How popular is the baby name Fina in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Fina and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Fina.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Fina

Number of Babies Named Fina

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Fina

The Baby Name Fifinella

Women’s History Month is almost over, so let me squeeze in a post about Fifinella, a rare-but-real name with ties not only to the pioneering female aviators of WWII, but also to Walt Disney, Roald Dahl, Tchaikovsky, and a champion British racehorse.

Fifinella began as a children’s Christmas play. It was co-written by Englishmen Barry Jackson and Basil Dean, with music by Norman Hayes. Fifinella was first performed at the Liverpool Repertory Theatre in December of 1912.

fifinella - the play
From “The Stage” Year Book, 1913

The play — sometimes called “Fluffy Nellie” — “included 14 scenes and a harlequinade.” It was also adapted into the book Fifinella, a fairy frolic (1912) by Basil Dean’s then-wife Esther Van Gruisen.

The next year, an English thoroughbred horse was born to dam Silver Fowl and sire Polymelus. The chestnut filly, owned by newspaper proprietor Sir Edward Hulton, was named Fifinella.

fifinella in 1916
Fifinella in 1916

Fifinella went on become the last horse to win both the Derby and the Oaks in a single year, 1916.

That’s the same year English author and former Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot Roald Dahl was born — reason enough, apparently, for him to want to use Fifinella in his very first children’s book The Gremlins (1943), “a story drawing on RAF folklore which held that little creatures were responsible for the various mechanical failures on aeroplanes.”

The gremilns are convinced by a pilot named Gus to make peace with the RAF and join forces with the British to combat a more sinister villain; Hitler and the Nazis. The gremlins are then re-trained by the RAF to repair British aircraft instead of destroy them.

In the book, “fifinella” isn’t a name but a noun referring to a female gremlin. (Baby gremlins are called “widgets.”)

The book was put out by Walt Disney Productions and Random House. Walt Disney had wanted to make the book into a movie, but the movie never happened.

The gremlins “did live on in the form of military insignias,” though.

Walt Disney himself granted at least 30 military units permission to use gremlins as mascots/insignias during WWII, and even “assigned several artists to create these one-of-a-kind designs on a full-time basis.”

Units with gremlin mascots included the 17th Weather Squadron of San Francisco, the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School, and the Royal Canadian Air Force ‘Sky Sweepers.’

But the most famous gremlin mascot, Fifinella, belonged to the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), an paramilitary unit of 1,000+ women who flew non-combat flights in order to free male pilots for combat service.


(She had been an unofficial mascot of the Women’s Flying Training Detachment (WFTD), which in August of 1943 merged with another group of female pilots to become the WASPs, even before permission was granted.)

The WASPs put Fifinella’s image on everything from patches to letterheads to matchbook covers. The Fifinella mascot even made an appearance in a mid-1943 LIFE article about the WASPs.

Member of Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) wears Fifinella patch on blouse, 1943

After the WASPs were disbanded in late 1944, ex-WASPs created the Order of Fifinella, an group that was both social (e.g., organizing reunions) and political (e.g., working to gain recognition as veterans).

Finally, one last Fifinella reference: In late 1945, Austrian tenor Richard Tauber recorded an English version of “Pimpinella – Florentine Song” (1878) by Russian composer Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. One of the many lyrical changes he made was replacing the name Pimpinella with the name Fifinella. (Here’s Richard Tauber singing Fifinella.)

So the name Fifinella has been around for at least a century. It’s been associated with theater, literature, sport, war, feminism and music. Has it ever been used as the name of a human being?

