Unique Names Starting With P
Origin:French surname from place name Perci-en-Auge
Description:Percy is an adorable old name that is finally shedding its pampered Little Lord Fauntleroy image in this new era of boys with soft yet traditionally male names like Jasper and Elijah. Originating as an aristocratic Norman name, Percy became fairly widespread in England--and to some extent in the US--as an offshoot of the fame of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Description: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.
Origin:English flower name
Description:A quaint and quirky flower name, until recently considered a bit too prim for most American classrooms but brought back to life in recent years by the attractive character of Primrose "Prim" Everdeen in the Hunger Games series. In the Top 300 girl names in England and Wales and on Nameberry, Primrose remains rare in the US, but is made more accessible by a raft of sweet nickname options, including Rosie and Posy.
Meaning:"one who pierces the valley"
Description:There are several Percivals scattered through the Harry Potter series, which might help transform the old-fangled, fussy image it has accrued. Actually, the original Percival was the one perfectly pure Knight of the Round Table, a worthy hero. The name was invented in the twelfth century by a poet named Chretien de Troyes, for his ideal knight in the poem Percevale, a Knight of King Arthur.
Description:A strong Greek name with pan-European charm, Petra is a relatively recent feminization of Peter, though it relates back to an incredible ancient city in Jordan that was rediscovered in the early nineteenth century.
Origin:English, diminutive of Philippa
Meaning:"lover of horses"
Description:Pippa, a peppy condensation of Philippa that turns it from serious to sprightly, has come into the public eye in a big way via the former Kate Middleton's sister. Heard far more in the UK (where it's currently just outside the Top 100) than the US, Pippa has been used on its own since the nineteenth century, popularized by Robert Browning's dramatic poem, Pippa Passes. A recent book and film was titled The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.
Description:Peregrine is considered to be an elegantly aristocratic name in England, but has never made it to the U.S., where it has been seen as extravagantly eccentric. In the new naming climate, though, it's not beyond consideration — in fact it's already been chosen by at least one Berry.
Description:Pandora has occasionally been used by the British gentry (for girls with brothers who might be called Peregrine) and is now starting to be heard in the US too: It was given to 39 baby girls last year.
Description:Patricia still sounds patrician, though its scores of nicknames definitely don't. Wildly popular from the forties (alternately Number 3 and 4 throughout the decade) to the sixties, Patricia has been fading ever since. But a comeback in its full form is definitely conceivable—just look at Penelope.
Origin:Greek mythology name
Description:Perseus is a godly Greek hero (he was a son of Zeus) whose ancient name just might have modern possibilities along with other so-old-they're-new-again names such as Atticus and Orion.
Origin:English variation of Molly
Description:An alternative to the no-longer-fresh Molly, the initial 'P' gives Polly a peppier sound, combining the cozy virtues of an old-timey name with the bounce of a barmaid.
Description:Pax, one of the variations of names meaning peace that are newly popular in these less-than-peaceful times, got a lot of publicity when chosen by Brad & Angelina for their Vietnamese-born son. Parents attracted to Pax may also want to consider Paz, the unisex Spanish version, or Paxton, a growing-in-popularity surname choice that shares that magical X-factor.
Description:This simple, elegant name offers something for many kinds of parents, from writers and history buffs to photographers to Pennsylvania dwellers. Most famous bearers are comedian Penn Jillette and Gossip Girl hottie Penn Badgley, both of whom were given this distinctive name at birth. Long obscure, Penn seems destined for greater usage.
Origin:English fruit name
Description:Unlike the other fruit names that are just coming onto the baby name menu, Peaches is an old-timey nickname previously reserved for spangled showgirls, and now would be considered an outrageous -- verging on hip -- choice.
Origin:Greek, feminine variation of Philip
Meaning:"lover of horses"
Description:Philippa is a prime example of a boy's name adapted for girls that was common as crumpets in Cornwall, but rarely heard stateside, never having appeared in the Top 1000. That was before the advent of royal sister-in-law Philippa Middleton, who goes by the lively nickname Pippa.
