Meaning: “white; fair.”
The name is believed to have been coined by Scots poet James Macpherson (1736-96) for a character in the Ossian poems. It is believed that he based the name off the Gaelic male name Fionn which comes directly from the Gaelic word meaning, “white; fair.”
The name was subsequently used as a pen name for William Sharpe: Fiona Macleod (1855-1905). It has since been considered a traditional name in both Ireland and Scotland.
The name has recently become popular in German-speaking countries, the inspiration of its popularity may be due to the Shrek movies. It is currently the 2nd most popular female name among Romansch-speakers in Switzerland, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 57 (Germany, 2011)
- # 257 (United States, 2010)
- # 396 (France, 2009)
The name is also borne by American singer, Fiona Apple (b.1977)