Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Felicia

Felicia is a name that’s been around since the Middle Ages; it was ultimately borrowed from the Late Latin “felicitas” meaning “happiness, good fortune” (it’s from the same place we get the masculine given name Felix). Felicitas was borne by a 2nd/3rd century saint who lived as a slave in the Roman province of Carthage (Northern Africa) and was martyred alongside her mistress Saint Perpetua. These two saints were so highly celebrated in medieval times their names became closely associated with the Roman Church. Perpetua and Felicitas converted to Christianity during a period of time when baptisms were punishable by death in the Roman Empire, and this was the fate handed down to the two women. Their story was further enhanced by a first-person account written by Perpetua in her diaries in the days leading to their execution (if truly written in her own hand, the document is considered the oldest surviving work crafted by a woman). At the time, Perpetua was still nursing her newborn baby and her handmaiden Felicitas was pregnant. Since it was against Roman law to execute a pregnant woman, Felicitas had to wait to give birth (a Christian couple adopted her baby). The two women bravely faced their execution in a public arena (alongside a few other male martyrs at the same time). Saints Perpetua and Felicitas are called upon in prayer to watch over mothers separated from their children (usually during war or persecutions), and they also protect imprisoned mothers. They have historically served as examples of faith and courage which are qualities important especially in the Catholic Church. Yes, we know this isn’t the “happiest” of stories, but according to legend, Felicitas was more than “happy” to meet her fate and martyr herself in the name of Christ. Felicia has been used regularly among the English, the Spanish as well as Slavic people and Scandinavians. Today the name is most popular in Sweden where it’s a Top 40 choice for baby girls.

All About the Baby Name – Felicia

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME FELICIA

The number Nine personality represents the completion or ending of the cycle, and a need for perfection. This is the personality that moves from "self" to a greater understanding and compassion for the human condition and the world order. They want to make the world a better place. Nines are capable of great spiritual and humanitarian achievements. They are courageous and fearless, able to fight great battles on behalf of worthy causes. These personalities will not tolerate injustice. They are compassionate people with a strong sensitivity to others. They are able to both educate and inspire. Friendships and relationships are the lifeblood to the Nine, and they place a high value on love and affection. Nines are often exceptionally gifted artistically, and they have a keen imagination and enterprising mind.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME FELICIA

In the United States, usage of Felicia dates back to the late 19th century (which is as far back as we have data). As the 20th century got underway, Felicia was used with very light moderation. While not very popular at first, she still managed to maintain some modicum of usage. It wasn’t until the late 1950s when Felicia’s appeal started to grow. This may have been influenced by actress/model Felicia Farr who was performing in some popular Westerns at the time. The name continued to do well for several decades and even hit the Top 100 list for two years (1986-1987). From her heights of popular usage in the late 1980s, Felicia apparently grew unhappy – because the name pretty much went into a free fall decline from there and dropped off the Top 1000 list altogether in 2005. In other words, Felicia is out of circulation – no longer on the American radar. While Felicity remains on the U.S. female naming charts, the three-syllable Felicia has retreated into the shadows. It’s still a classic in our book – and one that dates back for centuries. If her past staying-power and endurance is any indicator, then we can expect Felicia to happily and triumphantly return to the charts sometime in the near future.

Quick Facts

ON FELICIA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

N/A

PRONUNCIATION:

fə-LEE-shə

SIMPLE MEANING:

Happy

Characteristics

OF FELICIA

Multi-talented

Intuitive

Oneness

Idealistic

Philanthropy

Independent

Perfection

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Felicia

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME FELICIA

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Felicia

Popular Songs

ON FELICIA

Felicia
a song by the Blues Travelers

Felicia No Capecia
a song by Louis Prima

Famous People

NAMED FELICIA

Felicia Day (actress)
Felicia Hemans (English poet)
Felicia Chin (Singapore actress)
Felicia Barton (contestant on American Idol)
Felicia Pearson (actress)
Felicia Farr (actress, wife of Jack Lemmon)

Children of Famous People

NAMED FELICIA

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Felicia

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME FELICIA

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Felicia