Meaning:"from Mount Olympus"
Description:Soft name in the Mia-Nia-Tia family, Pia is heard in both European and Hindi languages.
Origin:Variation of Posy or short form of Mariposa
Description:Posie and its near-identical twins Posy and Posey are delicate old-fashioned flower names of the type that are stylish today: Think Poppy, Marigold, Clover. Posie might also be a short form for butterfly name Mariposa, or even of Josephine, Sophia, or Penelope. Plus it's the name of cosmetics line by Kylie Jenner, and a Posie might be what you do when you take a Selfie, right?
Description:Priya originated in India as a name derived from the Sanskrit word for “beloved.” In India, where names are often given based on one’s birthday and horoscope, Priya is traditionally given to girls born in August. Priya is used in Hindu mythology as the name of a daughter of King Daksha—known for fathering 146 daughters.
Meaning:"of the Passover; Easter"
Description:The French-accented Pascal was historically used for sons born at Easter, and can make an interesting choice for a boy with Gallic roots arriving around that holiday.
Origin:Swedish or Cornish
Description:Pixie is a cute -- quite possibly too cute -- name that suddenly feels possible thanks to the craze for names that contain the letter x. Though its origin may be uncertain, a pixie is internationally recognized as a sprite or fairy: tiny, sometimes green, usually pointy-eared.
Meaning:"lover of strength"
Description: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.
Description:This name of a tragic figure in Greek mythology, the daughter of King Minos, sister of Ariadne and wife of Theseus, has a mysterious and intriguing appeal, and would make a dramatic choice.
Meaning:"a bunch of flowers"
Description:Posey is fashionable in England, a country of gardeners, but this pretty bouquet-of-flowers name is rarely heard here. A possible alternative to Rosy or short form for Josephine. Posey (or Posy or Posie) could also work as a nickname for a range of other names, from Penelope to Sophia. Other P-beginning flower names you may want to consider along with Posey: Poppy, Petal, Primrose. Girl names that start with P are definitely cool again.
Description:Prudence, like Hope and Faith, is a Puritan virtue name with a quiet charm and sensitivity that is slowly returning to favor, though it hasn't yet registered on the charts.
Meaning:"pig, hog or doorway"
Description:Portia is a perfect role-model name, relating to Shakespeare's brilliant and spirited lawyer in The Merchant of Venice, and is now also a Hunger Games name .
Description:An evocative unisex one-syllable name, Poe is most distinguished by its literary reference. Edgar Allan Poe was an influential American author and poet, credited with inventing the genres of detective and science fiction, which might provide inspiration for parents who are fans. And now its choice as the name of the hero played by Oscar Isaac in the new Star Wars movie is sure to catapult it from literary choice to major favorite.
Meaning:"dweller near a pear tree"
Description:It's a long time now since this casual but suave name was linked to velvet-throated, cardigan-sweatered singer Perry (born Pierino, son of Pietro) Como's day...and this could be the moment for a reassessment.
Origin:English, diminutive of Philip
Meaning:"lover of horses"
Description:The original Pip was the main character in Great Expectations (full name Philip Pirrip). Cute for a tike, problematic for a man.
Origin:Diminutive of Margaret, Greek
Description:Just when we had written off Peggy as the eternal perky, pug-nosed prom-queen she projected from the 1920s into the fifties, along came Mad Men, with intriguing mid-century characters with names like Joan and Betty--and Peggy, causing a bit of a re-think. MM's proto-feminist Peggy Olson was followed by Amy Adams's strong Oscar-nominated Peggy Dodd character in The Master.
Origin:English from Latin
Description:Parents are beginning to scan the whole spice shelf for inspiration, picking up on Saffron, Sage, and Cinnamon -- and opening up a chance for this spiciest possibility of all; used for peppy TV characters.
