The name is derived from the Greek οφελος (ofelos) meaning “help.”
It first appears in Jacopo Sannazaro’s poem Arcadia. Shakespeare bestowed the name upon his tragic heroine of Hamlet (1600). Despite its tragic connotations, the name seems to have been used since at least the 19th-century.
Its French form of Ophélie is currently the 101st most popular female name in Quebec Canada (2010) and the 242nd most popular in France, (2009).
Other forms of the name include:
- Ophelia (Dutch/English)
- Ophélie (French)
- Ofelia (Italian/Polish/Scandinavian/Romanian/Spanish)
- Ofélia (Portuguese)