Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Prudence

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, French, Latin
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • N/A
Simple meaning:
Wisdom, good judgement

Characteristics of Prudence

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Prudence

Prudence is a virtue name, both philosophically as well as religiously. It’s one of the four fundamental virtues of ancient Greek philosophy (Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude) as well as one of the Seven Catholic Virtues (Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Courage). The medieval English adopted the word from the Old French “prudence” from the Latin “prudentia” meaning “wisdom, circumspection, practical judgment”. It’s about having the wisdom, foresight or intelligence to see what is virtuous. From a religious perspective, Prudence as a Christian concept was contemplated by the foremost theologian philosopher Thomas Aquinas (13th century) as the “father” of all virtues and the one by which all others are measured. As with all other virtues (with the exception of courage/fortitude), the Puritans bestowed them as given names on their babies after the Protestant Reformation in an act of modesty and humility. The name was brought to America by colonists in the 17th century. Pru is the common nickname.

Popularity of the Name Prudence

The name Prudence dates back to the Mayflower. However, our available data only goes back to 1880 when Prudence was used with pretty low moderation. In fact, this one was never a popular choice and it sort of came and went off America’s Top 1000 list of baby girl names in the first half of the 20th century. Then the name disappeared completely in 1949 and has yet to see a revival. To put this in perspective, only about 50 babies were given the name Prudence in 2012 (out of almost two million!). By far and away, Faith is the most common virtue name being bestowed on baby girls today, followed by Hope. Justice is considered gender-neutral and given to both boys and girls with a fair amount of frequency. In fourth place is Temperance followed by Charity. Prudence is the least popular of these so-called virtue names, and arguably the most unique. It also has a lot of musical cachet thanks to the Beatles song “Dear Prudence” (which John Lennon wrote to Prudence Farrow, sister of Mia Farrow). The song asks her to “come out and play” and “greet the brand new day” because Prudence Farrow had apparently become a bit too fanatical about her meditation when the friends went to India together to study under a famous Yogi. Prudence is a great name, and pretty much synonymous with wisdom (regardless if you’re attracted to the name from a religious perspective). A great name, highly uncommon and absolutely lovely in our “prudent” opinion.
Popularity of the Girl Name Prudence
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Prudence

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Prudence

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Prudence

    Prudence “Tuppence” Crowley Beresford (The Secret Adversary) Prudence is one-half of a detecting couple created by famed British mystery author, Agatha Christie, appearing first in 1922’s The Secret Adversary, and reappearing in four other novels as well as a short story collection. Prudence and her husband Tommy were never quite as popular as Ms. Christie’s more well-known sleuths, Jane Marple or Hercule Poirot, but they hold their admirable own. Prudence, in particular, is a fetching and charming character, full of daring and adventure. At loose ends after World War I, Prudence joins up with the more stolid Tommy in a self-described detective agency, with surprising and successful results. The couple marries, has children, ages along with the century, but never do they lose the youthful spirits that make them so appealing to readers.

  • Popular Songs on Prudence

    Popular Songs on Prudence

    Dear Prudence - a song by The Beatles

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Prudence

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Prudence

    Once Upon a Potty (Alona Frankel) - Hello. I am Prudence's mother. I'd like to tell you about Prudence and her new potty. Frankel's classic books on potty training have sold more than four million copies worldwide. These children's books help parents everywhere deal successfully with an often vexing challenge for the whole family. Recommended for ages 1-4.

    Perfect Prudence (Peter Harris) - Every child knows a “perfect Prudence,” someone perfect in every way. In this delightful picture book, readers will discover that Prudence isn’t quite as perfect as everyone thinks. Even though she’s a one-girl show in the school play--singing, dancing, working the lights, and playing both ends of a cow--she forgets the one thing that will let her show her perfection to the world. Told in a hilarious, exaggerated style with lively illustrations, this picture book will delight young children who know someone perfect, as well as their parents who remember those perfect kids from their school days! Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Prudence and Moxie (Deborah Noyes) - Two very different friends come to a special understanding of their relationship. Prudence and Moxie are like apples and oranges, up and down, sweet and sour. But despite differences, they’re still best friends. See, there isn’t much that Moxie won’t do—especially when dared. Dare her to kissy-face smoosh against the shark tank? Done. Consecutive twists on an upside-down amusement park ride? Hardly a challenge. How about a fast, fast turbo-cart ride all the way down High Horse Hill? No problem! It’s enough to drive quiet, sensible Prudence crazy. Especially when Moxie balks at the one thing that’s very important to Prudence. Can Moxie learn to try something that makes her feel anything but brave? Triple dog dare you to find out! Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Prudence Parker and A Sign of Friendship (Christine Burk) - Two seven-year-old girls find themselves smothered in sunshine, and knee deep in sand, during their family vacations. Prudence Parker is an imaginative and excitable seven-year-old, whose encounters with physically disabled children make way for valuable lessons in communication and empathy. Haley is deaf. Frustration turns to triumph when Prudence uses her limited knowledge of sign language as the segue for a new friendship with Haley. Flattered by Prudence's animated enthusiasm, Haley graciously uses a "follow the leader" type game to teach Prudence a new vocabulary. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Prudence Wants a Pet (Cathleen Daly) - Prudence wants a pet. Desperately. “No,” says Dad, “pets cost too much to keep.” “No,” says Mom, “pets make noise.” But Prudence is determined. She finds her own pet. It is a…branch. But Branch isn't exactly the pet of her dreams, and neither are Twig, Mr. Round (a car tire), or her baby brother Milo. Poor Prudence. Will she ever find the perfect pet? Recommended for ages 4-7.

  • Famous People Named Prudence

    Famous People Named Prudence

    Famous People Named Prudence - Prudence Crandall (early 19th century Quaker schoolteacher who created controversy by teaching an African-American student); Prudence Farrow (sister of Mia Farrow); Prudence Johnson (jazz singer); Prudence Heward (Canadian painter); Prudence Liew (Hong Kong actress/pop-singer)

  • Children of Famous People Named Prudence

    Children of Famous People Named Prudence

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Prudence - John Farrow (film director); Maureen O’Sullivan (actress)

  • Historic Figures

    Prudence - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

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

Personality of the Girl Name Prudence

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Prudence

  • No Variations Found.
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