Names with History and Weight

I was talking with my daughter, [name]Phoebe[/name], about why we chose her name the other day. All the reasons we loved it came back to the forefront-she’s mythological! she’s Biblical! she’s Shakesperean! she’s [name]Salinger[/name]-ian!- she’s a moon! she’s a bird!-No wonder she stood head and shoulders above the rest when she chose her. But I feel like, when the time comes to name another daughter (hopefully very soon!) I want a name with as much meaning and history. What other names can you think of that stand up to [name]Phoebe[/name]?

[name]Susanna/name - flower, Biblical, a lily in Biblical Hebrew and a rose in modern Hebrew, and a name [name]Shakespeare[/name] named his daughter. [name]Susie[/name] is cute but [name]Susannah[/name] is timeless.

[name]Elizabeth[/name] - Biblical, royal, historic weight, a variety of nicknames to suit any personality, never trendy, always classic, array of namesakes stretching back thousands of years.

[name]Minerva[/name]/[name]Athena[/name] - A goddess of wisdom, of war and craft, a wise woman. Associated with owls. At the moment I am favouring [name]Minerva[/name] but I reserve the right to change my mind. :wink: Wikipedia quote: “goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic.[1] She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the “owl of [name]Minerva[/name]”[2], which symbolizes her ties to wisdom.”

[name]Iris[/name] - [name]Flower[/name], both a highly specialized delicate garden flower and a hardy roadside wildflower depending on variety. More colours than any rose or lily. Named after a messenger goddess; the goddess of rainbows. Some say the fleur de lis of [name]France[/name] is an iris; others hold that it is the lily. [name]Iris[/name] on wikipedia: “is the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. She is also known as one of the goddesses of the sea and the sky. [name]Iris[/name] links the gods to humanity. She travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other,[1] and into the depths of the sea and the underworld.”

I very much like the previous suggestions of [name]Beatrice[/name], [name]Iris[/name] and [name]Minerva[/name]. Others:

[name]Mary[/name] - Pretty much the quintessential “history and weight” name! You don’t get to be the most popular name in the world for 400 years without that. Biblical of course, but also royal and literary, tons of great namesakes. [name]Miriam[/name] (the original Hebrew) or [name]Maria[/name] (the Spanish) each have their own individual charm with the same pedigree.

[name]Katarina[/name] - Of course [name]Katherine[/name] in all forms is classic, but this one may have the most of what you’re looking for. You have the Shakespearean [name]Katharina[/name], as well as [name]Catherine[/name] the Great ([name]Yekaterina[/name] in Russian). Matches well stylistically with [name]Phoebe[/name], I think.

[name]Diana[/name] - [name]Roman[/name] goddess and British princess, as well as Shakespearean character and many others.

[name]Esther[/name] - Biblical queen, and derivative [name]Hester[/name] was, of course, used by [name]Hawthorne[/name].

All the suggestions so far are great ones (I particularly love [name]Beatrice[/name], [name]Iris[/name], and [name]Esther[/name]). [name]Helen[/name] (and all variations) is name that I think falls into this category (the most beautiful woman in the world, “the face that launched a thousand ships”), as well as [name]Josephine[/name] (Biblical and historical–I think of [name]Empress[/name] [name]Josephine[/name], wife of [name]Napoleon[/name]). There are so many, but those are a couple of my favorites.

I agree with pp suggestion of [name]Susannah[/name], but I also love [name]Tabitha[/name]! biblical, yet a little “other worldly”. Goes wonderfully with [name]Phoebe[/name], imo. Also love [name]Aurora[/name], [name]Alyssa[/name], [name]Rowan[/name] and [name]Lydia[/name] with [name]Phoebe[/name]!

My 1st thought was [name]Helen[/name]. A lot of background, huh? Mythological, bibical, historical, etc.



[name]Morgan[/name]/[name]Morgana[/name] (people don’t give her enough credit)

[name]Elaine[/name]/[name]Elena[/name] (Lady of the [name]Lake[/name]/possibly the Lady of Shallott)

[name]Vivienne[/name]/[name]Viviane[/name] (another name for the Lady of the [name]Lake[/name])

[name]Ophelia[/name] ([name]Hamlet[/name])

[name]Portia[/name] (The Merchant of [name]Venice[/name])

[name]Helena[/name] (Midsummer [name]Night[/name]'s [name]Dream[/name])

[name]Rosalind[/name] (As You Like It–which, by the way, has a character with a name very similar to [name]Phoebe[/name])

[name]Isolde[/name] ([name]Tristan[/name] and [name]Isolde[/name])

[name]Viola[/name] (The Twelfth [name]Night[/name])

[name]Thisbe[/name] (The myth Pyramus and [name]Thisbe[/name], a sort of pre-[name]Romeo[/name] and [name]Juliet[/name])

[name]Gwen[/name] (short for [name]Guinevere[/name], which is much prettier than people give it credit for)

So far my favorites are [name]Beatrice[/name], [name]Daphne[/name], [name]Ariadne[/name], [name]Helena[/name].

