Gender: Female Meaning of Penelope: "weaver" Origin of Penelope: Greek Penelope's Popularity in 2019: #22

Penelope Origin and Meaning

The name Penelope is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "weaver".

Penelope is a name from Greek mythology; she was the wife of Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey. It has two possible origin stories—Penelope was either derived from the Greek pēnē, meaning “thread of a bobbin,” or penelops, a type of duck. Mythological Penelope was cared for by a duck as an infant, and later was known for delaying her suiters by pretending to weave a garment while her husband was at sea.

Penelope is a classic name that's been leaping up the charts, thanks to the glamorous image of Spanish actress Penelope Cruz and its choice by Kourtney Kardashian for her young daughter. It's one of the fastest-rising names; it reached the Top 100 for the first time in 2013 and is now the most popular girls' name starting with P.

Penelope was also picked for their girls by Tina Fey, by Anna Chlumsky, and by Natalie and Taylor Hanson, of the group Hanson. In 2001, before this rash of celebrity usage, Penelope was down at Number 945.

It has several British novelists as namesakes—Penelopes Fitzgerald, Mortimer, Gilliatt, and Lively. And yes, she's also a Harry Potter character: Penelope "Penny" is a student at Hogwarts.

Penelope is a strong Nameberry favorite, though instead of the traditional Penny as a nickname, many Berries suggest Nell or Poppy.

16 names similar to Penelope

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Penelope. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Penelope, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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


Rank in US: #22

- this week

Famous People Named Penelope

Pop Culture References for the name Penelope

Penny, Penina, Pelcha, Peneli, Pen, Penna, Penney, Pennie

Penelope's International Variations

Peniel (Hebrew) Lopa, Pela, Pelcia (Polish) Pipitsa, Popi, Pinelopi (Greek) Penelopa, Peni (Spanish) Pennelope, Pépélope (French)


ivy194 Says:


This name is gorgeous! I refuse to let that Kardashian kid tarnish it. This has many sweet nickname options. I would adore to meet a Penelope!

penelope_lynson Says:


My name :) I love it! My nicknames are Poppy (mostly), Penny and Pip.

Griffin Says:


My parents were going to name me this if i were a girl, with Penny as a nn. It's okay I guess, always used it while pretending to be a girl on the internet and even before that when I was a kid and wanted to mess with strangers. Kind of feel like it's a little bit my real name
People would always say it was beautiful and obscure and it really was obscure! Idk what is happening, I would actually prefer it to stay unpopular

SouthernPeach Says:


I loved that movie!

SouthernPeach Says:


I am in love with Penelope Lark nn Nellie! *swoon*

TechnoKitten Says:


I don't believe you,you must be a troll.

Sapphire Says:


I bet your lying

Sapphire Says:


This is my cousins bunny’s name, so I can’t use this name but I do like it

ceruleanstardust Says:


Penelope is much too popular for me to use but I can definitley appreciate the nickname options. There's: obvious ones like Penny and P; vintage ones like Elle and Nell; sweet ones like Poppy and Sweet-Pea.

Sapphire Says:


I think this name is so cute! I love it it works for a baby teenager and adult! This name is definitely on the top of my baby name list

sofiaishere Says:



Lindsay Says:


Mason was popular before she named her son. Has Reign ever been popular?

Spy Says:


This name in Spanish sounds very bad, “pene”

Ashley Braden Says:


I'm born the year of the pig and the girl who plays Penelope is a big part on my childhood from Adams family to Casper lol and I didn't know poppy could be a nick name so that makes me fall even more in love with the name Penelope

SCB Says:


I love this name. One of my favorites. It just doesn't feel like it's that popular to me though.

stella2007 Says:


I love it but my mum hates it. She doesn't like the nicknames Penny and Pippa either. I think of Penelope Cruz when I hear the name, I think she's very beautiful. I think it's become a lot more popular after Kourtney Kardashian named her daughter. All her children's names skyrocketed back to popularity after she named Mason, Penelope and Reign Aston.

bordercollie Says:


I'm quite fond of the nickname Penny, but I've never been a fan of Penelope. I find it clunky and a little pretentious. The fact I dislike this name might be because I used to think it was pronounced Pen-uh-lope, like cantaloupe, and the image still lingers.

LilySue Says:


I once heard about Penelope with nn Pepsi and was just. Wow. Odd but super awesome idea. Sounds so cute and spunky!

