Menu

Galatea

- this week

Gender: Female Pronunciation: gal-ah-TEH-ah Meaning of Galatea: "she who is milk-white" Origin of Galatea: Greek

The name Galatea is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "she who is milk-white". Galatea and is often added to lists like Celestial Baby Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Picky Parents BNG".

From the experts:

This name's meaning derives from the material from which the mythical sculptor Pygmalion chiselled his ideal woman - she was carved from ivory. Pygmalion fell in love with his creation and Aphrodite, taking pity on him, brought the sculpture to life. The woman was named Galatea due to her incredibly pale skin. The Pygmalion myth was the inspiration behind the story of "My Fair Lady" starring Julie Andrews on stage and Audrey Hepburn on screen.

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

Famous People Named Galatea

Galateya, Bulgarian rhythmic gymnastic

Pop Culture References for the name Galatea

"La Galatea" (1585), Miguel de Cervantes' first novel
Galatea, central character in John Lyly's 1592 play "Gallathea"
Galatea, Arethusa's lady in "Philaster" (1611) by Beaumont and Fletcher
"Galatea's Guitar" (1968), song by Gabor Szabo
God-Eye Galatea, a character in Norihiro Yagi's "Claymore"
Galatea Merrythought, a minor character in the Harry Potter series
Galatea "Gala" Brand, character in the 1955 James Bond novel "Moonraker"
Galatea Dunkel, character in "On the Road"

Galathea, Galatee

Comments

alyssum Says:

2017-06-25T01:02:44

There was a (literary) Bond Girl named Galatea Brand. She went by "Gala" for short, and she wasn't afraid to say no to Bond- after all, she's in the story to do a job, she's engaged to the man she loves, and she's not going to drop everything in her life for this guy just because he thinks he's irresistible.

So that's my mental association with this name- feminine, capable, and confident about her own decisions. I've read the myth and the Shaw play, but they're not the first thing I think of when I hear "Galatea." I certainly didn't know the meaning of the name until I got here, and I think it would work for any girl who can carry a rare-ish mythological name.

BrittanyBrown Says:

2016-12-26T07:58:57

It's funny that we adore names meaning "dark skinned" or "black beauty" (i do!) but anything referring to being "white" or "fair" is an abomination and racist! Get over it people...it's a dang meaning of a dang name! It's definitely NOT racist. Nothing is on a baby name site.

thepianothatwaited Says:

2016-10-17T20:59:25

I've been misreading this one.
I read it as guh-la(as in hat)-tee-a
I am ashamed
Not really

kpearl8 Says:

2015-03-06T00:32:15

I like the name a lot, but I couldn't use it because it's the name of the cow in Farmer Giles of Ham by Tolkien. It even means white as MILK! If I ever own a cow, I'll call it Galatea, but unfortunately not a baby. XD

Cosvoren Says:

2015-02-20T08:27:44

I think Galatea is a pretty name, but a lot to live up too. Most People will associate Galatea with Audrey Hepburn and her performance in " My Fair Lady." A modern variant of the myth with a subtle hint of feminism, where she plays an underclass flower-gir,l Eliza Doolittle, who is metaphorically "brought to life" by a phonetics professor, Henry Higgins, who teaches her to refine her accent and conversation and otherwise conduct herself with upper-class manners in social situations,. Audrey replaced Marilyn Monroe, who was thought at the time to bring the appearance of Galatea alive. Audrey won the role in the end because her life and behavior mired Pygmalion. She was born poor but of noble birth, humble and lady-like in her transition into upper society as a Hollywood actress. The rest of the world will associate Galatea, with all the artistic images painted of her being depicted as: Goldenesque in hair, milky in skin tone, Fair as in Seraphic and beautiful in appearance. So the name packs a lot. The comments about racism below, are in-correct. There is nothing racist in pointing out that a certain image has been purported for many years, even Hollywood, almost didn't hire Audrey for the role because she didn't have blonde locks and was elfish in looks. It really has a long history that has been in-grained for many years. Furthermore, I can see the use of the name in the music industry, something that is trending upwards, because of the subtle feminist undertones in "My Fair Lady." Which would contradict the the end results of Eliza Doolittle and her new refined mannerisms, which would in many ways dirty the once polished image. So, I would ignore those racist comments below.

