Daphne is a name which somehow has sunk from popularity which is such a shame because it is a lovely name, a really lovely name. I’m not prejudiced even though I have known many lovely Daphnes including my mum’s best friend, bridesmaid and my godmother.
Daphne was a naiad, a water spirit; there are many stories and myths about her, including the one where Apollo fell in love with her, pursued her too energetically and as a result she begged her father Ladon for help and he changed her into a bay tree. I suppose a modern name which is popular today but has the same meaning is Laurel.
There are apparently quite a few variations of the name, Daffi, Daffie, Daffy, Dafna, Dafne, Dafnee, Dafneigh, Dafnie, Danfy, Daphna, Daphney and Daphnie… Surely these are nicknames not variations? Surely no-one calls their beautiful baby girl by these?
I thought there were quite a few famous Daphnes, but when I come to investigate I can’t find them! Daphne du Maurier the writer, Daphne Oxenford the radio personality, Daphne Guinness… um, and that’s it!
It is such a pretty name, I’ve used it once in my novels, Daphne Martens is a very active older lady in ‘Magick’… maybe i should have a young Daphne!