Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Priscilla

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, Latin
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 485
Simple meaning:

Characteristics of Priscilla

  • Multi-talented
  • Intuitive
  • Oneness
  • Idealistic
  • Philanthropy
  • Independent
  • Perfection

Etymology & Historical Origin - Priscilla

Priscilla is the English feminine form of a post-classical Roman family name “Priscus” which means ‘ancient’ in Latin. The name Priscilla appears briefly in the New Testament (Acts 18:2) as the wife of Aquila, a Jewish couple who recently fled from Italy to Greece under the command of Emperor Claudius in the 1st century A.D. who demanded that all Jews leave Rome. Paul stayed with them in Corinth as he was out and about evangelizing the word of Christ. There also lived a notable child martyr named Prisca in the first century who at the age of thirteen was tortured and ultimately killed for her Christian beliefs. As with many early saints, Saint Prisca too has a miraculous claim to fame. When she was thrown into an arena with a lion, it was said the beast quietly lay down at her feet and wouldn’t touch her. In the Middle Ages, these types of legends were widespread and names of saints were readily adopted as a protective measure in uncertain times. Within the English speaking world, Priscilla was in regular use by the 16th century (as evidenced by a minor character named Priscilla who appears in Edmund Spenser’s 1596 “The Faerie Queene”, Book VI, a damsel in distress who is saved by the Knight of Courtesy). The Puritans took up the name in England during the Reformation as they did many lesser-known Biblical figures in a nod to modesty; it was they who brought the name to America during colonization. The American writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a famous poem called “The Courtship of Miles Standish” in 1858 about a 17th century love-triangle involving a woman named Priscilla and based on true events (see literary references below).

Popularity of the Name Priscilla

Priscilla has enjoyed modest popularity in the United States for well over a century. The height of the name’s success came during the 1940s, which happens to be the decade when Priscilla Ann Wagner was born. This woman would later become the wife of Elvis Presley and bear his only child, Lisa Marie. Surprisingly, even given her instant fame in the 1960s, Priscilla Presley did little to influence the popularity of her name on the charts. The name Priscilla showed some modest gains again in the late 1980s and early 90s, but it has lost ground and retreated to levels of pretty low moderation. There’s something polarizing about this name where people either love it or hate it. It’s either extolled as frilly, feminine, soft and beautiful; or it’s disparaged for being overly prissy, pretentious and bratty. Regardless of your own personal opinion, Priscilla is an underused classic; an “ancient” name that dates back at least 2,000 years and yet retains a modern sensibility. Prisca is an even older version of this name if you want to consider an alternative. Given the “ancient” meaning of this name, it might be a good choice for “old soul” babies out there. Priscilla is a Number Nine in numerology which supports the idea of an older more ancient soul destined for humanitarian achievements. Coincidence? Who knows.
Popularity of the Girl Name Priscilla
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Priscilla

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Priscilla

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Priscilla

    Priscilla (The Blithedale Romance) Priscilla is a character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1852 novel, The Blithedale Romance. Priscilla is a mysterious young woman who visits the experimental commune at Blithedale in New England, and poses a romantic ideal to both of the men involved there – Hollingsworth and Coverdale. Poor Priscilla – in this story she serves to represent “True Womanhood”, the 19th century standard for feminine behavior and demeanor. She is a girlish, virginal little seamstress who seems to embody the axiom that woman’s place is in the home, as helpmeet to man, submissive to his wishes as surely as if they had been expressed by God. By the novel’s end, she is asserted to be a more powerful woman, but even then, it is her salvation at the hands of a man, and her devotion to him, that accounts for this more positive description. Her more powerful, feminist sister, Zenobia, has committed suicide, so we know what happens to women who step beyond their calling! Still, we love the sound of the name, Priscilla. (And who would want to be named “Zenobia”?!)

    Priscilla (The Courtship of Miles Standish) The Courtship of Miles Standish is a narrative poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1858. The poem is set in the early days of Plymouth Colony settled by pilgrims fresh off the Mayflower ship, and during a time of Native-American unrest (1621). It is the story of a love-triangle between Miles Standish, Priscilla Mullins, and John Alden, and is said to be true and passed to Longfellow (an Alden descendent) through oral tradition. Captain Miles Standish is the middle-aged, brave, swaggering military hero if a bit rough around the edges, and who just lost his wife and seeks to marry Pricilla. John Alden is Standish’s young and handsome roommate whom he asks to deliver his (Miles’) marriage proposal to the beautiful Pricilla on his behalf (fearing he lacks the right way with words). John Alden goes to Pricilla to deliver the proposal but is clearly enamored with the young beauty himself; thus, he innocently bumbles the message, clumsily attempts to recover, and muddles that effort until finally Pricilla makes her famous retort: “Prithee, John, why do you not speak for yourself?" In the end, John gets the girl and Miles “standishs” aside having given his blessing to the young lovers. It’s an optimistic ending; a fresh start for these new settlers in this new land.

