Word Origin & History
fem. proper name (c.1300), from O.Fr. Margaret (Fr. Marguerite), from L.L. Margarita, fem. name, lit. "pearl," from Gk. margarites (lithos) "pearl," of unknown origin, probably from an oriental language, cf. Skt. manjari "cluster of flowers," also said by Indian linguists to mean "pearl," cognate with
manju "beautiful." Arabic marjan probably is from Gk., via Syraic marganitha. The word was widely perverted in Gmc. by folk-etymology, cf. O.E. meregrot, which has been altered to mean lit. "sea-pebble."