Phoebe is the Latinized form of the Greek name Phoibe, which means ‘bright, pure’. In Greek mythology, Phoibe was a Titan associated with the moon. Her granddaughter was the moon goddess Artemis.
Phoebe is a first name typically given to girls, but in rare cases also used as a boys name.
The name Phoebe isn’t among the current fashionable names in our top 10 stats, but nonetheless, it’s still very popular and common. In our SmartGenius ranking of all girls names, Phoebe ranks 269. Recently, out of every 10,000 newborn girls, approximately 7 were named Phoebe. If you polled the whole US population – children, adults and seniors – you’d find less than one in 10,000 to be named Phoebe.
For more than 140 years, parents decide to name their daughter Phoebe annualy. This means that there have been girls named Phoebe who witnessed the first Labor Day parade in the U.S. or followed Albert Einstein's career. The name has 'always been there', but never ranked in the top 100, and thus women named Phoebe have consistently been special. The name was particularly popular a long time ago in the 19th century. In one particular year, long before the first passenger flight and even before there was the first real radio, parents liked Phoebe even more than any other time: in 1880, it holds its present record of rank #210 in the list of the most popular girls' names.
In years where the graph has no value, the name Phoebe was given less than five times or even none at all in the entire USA.
Phoebe has never been ranked higher than #210. In 2021, she rivaled the 233 names that preceded her on the list. In total, 1,235 girls named Phoebe were born in that year. For comparison: 30 years earlier, in 1991, when possibly the parents of the now very young Phoebe were born, there have been 234 newborns who received this name.
The name Phoebe may not be in the top rankings of the most popular girls’ names, but it is one of the few female given names, along with only 536 others, that can be found in every single state in the U.S. from Alaska to Florida and from California to New York. Of course, the name occurs more frequently in some states than in others – and Phoebe is apparently especially popular in New Hampshire. Although the name is not one of the top 100 most popular women’s names here either, one in 2,458 women in New Hampshire is called Phoebe. In total, that’s 190 women who feel addressed when the name Phoebe is shouted loudly across New Hampshire and who ensure that their name makes it to #403 in our SmartGenius ranking of the most common female names in this nice state. If you asked all women in the entire U.S. for their first name, you would hear Phoebe as the answer a total of 28,919 times. This places Phoebe at #710 in our SmartGenius statistics for the most popular women’s names in the whole of the USA. This is true for all currently living women across all states and age groups – the recent popularity of the name Phoebe as a baby name is, of course, a bit different, as you can see from the statistics above.
Well, you might say, you probably figured that out yourself! But what you might not know is: The letter P is quite rare as an initial letter for girls' names: only 1.6% of all common girls' names in the US begin with a P, which means that this initial occurs only about half as often as the other letters on average. Nevertheless, P is by no means the rarest initial. While A, S and M are the most common first letters of girls' names, Q, X and U are the least common initials of feminine first names.
With six letters, the name Phoebe is of average length. In fact, 28% of all common first names in the US consist of exactly six letters. 24% of all first names are shorter, while 48% have seven letters or more. On average, first names in the US (not counting hyphenated names) are 6.5 letters long. There are no significant differences between boys' and girls' names.
That means that since 1.6% of all girls’ names begin with a P, this initial occurs less than half as often as the other letters on average. By the way, of the comparatively few girls' names that begin with a P, Patricia is currently the most common.
If your name is Phoebe and someone asks after your name, you can of course just tell them what it is. But sometimes that isn't so easy - what if it's too loud, and you don't understand them well? Or what if the other person is so far away that you can see them but not hear them? In these situations, you can communicate your name in so many other ways: you call spell it, sign it, or even use a flag to wave it...
So that everyone really understands you when you have to spell the name Phoebe, you can simply say:
Braille is made up of dots, which the blind and visually impaired can feel to read words.
Just use American Sign Language!
These flags are used for maritime communication - each flag represents a letter.
In the navy, sailors of two ships might wave flags to each other to send messages. A sailor holds two flags in specific positions to represent different letters.
In Morse code, letters and other characters are represented only by a series of short and long tones. For example, a short tone followed by a long tone stands for the letter A. Phoebe sounds like this: