Gender Feminine
Scripts Πηνελόπη(Ancient Greek)
Pronounced Pron. /pɛː.ne.ló.pɛː/(Classical Greek) /pə.ˈnɛl.ə.pi/(English)  [key·simplify]

Meaning & History

Probably derived from Greek πηνέλοψ (penelops), a type of duck. Alternatively it could be from πήνη (pene) meaning "threads, weft" and ὄψ (ops) meaning "face, eye". In Homer's epic the Odyssey this is the name of the wife of Odysseus, forced to fend off suitors while her husband is away fighting at Troy.

It has occasionally been used as an English given name since the 16th century. It was moderately popular in the 1940s, but had a more notable upswing in the early 2000s. This may have been inspired by the Spanish actress Penélope Cruz (1974-), who gained prominence in English-language movies at that time. It was already rapidly rising when celebrities Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick gave it to their baby daughter in 2012.

Related Names

DiminutivesPen, Penny, Pene(English)
Other Languages & CulturesPénélope(French) Pinelopi(Greek) Penélope(Portuguese) Penélope(Spanish)
Same SpellingPénélope, Penélope
User SubmissionsPénelopé, Penèlope, Penelopė


People think this name is

classic   formal   upper class   natural   wholesome   refined   strange   complex   serious  


Penelope and the Suitors by John William Waterhouse (1912)Penelope and the Suitors by John William Waterhouse (1912)


Entry updated January 21, 2022