NameLover 11 Says:


I adore this name!!! So cute. Lola or Nellie would be really cute nicknames.

NameLover 11 Says:


This name is so cute!! I wish that is wasn't so popular..

Thepandaprincess223 Says:


I think Penelope is very pretty. If I was called Penelope I would want to addressed by my full name most if the time and only from time to time be called Penny.

Daiseymae Says:


I love the nickname Penny.

hermioneameliastyles Says:


I like this name. Thank you The Big Bang Theory and Nancy Drew!

RedPanda1203 Says:


I love this name. I know a girl called Eppie who's actual name is Penelope and I remember thinking what an ugly nickname but now it has really grown on me. I think Eppie is actually quite a sweet name to add to the long list of nicknames for Penelope.

i_love_cats Says:


Plum would also be such a sweet nickname! Kind of a pet name, but also a legitimate name, as well. Nell is my favourite, though :)

Mikayla395 Says:


I love this name! It's beautiful and sweet, while it isn't to popular. I plan on naming my daughter Penelope, and going with the nickname Nelly. A gorgeous, classic name!

Kali Love Says:


My daughter was born in 2005 and I chose Penelope. She's 11 now and hates her name. Sigh. I think it's the most beautiful name.
We call her Nelly for short. She prefers that much more. That's what she goes by at school.

LostKid Says:


This name feels stuffy, clunky and pretentious to me.

indiefendi2 Says:


Before little miss Disick is born, Penelope is 125 on the popularity list. Afterwards it's 56. Coincidence I think *NOT*.

Chlojo36 Says:


Penelope will always remind me of that movie where the girl was cursed with a pigs nose...

TaylorMRC Says:


For some reason I really don't like this name

AlexxisLynn Says:


I love the nick name Pippa!

AlexxisLynn Says:


I love it.

headintheclouds Says:


To add on to my previous comment, my first instinct when I see Penelope is to pronounce it like cantaloupe! I don't know if it's just me, but I always have to correct myself and say Pen-eh-low-pee :b

Rick Hyland Says:


We named our daughter Penelope and call her Nellie for short, sometimes Pepper. I love the diverse options for this name.

Impwood Says:


I can see why people like this name, but it's not for me.

germanstar Says:


No you're not. I hate this name. I can't understand why is it becoming so popular and why do so many people like it.

georgiaO Says:


What Kardashian kid had this name? I'm not sure if I like it anymore. I like Penelope Iris though...

georgiaO Says:


Penelope is a beautiful name, and I love the nickname Pip!

vintageisfave Says:


Why does everyone love this name? I honestly don't see the appeal.

helenlouise Says:


Somehow I don't believe this for a second.

headintheclouds Says:


I've always thought it was surprising that this name would become so mainstream popular, when similar sounding names like Persephone and Hermione are not at all. I suppose it's a matter of exposure and timing- Penelope Cruz and the many celeb babies named Penelope were probably the main reason for its taking off.

I personally don't really love it since it sounds too precocious in my ears, but I can see the appeal. I love the Greek origins, and the story behind loyal Penelope devising clever ways to thwart her suitors. Plus Penn or Nell are great nicknames (the only ones I like for this name).

Penelope Says:


I'm a Penelope from the 1950's when it was very unusual. I love being called Penelope. Hated going by Penny in elementary school because of all the nickle and dime jokes from the boys. I think I would have loved Poppy as a nickname. Had a hard time with people mispronouncing it and never being able to spell it. But thanks to Penelope Cruz et al, I don't have so much trouble with it anymore.

Daiseymae Says:


Very sweet name!

JustBrowsing Says:


My cousin named Penelope goes by 'Pip'. It fits her well.

joberholtzer Says:


I agree that this name sounds classy, but it is definitely a guilty pleasure name for me. I particularly don't like the meaning of "with a web over her face."

princessmadison Says:


I'm sorry, but I despise this name.

TaliaCat Says:


Kind of can't believe this name has become so popular, and I really don't get it. To me, it has an ugly non-feminine sound. I don't like it at all.

MaryKathryn Says:


This name became extremely popular so quickly. Plus, I could never use a name utilized by a Kardashian.

Leah3456 Says:


I didn't like this name at first, but it started to grow on me. It sounds so pretty and sophisicated.

