Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Phoebe

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • Greek, Latin
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 301
Simple meaning:
Bright, the radiant one

Characteristics of Phoebe

  • Humanitarian
  • Community-minded
  • Family-oriented
  • Loving
  • Affectionate
  • Compassionate
  • Sensitive

Etymology & Historical Origin - Phoebe

Phoebe is the Latin form of the Greek name Phoibē from the Greek word “phoibos” meaning ‘bright’. In mythology, Phoebe was the Titan daughter of Uranus (god of the sky) and Gaia (goddess of the earth) and one of the first rulers of the heavens until being overthrown by Zeus and his Olympian gods. Still, she was a matriarch of many important gods and goddesses. Phoebe had two daughters, Leto and Asteria. Zeus impregnated Leto with the twins Apollo and Artemis, thus making these gods Phoebe’s grandchildren. Asteria was the mother of Hecate (also Phoebe’s granddaughter). Phoebe was known as the goddess of brilliant wisdom and served as a prophetess at Delphi to her grandson Apollo, who is often referred to as Phoebus Apollo (Bright Apollo) after his grandmother. The name became popularized among English speakers after the Protestant Reformation in the 17th century. Today, the name Phoebe is on the Top 100 list of most commonly used girl’s names in the countries of England, Wales, Australia, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Popularity of the Name Phoebe

Phoebe has been a name in use for well over 100 years – although only in moderation at best. At the turn of the 20th century, Phoebe was experiencing most of her popularity, but still never trendy and certainly not overused. As the decades persisted into the 20th century, the name Phoebe would fall almost completely from favor. For over 30 years (from the late 1950s to the early 1990s), Phoebe would dance on and off the charts until finally making a moderate comeback today. One of the most significant pushes to the name’s popularity happened between 1994 and 1995 – the year the sitcom “Friends” debuted with the kooky and loveable character Phoebe Buffay. Another jump in the name’s usage came in 1999; the year after “Charmed” was introduced on the WB channel about three good witches and sisters named Phoebe, Prudence and Piper. And if that isn’t enough, the name Phoebe has a lot of literary references as well (aside from her prominence in Greek Mythology). Phoebe was Holden Caulfield's little sister in "The Catcher in the Rye" (J.D. Salinger); she’s a shepherdess in Shakespeare’s comedy “As You Like It” and Phoebe Pyncheon is the name of the bright, beautiful and cheerful character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The House of the Seven Gables”. We have to admit, Phoebe is one of our favorite names. It’s offbeat and quirky, yet bright and spirited. This is an ancient name with a modern sensibility. It is not trendy or tiresome like so many other popular girl names today, and we hope it never becomes so. Just like the name’s meaning suggests – Phoebe is destined to be your little ‘radiant one’.
Popularity of the Girl Name Phoebe
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Phoebe

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Phoebe

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Phoebe

    Phoebe Caulfield (The Catcher in the Rye) Phoebe is Holden’s ten year old little sister in J. D. Salinger’s 1951 classic, The Catcher in the Rye. Idealized by Holden as the smartest, funniest little girl in the world, she truly is a contender for those titles. Holden is out of balance in his world; Phoebe restores it to him by her very sturdy existence in it. Unlike the brother who went out West, or the brother who died, Phoebe is very much here for him. She is the ideal of innocence to her brother, the epitome of the children for whom he would be the catcher in the rye, but at the same time, that innocence is tempered by a very mature awareness of things. It is Phoebe to whom Holden entrusts his secret decision to run away, and it is for her sake that he decides against that action. This is what leads to his beginning the road back to reality: he cannot bear to see his beloved Phoebe suffer for him.

    Phoebe Pyncheon (house of the Seven Gables) Phoebe Pyncheon is the good and lovely young cousin, indeed a “shining” light through the darkness of the Pyncheon family sins and secrets, in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 Gothic novel, The House of the Seven Gables. The old house has a history of its own, fraught with murder and witchcraft, and still exerts a somber gloom over its inhabitants a century and a half later. Phoebe, through her very presence, casts light among the shadows, and helps the older inhabitants by lightening their burdens and cheering their hearts. The past holds sway over the present, and continues taking its toll until the Pyncheons, one and all, break free of the past by literally breaking free of the house, and starting anew.