Yes, but rarely. I’ve only found a handful of Fifinellas, and all of them were born outside the United States:

  • Fifinella Downes (later Clarke), Australia
  • Fifinella “Fif” Beatrice Evans, d. 2007, England
  • Fifinella Flavell, b. 1923, England
  • Fifinella Hill (later Gratwick), Australia
  • Fifinella Lewis, b. 1914, Ireland
  • Fifinella Mallard (later Newson), 1901-1969, England
  • Fifinella Charlotte Agatha Nelson, d. 1947, Australia
  • Fifinella Patricia Russell (later Ceret), b. 1927, Ireland
  • Fifinella Silcox (later Mccluskey), b. 1948, England

So it’s definitely an unusual name. It’s also quite whimsical, and it has a ton of nickname potential (Fifi, Fina, Nell, Nella, Nellie). Do you like it? Would you ever consider using Fifinella as a baby name?


60 Unique Female Saint Names – Belina, Genoveva, Maura, Savina…

Theresa, Joan, Monica, Clare…if you’re thinking about female saint names, these are probably some of the first names that come to mind.

But what if you’re looking for a name that’s a little less ordinary?

Well, things get tricky. Many other female saint names range from unstylish (e.g. Agnes, Gertrude) to basically unusable (e.g. Sexburga, Eustochium).

But some lady-saints do have cool, unusual names. To prove it, I’ve gone through the entire Roman Martyrology (and a few other sources) and collected sixty names that I think might appeal to modern parents. Here they are, ordered by feast day:

