Famous Bearer
Personal Impression
My great grandfather had a mostly-forgotten half-sister named Ianthe... but when I started out researching I did not know what her name was (or even that she had existed). I stumbled into a census record that mentioned "Drantha." My dad remembered something about an "Ann." It seemed like I was up against a dead end until I finally found a marriage record for a "Dortha" which cracked things open. I've seen it mangled many other ways since. I think pronunciation of the unusual name was part of the problem, but the cursive handwriting in the old records was a big part too. I can see how some people's capital "I" could look like a capital "D"... I'm not sure how the census facts were initially gathered, by speaking or by writing.

Well the awkward part is, Ianthe named her first son Iphis!
― Anonymous User  7/17/2019
Rare and beautiful.
kayisforkeen  10/15/2018
That's my name! I pronounce it eye-Ann-thee.
I have a million nicknames, no one can pronounce it or spell it properly.
But overall, not a bad name! My advice, don't name your daughter Ianthe! LOL.
Ianthe77  11/24/2017
There is a double-crossing character (who becomes very much hated) in Sarah J Maas's book 'A court of mist and fury' called Ianthe... might prevent a few from naming children this...
Kp_quarternote  3/5/2017
In response to the previous comment, hardly anyone has heard of Sarah J Maas, after all most parents don't read too much new adult fantasy, so I wouldn't let this discourage me from the name.
― Anonymous User  6/30/2017
I think Ianthe should ~properly be pronounced ee-an-thee because that's the Erasmian pronunciation of the Greek letter iota. However, it's so rare that I'd say it doesn't really matter as no one is going to argue with you that you're pronouncing yours or your kid's name wrong, and there is a lot of variation in pronunciation among people who actually have the name. My name is Ianthe and I pronounce it eye-an-thee, which I prefer anyway. Also, for the record, Ianthe wasn't a lesbian in the myth of Iphis and Ianthe; she always thought Iphis was a man and he always saw himself that way, and they didn't get together until after Isis transformed him. I think even some homophobes would like the myth as told by Ovid, which pretty clearly states that Iphis loving Ianthe before he is transformed is unnatural and then fixes it.
― Anonymous User  7/6/2015
My name is Ianthe and I pronounce it I - AN - THEE, however I - AN - THAY is another way of correctly pronouncing it.
― Anonymous User  11/28/2014
Ianthe is the widowed sister in law to the male lead character in Georgette Heyer's novel, "Sylvester." An extremely beautiful but empty headed and selfish person, she unwittingly helps bring the two main characters together. I think the name is beautiful and romantic but would hesitate to use it. I'd be curious to know how someone who actually grew up with this as a first name found it.
MiYung  2/15/2014
A British friend of a friend is Ianthe - pronounced ee-AN-thee.
― Anonymous User  11/27/2010
I really like this name, it somewhat reminds me of a Chinese paper lantern for some peculiar reason. Nice though. :)
walesgal92  8/24/2010
(1) Ianthe was a Cretan girl who was betrothed to Iphis. Iphis was a woman raised as a man; she also fell in love with Ianthe and prayed to the gods to allow the two women to marry. She was changed by Isis into a man, and became Ianthe's husband.

(2) Ianthe, one of the 3,000 sons and daughters of the Titan Oceanus and Tethys, the Oceanids mentioned in homeric hymn to Demeter, who was one of the nymphs with the Goddess of Spring, Persephone when she was captured by Hades, the God of the Underworld.

(3) Ianthe, a young girl, so beautiful that when she died the Gods made purple flowers grow around her grave.

(4) Ianthe was the nickname the poet Lord Byron gave to his intimate friend, Lady Charlotte Harley, to whom Childe Harold's Pilgrimage is dedicated.

(5) In Percy Shelley's poem, "Queen Mab," the fairy queen visits a character named Ianthe. The fairy then takes the soul of the sleeping Ianthe and leads it across existence and uses the soul to highlight the good and pure in mankind. Shelley uses this to illustrate the evil in man's nature. Shelley also named his eldest daughter with Harriet Westbrook, Eliza Ianthe (born June 23, 1813).
― Anonymous User  5/27/2010
The name is pronounced I-AN-THEE.
― Anonymous User  5/27/2010
Ianthe was a lesbian in Greek mythology, so I wouldn't use this if you disapprove of homosexuality. And although I'm not a bigot, I don't particularly care for it as a name either.
Aureliano  3/3/2010
I really like this name even though I prefer Xanthe. I believe the pronunciation is Ee-yan-they.
― Anonymous User  10/1/2008
I think it's pronounced "Jan-thay" but I'm not sure, that may be just Latin.
TSato  12/20/2007
I know someone who pronounces this "ai-ANN-thuh".
VictoriaCalledTori  3/6/2007
It was revived by its use in 1656 in Sir William Davenant’s opera 'The Siege of Rhodes' (considered the first English opera), for the character of the heroic wife.

The name is occasionally found in use in the 19th century in England and the United States. In 1816, for example, Percy Bysshe Shelley named one of his daughters Ianthe.
ADT  7/14/2006

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