What does Penelope mean?
Penelope \p(e)-nelo-pe, pen(e)-lope\ as a girls' name is pronounced pen-NELL-a-pee. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Penelope is "weaver". From "pene". Mythology: Penelope, wife of Odysseus, fended off suitors by weaving during the day and unraveling at night a tapestry she said had to be completed before she would wed another husband. The name has come to signify a loyal, capable, and intelligent woman. The name is also possibly derived from the Greek name "penelops" for a type of duck that was said to have rescued and nurtured Penelope when she was exposed to die as an infant. Model Penelope Tree; parenting expert Penelope Leach; actresses Penelope Ann Miller, Penelope Cruz.
For more on this name, see also the related girl name Posy.
Penelope is a very popular first name for women (#771 out of 4276, Top 18%) but a rare surname for both adults and children. (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is the birth name popularity of Penelope for girls. Penelope was first listed in 1930-1939 and reached its top rank of #42 in the U.S. in the year 2014. (Top 1000 Birth Names Statistics, 2014)
Penny (#808 a year ago) and Pennie are the prominent variation forms of Penelope (#42 a year ago). Adoption of these girl names was at its highest during the years 1950-1959 (usage of 0.5203%) and has become significantly lower since (usage 0.3833%, down 26.3%), with the forms Pennie and Penny becoming less in vogue. Penelope (#42) is the most chic birth name here, with this name enjoying a rekindling in usage. Shown below is a comparison of the popularity of the girl name Penelope and related names. (Top 1000 Birth Names Statistics, 2014)