Calliope vs. Penelope

[name]Hi[/name] everyone!! I am strongly considering naming our next baby (if she is a girl) [name]Calliope[/name]. I really like the name and the history behind it. [name]Just[/name] curious though why [name]Calliope[/name] is so rarely used but [name]Penelope[/name] is much more common. What do you think the reason is? I mean they sound so similar but one is clearly favored over the other in naming conventions.

My guess would be the pronunciation. When I first saw the word (granted, I was about 8), I was pronouncing it [name]CAL[/name]-ee-O-pee (emphasis on the wrong syllables, and vowels mispronounced). Or maybe the fact that it’s a musical instrument turned people off to it for centuries, as word names like that may be a fairly new movement. I think it’s pretty, if you can get people to say it correctly (which, if they aren’t 8, they probably will!).

I vastly prefer [name]Calliope[/name] to [name]Penelope[/name] (which I don’t like at all - too ‘P’ heavy and prissy-looking to boot, plus dull nickname of [name]Penny[/name] - but that’s just me). I suspect [name]Calliope[/name] is not more popular because it’s not as pronounceable and there are no celebs named [name]Calliope[/name] (see: [name]Penelope[/name] [name]Cruz[/name]).

I’d love to see someone use [name]Calliope[/name].

I love them both - [name]Penelope[/name] is one I have loved since I was a little girl. Right now, though, [name]Calliope[/name] is much more appealing.


I prefer [name]Penelope[/name] simply because I find it a bit more soft than [name]Calliope[/name]. [name]Both[/name] names are great though, and I think a little [name]Calliope[/name] would be darling.

I see “callipers” whenever I see [name]Calliope[/name].

Oh please use [name]Calliope[/name], I would in a heart beat! I guess [name]Penelope[/name] is more common so is heard more, [name]Penelope[/name] [name]Cruz[/name] springs to mind

I love [name]Calliope[/name]. I like [name]Penelope[/name] a lot too but its to as fresh

I like both names but [name]Calliope[/name] is a bit more unusual. I think the name is a bolder choice than [name]Penelope[/name]. I pronounce it “kuh-LIE-uh-pee”.

[name]Calliope[/name]! [name]Grey[/name]'s Anatomy will have helped introduce a lot of people to its pronunciation (not that everyone watches it, of course) and I think it is much stronger and less common than fussy [name]Penelope[/name].

I love both names. I prefer [name]Calliope[/name], but I’m not a fan of the nn [name]Callie[/name].

[name]Penelope[/name] has my heart and will most likely be my first daughters name. I’m just praying it doesnt climb too high on the popularity charts!

I love [name]Calliope[/name] too! [name]Unique[/name] and bold but with lots of weight behind it and plenty of nn options.

I prefer [name]Penelope[/name]. For some reason, whenever I hear [name]Calliope[/name], I think of the musical instrument. I also prefer the nickname [name]Penny[/name] to [name]Callie[/name]; it seems sweeter and fresher to me. That could be because I know a few little girls called [name]Callie[/name] (though they are named [name]Calista[/name]).

I like them both a lot. [name]Calliope[/name] actually was my favorite name for a few years in college. The full name is beautiful but I really dislike the nickname [name]Callie[/name], very stale and overtrendy in the [name]Haylie[/name]/[name]Hallie[/name]/[name]Kaylie[/name] group of names. And I think it’s long enough that a nickname is inevitable. My youngest son has a three-syllable name and I fully intended to rarely to never use the one syllable nickname that comes naturally from it, but now the nickname is what we mostly call him. Sigh, maybe when he’s older we’ll switch (he’s only one and a half)!

[name]Penelope[/name] is beautiful but definitely more popular. If you could come up with a different nickname to [name]Calliope[/name] ahead of time, like [name]Lilo[/name] or [name]Lila[/name] or [name]Lolo[/name], then I’d say go with that.

Pronunciation is the only difference. I personally feel like I can’t pronounce [name]Calliope/name, but I can pronounce [name]Penelope[/name]. So I prefer [name]Penelope[/name].

I love both but I like [name]Calliope[/name] a little more.

I love [name]Calliope[/name], I know a little girl around 3 named [name]Calliope[/name] (I think they spell it [name]Kalliope[/name] though…) and she is adorable. I think it’s the pronunciation that makes it less popular, the average American would have no idea how to pronounce it. I showed it to my mom when it was on our list and she said “[name]Cal[/name]-ee- OPE” like rope at the end. It made me realize how difficult for non name nerds it was to pronounce.

I really like all the associations with [name]Calliope[/name] too. Around here there is a species of hummingbird called “[name]Calliope[/name]”. She is one of the 9 muses and inspires wisdom plus a musical instrument. [name]Penelope[/name] does not have near as many lovely attachments. I think I can get over correcting people’s mispronunciation. My own name is VERY simple and people mispronounce it all the time or call me a different name entirely - my name is [name]Diana[/name] (I get [name]Diane[/name], [name]Debbie[/name], [name]Donna[/name], [name]Dionna[/name]…etc.). I’m hoping she finds the uniqueness of her name special and won’t mind correcting people. Also, I am thinking we would use a different nn than [name]Callie[/name] and instead go with something like [name]Poppy[/name] or [name]Lili[/name] (lee-lee). Of course, she may decide otherwise as she grows up. I am comfortable letting her be who she needs to be and do what she likes with what we give her. This dialogue has really helped me. I’m more confident about [name]Calliope[/name] now :slight_smile: Thanks everyone!!

My thoughts exactly.

I adore [name]Calliope[/name] and am using it as a middle purely for the fact that I don’t like [name]Callie[/name].