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 nine years, it jumped from Number 611 to 356, 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.