Ophelia Name Meaning

The name Ophelia is of Greek origin and means “help” or “aid.” It’s derived from the Greek word “ophelos,” which means “help” or “advantage.” It’s a fitting name for a character who ultimately causes her own downfall by not seeking help or taking advantage of the resources available to her.

History of the Name Ophelia

The name Ophelia first appeared in literature in the 16th century, in a poem by Lodge, but it was Shakespeare who made it famous with the character of Ophelia in his play Hamlet. In the play, Ophelia is the daughter of Polonius and the love interest of Prince Hamlet. However, things don’t end well for her (spoiler alert: she goes mad and drowns) and her name became forever associated with tragedy and despair.

Despite this gloomy association, the name Ophelia has remained popular over the centuries. In the 19th century, it was a popular name in England, and in the 20th century, it saw a resurgence in popularity, particularly in the United States. Today, it remains a stylish and unique choice for parents looking for a name with a literary twist.

Popularity of the Name Ophelia

While Ophelia may have had a rough start thanks to Shakespeare, the name has managed to maintain a steady level of popularity over the centuries. According to Social Security Administration, the name Ophelia was at its most popular in the US in the late 1800s, with its peak popularity in 1887. It then fell out of favor for most of the 20th century, but has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

In the past decade, Ophelia re-entered the top 1000 names in the US, and in 2019 it was the 594th most popular name for girls. It’s also become a popular name in several other countries like England, Australia, and New Zealand.

Final Thoughts on the Name Ophelia

So, there you have it: the history, origin, meaning, and popularity of the name Ophelia. Despite its association with tragedy, the name has managed to maintain its appeal and charm over the centuries. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good literary reference? So, if you’re looking for a unique and stylish name for your little girl, consider Ophelia. And if anyone gives you grief for choosing such a “tragic” name, just remind them that Shakespeare’s plays are full of strong, powerful women who rise above their circumstances.

And if you’re still not convinced, just remember, the character Ophelia may have drowned, but her name is still swimming strong.

Infographic of Ophelia name meaning, which is A name of Greek origin, Ophelia means help.
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Ophelia Name Popularity

How popular is the name Ophelia? Here’s everything we know.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 279 150 0.0426%
1911 314 118 0.0317%
1912 293 196 0.0389%
1913 331 169 0.0298%
1914 345 197 0.0283%
1915 363 234 0.0258%
1916 374 236 0.0244%
1917 355 266 0.0266%
1918 360 285 0.0266%
1919 345 301 0.0287%
1920 344 315 0.0283%
1921 354 310 0.0271%
1922 332 339 0.0304%
1923 370 287 0.0256%
1924 356 328 0.0282%
1925 348 338 0.0299%
1926 368 294 0.0267%
1927 377 279 0.0252%
1928 385 256 0.0239%
1929 403 225 0.0217%
1930 401 228 0.0218%
1931 425 185 0.0187%
1932 412 209 0.0212%
1933 437 174 0.0187%
1934 444 173 0.0179%
1935 449 162 0.0167%
1936 473 144 0.0149%
1937 464 156 0.0158%
1938 496 136 0.0133%
1939 535 110 0.0108%
1940 531 124 0.0117%
1941 567 109 0.0097%
1942 574 119 0.0094%
1943 560 134 0.0103%
1944 581 110 0.0089%
1945 620 94 0.0077%
1946 717 82 0.0056%
1947 654 117 0.007%
1948 659 112 0.007%
1949 666 112 0.007%
1950 610 145 0.009%
1951 650 131 0.0077%
1952 740 98 0.0056%
1953 675 131 0.0074%
1954 702 129 0.0071%
1955 858 83 0.0045%
1956 920 72 0.0038%
1957 835 101 0.0052%
1958 820 100 0.0053%
1959 1,006 63 0.0033%
1960 995 69 0.0036%
1961 1,130 51 0.0027%
1962 1,126 48 0.0026%
1963 1,272 33 0.0018%
1964 1,385 26 0.0015%
1965 1,307 30 0.0018%
1966 1,292 30 0.0019%
1967 1,305 29 0.0019%
1968 1,407 25 0.0017%
1969 1,731 16 0.001%
1970 1,731 18 0.0011%
1971 1,614 22 0.0015%
1972 1,653 19 0.0014%
1973 2,497 5 0.0004%
1974 2,725 5 0.0004%
1975 2,285 7 0.0005%
1976 2,166 9 0.0007%
1977 2,678 5 0.0004%
1978 2,243 10 0.0007%
1979 0 0%
1980 0 0%
1981 2,637 7 0.0005%
1982 3,310 5 0.0003%
1983 2,803 6 0.0004%
1984 2,775 6 0.0004%
1985 2,716 7 0.0005%
1986 2,063 17 0.0011%
1987 0 0%
1988 0 0%
1989 0 0%
1990 0 0%
1991 0 0%
1992 0 0%
1993 3,313 6 0.0004%
1994 3,258 6 0.0004%
1995 0 0%
1996 2,961 8 0.0005%
1997 3,791 5 0.0003%
1998 0 0%
1999 3,144 7 0.0005%
2000 0 0%
2001 0 0%
2002 2,874 11 0.0007%
2003 2,705 15 0.001%
2004 3,388 7 0.0005%
2005 3,228 8 0.0005%
2006 3,692 6 0.0004%
2007 2,594 20 0.0013%
2008 2,114 36 0.0023%
2009 2,280 28 0.0019%
2010 2,059 35 0.0024%
2011 1,823 47 0.0033%
2012 1,632 62 0.0044%
2013 1,283 111 0.0078%
2014 1,051 173 0.0119%
2015 965 206 0.0142%
2016 563 489 0.0339%
2017 400 731 0.0524%
2018 356 801 0.0583%
2019 370 763 0.0564%
2020 391 746 0.0586%
2021 320 915 0.0749%
2022 269 1,144 0.0867%

