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Updated May 9, 2024

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Girl name origins & meanings

What does Ophelia mean and stand for?


  • Greek: Helper; wise
  • English: Serpentine, twisting, or winding

Gender: Female

Syllables: 4

Pronunciation: The name Ophelia is pronounced o-feel-ya

The name Ophelia, evocative of elegance and tragedy, is of Greek origin, meaning "help." It is famously borne by the character in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, where Ophelia is a symbol of innocence and purity, tragically caught in the schemes surrounding her.

Girl name variations

How Popular Is The Name Ophelia

Famous people who gave their babies this name

Ophelia in Pop Culture

Do you know these fictional characters that share this first name?

  • Ophelia from Hamlet - A noblewoman of Denmark, the potential wife of Prince Hamlet, and one of Shakespeare's most mystifying and tragic heroines.
  • Ophelia from Pan's Labyrinth - The protagonist of Guillermo del Toro's dark fantasy film, a young girl who discovers a mysterious, magical world.
  • Ophelia Mayer from The Bold Type - A recurring character in the television series, known for her strong will and ambition in the fast-paced world of magazine publishing.
  • Ophelia Sarkissian from Marvel Comics - Better known as Viper, she is a formidable supervillain and an adversary of the superhero team, The Avengers.
  • Ophelia Pryce from The Royals -  A recurring character in the television series, known for her cunning and manipulative ways as a member of the royal family.

Popularity of the Name Ophelia

According to Social Security Administration data, Ophelia has seen a resurgence in popularity, climbing the ranks significantly in recent years. While it was relatively uncommon in the late 20th century, Ophelia has made a dramatic entrance into the top 500 names in the U.S. over the last decade. This increase in popularity could be attributed to a growing fascination with vintage and classical names, as well as the name's appearance in various forms of media and literature.

Notably, Ophelia is a name that evokes a sense of artistic and literary sophistication, often associated with the tragic heroine of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Outside of Shakespeare, notable Ophelias include influential individuals and characters in books, movies, and TV shows that span genres and eras, highlighting the timeless appeal of the name.

Where Is the Name Ophelia Popular?

This name is most popular across certain states in the U.S., including those highlighted on the map below.

Nicknames for Ophelia

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby.

  • Ophie
  • Lia
  • Phee

Ophelia Pairs Well With These Middle Names

Looking for a middle name that fits perfectly? Consider these!

Appears On

Browse these related baby name lists that feature this name and many, many more!

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