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Gender: F Meaning of Sybil: "prophetess" Origin of Sybil: Greek

Popularity: this week.

The image of the lovely Lady Sybil, tragic youngest daughter of the Crawley family on Downton Abbey is likely to go a long way towards reviving this almost forgotten name, off the list since 1966 and most popular in the 1920's and thirties.

Sybil is the most common spelling of a name which the ancient Greeks used as the generic word for a prophetess--a woman who claimed to be able to interpret the wishes of the gods through their oracles.

Benjamin Disraeli wrote an influential political novel titled Sybil, which increased the popularity of the name in Victorian times. Later, the name was severely undermined by the eponymous book and 1976 movie based on the character of Sybil-- played by Sally Field-- whose multiple personalities have now been confessed as fake. This is not to mention the harridan wife on the classic British sitcom Fawlty Towers. There is also a Sybil in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray and Sybill Trelawney is a witch and (fittingly) seer in the Harry Potter books, a Professor of Divination played on screen by Emma Thompson.

Cybill Shepherd, on the other hand, bears an invented name combining those of her Uncle Cy and Dad Bill.

People who like Sybil also like:

Abraxas   Agnes   Alyona   Celine   Deirdre   Dillon   Mathilde   Maura   Peregrine   Sibyl   Sybella   Sybilla   Temperance   Thaddea   Therese Show me more names similar to Sybil

Famous People Named Sybil

Cybill Shepherd, American actress

Sybil Dorset was the pseudonym of the woman with multiple personality disorder -- now confessed as fake -- portrayed in the book and film titled "Sybil."
Sybil Ludington, a patriot rider

Pop Culture References for the Name Sybil

!Character's name in Oscar Wilde's novel is actually spelled Sibyl
Lady Sybil Cora Branson (née Crawley), character in "Downton Abbey"
Sybil "Sybbie" Branson, daughter of Tom and Lady Sybil Branson on Downton Abbey
Sybill Trelawney, character in "Harry Potter" (books 3-6)
Sybil Fawlty, "Fawlty Towers"
Sybil Gerard, "Sybil" (1845) by Benjamin Disraeli
Sybil Hallow, character from TV series "The Worst Witch"

Cybill, Sib, Sibbel, Sibbie, Sibbill, Sibby, Sibel, Sibell, Sibilla, Sibyl, Sibylline, Sybel, Sybella, Sybelle, Sybill, Syble

Sybil's International Variations

Cybele, Sibylle, Sybille (French) Sibéal (Irish Gaelic) Sibilia (Slavic) Sybilla, Sibylla (Swedish)