Penelope Name Meaning

An old-school gem making her presence known on the charts, Penelope is a precious name for any little girl. Meaning “the weaver,” Penelope is very much in fashion without coming off as trendy.

She’s still a pleasant surprise when she’s announced despite her popularity, turning heads with her arrival. Lengthy like Elizabeth and Katherine but melodic to say aloud, Penelope shines alongside similar names like Liliana and Valentina. She’s also a literary name with various authors bearing her name dotting the shelves of history with their words.

Penelope may have a great big name, but she’s still a little one at heart. Curious and creative, she’s as crafty as her name, weaving her way into hearts. She carries her name well, proud to stand out whenever she has the chance. She’s delicate yet decadent – simple yet flashy. She has a style that’s hard to match but isn’t as pretentious as others. She’s a name as flexible as she is beautiful, easily molding into smaller nicknames to fit the feel. A little Penelope is sure to know the sky isn’t the limit – it’s just the beginning.

Nicknames are plentiful for Penelope with Pen, Penny, Nelly, and Poppy among the many choices. Similar names include Persephone, Phoebe, and Calliope.

Infographic of Penelope name meaning, which is From the Greek pene, meaning threads, Penelope is a name dating back to the 16th century.
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Penelope Name Popularity

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

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 0 0%
1911 0 0%
1912 0 0%
1913 0 0%
1914 1,374 5 0.0007%
1915 1,286 7 0.0008%
1916 1,148 12 0.0012%
1917 0 0%
1918 1,079 17 0.0016%
1919 1,039 18 0.0017%
1920 938 29 0.0026%
1921 1,277 11 0.001%
1922 1,013 24 0.0022%
1923 980 26 0.0023%
1924 972 31 0.0027%
1925 893 35 0.0031%
1926 1,129 17 0.0015%
1927 1,057 21 0.0019%
1928 977 25 0.0023%
1929 1,078 17 0.0016%
1930 988 23 0.0022%
1931 1,272 8 0.0008%
1932 1,057 16 0.0016%
1933 0 0%
1934 1,022 17 0.0018%
1935 944 23 0.0024%
1936 690 52 0.0054%
1937 510 122 0.0124%
1938 493 140 0.0137%
1939 327 325 0.032%
1940 307 383 0.036%
1941 276 499 0.0443%
1942 271 622 0.0493%
1943 278 607 0.0465%
1944 265 643 0.0519%
1945 304 475 0.0389%
1946 290 602 0.0408%
1947 271 770 0.0461%
1948 277 745 0.0467%
1949 300 638 0.0397%
1950 306 611 0.0379%
1951 334 513 0.0303%
1952 360 484 0.0277%
1953 372 483 0.0273%
1954 384 455 0.0249%
1955 426 384 0.0209%
1956 483 333 0.0176%
1957 461 380 0.0197%
1958 488 335 0.0177%
1959 482 354 0.0186%
1960 557 265 0.014%
1961 548 277 0.0147%
1962 572 248 0.0135%
1963 555 263 0.0147%
1964 607 225 0.0128%
1965 613 205 0.0125%
1966 671 157 0.0101%
1967 599 206 0.0136%
1968 574 232 0.0155%
1969 518 313 0.0203%
1970 584 257 0.0161%
1971 746 150 0.01%
1972 668 171 0.0126%
1973 678 169 0.013%
1974 817 114 0.0088%
1975 826 115 0.0089%
1976 1,057 65 0.005%
1977 1,111 66 0.0049%
1978 1,196 57 0.0042%
1979 1,265 52 0.0037%
1980 1,448 39 0.0027%
1981 1,545 33 0.0022%
1982 1,654 29 0.0019%
1983 1,787 22 0.0015%
1984 1,799 22 0.0015%
1985 1,793 24 0.0016%
1986 2,451 11 0.0007%
1987 1,667 31 0.002%
1988 2,100 19 0.0012%
1989 2,329 17 0.0011%
1990 1,893 32 0.0019%
1991 2,123 24 0.0015%
1992 2,093 25 0.0016%
1993 2,068 25 0.0016%
1994 1,959 29 0.0019%
1995 1,508 56 0.0037%
1996 1,632 47 0.0031%
1997 1,380 72 0.0049%
1998 1,441 67 0.0045%
1999 1,488 63 0.0042%
2000 1,381 82 0.0054%
2001 975 172 0.0114%
2002 711 295 0.0197%
2003 723 307 0.0202%
2004 633 384 0.0252%
2005 567 463 0.0303%
2006 478 617 0.0394%
2007 417 743 0.0471%
2008 352 898 0.0581%
2009 250 1,280 0.0856%
2010 199 1,532 0.1063%
2011 169 1,853 0.1301%
2012 125 2,517 0.1766%
2013 55 4,289 0.3012%
2014 43 5,082 0.3488%
2015 34 5,938 0.4081%
2016 27 6,385 0.4429%
2017 24 6,639 0.4757%
2018 26 6,474 0.4712%
2019 22 6,697 0.4947%

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Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Penelope

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


What names are diminutives of Penelope?

A diminutive is a name that’s like Penelope sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Penelope, but shorter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Nell

Horn; sun ray, shining light

Latin

Nellie

Horn; sun ray, shining light

Latin

Nelly

A diminutive form of Helen.

Greek

Penney

Weaver

Greek

Pennie

Weaver

Greek

Penny

Greek


What names are variants of Penelope?

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

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Penelopa

Weaver

Greek

Pennelope

Weaver

Greek


What names sound like Penelope?

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

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Penina

Pearl or coral

Hebrew

Penna

Weaver

Greek


What names are similar to Penelope?

Find a name that’s like Penelope, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Athena

Wise

Greek

Calista

Cup; fairest, most beautiful

Latin

Camila

Young religious servant

Spanish

Coralie

A variant form of Coral.

English

Eliana

My God has answered

Hebrew

Liliana

Lily flower

English

Lorelei

“The enchantress,” in allusion to the siren of German legend whose singing on reefs in the Rhine lured sailors to their doom.

German

Nova

New

Latin

Paloma

Dove

Latin

Persephone

Lists With Penelope

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


Siblings of Penelope

Mamas with kids named Penelope also have kids with these names.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Thomas

Twin

Greek

Penny

Greek

Jack

God is gracious

English

7 Comments

  1. I felt this was very much “her”.

  2. Peanut and sweet P is her nicknames we love Penelope Mae

  3. I saw the name years ago and have always loved it but when it came time to chose it was hard to say I wanted it as my final choice. It was between Penelope and Charlotte for 3 days after she was born.

  4. We Wanted an original name a little bit old school but something also modern

  5. I love that the name Penelope sounds both sophisticated and whimsical at the same time. I also love that there are multiple good nicknames for it (Penny, Nellie, Nell, and more). At 10 months, we’re still calling her Penelope and waiting to see which nickname will suite her best!

  6. Our daughter Penny’s full name is Penelope. We liked her having a more formal name, and she thinks it’s fun having “two first names.” We only get positive comments on her name, and haven’t had too many issues with people spelling or pronouncing it correctly.


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