Its source is an Ancient Germanic expression meaning "Noble."
This is an element in a number of Ancient Germanic names, such as Ethelinda, Etheldreda and Ethelberta.
It was a practice of the Anglo-Saxons (who ruled Britain before the Norman Conquest and spoke an Ancient Germanic tongue) to name several offspring using common name elements. Three daughters in the same family named Ethelinda, Etheldreda and Ethelberta would not have been unusual.
American activist for the elderly.
1982 National Council of Women''s Women of Conscience award winner for her work on behalf of senior citizens in Colorado (see list of Women of Conscience Award winners)