English, Egyptian
"the Nubian"

Phineas Origin and Meaning

The name Phineas is a boy's name of Hebrew origin meaning "the Nubian".
Phineas is the English variation of Phinehas, a Hebrew name likely derived from the Egyptian name Pa-nehasi. Pa-nehasi, meaning “the Nubian” can also be translated as “the bronze-colored one.” The Egyptians distinguished themselves from their Nubian neighbors through differences in skin tone.

Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake gave it star-cred when they used it for their son in 2020, but it was Julia Roberts who drew the biblical Phineas into the limelight back in 2004. She chose the even-more-antique spelling Phinnaeus for her twin son, now called Finn. Phineas had last been heard from via circus impresario Phineas T. Barnum, until it was brought somewhat up to date via the Disney Channel animated show Phineas and Ferb.

Anthony Trollope combined name and nickname for the young, handsome and charming Irish lawyer hero of his eponymous novel, Phineas Finn. Phineas is also the name of three biblical personages and was popular among the seventeenth century Puritans. Jazz pianist Phineas Newborn, Jr. is a contemporary namesake.

Trivia note: In early movies, characters named Phineas had nicknames like Prune, Whipsnake and Whoopee.

Bottom line: A quirky path to nickname Finn.
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Famous People Named Phineas

  • Phineas Taylor "P. T." BarnumAmerican circus showman
  • Phineas F. Breseefounder of the Church of the Nazarene
  • Phineas Parkhurst QuimbyAmerican philosopher and healer
  • Phineas GageAmerican railroad foreman who survived a freak accident
  • Phineas Lyman TracyU.S. Congressman from New York
  • Phineas Newborn Jr.American jazz pianist
  • Phineas JonesU.S. Congressman from New Jersey
  • Phineas Warren HitchcockU.S. Senator from Nebraska
  • Phineas BruceU.S. Congressman from Massachusetts
  • Phineas Howe YoungAmerican Mormon leader; son of Brigham Young
  • Phineas Chapman LounsburyAmerican politician; 53rd Governor of Connecticut
  • Phineas Francisson of singer Wil Francis of horror punk band Aiden
  • Phineas Davidson (b. 2009)son of actors Mary Stuart Masterson and Jeremy Davidson
  • Matthew Phineas Previnson of actress Mia Farrow and composer Andre Previn
  • Logan Phineas Miller Murphy (b. 2012)son of producer Ryan Murphy and David Miller

Phineas in Pop Culture

  • Phineas "Finny"a character in "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles
  • Phineas Nigellus Blacka minor character in the "Harry Potter" series
  • Phineas Fletcherfriend to Simeon Halliday in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1851)
  • Phineas Fletchernarrator of "John Halifax, Gentleman" (1856)
  • Phineas Flynncharacter on animated series "Phineas and Ferb"
  • Phineas Filchcharacter in video game Ace Attorney'
  • Phineas Darkoncharacter n the "Genius" series, by Catherine Jinks
  • Phineas T. Blustera puppet character on the television show Howdy Doody
  • Phineas Bogga character in Voyagers!
  • Phineas Finncharacter in the series by Anthony Trollope
  • Phineas T. Freakearscharacter in Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers
  • Phineas Hortoncharacter in Marvel Comics
  • Phineasa character in the 1963 film Jason and the Argonauts
  • Phineas Sharpcharacter in Disney's Darkwing Duck
  • Phineascharacter in Allies in Power Rangers: Mystic Force
  • Phineasmultiple characters in Disney's The Haunted Mansion ride
  • Phineas T. Ratchetantagonist in the movie "Robots"

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