Where did the baby name Antigone come from in 1962?

The character Antigone (played by actress Irene Papas) from the movie "Antigone" (1961).
The title character from “Antigone

The Greek name Antigone (pronounced an-TIH-guh-nee) first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1962:

  • 1964: unlisted
  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: 8 baby girls named Antigone [debut]
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: unlisted

The ultimate origin is the Greek tragedy Antigone (441 B.C.), written by Sophocles.

But the thing that drew attention to the name in the early 1960s was the Greek-language movie Antigone (1961) — the first major theatrical film made of the story. The movie, which starred Greek actress Irene Papas as Antigone, won several film festival awards in 1961 and (I think) was first screened in the U.S. in mid-1962.

Where does the name come from? Two ancient Greek words: anti, meaning “against, opposite, in place of,” and gone, meaning “womb, childbirth, generation.” The intended meaning in Antigone’s case might be “in place of a mother,” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Do you like the name Antigone? Do you think it could work for a modern-day baby?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.