Patricia still sounds patrician, though its scores of nicknames definitely don't. Wildly popular from the forties (alternately Number 3 and 4 during the decade) through the sixties, Patricia has been fading ever since—but a comeback in its full form is definitely conceivable—just look at Penelope.
Patricia began not in Ireland, as some may think, but evolved in Scotland, going on to become mega popular in Britain after the christening of Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Princess Patricia of Connaught, known as "Princess Pat" (though called Patsy by the family).
Several of Patricia's short forms took on lives of their own—first Patsy, which was replaced by Patti/Patty, followed by the more upwardly mobile Tricia, Trisha, Trish, Tisha, and Tish. The one form that hasn't been picked up here, but is often heard in England on its own, is the fresher sounding Patia. Patrizia is an attractive Italian version.
Two bestselling contemporary novelists are Patricia Highsmith and Patricia Cornwell.
Trivia tidbits: Pat Nixon was born Thelma, and Patricia is Rooney Mara's birth name.