Peculiar P's

  1. Pallas
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "wisdom"
    • Description:

      This rarified Greek name -- in classical mythology Pallas Athena was the goddess of wisdom and the arts -- might appeal to literary-minded parents. Among the raft of stylish girl names that start with P, Pallas is one rare choice that is often overlooked....but shouldn't be.
  2. Paloma
    • Origin:

      Spanish
    • Meaning:

      "dove"
    • Description:

      Paloma is vibrant and ruby-lipped a la jewelry designer Paloma Picasso, but it also suggests peace, as symbolized by the dove. Paloma is a highly recommended striking but soft name, one of the best of the names that mean peace and girls' names starting with P.
  3. Pascal
    • Origin:

      French; English
    • 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.
  4. Patience
    • Origin:

      Latin virtue name
    • Description:

      Patience is a passive virtue turned engaging name, fresher than Hope, Faith, or even Charity. Its resemblance to the trendy Payton may be one reason for its recent spike in popularity.
  5. Paula
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Paul
    • Meaning:

      "small"
    • Description:

      Paula still seems somewhat stuck in the era of duo Paul and Paula bopping out the song "Hey, Paula." Two pronunciations are possible—the English "PAW-la" and the Portuguese "POW-la."
  6. Pax
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "peaceful"
    • 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.
  7. Pearl
    • Origin:

      Latin gem name
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Pearl, like Ruby, has begun to be polished up for a new generation of fashionable children after a century of jewelry box storage. The birthstone for the month of June, Pearl could also make a fresher middle name alternative to the overused Rose. Cool couple Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson named their daughter Pearl Minnie, followed by Jack Osbourne, and several celebs have put it in the middle spot, as in Busy Philipps's Cricket Pearl, Jake Owen's Olive Pearl and Caleb Followill's Dixie Pearl .
  8. Percy
    • 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.
  9. Petal
    • Origin:

      English from Greek
    • Meaning:

      "leaf"
    • 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.
  10. Peter
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "rock, stone"
    • Description:

      Peter is derived from the Greek Petros, meaning "rock" or "stone." One of the most important figures in the Christian hagiography is Saint Peter, keeper of the Gates of Heaven. Born Simon bar Jonah, he was given the nickname Peter by Jesus, to signify that he would be the rock on which Christ would build Christianity. Centuries later, there was Peter the Great, the czar who developed Russia as a major European power.
  11. Phelan
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "wolf"
    • 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.
  12. Philo
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "loving"
    • Description:

      Could Philo be the next Milo?
  13. Phineas
    • Origin:

      English, Egyptian
    • Meaning:

      "the Nubian"
    • 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.
  14. Phoebe
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "radiant, shining one"
    • Description:

      Phoebe is the Latin variation of the Greek name Phoibe, which derived from phoibos, meaning "bright." In classical mythology, Phoebe is the by-name of Artemis, goddess of the moon and of hunting. The masculine version of Phoebe is Phoebus.
  15. Pilar
    • Origin:

      Spanish
    • Meaning:

      "pillar"
    • 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.
  16. Placido
    • Origin:

      Italian and Spanish
    • Meaning:

      "serene"
    • Description:

      Opera star Domingo was responsible for giving this popular Latin name its green card. It was commonly used by early Christians to convey their serenity in the faith, and it was borne by several minor saints.
  17. Plato
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "broad-shouldered"
    • Description:

      The name of one of the greatest Western philosophers is often used as a first name in its land of origin, Greece, and would make a really interesting, thought-provoking choice here. It is remembered here as the nickname of the memorable character played by Sal Mineo in the classic film "Rebel Without a Cause."
  18. Portia
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "pig"
    • 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 .
  19. Praxis
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "practical"
    • Description:

      In mythology, another name for Aphrodite -- but the rare feminine name that sounds better for a boy.
  20. Prudence
    • Origin:

      Virtue name
    • Meaning:

      "caution"
    • 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.