Origin:Variation of Pepin
Description:Super-sweet name that was the title of a Broadway play -- but best known as a type of apple. The Dutch variation is Pepijn is finding some popularity in that country, where short nickname names are stylish.
Description:Phyllis has been used by classical poets for the idealized pastoral maiden. A Greek mythological name of a woman who was turned into an almond tree, Phyllis was in the Top 100 from 1916 to 1958, reaching #24 in 1929, and has the (remote) possibility of joining other revived s-ending names like Iris. In the 'St Clare' book series by Enid Blyton Phyllis is nicknamed Fizz. Just a thought. Phyllida is a variation that sounds at once more old-fashioned and more stylish.
Description:Pam was a somewhat pampered prom queen of the sixties who was never called by her full name, which is a pity because Pamela is so mellifluous and rich in literary history. A Top 25 name from the late 1940's through the late 60's, Pamela has just, sadly, dropped out of the Top 1000.
Description:The Roman god of the underworld, the former ninth planet, a cartoon dog...but not a baby.
Origin:French, feminine variation of Paul
Description:Pauline had its moment of glory almost a century ago, when movie audiences were thrilling to the silent serial The Perils of Pauline; it's a sweet and gentle name that just might be due for reconsideration. Off the list since the late 1990s, Pauline was a Top 50 name from around 1908 to 1930.
Description:The name of a character in Dawson's Creek, from a surname derived from the Gallo-Roman personal name Paccius, of unknown meaning.
Description:The first famous Paris was a mythological prince of incredible beauty. The most recent was media darling Paris Hilton, inspirer of a generation of baby-girl namesakes. But since Pierce Brosnan and other celebs have continued to use it for their sons, the name retains some masculine identity. For girls, it jumped from #464 to #412 in the past year alone.
Origin:Italian, variation of Paul
Description:Paolo is an irresistibly lush Italian name for boys, worlds more romantic than its spare English equivalent.
Meaning:"a bunch of flowers"
Description:A sweet, nostalgic nosegay kind of name, Posy has been long fashionable in England, a country of gardeners, but this pretty bouquet-of-flowers name is still rarely heard in the US, though it could be seen as a more unusual possible alternative to Rosy or Josie.
Description:Unspecific place-name with a wonderfully wide-open, spacious, western feel; used for a character in Thomas Pynchon's novel Vineland.
Description:British-born novelist Plum Sykes has taken this rich, fruity name out of the produce section and put it into the baby name basket. It's more appealing than Apple, more presentable than Peaches. The French equivalent, Prune, is very fashionable there but would not fly with English speakers.
Origin:French variation of Peter
Description:One of the most familiar—if not stereotypical—Gallic names.
Description:A Shakespearean invention for an abandoned baby in The Winter's Tale, Perdita's sense of loss has always been off-putting to parents. But her image was somewhat resuscitated by its association with the appealing canine character in Disney's One Hundred and One Dalmations.
Description:Phelan, pronounced FAY-lan or FEE-lan, is an appealing Irish surname name, with a rich history in Irish myth and religious and secular life. One bearer was a fiercely loyal follower of the legendary warrior Finn MacCool, another was a missionary saint.
Origin:English from Greek
Description:Petal is the soft and sweet-smelling name of a character in the novel and film, The Shipping News. With the rise of such flower names as Poppy and Posy, we believe Petal — down-to-earth yet romantic — has its own appealingly distinctive style.
Origin:American animal name
Meaning:"pike, a fish"
Description:The field of nature names is constantly expanding to include all species of flowers and trees and animals and birds and even fish. In addition to its appeal for anglers, Pike recalls Zebulon Pike, the explorer who discovered and gave his name to Pike's Peak.
Description:The fact that this Spanish classic, which honors the Virgin Mary, does not end in the conventional letter 'a' gives it a special sense of strength, elegance, and style, making it a worthy choice.