WHAT IT MEANS: Friend of strength
WHERE IT ORIGINATED: From the Greek elements philos, meaning “friend,” and menos, meaning “strength.” The name gained favor in the early 19th century after the discovery of an ancient Roman saint’s tomb marked “Filumena.”
KNOW THIS: According to Greek mythology, Philomena was an Athenian princess who was transformed by the gods into a nightingale. The name ranked in the U.S. Top 1000 through 1940, peaking at number 355 in 1915.
POP CULTURE CONNECTION: Philomena is the name of an acclaimed 2013 film which tells the true story of mother Philomena Lee and her 50 year search for the son she gave up for adoption.