Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Daphne

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, French, Greek
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 397
Simple meaning:
Laurel, victory

Characteristics of Daphne

  • Communicative
  • Creative
  • Optimistic
  • Popular
  • Social
  • Dramatic
  • Happy

Etymology & Historical Origin - Daphne

Daphne comes to us from Greek mythology. In Greek the name Daphne (Δάφνη) means “laurel” which is connected to her legend. Daphne is a minor nature deity in classical Greek mythology but her story is significant nonetheless. Born a mountain nymph, the daughter of a river god, the beautiful Daphne, sworn to her virginity, spurned all men who loved her. In accordance with the typical mythological trickery, the god of love, Eros, stung Apollo with his arrow so that he fell deeply in love with Daphne (apparently Apollo gained the spiteful wrath of Eros by scoffing at his archery skills). This event sent Apollo into hot pursuit of Daphne. She escaped Apollo’s unwanted affections by begging her father to come to her rescue – and so he transformed Daphne into a laurel tree. Devastated by his loss, Apollo made a wreath of her leaves which became his cult symbol. In ancient Greece and Rome, laurel crowns were given to those who demonstrated achievements on a grand scale and came to symbolize victory. Ovid’s Metamorphoses recounts Apollo’s heartbroken words “’My bride’, he said, ‘Since you can never be, / At least, sweet laurel, you shall be my tree.’” The name Daphne came into modest vogue in the late 19th century among English speakers. Daphné is relatively popular among the French and it is also a name used in the Netherlands.

Popularity of the Name Daphne

Daphne has been around on the American female naming charts since the late 1800s. At the turn of the 20th century, this was a name rarely used – enough to make the charts, but at very low levels of popularity it was hardly detectable. As the decades progressed into the last century, Daphne grew discreetly. The height of this name’s popularity came in the 1960s, but still she was on the lower end of moderation. In fact, the highest spot she’s ever achieved on the charts was at position #266 (1962) which makes her a pretty uncommon choice overall. Since we’ve entered the 21st century, Daphne is showing some promise (she’s advanced almost 200 positions up the charts in a little over 10 years), but, alas, the name is still scarcely used. This is simply baffling. Daphne is underused and neglected in our opinion, but all the better for parents who abhor overly trendy names. In reference to “fun” pop-trivia, Daphne Blake is the pretty, wealthy, danger-prone, red-headed fashionista in the Scooby-Doo cartoons. And Daphne Moon is the quirky, sarcastic live-in housekeeper on the popular “Frasier” sitcom. In 1938 the opera “Daphne” composed by Richard Strauss was first performed. Another opera called “Daphne” performed in 1598 (for which the score does not survive) is widely considered the very first opera ever composed. The name Daphne has ancient roots, mythological mystique, victorious meaning, operatic glory, and timeless beauty. What’s NOT to like about this name???
Popularity of the Girl Name Daphne
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Daphne

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Daphne

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Daphne

    Daphne (Greek Mythology) Daphne is a nymph in Greek mythology, who is said to have been pursued by the Olympian god, Apollo. It all came about because Apollo, a great archer, happened to make fun of little Cupid (Eros) and his arrows of love. Gods don’t like being dissed by gods, and Eros was no exception. So he made up two arrows, one tipped in gold, to inspire love and one tipped in lead, to inspire loathing. Off he shot them, one into Apollo, one into Daphne. Guess who got which? So Apollo endlessly ran after Daphne and she endlessly ran away from him. Finally becoming weary, she appealed to the gods for help, and she was transformed into a laurel bush. When Apollo reached the laurel, he loved it and claimed it as his own, adorning himself with its leaves and crowning winners of the Pythian games with its sacred wreaths. We really like this name, but you have to decide if you’d want your child to be a tree or the plaything of a god.

  • Popular Songs on Daphne

    Popular Songs on Daphne

    Daphne - a song by Squeeze

    Daphne - is an opera by Richard Strauss

    Daphne and Apollo - a song by Nerina Pallot

    Daphne Descends - a song by The Smashing Pumpkins

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Daphne

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Daphne

    Apollo & Daphne: Masterpieces of Greek Mythology (Antonia Barber) - Booklist says: “The trials and tribulations of the gods and goddesses, and especially of the mortals who crossed them, have long been a rich source of material for the world's painters. This book pairs 15 Greek and Roman myths with paintings from the great museums of the world that illustrate the stories. Barber tells each story with drama and lyricism, mixing Greek and Roman names freely, using whichever seems most familiar.” Recommended for ages 12-14.

    Daphne Dragon (Annie Kubler) - A pull out book. One of a series of three-dimensional books with interlocking leaves, this book asks how Daphne can join the party? Recommended for ages 2-5.

    Daphne Eloise Slater, Who's Tall for Her Age (Gina Willner Pardo) - A short chapter book about loyalty, friendship, and the discovery that people aren't all one way or the other, but "all those things together." Recommended for ages 8-11.

    Daphne Moves to Hawaii (Alison Berka) - Daphne the dog lived in a warm and cozy house with her family, the Whimblys, who took very good care of her. She was a very happy dog until the Whimblys packed up all their belongings and moved to a strange new house in Hawaii. Daphne fees out of place in Hawaii and longs to go back to her home, so she runs away from the Whimblys in search of the warm cozy house. Along the way she meets a few Hawaiian characters who try to help her find her way back home. Follow Daphne on her adventure in Hawaii and find out if she ever finds her way back to the warm cozy house. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Daphne's Book (Mary Downing Hahn) - Daphne is the weird girl in Jessica's class--the one no one wants to talk to or even be seen with. But when the girls are assigned to be partners in the Write-a-Book contest at school, they find they have a lot in common and start spending time together outside of the project. As their friendship deepens, Jessica stumbles on a terrible secret about Daphne's life. Jessica promises not to tell anyone. But sometimes it takes a true friend to break a promise instead of keeping one. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Daphne-The Misadventures of the Canada Goose (T.R. Winn) - Covered in goo and nearly dead, Daphne is rescued by a big brown bear named Alex, from the bottom of the Klamath River. And so begins a beautiful interspecies relationship [encountering danger at every turn]. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    The Name Game! Daphne's Diary of Daily Disasters (Marissa Moss) - Daphne has never (ever) loved her name, but it is her name and she can’t do much to change it. So when the first day of fourth grade comes, not only does Daphne get her pre-braces retainer but also the new teacher can’t seem to remember her name. It’s not Duffy or Daffy or Doffy. It’s Daphne. Well anyway what’s in a name? A lot, just ask Daphne. Recommended for ages 7-10.

    The Vampire Dare! Daphne's Diary of Daily Disasters (Marissa Moss) - Why is everyone so crazy for Vampires, Daphne wonders. Well, Vampires can’t die or get wrinkly that’s what makes them so magical. And it’s kinda cool to be bitten by a vampire because you’ll live forever. So, when the teachers announce a costume day next Friday, (even though Halloween is long past), Daphne wants to be the best vampire ever! But what is cool and what is nerdy in Vampire Land? Daphne’s about to find out! Recommended for ages 7-10.

  • Famous People Named Daphne

    Famous People Named Daphne

    Famous People Named Daphne - Daphne Zuniga (actress); Daphne Du Maurier (writer); Daphné (French singer); Daphne Guinness (Irish socialite)

  • Children of Famous People Named Daphne

    Children of Famous People Named Daphne

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Daphne - Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (Hollywood’s golden era)

  • Historic Figures

    Daphne - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Daphne - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Daphne.

Personality of the Girl Name Daphne

The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.

Variations of the Baby Name - Daphne

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