  • Popular Songs on Priscilla

    Popular Songs on Priscilla

    Priscilla - a song by Meat Loaf

    Priscilla - a song by Soft Machine

    Priscilla - a song by Suzanne Vega

    Priscilla the Traveling Proton - a song by A Day At The Fair

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Priscilla

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Priscilla

    Penelope and Priscilla and the City of the Banished (Jennifer Troulis) - The second book in the Penelope and Priscilla series of books. It's a steamy July, and while most kids are relaxing and enjoying their summer vacations, thirteen-year-old identical twins, Penelope and Priscilla Post, are spending much of their time learning about their heritage and strengthening their recently discovered powers. When the Post family celebrates their first year as residents in the eccentric town of Dunville with a family picnic, an ancient game leads the girls to discover that they have been drawn into a new mystery. A cryptic passage in the Enchanted Book and a visit to a very special bookstore reveal that something evil has come to Dunville. Now, as the girls prepare to start eighth grade, they are not only gearing up for a new school year and the inevitable ups and downs of friendships, new relationships and growing up, they are preparing for the battle of their lives. Recommended for ages 12-14.

    Penelope and Priscilla and the Enchanted House of Whispers (Jennifer Troulis) - When identical twin sisters Penelope and Priscilla Post move to the small town of Dunville with their mother, they are greeted with cold, angry stares from the townspeople. Over the next few weeks, mysterious events take place within their house, causing the girls to argue about their origins. When Priscilla suggests that their house is enchanted, Penelope becomes angry. She wants nothing to do with magic. Upset over the growing distance between her daughters, Mom enlists the help of Penelope and Priscilla's grandmother to devise a plan to help mend the girls’ relationship. Little do they know that their plan will do much more than intended. With the help of a 200-year old magical book, their house and its talking inhabitants, the girls come together to defeat their sinister neighbor and protect their family secret. Recommended for ages 12-14.

    Priscilla and Rosy (Sharon Jennings) - A tempting boat trip tests an alley-rat’s loyalty to her best friend Priscilla, who lives in an alley behind a restaurant. Her best friend, Rosy, lives across the gutter near an ice cream store. After a busy week of stealing food scraps and scaring people, the two rodent pals decide to take Monday off together, so they can relax over Rosy’s new puzzle. Then Priscilla is invited out on a boat trip on Monday. What else can a rat do but accept? She can call up Rosy and tell a little fib. Maybe Priscilla could say she just remembered that she had already agreed to the trip. Maybe she could say she’s sick. After all, she can do a puzzle with Rosy any old time; a boat trip is really special. So why does Priscilla feel so ratty? A not-too-sweet tale about honoring your friends, Priscilla and Rosy introduces young readers to a refreshing new heroine who, despite her all-too human flaws, manages to do the right thing in the end. Linda Hendry’s inspired illustrations add the perfect touch of droll humor to Sharon Jennings witty and endearing story. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Priscilla and the Hollyhocks (Anne Broyles) - Priscilla is only four years old when her mother is sold to another master. All Priscilla has to remember her mother by are the hollyhocks she planted by the cow pond. At age ten, Priscilla is sold to a Cherokee family and continues her life as a slave. She keeps hope for a better life alive by planting hollyhocks wherever she goes. At last, her forced march along the Trail of Tears brings a chance encounter that leads to her freedom. Includes an author's note with more details about this fascinating true story as well as instructions for making hollyhock dolls. Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Priscilla and the Pink Planet (Nathaniel Hobbie) - Reminiscent of Dr. Seuss and Hilary Knight, here is a clever read-aloud about a little girl who lives on a planet where everything is pink. Priscilla dreams of seeing the world in other colors and ends up teaching the Great Queen of Pink that diversity leads to true beauty. Priscilla's story is told in lyrical verse and young girls will enjoy reading her pink planet adventure aloud. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Priscilla and the Splish-Splash Surprise (Nathaniel Hobbie) - Bored after three days of non-stop rain, Priscilla goes outside to perform a rain-stopping dance and meets Posy the Pixie, who shows her the magical land of Primrose and teaches her to appreciate both rain and sunshine. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Priscilla Bailey: A Story of the Great Depression (J.D.R. Peterson) - Based on a true story, this coming-of-age novel is set in the 1930s during the Great Depression. When Priscilla Bailey's family moves to a small town in California so her father can take a job with the WPA, Priscilla dreams her life will change. Soon the days of living in a frigid tent in the winter or in a car beside the road will be gone. However, the ravages of the past have marked her family. Her mother, obsessed with her own abusive childhood, is unable to show the kindness or provide the love Priscilla needs. Her father is still grieving over the death of Priscilla's brother. Priscilla hopes to be able to find some small measure of dignity in her new home. She hopes for a friend. But even Priscilla cannot imagine how her life will change, how all their lives will change, with the unbelievable gift of a loving dog. Recommended for ages 12-14.

