The name Penelope makes me sigh in a "it's so dreamy" sort of way. I've got a little name crush on this one because it has so many great qualities. It's fun to pronounce, it originates from Greek (I gravitate toward Greek names) and it has adorable variations.
I think Penelope strikes a balance between classically beautiful and contemporary. It has a sort of spunky sound while also carrying an epic historical element that makes it feel more traditional than it technically is. The name hasn't been used in America with any consistency, showing a peak in the 1930s, disappearing for awhile, and now returning to fashion.
History & Meaning
It's the name of Odysseus' wife in Homer's The Odyssey, estimated to be written in 8th century B.C. She is known for her faithfulness to her husband through two decades of his absence, as well as her cunning wit and strength of character.
The name Penelope has a somewhat complicated origin, and the meaning is debated. Check out this section of a Wikipedia article if you want the whole scoop.
Name Rank & Popularity
Penelope is ranked at 252 for the U.S. in the year 2009. It's showing an upward trend, as it wasn't even in the top 1,000 names ten years ago and is continuing to go up the charts.
Read about name ranking here.
- Nell or Nellie
- Penny, Pennie, Peni, or Penney
- Poppy ~a more creative pet form popping up in recent years~
- Penelope Cruz, actress
- Penelope Ann Miller, actress
- Penelope Houston, singer/songwriter
- Jessalyn Gilsig, actress known for her role in Glee
- Taylor Hansen, musician/singer
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