Sybil Origin and Meaning

The name Sybil is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "prophetess".

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 1920s and '30s. Sybil is currently Number 253 on Nameberry;

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.

# 834 in the US

Sybil Rank in US Top 1000

# 311 on Nameberry

Sybil Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Sybil Popularity

20 Names Similar to Sybil

These 20 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Sybil.

Famous People Named Sybil

  • Sybil Dorsetpseudonym of Shirley Ardell Mason, American woman with multiple personality disorder ,, now confessed as fake ,, portrayed in the book and film "Sybil"
  • Sybil LudingtonAmerican Revolutionary war heroine
  • (Agnes) Sybil ThorndikeEnglish actress
  • Sybil Danning (born Sybille Johanna Danninger)Austrian actress
  • Sybil (Lynch)American pop singer
  • Sybil LeekEnglish witch, astrologer, occult author and self,proclaimed psychic
  • Sybil Lorina BauerAmerican Olympic swimmer
  • Sybil GreyBritish singer and actress
  • Sybil ConnollyIrish fashion designer
  • Sybil Rachel Betty Cecile SassoonMarchioness of Cholmondeley, British WWII military officer
  • Sybil SeelyAmerican silent film actress
  • Sybilwife of English courtier Pain fitzJohn
  • Sybil Ann Melvin (b. 2016)daughter of American journalist and new anchor Craig Melvin and American sports anchor and reporter Lindsay Czarniak

Sybil in Pop Culture

  • Sybil Vanecharacter in Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray", a beautiful actress who dies a tragic death
  • Sybil Crawley Bransoncharacter on TV's "Downton Abbey"
  • Sybil Fawltycharacter on TV's "Fawlty Towers"
  • Sybil Gerardcharacter in "Sybil" (1845) by Benjamin Disraeli
  • Sybil Hallowcharacter on TV's "The Worst Witch"
  • Sybil Trelawneycharacter in the Harry Potter series
  • Sybil Vimeswife of Sam Vimes in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
  • Sybilvillain/siren in The Vampire Diaries
  • The Sybilline Books were rhyming greek prophecies taken to Rome and consulted in times of danger