  • Popular Songs on Phoebe

    Popular Songs on Phoebe

    For Phoebe Still A Baby - a song by the Cocteau Twins

    Phoebe Cates - a song by Fenix TX [explicit]

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Phoebe

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Phoebe

    Buster & Phoebe: The Great Bone Game (Lisze Bechtold) - Buster is a very shy puppy who recently moved into Roger's house. Curly-eared Phoebe maintains her "first dog" status by taking advantage of the younger pooch's gullible nature and finding a way to make her pile of chewing bones grow as his diminishes. In the second chapter, a full-grown Buster finally manages to beat Phoebe at her own game. In the third story, Buster's loyalty and credulity keep Phoebe from trouble with fierce "Grrrrregorrrrry" when she tries to steal his bone. The three short installments make the adventures easy to digest for newcomers to the chapter-book realm. Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Phoebe and Chub (Matthew Henry Hall) - Phoebe, a treefrog, is writing a book with 3 simple rules: 1. Make lots of friends. 2. Make your wishes known. 3. Enjoy every moment. By following these rules, Phoebe befriends a fish named Chub and a very special wish of her own comes true. Delightful! Phoebe and Chub reminds us that we all can really do what our heart desires. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Phoebe the Fashion Fairy (Daisy Meadows) - It's party time! A big bash for King Oberon and Queen Titania is underway in Fairyland. The Party Fairies keep everything running smoothly, until Jack Frost's goblins steal their magic party bags. Now parties everywhere aren't festive --- they're a flop! Kirsty's friend Charlotte is having a birthday party. But everyone's pretty party outfits are ruined! Phoebe the Fashion Fairy has to track down her magic bag --- fast. Find the magic party bag in each book and save celebrations everywhere! Recommended for ages 7-10.

    Phoebe the Spy (Judith Griffin) - Someone is planning to kill George Washington, and young Phoebe Fraunces is trying to save his life. Phoebe gets a job as George Washington's housekeeper, but her real job is to work as a spy. She listens and watches very carefully, and she meets her father every day to tell him what she has learned. One day Phoebe's father tells her that Washington is planning to leave town in a few days, and the person plotting against him will act before then. Phoebe is very frightened, but she is determined to figure out who is after Washington before it's too late. The School Library Journal says: "This episode drawn from the Revolutionary War is related with historical accuracy and suspense and illustrated with finesse." Recommended for ages 7-10.

    Phoebe's Sweater (Joanna Johnson) - This beautifully illustrated children's picture book tells the charming story of beloved Phoebe mouse, who becomes a big sister for the very first time. What is mother knitting while she waits for her new baby to arrive? A beautiful new sweater for Phoebe to wear! The book includes a lovely set of photographs and knitting patterns from the illustrated story, including Phoebe's sweater, a mouse doll in a sweet hand knit dress, and a doll-sized sweater to match Phoebe's. This book is an heirloom gift for any child, especially one who is special in the life of a knitter. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    The Adventures of Phoebe Flower: Stories of a Girl with ADHD (Barbara Roberts) - Stories about the ups and downs of a young girl with ADHD. This is the first book in a series which include two more books: Phoebe's Tree House Secrets and Phoebe's Best Best Friend. Recommended for ages 9-12.

  • Famous People Named Phoebe

    Famous People Named Phoebe

    Famous People Named Phoebe - Phoebe Cates (actress); Phoebe Ann Mosey (aka Annie Oakley/famous sharpshooter); Phoebe Snow (musician); Phoebe Prince (victim of bullying); Phoebe Cary (poet); Phoebe Di Tommaso (figure skater); Phoebe Tonkin (actress and model)

  • Children of Famous People Named Phoebe

    Children of Famous People Named Phoebe

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Phoebe - Bill Gates (business tycoon); Jerry Lee Lewis (musician); Jim True-Frost (actor); John Lithgow (actor)

  • Historic Figures

    Phoebe - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

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

Personality of the Girl Name Phoebe

Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.

Variations of the Baby Name - Phoebe

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