Fenella Name Meaning & Origin

Fenella

Pronunciation: feh-NEH-lə (key)

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Comments and insights on the name Fenella: | Edit

Fenella is an hansom and feminine name. Although nowadays uncommon, it is a very old name derived from Celtic legend. Pronounced (Fen-nella) it is the anglicised version of the Celtic name Finnguala (Fionnghuala or Fionnuala)

Personal experiences with the name Fenella: | Edit

As a Fenella, the first thing I would have to say is I have never met another one. It's a very very uncommon name and I'd like there to be more of us! Good points about the name are that it is distinctive, I find people tend to remember me because of my name, it is pretty hard to come by so finding my name as a url or e-mail address has never been a problem. It is unusual but still a "proper" name and a lot of people tell me it's pretty. Some not so good points are that, in my experience, people seem to struggle to say or spell it correctly, I think a lot of people think it should be more complicated than it is. The most common misconceptions I get are Fiona, Fennella, Phenella, Vanilla and worst of all Ferella. And the number of times I have to say "No I'm not named after Fenella Fielding" gets irritating. It's a bit of a blessing and a curse to have as a name.

Nicknames for Fenella: | Edit

Fen, Fenn, Fenny, Nella, Nelly, Ella, Fennel

Meanings and history of the name Fenella: | Edit

The name Fenella is the anglicised version of the Celtic name Fionnghuala and means fair or white shoulders. The name comes from Celtic mythology, Fionnghuala was the only daughter of the King Lir and is one of the four "Children of Lir" When their mother died the King remarried and their step mother, jelous of Lir's love for his children, tried to kill them. Loosing her nerve she turned them into swans and they where banished to roam the lakes and rivers of Ireland for 900 years, until the coming of christianity. In parts of Ireland it is still considered bad luck or taboo to kill swans was a result of this legend. Fionnghuala is mentioned in Thomas Moore's poem "Silent O Moyle"

Famous real-life people named Fenella: | Edit

Fionnuala Ellwood (born 1964), Dublin born actress
Fenella Fielding (born 1927), English actress
Fenella Fudge (formerly Hadingham), BBC Radio newsreader
Fenella Kernebone, Australian radio and TV presenter
Fenella Woolgar (born 1971), English actress
The daughter of Cuncar of Angus (given as Finnguala, Fimberhele, Finele, or Sibill in various sources)

Fenella in song, story & screen: | Edit

A character in Walter Scott's Peveril of the Peak (There is a beach names after this Fenella on the Isle of Man)
Fenella Melford, a character in Diana Wynne Jones's The Time of the Ghost
The eponymous subject of the Fenella in ... children's books by David Gentleman
An anglicization of Fionnuala, daughter of Lir in Irish mythology
Fenella the Kettle Witch, a character from Chorlton and the Wheelies
Fenella Feverfew, a character in The Worst Witch
Fenella Scarborough, a character in "Impossible" and "Unthinkable" by Nancy Werlin
Fenella Crabbe, a character in "A Malayan Trilogy" by Anthony Burgess

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