Cosvoren Says:

2015-02-20T08:26:11

An article with the link shared below, describing how the producers wanted Marilyn Monroe for the role because she met the image requirements and bared similarities to Pygmalion. Audrey Hepburn won out, despite her brown locks, because of her genuine personality. Audrey was able to convey a genuine transition from the underclass flower-girl Eliza Doolittle, who is metaphorically "brought to life" by a phonetics professor, Henry Higgins, who teaches her to refine her accent and conversation and otherwise conduct herself with upper-class manners in social situations. Most peoples associations to Galatea will be " My fair Lady." http://www.theguardian.com/.... However, Many painters for centuries have depicted Galatea as having blondish color in hair, pale skinned, and seraphic in appearance. So any other image, outside Audrey Hepburn's upper-class mannerism and many painters depictions, would be difficult to live up too. Also, the hot thing right now in the music industry is to choose unique names that stand out. So the person who posted the depiction up above isn't too far from the truth.

AldabellaxWulfe Says:

2015-02-20T08:10:33

I'm sorry. I don't mean to argue, but I'm going to have to disagree with your comment about Nikki Minaj. She is a product of the music industry. Her appeal is her sex - that's how she sells her music. That's the _only_ way she sells her music. Flashing bits about in ridiculously skimpy outfits (especially in the music industry) is not her being "strong and in control of her body" - that's your average woman being portrayed, yet again, as a sexual object in order to recieve attention from the masses.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't the Victorian era and women (nor men) should be expected to dress from neck to ankle but, there's a fine line between Mother Theresa and Nikki Minaj. And as it stands, Nikki is an extreme; and not a particularly classy or empowered one.

Having said all that, I personally see Galatea as an absolutely gorgeous name, and I will definitely be considering it in the future - regardless of the child's ethnicity/skin pigmentation.

Guest Says:

2015-02-20T07:24:18

Well the literary vibe given for many many years has been "Golden- fair and beautiful" so it comes across golden haired, fair as in pure or angelic in demeanor, beautiful which describes the appearance.

For example, take the name Raphaela, Nameberry says: "A euphonious and lovely name with a dark-eyed, long-flowing-haired image" which just gives an idea that names do give off an image.

I gave no indication of rascism. While Niki Manaj may be black, I spoke of her bad girl reputation, which is why I chose the word sullied. I compaired her to Ingrid Bergman, who has a classy image and yes she does have golden hair. I chose to compair the two-a very current pop artist with an old Hollywood actress, so that the reader could see the dramatic differences over time and mannerism. In restrospect, I could have easily used Pink instead of Niki Manj, both are known for their bad girl reputation, but the first person who came to mind was Niki Manj whom is currently being pushed both on youtube, t.v., radio, xbox, playstation, and stores who play her music in the background. I mentioned hip hop, because that is Niki Minaj type of music and making connection between that and her to help place her. There is no need to search for racism.

alexandra mae Says:

2015-02-19T01:16:46

I don't really think you intend the racist undertones here but I can't help but point them out. You thing that name is pretty but brings you images of a black woman (who is strong and in control of her body in your reference) and you hope that one day, a child who has this name will continue to give off the "golden fair-beauty" vibe. Ie: not white. Not "hip hop."

Guest Says:

2015-02-18T23:38:05

While I REALLY want to like Galatea, I can't because I am on the fence. The name is pretty! It has had at least 200 years of use, remained rare, distinct and lead to the creation of one of my favorite movies, starring Audrey Hepburn. Yet, in today's world, it comes across mostly as a hip hop name. Part of me pictures; a sullied Nikki Manaj ( Think of her video Anaconda), while The other half of me pictures an Igrid Bergman ( both in looks and personality). I can't picture anything in between. I suppose this could give a parent's child, room to grow and make it their own. Perhaps continue is golden fair-beauty literary vibe.