Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Felicity

Felicity is an English vocabulary word meaning “happiness, contentment”. The word was borrowed from the Late Latin “felicitas” meaning “happiness, good fortune”. 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 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 the story, Felicitas was more than “happy” to meet her fate and martyr herself in the name of Christ. It’s for this reason that the Puritans took up Felicity as a “virtue” name during or after the Protestant Reformation around the 17th century.

All About the Baby Name – Felicity

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME FELICITY

The number Eight personality has everything to do with power, wealth and abundance. Somehow, this personality has been blessed on the material plane, but their authoritative and problem-solving traits provide evidence that their good fortunes are not just the luck of the lottery. They are well earned. This is the personality of CEOs and high-ranking military personnel. Eights are intensely active, hard-driving individuals. Success is only meaningful to them after a job well-done.  They are remarkable in their ability to see the larger picture right down to the smallest details, and organize a strategy around success. They then have the ability to direct a group around them toward any goal, and realize individual potential to get the most out of their team.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME FELICITY

Ironically, this “happy” sounding virtue name did not achieve a position on the American female naming charts until 1998. Although we know it’s been used prior, just not with enough frequency to hit the Top 1000 list for baby girls. It wasn’t the name’s “happy” etymology which finally propelled it onto the charts; nor was it the popular early Christian saint. Nope. What caused the sudden appearance of Felicity on the U.S. naming charts was a television show. “Felicity” first aired in 1998 and starred Keri Russell as a college student. Future parents apparently liked the name enough and Felicity finally landed a spot on the Top 1000 list for the first time the year the drama series debuted. The usage of this name may have also been influenced by American Doll Felicity Merriman, a free-spirited girl living in colonial America before and during the Revolutionary War. In any case, this name is still quite underused and holds the distinction of being at position #666 on the charts today. Still, what more do you wish for on your child but “happiness”? Who can argue with its meaning? Perhaps you can name her brother Felix (also from the Latin meaning “happy, good fortune”). Although Felicity has an ancient etymology, it still feels quite modern. The name is energetic, upbeat and friendly (but without sounding too “cutesy” on a mature woman). In other words, Felicity is a “happy” name but without the unicorns and rainbows. It’s also got that beautiful four-syllable sound. Lissy and Fliss are possible pet names. This one is clearly not in danger of becoming overused any time soon, so it might be one to consider if you like original yet traditional choices.

Quick Facts

ON FELICITY

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

4

RANKING POPULARITY:

579

PRONUNCIATION:

fi-LIS-i-tee

SIMPLE MEANING:

Happiness

Characteristics

OF FELICITY

Authoritative

Powerful

Tough

Tenacious

Wealthy

Problem-solver

Achiever

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Felicity

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME FELICITY

Felicity Worthington is one of the main characters in Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle Trilogy, written between 2003 and 2007, and depicting the Gothic adventures of a young girl at an English boarding school in 1895, along with her three friends, including Felicity. Felicity becomes Gemma’s friend after Gemma witnesses her in a compromising activity with Ithal, and Gemma promises not to tell. Felicity is a full-figured, sensuous, pale blond who is rather resentful of Gemma for her higher occult powers. She is also a complex young girl, who copes with a disturbing past and strives to be in control and powerful. At the same time, she is a loyal friend, especially to Gemma, and struggles with feelings of guilt and abandonment. Witty and sarcastic, Felicity is a force to be reckoned with, as she boldly seizes and devours the fruit of life, forbidden or not – she is a rebellious young woman who would be more at home in a later century than the nineteenth.

Popular Songs

ON FELICITY

Felicity
a song by Orange Juice

Famous People

NAMED FELICITY

Felicity Huffman (actress)

Children of Famous People

NAMED FELICITY

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME FELICITY

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