Ophelia

Ophelia was first coined in 1504 by Italian poet Jacobo Sannazaro for his poem Arcadia though it’s famously connected to William Shakespeare’s character in Hamlet although whether Shakespeare was inspired by Sannazaro or came up with it himself independently isn’t clear. The name was inspired from Greek ōphéleia (ὠφέλειᾰ) meaning “help, aid, succor” though it could also be related to Greek óphelos (ὄφελοςmeaning “profit, advantage, benefit” especially one made in war. The name may also have been based on the masculine name Ophellas, the name of a Macedonian soldier who served with Alexander the Great and was later the governor of the city of Cyrene acting under the rule of Ptolemy I, and it seems likely that the name is based on the Greek meanings though I couldn’t find anything online to confirm it.

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Ophélie (French)
  • Ofelia (Spanish, Italian)
  • Ofélia (Portuguese)
  • Ophela
  • Ephelia

 

Male forms:

  • Ophelio
  • Ofelio
  • Ophelas
  • Ophellas

 

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