o-FEEL-ee-uh or o-FEEL-ya

Ophelia Origin and Meaning

The name Ophelia is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "help".

Floral, elegant, and bold, Ophelia re-entered the US Top 1000 in 2015 after more than 50 years off the charts. It has risen more than 700 spots since then and shows no signs of slowing down. Now in the US Top 300, could Ophelia one day become the next Olivia or Amelia?

It's certainly catching up in the UK, where, as of 2022, it's in the Top 100 and given to nearly 600 baby girls. Less likely to be heard as 'I feel ya', as it is pronounced with four syllables in the UK, Ophelia makes an arty but approachable choice.

Derived from the Ancient Greek word "opheleia", which means "help", Ophelia was used first by the poet Sannazaro in his 15th century poem "Arcadia". It was then popularized by Shakespeare's Hamlet in the 1600s and again in the 19th century by John Millais' painting.

Other namesakes include the gutsy Ophelia in Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 Uncle Tom's Cabin, which seems to have had some influence on baby namers at the time, and more recently, the song "Ophelia" by The Lumineers.

Among the actresses who have played modern non-Shakespearean Ophelias are Jamie Lee Curtis in "Trading Places" and Blake Lively in "Savages". The heroine of the film Pan's Labyrinth uses the Spanish spelling, Ofelia, while a popular YA novel, Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie sticks with the Shakespearean one.

Actress Patricia Neal and author Roald Dahl named one of their now grown daughters Ophelia, and more recently musician Dave Grohl named his baby girl Ophelia Saint.

A hugely popular name on Nameberry and now out in the 'real world' too, you may hear this Shakespearean gem more often in the coming years. So, if you love Ophelia but want to beat the trends, you could try Cressida, Olympia, Cordelia, or Cerelia.

# 267 in the US

Ophelia Rank in US Top 1000

# 21 on Nameberry

Ophelia Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Ophelia Popularity

Famous People Named Ophelia

  • Ophelia BensonAmerican feminist author
  • (Emma) Ophelia DeVoreAmerican model
  • Ophelia FordAmerican politician
  • Ophelia Lucy LovibondEnglish actress
  • Ophelia MarieDominican Calypso singer
  • Ophelia DaggerYouTuber
  • Ophelia Alcantara DimalantaFilipina poet
  • Ophelia Magdalena DahlAmerican social justice and health care advocate, daughter of writer Roald Dahl and actress Patricia Neal
  • Ophelia Saint Grohl (b. 2014)daughter of musician Dave Grohl

Ophelia in Pop Culture

  • Opheliacharacter in Shakespeare's "Hamlet"
  • Opheliacharacter in movie "Trading Places"
  • Ophelia "O" Sagecharacter in movie "Savages"
  • Ophelia Frumpcharacter on TV's "The Addams Family"
  • Ophelia Jane WorthingtonWhittard, main character in "Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy" by Karen Foxlee
  • "Rippling" Opheliacharacter in Norihiro Yagi's 'Claymore'
  • Opheliacharacter on "The Royals"
  • Opheliacharacter in MTV's "Awkward"
  • Opheliadog of singer Ariana Grande
  • Ophelia Mayera main character on MTV's Sweet/Vicious
  • "Ophelia" song by The Band
  • "Ophelia" a song by Japanese rock group L'Arcen,Ciel
  • "Ophelia" song by the band The Lumineers
  • "Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls" book by Mary Pipher
  • "Ophelia" song by american singer Natalie Merchant
  • "Ophelia" song by french singer Nolwenn Leroy
  • "Sweet Ophelia" song by american singer Zella Day
  • "Dear Ophelia" a song by the Steampunk band Abney Park
  • Hurricane Ophelia2017 storm
  • Ophelia Bankslymain character of the webcomic "Riverside Extras" by Miri Chamberlain
  • Ophelianame of Madame Hydra in the framework of Marvels agents of shield tv

Ophelia in Nameberry Blog Posts