|Gender||Female; sometimes Male|
|Meaning||"Noble" (i.e. a patrician)|
|Region of origin||north England, Scotland, & Ireland|
|Related names||Patricia (fem), Patrick (masc)|
Patsy is a given name often used as a diminutive of the feminine given name Patricia or sometimes the masculine name Patrick, or occasionally other names containing the syllable "Pat" or "Pet" (such as Cleopatra, Patience, or Patrice). Among Italian-Americans, it is often used as a pet name for Pasquale.
In older usage, Patsy was also a nickname for Martha or Matilda, following a common nicknaming pattern of changing an M to a P (such as in Margaret → Meg/Meggy → Peg/Peggy; and Molly → Polly) and adding a feminine suffix. President George Washington called his wife, Martha, "Patsy" in private correspondence, while President Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter Martha was known by the nickname "Patsy," while his daughter Mary was called "Polly."
While usually a feminine diminutive name, from the 18th century, Patsy also came to be used as a nickname for men and boys called Patrick.
The popularity of the name has waned with the rise of its, chiefly North American, meaning as "dupe" or "scapegoat". This usage may come from the vaudevillian Billy B. Van, whose 1890s character, Patsy Bolivar, was more often than not an innocent victim of unscrupulous or nefarious characters. At least two murderers have been recorded using this word, to refer to themselves, after their killings: Lee Harvey Oswald, after murdering USA president John Kennedy, and Byron Smith, after murdering Haile Kifer, and her cousin, Nicholas Brady.
- Patsy Biscoe, Australian singer and performer on children's television shows in the 1960s and 1970s
- Patricia Patsy Byrne (1933–2014), English actress
- Patricia Patsy Burt (1928–2001), British motor racing driver
- Patsy Chapman (born 1948), British former newspaper editor
- Pat Danner (born 1934), American politician
- Patricia Patsy Kensit (born 1968), British actress and singer
- Patsy Knight (born 1938), American politician
- Patsy Lawlor (1933–1997), Irish politician, nurse and businesswoman
- Patricia Patsy Lovell (born 1954), English cricketer, member of the 1988 English World Cup team
- Patricia Patsy May (born 1947), Australian former cricket player
- Patsy Ruth Miller (1904-1995), American actress
- Patsy Mink (1927–2002), American politician, appointed an Assistant Secretary of State by President Jimmy Carter
- Patricia Patsy Ramsey (1956–2006), mother of slain child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey
- Patricia Patsy Rowlands (1934–2005), British actress in the Carry On films
- Patsy Rodenburg (born 1953), British voice coach, author and theatre director
- Patsy O’Connell Sherman (1930–2008), American chemist and co-inventor of Scotchgard in 1952
- Patsy Smart (died 1996), English actress
- Patricia Patsy Ticer (born 1935), American politician
- Patsy Bradley (born 1984), Gaelic footballer from Northern Ireland
- Patrick Patsy Brophy (born 1970), Irish retired hurler
- Patrick A. Patsy Brown (1872–1958), Irish-American maker of uilleann pipes
- Francis Patsy Callighen (1906-1964), Canadian National Hockey League player
- Patrick Patsy Donovan (1865-1953), Irish-American Major League Baseball player and manager
- Patrick Patsy Dougherty (1876-1940), American Major League Baseball player
- Patsy Fagan (born 1951), Irish retired professional snooker player
- Patrick Patsy Foley (born 1943), Irish retired hurler
- Patsy Harte (born 1940), Irish former hurler
- Elias Henry Patsy Hendren (1889–1962), British cricketer
- Patsy McGlone (born 1959), Irish politician
- Patsy McGarry, writer and newspaper editor
- Patsy O'Hara (1957-1981), Irish Republican hunger striker and member of the Irish National Liberation Army
- Patsy Watchorn (born 1944), Irish folk singer
- Patsy, from The Tribe; played by Sarah Major
- Patsy (Monty Python), in the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and also the 2005 Monty Python inspired musical Spamalot
- Patsy Parisi, in HBO series The Sopranos
- Patsy Sewer, a singer on the Canadian television program Instant Star.
- Patsy Smiles, a mongoose who is in love with Lazlo in the 2005 American animated television series Camp Lazlo
- Patsy Stone, one of the main characters in the 1992–2005 British television series Absolutely Fabulous, played by Joanna Lumley
- Patsy Walker, also known as "Hellcat", a Marvel Comics superhero
- the title character in the newspaper comic strip The Adventures of Patsy (1935-1954)
- Edgar's Name Pages, accessed 16 November 2007.
- Common Nicknames & Their Given Name Equivalents, accessed 16 November 2007.
- Soanes, Catherine and Stevenson, Angus (ed.) (2005). Oxford Dictionary of English, 2nd Ed., revised, Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York, p. 1291, ISBN 978-0-19-861057-1.
- "Patsy". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
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