Girl Baby Name

Phaedra

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Quick Facts on Phaedra

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • Greek
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • N/A
Pronunciation:
FAY-druh (English); FEE-druh (Greek)
Simple meaning:
Bright, glowing

Characteristics of Phaedra

  • Authoritative
  • Powerful
  • Tough
  • Tenacious
  • Wealthy
  • Problem-solver
  • Achiever

Etymology & Historical Origin - Phaedra

Phaedra is an ancient Greek female name, from “phaidros” (φαιδρός) which meant “bright, glowing” (same root source from where we get the name Phoebe). Phaedra is a name borne from Greek mythology, the demi-goddess daughter of King Minos of Crete and wife of Theseus (King of Athens). Her story is one that has inspired scores of artists (ancient playwrights, opera composers, musicians, authors, painters, filmmakers, etc.) to retell her tragic story. While Phaedra was married to Theseus, she fell desperately in love with her step-son, Hippolytus (who was the illegitimate son of Theseus by Hippolyte, Queen of the Amazons). Hippolytus, however, disgusted by his step-mother’s improper advances, spurned her. Angered at his rejection, the love-sick Phaedra falsely accused Hippolytus of raping her. Consequently, Theseus, in an effort to restore his wife’s honor, called upon his own father (the sea god Poseidon) to destroy Hippolytus. One day, as Hippolytus was riding his chariot, Poseidon released a great bull from out of the sea. The bull spooked the horses into upsetting the chariot thus dragging Hippolytus to a violent death. Incidentally, Hippolytus name means “loosened horses” in ancient Greek. When Phaedra heard of Hippolytus death, she hung herself in despair. Of course, as with all ancient myths, the stories vary greatly from one another. In another version, the legend has Aphrodite cursing Hippolytus by making his step-mother fall in love with him (after the young man incensed the goddess of love by worshipping Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, instead). Ancient Greek playwright Euripides wrote a prize-winning drama about the story in the 5th century B.C. (just to give you an idea of how old the name Phaedra is!). As a female given name among English-speakers today, Phaedra is (and always has been) super uncommon.

Popularity of the Name Phaedra

Only 37 baby girls received the name Phaedra in 2012. This should give you an idea just how rare she is! Unlike other Greek mythology-inspired names (Penelope, Phoebe, Phoenix), Phaedra is simply not on the American radar. Most people aren't even unaware of Phaedra’s dramatic and tragic story in the Greek pantheon of troublemaking gods and goddesses. This is good news for parents looking for something different or unusual, yet interesting and pretty sounding. Phaedra has a lot going for her. She is ancient and time-tested. Her Greek mythological story is ever-so-colorful. Her etymology is just lovely: bright, glowing. The name is quite dramatic, and the inspiration behind so much art. Her candle burns dimly on the American naming charts (ranked as the 4068th most popular baby girl’s name in 2012), but to us, she glows “brightly”!
Popularity of the Girl Name Phaedra
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Phaedra

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Phaedra

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Phaedra

    Phaedra (Greek Mythology) Phaedra is a character in Greek mythology who is married to Theseus, King of Athens, and is the mother of his two sons, but – whoops – falls in love with Hippolytus (Theseus’ son by a former relationship, as they say). Her stepson, Hippolytus, is a fine looking specimen who has the habit of exercising in the nude right outside of Phaedra’s suite. What’s a step-mom to do? When Phaedra declares her lust to Hippolytus, he goes all sanctimonious on her and denounces her. Poor Phaedra is so broken by his revulsion that she commits suicide, but not before leaving a note for Theseus accusing Hippolytus of raping her. Daddy is not pleased, and uses a curse against Hippolytus that results in the young man’s death. Nobody wins this one.

  • Popular Songs on Phaedra

    Popular Songs on Phaedra

    Fedra - an opera by Simon Mayr

    Fedra - an opera by Ildebrando Pizzetti

    Hippolyte et Aricie - an opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau

    Phaedra - a song by By a Thread

    Phaedra - a song by Tangerine Dream

    Phaedra - an opera by Hans Werner Henze

    Phaedra - a cantata by Benjamin Britten

    Phaedra's Meadow - a song by Blue Rodeo

    Some Velvet Morning - by Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Phaedra

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Phaedra

    Phaedra - We cannot find any children’s books featuring a character named Phaedra.

  • Famous People Named Phaedra

    Famous People Named Phaedra

    Famous People Named Phaedra - Phaedra Parks (reality TV)

  • Children of Famous People Named Phaedra

    Children of Famous People Named Phaedra

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Phaedra - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Phaedra.

  • Historic Figures

    Phaedra - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

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

Personality of the Girl Name Phaedra

The number Eight personality has everything to do with power, wealth and abundance. Somehow, this personality has been blessed on the material plane, but their authoritative and problem-solving traits provide evidence that their good fortunes are not just the luck of the lottery. They are well earned. This is the personality of CEOs and high-ranking military personnel. Eights are intensely active, hard-driving individuals. Success is only meaningful to them after a job well-done.  They are remarkable in their ability to see the larger picture right down to the smallest details, and organize a strategy around success. They then have the ability to direct a group around them toward any goal, and realize individual potential to get the most out of their team.

Variations of the Baby Name - Phaedra

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