Pamela: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Pamela

Pamela

Pronunciation: PA-mə-lə (key)

Origin of the name Pamela:

Coined by the English poet and statesman Sir Philip Sydney (1554 - 86) for the name of a character in his pastoral Arcadia. It seems to have been pure invention, for there are no other names upon which it could have been based. The name was originally pronounced pam-EE-lah, and in the 18th century pah-MEL-lah. It was not until the 20th century that the pronunciation evolved to PAM-ah-lah and the name became common.

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

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US Popularity of Pamela Over Time

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Comments and insights on the name Pamela: | Edit

I'm 27 and have had a love hate relationship with being named Pamela my whole life. When I was in college, one of my best friends was named Barbara and whenever we met new people they always thought we were messing with them - the middle aged moms. I always introduce myself as Pamela and most of my life people have called me Pam. However, I do have several friends that call me Bam, Mel, Mela and very rarely Ella, which I think are all fun nicknames and bring me out of the geriatric woman category.

I think Pamela is a really pretty name - but no Pamela is ever called Pamela. It's always just Pam. Just like Kimberly, another beautiful name - no Kimberly is ever called Kimberly, just Kim. I don't see why they have to do that unless the person WANTS to be called by the nickname. Same with Jennifer, most Jennifers are called Jen, but not all of them, I know of some who are actually called Jennifer.

My name is Pamela && I'm 16. I really like Pammy my friends and family call me that. My teachers call me Pam or Pamela. The only time i hear someone call me Pamela is when I'm like in trouble or something

My name is Pamela and I'm 23 years old. I do like the way Pamela sounds more than Pam, but I've always been called Pam and really don't mind. I like my name, and I like how it has 'grown up' with me. When I was a child, I was Pammy (and still am to some relatives) and as I've gotten older, I've had the choice to be Pamela or Pam. It's not that common, which is nice, and with the right middle name, can sound very pretty, I think-I'm a Pamela Claire, and I love the way it flows.

My name is Pamela and I was born in 1961. I was named after a little girl my mother (born in 1935) babysat as a teenager. A name being a personal thing, I was not happy with the fact that there were three of us in my third grade class, but it was better than my parents' first choice which was Julie. There were three of them in pretty much EVERY class I was in in school. They changed their minds on Julie because I was born with black hair and they felt a Julie should be blond.

I like the name Pamela, but I HATE Pam. It's not a pretty sounding name, especially when spoken by people from some parts of the US who have a particularly nasal way of pronouncing the short a sound. I was sometimes called "Spam" especially when Monty Python was popular. When they came out with the spray grease product, I wanted to write the company a letter to express how cruel I felt it was it was to turn my name into a nasty-smelling cooking product.

I have, for the last twenty years or so, had the audacity to insist on being called Pamela, which is a perfectly fine name. I usually just quietly correct people when they shorten it, but it is a CONSTANT battle, and my insistance on all three syllables sometimes makes people think I'm a snob. But why can't people just pay attention and call people the names they have printed on their checks, use to introduce themselves, or the name they hear everyone else using? My younger brother Douglas feels the same about his name, says "Doug is the past tense of dig", but my other three siblings are fine with the shortened versions of their names.

Hi - Well, my story's different, I guess. I'm a Pamela, born in 1963, who grew up being called "Pam," and always liked it. In my imagination, "Pamela" was like a formal gown - beautiful and a perfect fit, but only to be worn on special occasions. :-) Nowadays, I use Pamela professionally. The thing I always hated was the nickname "Pammy." Anyone else feel that way? Over the years, only a handful of *brave* friends would risk my wrath and call me the dreaded Pammy.

My name is Pamala- because my mom wanted me to be different. Yes, we no longer speak. I've gone by Pam most of my life- it was only Pamala when I was in trouble. My aunts and uncles and younger brother all called me Pammy, but they were the only ones allowed to do that. The little boy that I babysat for heard my brother call me Pammy, so he called me 'Mee'. I've fought all my life to get my name spelled correctly, then I went and named my daughter ANNA, but pronounce it Ah-nah. I think it makes you learn to speak out and stand up for yourself if you have to correct people about your name, although I've really made my daughter's life more difficult by giving her the common name Anna and insisting it's pronounced differently. I guess I just can't help following the example of my pretentious mother.

