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Gender: Female Meaning of Cornelia: "horn" Origin of Cornelia: Feminine variation of Cornelius, Latin

The name Cornelia is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "horn". Cornelia and is often added to lists like Old Lady Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Heaven / Hell / Purgatory Girls".

From the experts:

In ancient Rome, Cornelia was considered the paragon of womanly virtue, making it a handsome name with an excellent pedigree. It's rare today, so if you want a name no one else is using, somewhat reminiscent of Amelia and the Shakespearean Cordelia, Cornelia should be on your list. Cornelia's short forms might include Cora, Nelia or Nell--anything but Corny.

The name of the mother of famous second century Roman reformers, Cornelia emerged in England in the seventeenth century, probably brought in by Dutch immigrants. The painter Jan Vermeer had a daughter named Cornelia.

Cornelia has not made a mark on the U.S. popularity list since 1965--so she's more than due for reconsideration. In the meantime, it's been associated with contemporary socialite Cornelia Guest, giving the name an elite image.

Find other names based on Cornelia using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Cornelia

Cornelia Maria Funke, German novelist
Cornelia Otis Skinner, American author and actress
Cornelia "Corrie" ten Boom, Dutchwoman who helped Jews escape the Holocaust
Cornelia Vanderbilt, daughter of American millionaire George Vanderbilt
Cornelia Burki, Swiss long-distance runner
Cornelia Dumler, German volleyball player
Cornelia Dahlgren, Swedish singer/songwriter
Cornelia Frances, English-Australian actress
Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, author of Heteroptera and poet naturalist

Pop Culture References for the name Cornelia

Cornelia Hale, the Guardian of Earth in "W.I.T.C.H.," a comic book series and animated series
Cornelia Stanton Edwards (née Pitt), the aunt of Samantha Parkington and wife of Gardner Edwards in the American Girl Doll series
FV Cornelia Marie, a commercial crab fishing boat formerly featured on the Discovery Channel series Deadliest Catch
Cornelia Bryant, in the "Anne of Green Gables" series
Cornelia li Britannia, character in the anime "Code Geass"
Cornelia Brown, main character in "Love Walked In" and "Belong to Me"
Cornelia Goth (nee Crumplebottom), character in "The Sims" (1,3) video/computer games
Cornelia Prince Medal, character mentioned in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"
Cornelia, character from the video game "Final Fantasy XI"
Blair Cornelia Waldorf, a main character on "Gossip Girl"

Cornelia's International Variations

Nele (German) Kornelis (Swedish) Nelia, Melia (Spanish) Kornelia (Czech) Cornelie (French)


Tigris Says:


I love the sound of this name, but the nickname "Corny" puts me off Cornelia immediately. Until Corny no longer means "trite, banal, or mawkishly sentimental", I'd recommend using another lovely name like Cordelia (Cory, Delia).

Bassilly Says:


For some reason, I hear Cornelia and taste salt. It reminds me of feet. I think it's a super unappetizing name, just no magic whatsoever for me personally. Cordelia is much better in my opinion.

Sara Says:


I named my daughter (born in 2015) Cornelia Carol, after my maternal grandmother. She is through and through a 'Cornelia' and can't imagine her with any other name 😊

Mhill46 Says:


I strongly prefer this to Cordelia.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I just find Cordelia so much prettier, especially with Delia as a potential nickname.

JossieChris Says:


I love this! Corney nn and all! Over Cordelia which has such wonderful literary ties, thats a tough one.

headintheclouds Says:


I prefer Cordelia to Cornelia, but I still find Cornelia to be a very lovely, refined name that sounds a touch more down-to-earth vintage than the more high-spirited Cordelia. One issue I have with it is the Corn- sound at the beginning, though I think most people would barely notice it if they pronounce it COR-nee-lee-ah, with the emphasis on Cor-. I particularly love the nicknames Nell and Nelia for Cornelia.

95mmaa Says:


Don't forget 'Cory' as a possible short form. ;)

Audrey328 Says:


This is my grandmother's name, and I hope to use it for a daughter someday!

Catastroffy Says:


I much prefer this to Cordelia. Cordelia sounds affected to me, but this is eccentric and pretty. It makes me think of knotted, gnarled wood.

Nel Says:


My mother always said that 'Cordelia' sounds like 'Cornelia with a cowd in da head' (a cold in the head). True!

Eva Thyssen Says:


I love the -elia ending.

OliviaSarah Says:


I love Nell and Cornelia is very pretty, but I think Cordelia tops it by a small amount - sound-wise and also it's rich history (in Shakespeare and Celtic Britain, not forgetting it's suggested meanings).

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


I picked this for a story character because of the corn part. She was a princess lost in a maze like that of a corn maze.

CocoWhite Says:


That first "corn" syllable kind of irks me, but the name itself isn't all that bad. I think I'd prefer Cornelius, though.

claraminta Says:


Agreed :)

claraminta Says:


Cornelia is by far my favorite name!

lesliemarion Says:


Lovely name. More homespun than Cordelia, a bit less dramatic. Nella is a pretty nickname.