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Gender: Feminine
: English
Parnel is a contraction of the name Petronel, a medieval form of the Latin name Petronilla, a diminutive of the name Petrona, from Petronius, which is most likely related to the name Peter, or Petros, which is Greek for “Rock.”

Petrona can be found in England from the 12th century until the 14th century. It’s diminutive English form was Petronel (St. Petronilla was invoked against fevers) which was soon contracted into Parnel.

Unfortunately, Pernel, or Parnel also became a slang term for a loose woman (although it survived in rural areas of Cornwall and Lancashire until the 18th century).

It has been rare since the 18th century.

Please see Petrona for more information.

Pronunciation: par-nell.

Alternates: Pernel, Parnwell, Peronall.

Surnames: Parnall, Parnell, Parnwell, Purnell.

Percentage from the 1990 U.S. Census:
less than 0.001 % of females named Parnel

Popularity of Parnel
Popularity (for newborns):
In the United States...
1880-2004: N/A

Selected Sources:
A Dictionary of English Surnames, Reaney and Wilson, 1997
The Penguin Dictionary of First Names, Pickering, 1999
A Dictionary of First Names, Hanks and Hodges, 1990
The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, Withycombe, 3rd ed., 1977

The Social Security Administration Actuarial Note 139 - For popularity stats 1880-Present
The 1880 U.S. Census- For popularity stats 1850-1880

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