Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Eng (pen-NEL-uh-PEE)

The name is of uncertain origins, many scholars believe that the name is pre-Hellenistic and is related to an ancient word, penelops (πηνελοψ), which means “duck,” others argue that the name is Greek compound name composed of the elements, pene (πηνη) meaning “threads.”  Many scholars feel that the latter is the most appropriate since it was the name of Odysseus wife who kept her suitors at bay by pretending to weave.

The name appears in Greek mythology as the name of a wood nymph who was speculated to be the mother of the god Pan.

The name is occasionally used in German, Italian,

Other forms of the name include:

  • Penèlope (Catalan)
  • Penelopa (Croatian/Polish/Romanian/Serbian: Pela, Pelka and Pelcia are the Polish diminutives)
  • Pénélope (French)
  • Penelópē Πηνελόπεια/Πηνελόπη (Greek)
  • Pénelopé (Hungarian)
  • Penelopė (Lithuanian)
  • Penelopeia (Norwegian/Danish/Swedish)
  • Penélope (Spanish/Portuguese)

The name is currenly borne by Spanish actress Penelope Cruz.

Possible English nickname options, include, Penny, Poppy, Lola, and Nell.

5 thoughts on “Penelope

  1. Whenever I say this name outloud I go weak at the knees. Its so elegant and gentle. And the cute nicknames give it that childish touch that makes it top 10 material for me.

    Only problem is the meaning. I don't think 'duck' or 'weaver' are very appealing. If I do use it I guess I will just have to get little Penelope to give it her own meaning.

  2. Penelope used to be in my top 10 as well, I still think she's darling, but she has since been replaced by Persephone.

  3. I so like Persephone but my husband said it with a 'phone' on the end when he first saw it on our list. I am worried now that people will pronounce it the same way he did when he first saw it.

    So for that reason (and her lack of nicknames) Persephone was replaced by Penelope.

  4. Sarah, if I ever get around to using Persephone I would use the nickname Poppy. Seffie or Percy are other nickname options 🙂

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