Daphne: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Daphne

Daphne

Pronunciation: DAF-nee (key)

Origin of the name Daphne:

Derived from the Greek daphne (a laurel or bay tree). The name is borne in Greek mythology by a nymph, the daughter of the river-god Peneus. She escaped from the attentions of Apollo by being transformed into a laurel tree.

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

Related Names:

Dafne, Daphna

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US Popularity of Daphne Over Time

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Comments and insights on the name Daphne: | Edit

Pronounced DAF-nee.

Personal experiences with the name Daphne: | Edit

Both my mother and eldest daughter are called Daphne. My mother dislikes her name intensely, due to merciless teasing at school (North London in the 50s), and has gone her whole life as Dee. To British ears the name can seem old fashioned and overly posh, like an irritating character from an Agatha Christie novel say. So having said those negative things why did I call my daughter Daphne? My wife insisted. She is Greek, and there is a tradition of naming children after grandparents. To Greek ears Daphne is a classical, lyrical name due to the association with bay trees and mythological references. Also the name does sound better with the Greek pronunciation. The 'D' (delta) is sounded breathy, half way between English 'TH' and 'D' and the 'ph' (phi) is harder, slightly sibilant which gives a much more rounded, feminine sounding name than the hard 'DAF' and trailing away 'nee' of the English pronunciation. When I told my mother of the name choice she cried 'why on earth did you call her that, I will have to think of a pet name' but after explaining she happily calls her granddaughter by her full name - with a Greek lilt.

My name is Daphne, and in my experience, lots of people think of my name as French when actually it's Greek or comment that the name is pretty and old-fashioned. Also, up until the late 1990s I often had to repeat or spell my name, or clarify that I was not "Stephanie" or even "Cathy." But now more people recognise it. I credit Frasier and Scooby Doo.

My great aunt was named Daphne, she was my mother's favourite aunt and they were very close. She always went by Dap - not Daph, Dap - which I've always thought is a cute nickname for Daphne that I've never heard any other Daphnes use. Even though she was my great aunt, I always thought her nickname sounded young and sporty. If I ever use the name in honour of my great aunt Daphne, I can definitely see myself using her nickname too, especially if my daughter is a spunky girl just like her.

I really like this name, and I wouldn't mind being named Daphne. But my mother liked old-fashioned, traditional names, and she thought anything out of the ordinary was a "queer" name for a girl. So I'm stuck with a straight-laced, traditional name that I don't like very much.

I know a Daphne. It's actually her middle name, her real first name is Samantha. But everyone just calls her Daphne. I think both names are unique and pretty.

Nicknames for Daphne: | Edit

Daph, Dap, Daphy, Dappy, Dee, Affy, Ninny, Dapha, Aph, Aphni

Meanings and history of the name Daphne: | Edit

The name Daphne means "spring flower", specifically a laurel. It derives from Greek mythology, where Daphne was a nymph who, when pursued by the amorous god Apollo, turned into a laurel tree to escape from him.

Famous real-life people named Daphne: | Edit

Daphne Zuniga, American actress
Daphne Rubin-Vega, Panamanian entertainer
Daphne Groeneveld, Dutch model
Daphne Bloomer, American actress
Daphne DuMaurier, English author
Daphne Oz, talk show host and author

Daphne in song, story & screen: | Edit

Daphne Paloma Vasquez played by Katie Leclerc on ABC Family's series "Switched at Birth"
Daphne Blake from the animated series "Scooby Doo"
Daphne Powell played by Kay Panabaker on the series "No Ordinary Family"
Daphne Moon played by Jane Leeves on the series "Frasier"
Daphne Chedderling, mother of Clarabelle Suzekie, in the internet comic blog The Greasers of Hazzick Flats. http://www.thegreasersofhazzickflats.blogspot.com
Daphne named doll, Groovy Girls

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Smart?

73
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Sexy?

69
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Friendly?

69
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Creative?

61
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Strong?

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Young?

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Sophisticated?