  1. St. Geneviève, Frankish, 6th century. Feast day: January 3.
  2. St. Talida, Egyptian, 4th century. Feast day: January 5.
  3. St. Genoveva Torres Morales, Spanish, 20th century. Her name is the Spanish form of Geneviève. Feast day: January 5.
  4. St. Marciana, Roman, 4th century. Feast day: January 9.
  5. St. Savina, Roman, 4th century. Feast day: January 30.
  6. St. Marcella, Roman, 5th century. Feast day: January 31.
  7. St. Viridiana, Italian, 13th century. Feast day: February 1.
  8. St. Cinnia, Irish, 5th century. In Irish, the letter C is always hard (i.e. pronounced like a K). Feast day: February 1.
  9. Sts. Maura, various places and centuries. Feast days include February 13, May 3, and November 30.
  10. St. Belina, French, 12th century. Feast day: February 19.
  11. St. Romana, Roman, 4th century. She may be merely legendary. Feast day: February 23.
  12. Bl. Villana de’Botti, Italian, 14th century. Feast day: February 28.
  13. St. Foila, Irish, 6th century. Also recorded as Faile and Faoile (possibly pronounced FWEE-la), her name may mean seagull in certain dialects. Feast day: March 3.
  14. St. Fina, Italian, 13th century. Her full name may have been Serafina. Feast day: March 12.
  15. St. Maria Gemma Umberta Pia Galgani, Italian, 1878-1903. Feast day: April 11.
  16. St. Vissia, Roman, 3rd century. Feast day: April 12.
  17. St. Domnina, Roman, 1st century. Feast day: April 14.
  18. St. Anthia, Roman, 2nd century. Feast day: April 18.
  19. St. Zita, Italian, 13th century. Patroness of maids and domestic servants. Dante wrote her into his Inferno [Canto XXI, line 38] during the early 1300s. Feast day: April 27.
  20. St. Tertulla, Numidian, 3rd century. Feast day: April 29.
  21. St. Henedina, Roman, 2nd century. Feast day: May 14.
  22. Sts. Basilla, various places and centuries. Feast days include May 17, May 20, and August 29.
  23. St. Emmelia, Anatolian, 4th century. Feast day: May 30.
  24. St. Melosa, Greek, unknown century. Feast day: June 1.
  25. Sts. Melania, both Roman, both 5th century. Melania the Elder is the paternal grandmother of Melania the Younger. Feast days: June 8 and December 31.
  26. Sts. Julitta, both Anatolian, both 4th century. Julitta is a diminutive of Julia. Feast days: June 16 and July 30.
  27. Sts. Marina, various places and centuries. Feast days include June 18, July 17, and July 18.
  28. St. Demetria, Roman, 4th century. Feast day: June 21.
  29. St. Lucina, Roman, 1st century. Feast day: June 30. (Several other saints were also named Lucina.)
  30. Sts. Cyrilla, one Egyptian, 4th century, the other Roman, 3rd century. Feast days: July 5 and October 28.
  31. St. Triphina, Breton, 6th century. Feast day: July 5.
  32. St. Sunniva, Irish (but associated with Norway), 10th century. The name has become moderately popular in Norway within the past decade or so. Feast day: July 8.
  33. St. Severa, Frankish, 7th century. Feast day: July 20. (Several other saints were also named Severa.)
  34. St. Liliosa, Spanish, 9th century. Feast day: July 27.
  35. St. Serapia, Roman, 2nd century. She was a slave belonging to St. Sabina (below). Feast day: July 29.
  36. St. Clelia Barbieri, Italian, 19th century. Feast day: July 13.
  37. Bl. Kateri Tekakwitham, Mohawk, 17th century. Kateri is a Mohawk rendering of the name Catherine. Feast day: July 14.
  38. St. Kinga, Polish, 13th century. Also known as Cunegunda and Kunigunda, she is the patroness of Poland and Lithuania. Feast day: July 24.
  39. Sts. Lucilla, both Roman, both 3th century. Feast days: July 29 and August 25.
  40. St. Seraphina, unknown location, 5th century. Feast day: July 29.
  41. St. Serena, Roman, 3rd century. Likely a legendary saint. Feast day: August 16.
  42. St. Sabina, Roman, 2nd century. One of her slaves was St. Serapia (above). Feast day: August 29.
  43. St. Ammia, Anatolian, 3rd century. Feast day: August 31.
  44. St. Verena, Egyptian (but associated with Switzerland), 3rd century. Feast day: September 1.
  45. St. Rosalia, Italian, 12th century. In Palermo, a festino is held every July 15th in her honor. Feast day: September 4.
  46. St. Melitina, Greek, 2nd century. Feast day: September 15.
  47. Sts. Aurelia, one possibly Italian, unknown century, the other Austrian, 11th century. Feast days: September 25 and October 15.
  48. St. Lioba, English (but associated with Germany), 8th century. Also known as Leoba, Liobgetha, and Leobgytha. Feast day: September 28.
  49. St. Flavia, Roman, unknown century. Feast day: October 5th.
  50. St. Flaviana, possibly Frankish, unknown century. Feast day: October 5.
  51. St. Galla, Roman, 6th century. Her name is likely based on the Latin word gallus, meaning either Gaulish (if capitalized) or rooster (if uncapitalized). Feast day: October 5.
  52. St. Saula, possibly British, possibly 4rd century. Or, she could be legendary. Associated with St. Ursula. Feast day: October 20.
  53. St. Cilinia, Frankish, 5th century. Feast day: October 21.
  54. St. Alodia, Spanish, 9th century. Feast day: October 22.
  55. St. Cyrenia, Anatolian, 4th century. Feast day: November 1.
  56. St. Carina, Anatolian, 4th century. Feast day: November 7.
  57. St. Apphia, Anatolian, 1st century. Feast day: November 22.
  58. St. Attalia, Austrian, 8th century. Feast day: December 3.
  59. St. Asella, Roman, 5th century. Feast day: December 6.
  60. St. Anysia, Greek, 4th century. Feast day: December 30.

Of all the names in the series, only four (Maura, Marina, Serena, and Carina…see any trends?) currently rank among the the top 1,000 baby names in the nation. Eleven others ranked in previous years, but not in 2007.

Did you see any names you liked?

More importantly, did I miss any good ones?

Update, 2016: Here are a few more…

  • St. Hyacintha Mariscotti (Italian: Giacinta), 17th century. Feast day: January 30.
  • St. Humility, 13th century. Feast: March 22.
  • St. Maravillas de Jesús, 20th century. (Maravillas means “wonders” in Spanish.) Feast day: December 11.