Pamela (name)

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This article is about the name Pamela. For other uses or acronyms, see Pamela (disambiguation). For the novel, see Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded.
Pronunciation /ˈpæmələ/ PAM-ə-lə
Gender Female
Word/name Greek words pan ("all"), and meli ("honey")
Meaning "all sweetness"
Region of origin England, 16th century
Other names
Related names Pam

Pamela is a feminine given name. Pamela is often abbreviated to Pam.[1] Pamela is infrequently used as a surname.[2]


Sir Philip Sidney invented the name Pamela for a pivotal character in his epic prose work, The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, written in the late 16th century and published posthumously. It is widely thought that Sidney intended the name to mean "all sweetness" having in mind the Greek words pan ("all") and meli ("honey").[2][3]

The Samuel Richardson novel Pamela in 1740 or 1741 inaugurated the use of Pamela as a given name but it was not in common usage until the 20th century.[2]

A rare early bearer of the name is Lady Edward FitzGerald (c.1773–1831) and although she went by the name Pamela her true name was Stephanie Caroline Anne Syms.[4]

The name's popularity may have been hindered by the tendency to pronounce it /pəˈmlə/ pə-MEE-lə which was not fully superseded by the now-standard /ˈpæmələ/ PAM-ə-lə until the start of the 20th century.[5]

People with the name or its variants include:

Given name[edit]


Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pam". Behind the Name. 
  2. ^ a b c "Pamela – name meaning and origin". Think Baby Names. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  3. ^ "Pamela". Behind the Name. 
  4. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Pamela Fitzgerald
  5. ^ Norman, Teresa (2003). A World of Baby Names. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group. p. 141. ISBN 0-399-52894-6. 
  6. ^ "Pamela of the jungle".