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Gender: Masculine, Feminine
: English
Etymology and History:
Phoenix is the name of a creature from Egyptian mythology. The word itself is of Greek origin, “phoinix” a word that meant “crimson” or “red-purple.”

It was the name given to male bird with red and gold feathers, who burned itself to ashes and is then reborn again. The Phoenix is a sign of rebirth. It comes from a Grecian word, “phoinix,” meaning “crimson.”

Phoenix may have been first used as a first name in the Iliad, where it belonged to one of the Greeks attacking Troy.

Phoenix is also occasionally a surname from the Old French surname Fénix or Phenix. This may have been given to one who lived near a sign of a Phoenix, perhaps an inn?

Lately, the name Phoenix has been adopted as a first name, no doubt by parents seeking something “unusual.” Or, it may have benefited from the trend of giving children “city-names” like London, Boston, Houston... or Phoenix.

Pronunciation: fee-nix.

Alternates: Phenix.

Famous Bearers:
The first steamship to cross the Atlantic.

Phoenix Islands
In the central Pacific.

Percentage from the 1990 U.S. Census:
less than 0.004 % of males named Phoenix
0.001 % surnamed Phoenix

Popularity of Phoenix, for males
Popularity (for newborns)
In the United States...
1880-1994: N/A
1995: 984th most popular.
1996: N/A
1997: 926th most popular.
1998: 912th most popular.
1999: 930th most popular.
2000: 880th most popular.
2001: 631st most popular.
2002: 626th most popular.
2003: 574th most popular.
2004: 558th most popular.

Popularity of Phoenix, for females:
Popularity (for newborns)
In the United States...
1880- 2002: N/A
2003: 982nd most popular.
2004: 879th most popular.

Selected Sources:
The Social Security Administration Actuarial Note 139 ( - For popularity stats 1880-Present
The 1880 U.S. Census- For popularity stats 1850-1880, and other information (it is available on-line at

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