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25 July 2005

All you US-ian Shrek fans, or non-fans, and non-US-ians, I’ve a question. How popular a name is Fiona, in your opinion.

Just wondering because it never struck me a particularly “princessly” name, and I was wondering was that the intent, or was it just a vaguely familiar but still uncommon name that the writers decided to use.

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17 Responses

  1. weenie says:

    LOL – agree there, Fence. I've known 3 Fiona's and none of them were even lady-like, never mind princess-like! :)

    Having said that, did many fairy tale princesses/females even have names, apart from Cinderella? Err…Sleeping Beauty? Beauty and the Beast? Little Red Riding Hood was named after the item of clothing she wore and she'd be banned from the woods as a "hoodie" these days! ;)

  2. Anne says:

    It hasn't got a particularly royal connotation in French, but it isn't negatively viewed either. Does that make sense?

  3. Fence says:

    Well to me Fiona is a regular name that anyone could have. Shrek on the other hand, Not your every-day name. Then you've got your man Farquaad (yes I checked imdb for the spelling) Prince Charming in the second film, and her parents just go by King and Queen, so I was wondering why they went with Fiona.

    Is the name Fiona even used in the States? Or is it all exotic over there?

    Anne, your comment makes perfect sense. that's the way it is seen here too I'd say.

  4. NineMoons says:

    I got me an auntie and a cousin called it but the auntie is technically Elizabeth Fionnuala. The cousin used to be a BRAT but is growing out of it. Slowly.
    I remember thinking when I saw Shrek that they must have picked Fiona cos it was so unprincessy. Instead of calling her Sapphire or summat. Maybe to underline that she wasn't just your ordinary ho–hum princes i
    Beauty and the Beast – wasn't she called Belle in the original French version? So that in the English version they called her Beauty which was a bit crap as names go. But Disney reverted to Belle for their version.
    Little Red Riding Hood has got to be the worst name ever. Even the original Red Cap is crap.
    Sleeping Beauty was called Rose or Briar Rose in the Bros Grimm version I had at home.
    Maybe the reason they don't give them proper names apart from naming them after things like Rotkappen (Red Cap) Cendrillon (of the ashes) or mostly just leaving it as Little whatever is to make them universal. So that even though you were at school with someone you hated who shared a name with your favourite fairy tale character, it didn't spoil it.
    I love fairy tale origin stuff.

  5. Fence says:

    Well I know in Irish myth there are a few Princess Fiona's… But for general fairy tales, well they were stereotypes and cliches and moral lessons, so they didn't need names as such.

  6. NineMoons says:

    Fiona has been slipping in popularity in Ireland for the past few years, from 501st place in the top 100 irish baby names in 1998 to 80th in 2003. (CSO)

  7. NineMoons says:

    Doesn't fionn mean fair as gaeilge? So it would make sense to go with a name that means basically beauty. But if that's what they were going for I woulda gone with something longer. Fionnavar or summat.
    I never heard of the name Fiona in Irish myth (though will bow to your superior knowledge here. Thought it was a made-up name, (Scottish?) like Vanessa.

  8. Fence says:

    No. unless the mythy things were re-written which is entirely possible. Fiona means white or fair yes.

  9. NineMoons says:

    Will not in fact bow to your superior judgment. Will google. :-)

  10. NineMoons says:

    this site seems to think there's a name 'Fiona' invented for some scottish heroine of a 19th C novel but then goes on to expla why under Gaelic (Scots and Irish) name spelling, Fiona wasn't a name. Only maybe it was a later corruption of Fína. Hmm.

  11. Fence says:

    Well it makes sense, but if you look at most Irish names that are used nowadays they are all kinda creations, spelling-wise. I've always thought it was more to do with Fionnula (which means white shoulders iirc)

    Wikipedia seem to think that Fiona means a vine? And that it has a different origin than the scottish fiona.

    Who knows?

  12. weenie says:

    To all those Fiona's out there, I just re-read my post and I'm not implying that all Fiona's are "unlady-like or un-princessy". Just the ones I knew! ;)

  13. Heather says:

    Well I'm "US-ian" and I don't know anyone with the name Fiona. I would say it's not that common over here. I have always liked the name but I don't think it goes well with my last name (Fargis). It ranked #327 on the Top 500 names in the US last year (2004).

    And no, I don't think it is particularly Princess-y.

  14. Andi says:

    I have yet to ever meet a Fiona. Very sad indeed.

  15. Fence says:

    You poor people. Never knowing a Fiona.

    And I like using US-ian because it doesn't include Canadians or South Americans the way American should. Not that I've anything against non-USian Americans, just that sometimes I'm not talking about you lot when I am talking about US-ians, thats all. And if you can understand that sentence after one single reading well done.

    Plus, I like to make up new words.

  16. NineMoons says:

    I'm off to Paris. Missing you already. Call you Saturday. Mwah!

  17. Fence says:

    Cheerio. Have a good flight Though I'd say you're gone by now.