The name is first recorded in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae (c.1136) as the name of a princess drowned in the River Severn. Her story is the subject of John Milton’s Comus.
The same story later inspired Samuel A. Taylor’s 1953 stage play Sabrina Fair which was later adapted into a movie starring Audrey Hepburn.
The name did not come into regular usage until the 20th-century, most likely being popularized by the play and movie.
In the 1960s, Sabrina the Teenage Witch was a comic series that debuted.
It is currently the 219th most popular female name in the United States (2010).
Its popularity in other countries is as follows:
- # 268 (France, 2009)
- # 491 (the Netherlands, 2010)
The name is also used in German-speaking countries, Greece, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Slovenia.
Other forms of the name include:
- Sabriina (Finnish)
- Hafren (Welsh)