"lover of strength"

Philomena Origin and Meaning

The name Philomena is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "lover of strength".

Philomena is an earthy Greek name now used in various Latin countries. While it has felt simply clunky for many years, it's starting -- along with such sister names as Wilhelmina and Frederica -- to sound so clunky it's cool.

Also a saint's name--that of a thirteen-year-old martyr of early Rome--it's commonly seen in Italy and Spain spelled Filomena. Philomena only started appearing in English-speaking countries in the latter half of the nineteenth century, especially in Scotland and Australia.

In the US, Philomena ranked in the Top 1000 through 1940, peaking at Number 355 in 1915.

Philomena Guinea is the name of protagonist Esther Greenwood's patron in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. New attention was brought to the name via the Oscar-nominated eponymous film based on the real-life Philomena Lee.

# 957 in the US

Philomena Rank in US Top 1000

# 693 on Nameberry

Philomena Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Philomena Popularity

20 Names Similar to Philomena

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Famous People Named Philomena

  • Saint PhilomenaGreco,Roman martyr, patron saint of children and impossible causes
  • Philomena BegleyIrish country music singer
  • Philomena BijlhoutDutch TV presenter and politician
  • Philomena FranzSinti (Romani) Holocaust survivor & writer
  • Philomena GarveyIrish golfer
  • Philomena Theresa GianfranciscoAmerican female baseball player
  • Philomena LeeIrish woman who searched for her long,lost son; basis for book "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee" and film "Philomena"
  • Philomena "Phyllis" LynottIrish memoirist
  • Philomena MaranoAmerican collage artist
  • Philomena McDonaghEnglish actress
  • Philomena Bijou "Philo" Jovanovicb. 2014, daughter of Daphne Oz and John Jovanovic
  • Maire Philomena Ni Bhraonainbirth name of Moya Brennan, Irish singer formerly of Clannad
  • Annabella Gloria Philomena SciorraAmerican actress
  • Imelda Mary Philomena Bernadette Stauntonb. 1956, British actress
  • Stephanie Eleonore Maria Elisabeth Kamilla Philomena VeronikaPrincess of Windisch,Graetz, daughter of Austrian archduchess Elisabeth Marie, The Red Archduchess

Philomena in Pop Culture

  • PhilomenaPrincess Celestia's pet phoenix on the TV show "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic"
  • Philomena Rostovichcharacter in the play "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You" by Christopher Durang
  • Philomena Guineacharacter in "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath
  • Philomena Sinnottwife to Eugene Sinnott and mother of Timothy John in "Mrs Eckdorf in O'Neill's Hotel" (1969) by William Trevor
  • "That's Philomena!"picture book about a frog named Philomena, by Catherine Bancroft and Hannah Coale
  • Philomena Vasilliacharacter in the webcomic "Never Satisfied" by Taylor Robin
  • "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee" by Martin Sixsmith, basis for 2013 film "Philomena"