008. But it's common in other regions as well. It's regularly used in Australia, and it was quite popular in America during the last quarter of the 20th century. (It entered the top 1,000 in 1952, and was a top-100 name by 1975, and reached top 10 three times, in 1985, 1992 and 1994. It had dropped back down to 100th place by 2008.)
The most accurate way to say "Megan" is to pronounce it so that the first syllable rhymes with the word egg. As the name has traveled around the world, several alternative pronunciations (i.e. MAY-gan, MEE-gan) have evolved from this original pronunciation. Myriad spelling variations have popped up as well:
Meaghan, Meaggan, Maegan, Maeghan
Maeggan, Meegan, Meeghan, Meeggan
Maygan, Mayghan, Mayggan, Megun, Megon
There's also the French version, Mégane.
If you're in an English-speaking country, I wouldn't recommend variations of Megan that include the endings -gen, -gin and -gyn. When the letter G is followed by E, I or Y, it's typically "soft" -- that is, pronounced like J. So changing the vowel technically changes the pronunciation of the name, which is something I'm guessing most parents wouldn't want. :)
Because the name Megan became popular relatively recently, there haven't been too many celebrities with the name. The most visible right now is probably American actress Megan Fox, who was born in 1986. Others with the name include:
- Meagan Good (born in 1981), American actress.
- Meaghan Jette Martin (born in 1992), American actress.
- Megan Mullally (born in 1958), American actress.
- Meggin Cabot (born in 1967), American writer.
Other pet forms of Margaret include Maggie, Madge, Marge, Meg, Rita, Daisy, Greta, Gretchen and Peggy.
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