My name is Pamala and I'm 14 years old.
I like to be called 'Ela'(PamELA get it?) because I think it's a nice nick name and I hate to be called 'Pam' because it's such a commen nick name for the name 'Pamela'. I live in Naples,FL and though it's small I have never met someone (Besides me)that is named Pamela.
I like my name mostly because if I had a choice to pick my name I would never be able to think of a name that would go with who I am.

I am a Pamela who was born in 1963. I always wondered why my parents named me Pamela, and at the time it was an unpopular name, so I believe I became as unpopular amongst my peers as my name was. I hated the name when I was younger. There were also only 0-1 kids at school with the same name, so to boot I had a "weird" name growing up. However, in later years as an adult working professional, I discovered that it seems all the Pamela's I met were intelligent working professionals, either in the IT, scientific, or legal field, so the name gave me a much better image in later years. Now, at the company I work for (I am in IT), it's not uncommon to have 2-3 Pamelas on the same conference call. I hate the short version of the name, "Pam" (the cooking spray), & prefer to be called Pamela - it sounds much prettier & more intelligent to me, and flows better with my last name. I am "Pammie" to my friends, but people seem to think "Pammie" is strange, even though Tamarah's frequently go by "Tammy". No fair!

I'm 28 and I love being Pamela! I have only rarely met other Pamelas in my age group and I very much enjoy having a name that is easily recognizable but is not the same as any of my friends, classmates, peers, etc. As a child I was Pammie and then I transitioned to Pamela or Pam. I do not like my name written out as Pam, sounds like a old diner waitress somewhere, but I don't mind being called Pam. I ALWAYS introduce myself as Pamela in writing and audibly and yet I find about 95% of the time people call me Pam anyway so it's a good thing it doesn't bother me : ) My siblings both have older sounding names so I suppose my parents went with names of people in their age group (late boomers) rather than the age group in which we we born (millennial).

Personal experiences with the name Pamela: | Edit

I agree with the first Pamela. I was born in 1963 and I think Pamela is a pretty name. Pam is too short and doesn't flow with my last name of Bailey. Pam Bailey - yuch! Don't know what mom was thinking when she named me: Pamela Lee Bailey - got enough L's in there? Anyway, I only use Pamela professionally. If someone (and they always do no matter how I introduce myself) calls me Pam I let it go. I guess they are trying to be friendly. The only person that really accomplished having her daughter by her full name is my sister in law. Her daughter's name is Cynthia - not Cindy. Its not exactly the same but almost. I make it a rule to call a person by they name the were introduced to me as, whether by themselves or someone else.

It doesn't really annoy me but I am constantly baffled that Pamela seems to be one of the only names that people automatically shorten no matter how you introduce yourself. I've never heard anyone call someone Jen after they've introduced themselves as Jennifer for instance. Just my observation and experience.

Nicknames for Pamela: | Edit

Pam, Pammy, Melly, Ela, Pama-lama-lamela, Pammie

Meanings and history of the name Pamela: | Edit

This name is believed to have been invented by Sir Philip Sidney for his novel "Arcadia". Some think he contrived it from two Greek words: "pan", meaning "all", and "meli", meaning honey. Thus, Pamela could be taken to mean "sweet all through" or "all sweetness".

Famous real-life people named Pamela: | Edit

Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman, ambassador, socialite, and wife of (respectively) Randolph Churchill, Leland Hayward, and Averell Harriman
Pamela Anderson, model and actress, star of 80s television show "Baywatch"
Pamela Sue Martin, actress, known for her roles in the 1980s such as "Nancy Drew" and as Claudia Carrington in "Dynasty"
Pamela Courson, longtime companion and common-law wife of musician Jim Morrison
Pamela "Miss Pamela" Des Barres, American rock groupie and author
Pamela Gay, American astronomer, educator, podcaster, and writer
Pamela Stephenson Connolly, Australian clinical psychologist, writer, actress and comedian
Pam Dawber, actress

Pamela in song, story & screen: | Edit

Pamela is the title and main character of Samuel Richardson's controversial 1741 novel. Henry Fielding wrote "Shamela" in response.

Toto had a song "Pamela" in the 80s.

Pamela Barnes Ewing on "Dallas."

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75
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Smart?

75
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Sexy?

71
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Friendly?

70
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Creative?

69
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Strong?

61
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Young?

72
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Sophisticated?