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Gender: F Meaning of Daphne: "laurel tree, bay tree" Origin of Daphne: Greek Daphne's Popularity in 2013: #397

Popularity: this week.

Daphne's origins may be Greek, but it's seen by Americans as quintessentially British--as in the Daphne Moon character on Frasier. In the past five years, it jumped from Number 538 to 397, the highest it has ever been in this country. Though we don't see it becoming a Top 100 name, Daphne is obviously finding more widespread acceptance -- and for a distinctive, deeply-rooted, attractive girls' name, that's a positive thing.

In Greek mythology, Daphne was a nymph who was saved from an over-amorous Apollo by her father, a river god, transforming her into a laurel tree. Her name was taken from that of the shrub, and became part of the British vogue for plant names at the end of the nineteenth century.

Its most famous bearer is Daphne du Maurier, author of such suspense novels as Rebecca. Fictional Daphnes have appeared in Some Like It Hot (Jack Lemmon as a woman), The Jewel in the Crown, Scooby-Doo, Harry Potter, Heroes, and Frasier.

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Famous People Named Daphne

Daphne Zuniga, American actress
Daphne Du Maurier, author of Rebecca
Daphne Rubin-Vega, Panamanian entertainer
Daphne Guiness
Daphne Groeneveld, Dutch model
Daphne Bloomer, American actress
Daphne Fowler, British TV quiz champion
Daphne Ivory Wayans, daughter of actor Keenen Ivory Wayans

Pop Culture References for the Name Daphne

Daphne Grimm, sister to Sabrina Grimm in Michael Buckley's "The Sisters Grimm" series
Daphne Paloma Vasquez, character played by Katie Leclerc on ABC Family series "Switched at Birth"
Daphne Blake, from the animated series "Scooby Doo"
Daphne Powell character played by Kay Panabaker on the series "No Ordinary Family"
Daphne Moon, character played by Jane Leeves on the series "Frasier"
Daphne Greengrass, Harry Potter, sister of Astoria Malfoy (nee Greengrass)
Daphne Reynolds ~ Character played by Amanda Bynes in the film " What a Girl Wants"
Daphne Hatzilakos, teacher from Degrassi: The Next Generation
Daphne Glover, main character on MTV's Underemployed
Daphne Harridge Collins in the original Dark Shadows played by Kate Jackson
Daphne de Luce, sister to Flavia Sabina de Luce in Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series
Crown Princess Daphne, "Winx Club"

Daffy, Dafnee, Dafneigh, Dafny, Daphnee, Daphney, Daphni, Daphnie, Daphny