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Gender: F Meaning of Priscilla: "ancient" Origin of Priscilla: Latin, diminutive of Prisca Priscilla's Popularity in 2013: #485

Popularity: this week.

Despite her somewhat prissy, puritanical air, Priscilla has managed to stay in the Top 500 for every year since records have been kept--it reached as high as 127 in 1940--appreciated for its delicacy and solid history.

A New Testament name, it was Priscilla with whom the apostle Paul stayed while spreading the gospel in Corinth. It was common in the ancient Roman world, and later was a favorite of the seventeenth century Puritans, including Priscilla Mullins (Alden), remembered for her co-starring role in Longfellow's poem The Courtship of Miles Standish. There was also a sympathetic Priscilla in Hawthorne's The Blithedale Romance.

The most conspicuous contemporary bearer of the name is Priscilla Presley and it's what J. R. Tolkien named his only daughter.

And if you find the nickname Prissy too--well--prissy, you could use the British-inflected Cilla.

Famous People Named Priscilla

Priscilla Ann Presley, American actress; ex-wife of Elvis
Priscilla Morrill, American actress
Priscilla Ahn, American singer/songwriter
Priscilla Chan, wife of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Priscilla Robertson, daughter of Jep and Jessica Robertson from "Duck Dynasty." They call her Cilla a lot.

Pop Culture References for the Name Priscilla

Character in Claymore (anime)
Priscilla, 'Mrs Jellaby's maid, given to drink' in Bleak House (1854) by Charles Dickens
Priscilla Moody, Zenobia's pale but interesting younger sister in The Blithedale Romance (1852) by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Priscilla Sefton, a Methodist preacher's daughter loved by Christian Christianson and Richard Orchardson (the former of whom she marries) in God and the Man (1881) by Robert Buchanan
Priscilla, song by American indie folk band Sea Wolf

Cilla, Pris, Priscella, Prissie, Prissy, Prysilla

Priscilla's International Variations

Prisca, Priscille (French) Piri, Piroska (Hungarian) Priscila, Prisilla (Spanish)