Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Phillip

Phillip is a spelling variant of Philip. When spelled with two “L”s Phillip is more akin to the surname version of this name. Philip comes from the masculine Greek personal name Phílippos, from the components “philein” meaning ‘to love’ and “hippos” meaning ‘horse’. Therefore, the name Phillip is defined as ‘lover of horses’. This old Greek name has been popular since antiquity. It was borne by the father of Alexander the Great, Philip II of Macedon, in the 4th century B.C. In the classical period of ancient Greece, when horses proved vital, Philip was a name shared by scores of men, from army generals to philosophers, from astronomers to kings of Macedon, from statesmen to poets and from historians to Emperors. From a religious perspective, Philip the Apostle was one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles and Philip the Evangelist was an enthusiastic spreader of Christianity. In medieval times, Philip was a name shared by several of kings of France, Spain, and Portugal, not to mention other royals throughout Europe. Indeed, Philip has been a long enduring name with illustrious examples of men throughout 2500 years of history. Other versions of the name include: Philippos (Ancient Greek), Philippus (Ancient Latin), Philip (English), Philippe (French), Filippo (Italian), and Felipe (Spanish/Portuguese). The English feminine equivalent is Philippa (Pippa).

All About the Baby Name – Phillip

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME PHILLIP

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME PHILLIP

The traditional English spelling of Philip (with one “L”) was always the more popular choice until 1960 when Phillip (with two “L”s) prevailed. Phillip has now been the more preferred spelling for 50 years. Both Philip and Phillip have had very similar rides on the male naming charts. That is to say, both have been hugely successful until the 1990s and into this new century. Phillip has taken a significant drop in usage in the past 20 years (nearly 300 positions on the charts). Phillip is now given to about one-fifth the number of boys it was a mere two decades ago. After nearly 2500 years on the list of popular male names, Phil(l)ip is finally retreating to the shadows. This ancient name appears to be outdated and perhaps a little dull amidst the Noah, Ethan and Aidens of the nation. Once a masculine royal staple, you’d have to be a contrarian parent these days to pick an old name like Phillip. Regardless of where he appears on the charts, Phillip is a timeless classic. And a great choice for parents who live on a horse ranch or have a little future cowboy on their hands.

Quick Facts

ON PHILLIP

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

364

PRONUNCIATION:

FILL-ip

SIMPLE MEANING:

Lover of horses

Characteristics

OF PHILLIP

Independent

Individualistic

Ambitious

Strong-willed

Inventive

Successful

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Phillip

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME PHILLIP

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

Popular Songs

ON PHILLIP

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Phillip


Famous People

NAMED PHILLIP

Phillip Buchanon (football player)
Phillip Gonyea (musician)
Phillip Hagar Smith (electrical engineer, inventor)
Phillip Jack Brooks (aka “CM Punk” wrestler)
Phillip E. Johnson (one of the founders of the intelligent design movement)
Phillip Noyce (Australian film director)
Phillip Schofield (TV presenter)
Phillip Whitehead (British politician)

Children of Famous People

NAMED PHILLIP

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME PHILLIP

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