Caroline Says:


I changed my mind!!

nessette Says:


In my first experiences with this name, I couldn't figure out how it was supposed to be pronounced (I was 8 or 9 at the time), and I ended up thinking it was "pen-elope". It took me an embarrassingly long time to learn it was "pe-ne-lo-pe", but by that time my feelings for the name had already settled, and years later I still can't seem to convince myself to like it, which is a pity because the nns are cute.

Caroline Says:



Caroline Says:


I love this name and the nicknames that go with it like Sweet Pea, Penny or Poppy!

Lelly Says:


I named my four month old Penelope. We use the nickname "Pippa". I've loved the name for years. When I was pregnant with my son almost five years ago, it was my "girl name". So sad that she came after a Kardashian kid. I hate when someone assumes she had anything to do with my child's name. As if. Anyways, I adore the name!

jordalini Says:


I like this name, as a middle name, until I heard someone say Pee-na-lope, I haven't been able to get that out of my head ever since.

aimeekeren14 Says:


I really want to love this name, as I love Phoebe and even Persephone, but I can't get past the -nel sound, it sounds ugly to me.

jordalini Says:


I think this would be a lovely middle name, but I like Calliope more, has the same feeling but more fun and less common

Zoey_Artemisia Says:


the name is composed of the elements pene 'needle' and lopas 'spool' which has taken to mean 'weaver of cunning', someone whose motives are hard to decipher. It's the name of Odysseus's faithful wife and it has a good meaning, it could be used instead of the name Athena, if someone's not brave enough to use it.

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


I don't like it either. It sounds pretentious.

13KidsCrazy Says:


My 1 year old's name. LOVE THIS NAME!! Penelope is a septuplet (7 kids 1 pregnancy). Her sisters call her pene.

Guest Says:


I don't hate this name as much as much as everyone else on NB but I think it's super cute with the nickname Penn. Otherwise I think it's clunky.

clairels Says:


To me this was always a "so what?" name, but now I find myself starting to actively dislike it simply because wherever I turn on Nameberry, somebody is slobbering all over it.

kitchi1 Says:


No. Reading the comments from "What name can't you stand?" or whatever it's called, many berries admitted they cannot stand the name Penelope. Surprising to me...I really like it!

DearestJules Says:


No, I know lots of berries who say they hate it too. Me, personally, I don't hate it, but I don't exactly love it either.

Hydra Says:


I really seem to be the only one that doesn't like this name!

mabespark Says:


I absolutely adore this name. So classic and beautiful without being faded or clunky.

kitchi1 Says:


Very pretty name. A lot of cute nicknames, too! My favorites would be Penny, Nell, and Nellie.

CocoWhite Says:


I think this name was popular even before Kourtney chose it for her daughter (though I'm sure she did do something in making the name more known to the public). When I hear Penelope, though, I don't automatically think Kardashian.

Guest Says:


such a shame that it had to be a Kardashian to make this name popular. I only like it because of the beautiful Penelope Cruz, other than that I think it's geeky. I imagine pigtails when I hear this name.

loverofnames86 Says:


I am glad that the Kardashians used this name and has helped it gain popularity. It's beautiful/a little quirky. I like the nickname Nellie that can go with it.

Giinkies Says:


I like this name for the nicknames Poppy and Lola.

Elvie23 Says:


I love this name! My best friend wants to name her little girl Penelope Mitchell (her dad and grandfather's mn) and call her Pippa.

Poppy Says:


I absolutely love this name (because it is mine, lol). It's Greek, and I love anything that is Greek. It has an interesting meaning, a unique and appealing sound, and it is one of the few names that ends with a long "E" sound without sounding ridiculous. It also has great nicknames. My favorite is Poppy (duh) but I also like Penny and Nellie. My little brother used to call me Pennyweather, which is why I no longer go by Penny. But it is still a great name.

Netta5187 Says:


One of my all time favorite names! It's super classy and elegant, but never sounds stuffy. And there is a plethora of nicknames: Penny, Lola, Poppy, Peppy, Pep, Nell, Nellie (My great aunt went by this), Penna, and Pippa. And my favorite actress shares her name too! (Penelope Cruz)

jessica Says:


Love all the nick names we came up with for this name. Instead of the traditional Penny... We use Nel and Nellie. Since her name is Penelope Joy we also call her PJ. O:-)