Delphine, Delfina

Gender: Female
Origin: French
Meaning: “dolphin”

This French classic was quite popular in the English-speaking world during the early 19th-century, now seen as a sort of vintage classic, the name may hold appeal to those who are endeared to such names as Josephine, Louise or Marguerite.

The name has its origins in the Greek male name, Delphinos, who, in Greek mythology was a dolphin lord under the god Poseidon.

When his master was wooing the beautiful Naiad Amphitrite, Poseidon demanded Delphinos to seek Amphitrite and to propose to her on his behalf. When Delphinos found the Naiad and brought her before the sea god, Poseidon made Delphinos into a constellation in gratitude for his services.

Alternately, the name could also be taken from the Greek city, Delphi, which ultimately has the same origin as Delphinos, meaning “dolphin.”

In the mortal world, the name first made its appearance in France around the 14th-century. It was borne by a Provençal saint. It was thereafter commonly used among the French aristocracy.

The name was also the subject of a famous French book entitled Delphine by Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, (1802).

The Delphinium plant has the same root and meaning as the name Delphine.

In English, delphine is also used as the adjectival form of dolphin.

Currently, Delfina is the 15th most popular female name in Argentina, (2009).

Other forms of the name include:
  • Delphia (Greek)
  • Delphina (Latin)
  • Delphinia (Latin)
  • Delfina (Italian/Polish/Spanish)
  • Delfino (Provençal)

It also has some male incarnations such as the French Delphin (del-FAHn). Other forms include

  • Delfin (French/Polish)
  • Delphinos (Greek)
  • Delphinus (Latin)
  • Delfino (Italian/Spanish)

Its designated name-day is November 9th.