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Alternative forms[edit]


From Ancient Greek Φυλλίς (Phullís, foliage).

Proper noun[edit]


  1. (Greek mythology) A girl who killed herself for love, and was turned into an almond tree.
  2. A female given name derived from the mythological character.
    • 1599 John Farmer, Fair Phyllis (a madrigal):
      Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone / Feeding her flock near to the mountain side
    • 1855 A.W., The Little Foot-Page, in Chambers's Journal, No. 92, Oct. 6, 1855:
      But the name to which the Pages were given of yore, / And the name of the Page I am speaking of, bore / As much likeness as Sukey to Eleonore, / or Betty to Phyllis or Lalage;
    • 1906 Edith Nesbit, The Railway Children, Chapter 11:
      "Look," said Bobbie, "I've made the nest all right again. Give me the bit of stick to mark your initial name on it. But how can you? Your letter and Peter's are the same. P. for Peter, P. for Phyllis." "I put F. for Phyllis," said the child of that name. "That's how it sounds. The swallows wouldn't spell Phyllis with a P., I'm certain-sure."
    • 2002 Patricia McCune Irvine, A Tinkling Cymbal, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 183:
      "Well, you know when a father's name is Paul and they name the baby girl, Paulette?" "Or Paula." "That's right. Or his name is Philip and they name her Phyllis?" "Or Phillipa. Don't forget Phillipa. I love the name Phillipa." Lark smiled and played the game with Holly.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The given name was mostly limited to pastoral poetry until it became popular in the Anglo-Saxon world during the first half of the 20th century.

Related terms[edit]