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Gender: Female Meaning of Philomena: "lover of strength" Origin of Philomena: Greek

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.

In Greek myth, Philomena was an Athenian princess who was transformed by the gods into a nightingale to save her from the advances of a lecherous king.

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.

16 names similar to Philomena

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Philomena. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Philomena, 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 Philomena using our baby name generator.

Popularity

- this week

Famous People Named Philomena

Pop Culture References for the name Philomena

Filomenia, Filumena, Filomina, Philomina, Filimena

Philomena's International Variations

Filomena (Italian) Philomène (French)

Comments

10BenJammin Says:

2017-08-21T15:17:23

The root word "Phil" comes from a Greek verb meaning "to love". So both words share that part of the meaning.

Fluffykitten101 Says:

2016-08-28T18:44:15

That's a lovely nickname!

Fluffykitten101 Says:

2016-08-28T18:43:41

Brony alert! *Cringes*

Sam Thoth Says:

2016-05-18T16:37:36

Ŕandom 'Philomena' Fact: "Philomena" is a *Phoenix*, the personal pet of the powerful Sun Princess Celestia, in the thoughtfully well-written animated children's sci-fi/fantasy program, "My Little Pony", as re-imagineded by Ms Laurel Faust. Episode: "A Bird in the Hoof", originally aired 04/08/11 on the channel Discovery Family.

Marlaina Says:

2016-05-15T15:59:37

This name has deep roots and almost an obsession on my mom's side of the family. Both of my great grandmothers had this name and they named a daughter it and the daughter named her daughter it and so on. It was considered for my mother but my grandma said no, there are too many haha
I like the nn Mena but not so much the Philo part.
Also, I could have sworn that "Phil" had a connection with horses, such as the name Phillip means "lover of horses".

mamasiebels Says:

2016-04-26T04:37:07

My great grandmother always went my Minnie

mamasiebels Says:

2016-04-26T04:35:10

I have a little Philomena! Named after my great grandma. We call her Mina most of the time but also Philly and Phillis.

RoddyThlayli Says:

2016-04-03T16:01:33

I really like this, but I can't decide if I like Filomena or Philomena more.

headintheclouds Says:

2015-09-16T04:05:14

Philomena sounds clunky in the best way that fusty Victorian vintage names usually are. It strikes me as a scientific/academic intellectual name for some reason.

LostMargaret Says:

2015-09-02T06:42:07

I am considering Philomena more and more these days. It's so fun to say: I think I'd just use the full name or shorten it to "Philo," which I say to rhyme with willow.

marmalade Says:

2015-08-30T16:26:14

Philomena is my mother's name. I love it so much that it's my daughter's middle name. My mom's nicknames are Phillie or Mena, but she usually goes by Philomena

ThistleThorn Says:

2015-03-10T22:09:54

I love this, I wonder if Pippa could be a nickname?

lynn_wentworth Says:

2015-01-29T16:54:01

I knew a little girl that went by Pippa and Pip, she was adorable

Catastroffy Says:

2015-01-19T11:16:33

Philly, Philo, Mena, and Lo are possibilities.

Catastroffy Says:

2014-11-11T12:48:33

How could this be clunky? All the letters are smooth and flowing.

aetfleetwood Says:

2014-10-23T04:07:36

I've known a couple of people named Philomena who go by Billie, which I think is a lovely derivation.

madmaddie Says:

2014-09-25T21:52:50

Well the description says she was a real person; that just couldn’t be helped. But I agree, pop-culture discovery of under looked names kind of ruins them a bit. Take Elsa, for example: forever tied with Frozen, no matter how beautiful. The same goes for Hermione - nobody can use it without being assumed a Harry Potter diehard.

Zoey_Artemisia Says:

2014-09-23T11:07:50

Philomena was not the name of an Ancient Greek princess, that was Philomela.....some of the facts on these names are inaccurate. The name means love-strong, and is the feminine form of Philomenes.

jojobabyberry Says:

2014-09-18T17:14:17

I had a teacher called Philomena and she went by Mena.

Alicia1 Says:

2014-09-18T15:40:07

I'm really starting to like this name. I like the meaning as well. What would be some good nn besides the obvious Phil?

raevynstar Says:

2014-09-08T22:04:45

I've never heard of this film. It's a good name.

winter128 Says:

2014-05-25T02:31:42

Oh why did they have to go and make an Oscar-nominated movie about an elderly lady with this name... it was always one of my favorite names. I'm afraid the association with the film would be too strong.