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Gender: M Meaning of Phineas: "oracle" Origin of Phineas: Hebrew

Popularity: this week.

Julia Roberts drew the biblical Phineas into the limelight when she chose it, with the even-more-antique spelling Phinnaeus, for her twin son, now called Finn. Phineas had last been heard from via circus impresario Phineas T. Barnum, until it was brought somewhat up to date via the Disney Channel animated show Phineas and Ferb.

Anthony Trollope combined name and nickname for the young, handsome and charming Irish lawyer hero of his eponymous novel, Phineas Finn. Phineas is also the name of three biblical personages and was popular among the seventeenth century Puritans. Jazz pianist Phineas Newborn, Jr. is a contemporary namesake.

Trivia note: In early movies, characters named Phineas had nicknames like Prune, Whipsnake and Whoopee.

Bottom line: A quirky path to nickname Finn.

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Famous People Named Phineas

Phinnaeus Walter Moder, son of American actress Julia Roberts and Danny Moder
Phineas F. Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene (1908)
Logan Phineas Miller Murphy, son of writer/director/producer Ryan Murphy and husband David Miller
Matthew Phineas, son of American actress Mia Farrow

Pop Culture References for the Name Phineas

Phineas Flynn, character on Disney Channel cartoon series "Phineas and Ferb", stepbrother of Ferb Fletcher
Character in "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles
Phineas Nigellus Black, a minor character in the "Harry Potter" series
Phineas Fletcher, Quaker friend to Simeon Halliday in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1851)
Phineas Fletcher, narrator of "John Halifax, Gentleman" (1856)
Phineas Darkon, antagonist in the "Genius" series, by Catherine Jinks

Fineas, Phinehas, Phinnaeus, Phinneas, Phinny, Pincas, Pinchas, Pinchos, Pincus, Pinhas, Pinkus