Iphigenia, Iphigénie


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “strong born.”
(if-fih-JEN-yah); (EE-FEE-ZHAY-NEE)

Iphigenia is a latinized version of the Greek, Iphigeneia, which is composed of the elements iphios (ιφιος), meaning “strong, stout” and genes, (γενης), meaning “born”

The name is borne in Greek mythology by the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, when Agamemnon had offended Artemis by hunting a deer in her sacred grove, it was decided that it appeasement, Iphigenia had to be sacrificed.

In Homer’s the Illiad, her name is Iphianassa which may be of the same etymological root.

It is also the name of a French opera which is based on the above legend.

In Boccaccio’s the Decameron, it is the name of a beautiful damsel, loved by the unlettered and ignorant Cypriot youth by the name of Cymon.
Through the power of love, however, Cymon becomes a polished and literate nobleman and marries Iphigenia.

This tale was the inspiration of many artists, most notably, Benjamin West, John Everett Millais and Frederic Leighton.

Other forms of the name include: (Note: Keep in mind that some of these forms are not widely used in their home countries)

  • Ifigènia (Catalan)
  • Ífigeneia (Czech)
  • Iphigénie (French)
  • Ifigenia (German/Italian/Polish/Romanian/Scandinavian/Spanish)
  • Iphigenie (German)
  • Ifigeneia Ἰφιγένεια (Greek: Modern)
  • Ifigenija (Lithuanian)
  • Ifigénia (Portuguese: European)
  • Ifigênia (Portuguese: Brazilian)

Its designated name day in France is July 9.

Possible nickname options are Iffy and Genie.

3 thoughts on “Iphigenia, Iphigénie

  1. And Phidgie!

    My younger sister once claimed this was her top pick for a daughter. I'll have to ask if she remembers that …

  2. There are some message boards that I frequent and it is some people's list. Its not my favorite Greek myth name, but if I actually met one I would probably like it.

  3. Poor Iphi … deceived by her dad who promises to marry her off to some Greek hero, turns out she’s taken to a sacrifice altar…

    I love the “Phidgie” nickname;)

    Iffy sounds dodgy;)

    and Genie… well …

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