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What is the Meaning of the Name Ophelia?

By Emma Davies


Updated on

Ophelia is a beautiful name originating from ancient Greece that means ‘help’ or ‘aid’. Thought to derive from the Greek word ōphéleia, the name was originally spelled Ofelia and was first used in the 1504 poem by Jacopo Sannazaro, “Arcadia”.

What is the Meaning of the Name Ophelia?

Ophelia was brought to the limelight in the late 1500s by William Shakespeare, as the famous playwright and poet gave the name to the love interest of the protagonist in his renowned tragedy, Hamlet. Because of its link to the character, the name has become associated with innocence and tragic beauty.

The Greek name is typically given to baby girls. But if you have a little boy on the way, Ophelius is the masculine alternative.

  • Origin: Ancient Greek
  • Meaning: Help or aid
  • Pronunciation: uh – fee – lee – uh
  • Gender: Female

How Popular is the Name Ophelia?

If you want a unique baby girl name starting with O, Ophelia may be the one for you. This name has never been a common choice in the United States. In fact, between 1958 and 2015 the name wasn’t even ranked in the top 1000 most popular baby girl names.

However, the name is starting to see a resurgence and has been growing in popularity over recent years. According to the Social Security Administration, 1006 baby girls were called Ophelia in 2021, and this ancient name was ranked at number 321 – the highest the name has ever ranked.

Name Variations

Name Meaning Origin
Availia Help Greek
Filia Friendship Greek
Ofilia Help Greek
Uvelia Help Greek
Ubelia Help Greek
Ophelya Aid or benefit Greek
Ovalia Help Greek

Other Greek Girl Names

Name Meaning
Athena Greek goddess of warfare
Daphne Laurel
Helen Torch
Phoebe Bright or Pure
Clio Glory
Thalia To blossom
Aella Whirlwind

Alternative Girl Names Starting with ‘O’

Name Meaning Origin
Olivia Olive Latin
Opal Jewel Sanskrit
Olwen White footprint Welsh
Orah Light Hebrew
Ocean Sea Greek
Octavia Eighth Latin
Orli My light Hebrew

Famous People Named Ophelia

  • Ophelia Devourer – American model and businesswoman
  • Ophelia Dahl – Daughter of author Roald Dahl and British social activist
  • Ophelia Lovibond – British actress
  • Ophelia Pastrana – Colombian activist
  • Ophelia Saint – Daughter of Foo Fighters frontman, Dave Grohl