Camilla (given name)

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Camilla
Pronunciation /kəˈmlə/ kə-MEE-lə
/kəˈmɪlə/ kə-MIL
Gender feminine
Origin
Word/name Latin (possibly Etruscan)
Meaning "acolyte" (young cult officiant); a Latin cognomen
Camille
Pronunciation /kəˈmɪl/
French: [kaˈmij]
Gender Unisex
Origin
Word/name French form of a Latin name

Camilla is a feminine given name. The French variant Camille may be either masculine or feminine.

It ultimately originates as the feminine of camillus, a term for a youth serving as acolyte in the ritual of ancient Roman religion, which may ultimately be of Etruscan origin. Camillus came to be used as a cognomen in Rome, and Camilla would be the feminine form of this cognomen from a period when cognomina had become hereditary clan names. The most notable bearer of this name in Roman history is Marcus Furius Camillus (ca. 446 – 365 BC), who according to Livy and Plutarch, triumphed four times, was five times dictator, and was honoured with the title of "Second Founder of Rome". In the Aeneid, Camilla was the name of a princess of the Volsci who was given as a servant to the goddess Diana and raised as a "warrior virgin" of the Amazon type.

In the English-speaking world, the name was popularized Fanny Burney's novel Camilla of 1796. The form Camille was later associated with the heroine of Dumas' The Lady of the Camellias (1848), which served as the basis for Verdi's opera La Traviata and several films. In Dumas' novel, Camille is not the given name of the heroine; this name was applied to her in derived works in the English-speaking world, presumably due to the similarity in sound to the floral name Camellia (which was coined by Linnaeus (1753) after the name of the Czech Jesuit missionary Georg Joseph Kamel). The name Camille was given to the heroine as early as in a silent film of 1915, but it became widely known (and led to an increased popularity of the given name in the United States) with Greta Garbo's Camille of 1936.

Hypocorisms of the name include Milly, Millie, Mille.

List of people with the given name Camilla[edit]

People with the given name Camille[edit]

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