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Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Ophelia

If you like Ophelia, you’ll love these other names like Ophelia.


What names are variants of Ophelia?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Ophelia.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Availia

Help

Greek

Filia

Friendship

Greek

Ofelia

Help

Greek

Ofilia

Help

Greek

Ophelie

Help

Greek

Ophelya

Help

Greek

Ophilia

Help

Greek

Ovalia

Help

Greek

Ovelia

Help

Greek

Phelia

Help

Greek

Ubelia

Help

Greek

Uvelia

Help

Greek


What names sound like Ophelia?

If you like how Ophelia sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Ophelia.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Aviela

My father is God

Hebrew

Aviella

My father is God

Hebrew


Lists With Ophelia

Find inspiration in these baby girl name lists featuring the name Ophelia.


12 Comments

  1. We wanted something unique and not heard as often.
    We also wanted it sound a bit vintage.
    Hardest part about her name is coming up with Nicknames my parents call her Opie and my husbands family calls her Ophie.

    It is just such a sweet name and I hope she grows into a sweet girl.

  2. I love my name now as an adult, even though as a child I was teased about my name. I have overcome so many tragic moments in my life and come to understand the meaning of my name and why it was meant for me. The name is associated with tragedy yet, the name remains popular in literature. My tragic life history and my name were meant for this world and I now understand the reason for it. I LOVE MY NAME!

  3. Came upon the name Ophelia while reading the Shakespearean tragedy “Hamlet”, and again in the Lumineers song “Ophelia”. The name stuck for our daughter. While Ophelia is difficult for kids to pronounce, “Fifi” or “Fi” was a perfect nickname and easy to say. “Ophie” was another wonderful nickname given to her by endearing friends. Only downside is the probability of someone calling her “Oaf”. But nonetheless we haven’t come across such name calling.

  4. I like my name and I really like how uncommon it is…

  5. My husband and I chose the name Ophelia because we loved how the name sounded and we also love the song “Ophelia” by the Lumineers (which is a very catchy song). Originally her name was going to be Carter (a long running family name), but we opted to put that as her middle name since it sounded better. Many people comment that she shares a name with a hurricane or the tragedy of Ophelia in Hamlet, but I know that won’t be her legacy and chuckle at the comments. Her nickname is Fifi, but some people are calling her Ophie, which I don’t mind at all. As long as they don’t call her Oaf I’ll be okay haha. Fifi came 4 days early and this is our first pregnancy. We are so beyond blessed to have a healthy and strong baby girl!

    • That is really cool.. When I was a young girl I didn’t appreciate my name because people did make fun of it but as I grew older I definitely appreciate it now…
      I don’t meet many Ophelia’s so it’s nice to know people are considering the name now..
      Although I have to say I like having an uncommon name…

  6. I’ve always loved the name but it truthfully was inspired by the song Ophelia from the Lumineers.

  7. We wanted a name with meaning but also one that was different; pretty and sophisticated, but also could be shortened. Ophelia means helper and is also a type of pretty rose. We call her Ophie for short.

  8. I love the name Ophelia, it’s very unique.

  9. We wanted something classical and not used very often.

  10. My husband and I love this name ? the song by the lumineers was really popular at the time I was pregnant with her and this song is what made us think of it. It means “helper” and that describes her perfectly! she is definitely our little helper 🙂


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