[name]How[/name] about…


[name]Eleni[/name] popped into my head. Apparently the real name of [name]Helen[/name] of [name]Troy[/name] (this came from the father of a daughter named [name]Eleni[/name], not sure how true it is). I’ve also read that it’s related to te word moon in Greek, so she’d have that in common with [name]Phoebe[/name].

I [name]LOVE[/name] [name]Phoebe[/name]! This has been on my girl list for years…hopefully someday I will have the opportunity to use it.

Here are some of my favorite names to go with [name]Phoebe[/name]…

[name]Millicent[/name] - From the Germanic name Amalasuintha, composed of the elements amal “work, labour” and swinþ “strength”. Amalasuintha was a 6th-century queen of the Ostrogoths. The Normans introduced this name to [name]England[/name] in the form [name]Melisent[/name] or [name]Melisende[/name]. [name]Melisende[/name] was a 12th-century queen of Jerusalem, the daughter of [name]Baldwin[/name] II.

[name]Abra[/name] - Soft, sensitive feminine form of [name]Abraham[/name] that was the name of a soft, sensitive character in the [name]John[/name] Steinbeck book and movie, “[name]East[/name] of [name]Eden[/name].” In the bible, [name]Abra[/name] was a favorite of [name]King[/name] [name]Solomon[/name] and it was a popular name in 17th century [name]England[/name].

[name]Araminta[/name] - Meaning unknown. This name was (first?) used by [name]William[/name] Congreve in his comedy ‘The Old [name]Bachelor[/name]’ (1693) and later by Sir [name]John[/name] Vanbrugh in his comedy ‘The Confederacy’ (1705). This was the real name of abolitionist [name]Harriet[/name] Tubman (1820-1913), who was born [name]Araminta[/name] [name]Ross[/name].

[name]Matilda[/name] - From the Germanic name Mahthildis meaning “strength in battle”, from the elements maht “might, strength” and hild “battle”. [name]Saint[/name] [name]Matilda[/name] was the wife of the 10th-century [name]German[/name] king [name]Henry[/name] I the [name]Fowler[/name]. The name was brought to [name]England[/name] by the Normans, being borne by the wife of [name]William[/name] the Conqueror himself. It was popular until the 15th century in [name]England[/name], usually in the vernacular form [name]Maud[/name]. [name]Both[/name] forms were revived by the 19th century. This name appears in the popular Australian folk song ‘Waltzing [name]Matilda[/name]’, written in 1895.

[name]Florence[/name] - From the Latin name Florentius or the feminine form [name]Florentia[/name], which were derived from florens “prosperous, flourishing”. Florentius was borne by many early [name]Christian[/name] saints, and it was occasionally used in their honour through the Middle Ages. In modern times it is mostly feminine.
The name can also be given in reference to the city in [name]Italy[/name], as in the case of [name]Florence[/name] Nightingale (1820-1910). She was a nurse in British hospitals during the Crimean War and is usually considered the founder of modern nursing.

I love [name]Eleanor[/name]. It was my 1st thought, even though I have used [name]Katherine[/name], [name]Elizabeth[/name], and [name]Susanna[/name] with my real-life children but don’t have a little [name]Eleanor[/name] of my own. Beautiful, timeless, historical, literary… perfect.

[name]Dorcas[/name]? Maybe I’m being immature, but that name makes LOL!

Lol my first thought on [name]Dorcas[/name] was also “…um, no?”

Names with as much weight and history as [name]Phoebe[/name] could be:

[name]Rhea[/name] Rhea - Wikipedia
[name]Dione[/name] Dione - Wikipedia

For the record, all moons have names from mythology, and likely crossovers with [name]Shakespeare[/name] so NASA is a good website to start looking. But I get a sense that you are not necessarily looking for those things, but rather a name with lots of depth and history – a multifaceted names with lots of different things to love

Wow! Great suggestions! I love so many of them…[name]Helena[/name] and [name]Susanna[/name] are on my short list. I love the suggestions of [name]Juno[/name], [name]Matilda[/name] (love the meaning of this one, which I didn’t know!), [name]Tabitha[/name], and [name]Eve[/name]. [name]Iris[/name] and [name]Beatrice[/name] are loves of mine, but don’t work with my last name, sadly.

I’ve had exactly the same desire - a girl name with gravitas - and I’m due in 2 months. Really helpful everyone, thank you. And my eldest daughter is [name]Iris[/name] [name]Elizabeth[/name] - so pleased she made the cut twice above!

I think we’re going for [name]Artemis[/name] (ie [name]Diana[/name]) but still some time to go to reconsider!

My first though was [name]Cassandra[/name] (I’m slightly biased though - see my signature!) It’s the name of the beautiful eldest princess of [name]Troy[/name] - the “second most beautiful woman in the world” - who could also foresee the future, although everyone would ignore her. She also features in [name]Shakespeare[/name]'s “Troilus and [name]Cressida[/name]” - although she is not portrayed very flatteringly… Good luck with your choice - [name]Phoebe[/name] is beautiful.

Funny that this thread got resurrected today…just found out I am pregnant! Hopefully I will get to use one of these lovely names! I actually found out on [name]Easter[/name], so [name]Susannah[/name] has the edge with the ‘lily’ meaning.

Congratulations, phoebesmom! :slight_smile:

Congratulations! Good luck choosing a name, these all are really nice!