    Priscilla Superstar! (Nathaniel Hobbie) - Reminiscent of Dr. Seuss and Hilary Knight, here is a third clever read-aloud starring Priscilla.After she tries out for the lead part in her rollerskating school's upcoming play and is disappointed, Priscilla learns what it really means to be a star. Priscilla's story is told in lyrical verse and young girls will enjoy reading her rollerskating adventure aloud. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Priscilla the Great (Sybil Nelson) - Hi, I’m Priscilla, an ordinary seventh grader with some extraordinary gifts. As if middle school isn’t hard enough, not only do I have to fight pimples and bullies, but genetically enhanced assassins trying to kill my family and me! But with the help of my genius best friend, Tai, we’re gonna bring down the evil Selliwood Institute, an organization dead set on turning children into killing machines. Winner of The Strongest Start Novel competition. A Flamingnet Top Choice Book. Voted Most Hilarious Read of 2010 by Booklopedia. Recommended for ages 12-14.

    Priscilla the Great the Kiss of Life (Sybil Nelson) - Hey there! It’s me again, Priscilla, a lean, mean, tween machine. Just when I’m finally getting the hang of my powers, something even more confusing and harder to understand enters my world…boys. That’s right, I can shoot fire out of my fingers and lift a car with one hand, but for the life of me I can’t decode “boy-speak”… and that just might turn out to be the death of me. Recommended for ages 12-14.

    Priscilla the Great Too Little Too Late (Sybil Nelson) - Priscilla Sumner here with a little advice, be happy that your parents can’t read your mind any time they want or put you in a choke hold in less than two seconds flat. As much as my parents…or any parents…can get annoying, I still love them. So when my mom gets brainwashed and starts working for Colonel Selliwood, I know it’s up to me to save her. And this time I’m not alone. I’ve got some new friends and some even newer gadgets to help me out, but will it be too little too late? Recommended for ages 12-14.

    Priscilla the Pilgrim Girl Sticker Paper Doll (Marty Noble) - Dress this prim little lady of the early 1600s in simple frocks with aprons, special-occasion dresses, footwear, and quaint head coverings. 1 doll, 8 costumes. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Priscilla's Paw de Deux (Sharon Jennings) - Priscilla is an alley rat with a dream. She wants to be a ballerina. But Priscilla's tiny home is cramping her style-she can't even plié without hitting the furniture, let alone pas de chat. Madame Genevieve's Dance Studio is the perfect solution. All Priscilla has to do is wait until classes are over, then sneak in and jeté to her heart's content. Unfortunately the aspiring dancer soon learns that a big, determined watch-cat protects the studio every night. How is a prima ballerina expected to work in these conditions? Her friends don't exactly warm up to her plan to use them to keep the cat busy while Priscilla practices. Disgusted by their lack of commitment to the arts, Priscilla realizes that she is alone. Priscilla is going to come face to face with her feline enemy. And when she does, she'll get some amazing results. The team of Jennings and Hendry, who created Priscilla and Rosy has scored again with this funny tale about a ratty but all-too-human heroine who discovers that even enemies can share a dream. As an added bonus, Priscilla and her pals demonstrate the ballet terms mentioned in the story. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Priscilla

    Famous People Named Priscilla

    Famous People Named Priscilla - Priscilla Presley (former wife of Elvis Presley, actress and businesswoman); Priscilla Lane (actress); Priscilla "CeCe" Winans (gospel singer)

  • Children of Famous People Named Priscilla

    Children of Famous People Named Priscilla

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

  • Historic Figures

    Priscilla - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

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

Personality of the Girl Name Priscilla

The number Nine personality represents the completion or ending of the cycle, and a need for perfection. This is the personality that moves from "self" to a greater understanding and compassion for the human condition and the world order. They want to make the world a better place. Nines are capable of great spiritual and humanitarian achievements. They are courageous and fearless, able to fight great battles on behalf of worthy causes. These personalities will not tolerate injustice. They are compassionate people with a strong sensitivity to others. They are able to both educate and inspire. Friendships and relationships are the lifeblood to the Nine, and they place a high value on love and affection. Nines are often exceptionally gifted artistically, and they have a keen imagination and enterprising mind.

Variations of the Baby Name - Priscilla

  • No Variations Found.
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