Behind the name Priscilla


Phoenetic Pronunciation: prih-SlH-luh

Priscilla is an English female name derived from the Latin priscus (old). One suggestion is that is intended to bestow long life on the bearer.

Priscilla is a name given in the New Testament. St. Prisca was an early Christian who was married to Aquila and they were companions to Paul. Prisca was wife of Diocletian and mother of ValeriaGaleria.

It first appears in English Literature in Edmond Spenser’s “The Faeirie Queen” (1956) and was adopted as an English name by the Puritans in the 17th Century. Priscilla was Captain John Alden Smith’s wife. They met when he was assigned to live in Captain Myles Standish’s house. Some time after Standish’s wife died (1753) the Captain thought he would like to marry a young woman named Priscilla Mullins. But as Standish was much older than Priscilla and a rough spoken soldier he asked his young friend Alden to go to the Mullins house and try to secure Priscilla for him. However Priscilla’s father asked her to choose between the two men and besides she was not interested in Captain Standish so that is when she spoke her famous line “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?” As the story goes, they spent their first Thanksgiving with the Indians.

Captain Edward John Smith of the RMS Titanic had a daughter named Priscilla. The RMS Titanic was a British Olympic-class ocean liner, owned by the White Star Line that struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912 and sank on the morning of April 15, 1912 during her maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to New York.

Priscilla is the name of several singers. Priscilla Ahn from India who sings love music, Priscilla Betti or Prissou is a French singer, Priscilla Chan is a singer from Hong Kong. Also a couple of actresses have the name such as Priscilla Barnes born December 7, 1952 or 1955. She played in Three’s Company along with John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt. Priscilla Ann Beaulieu Presley born May 24, 1945. She is an American model, author and actress, also ex wife of deceased rock ‘n roll singing sensation Elvis Presley.

Some other famous bearers of the name are Priscilla Cooper Tyler, former First Lady of the United States born in NYC in 1816 and Priscilla Owens, United States federal judge for the Fifth Circuit born October 4, 1954. Priscilla Oppenheimer is a software developer and moved into the technical training and consulting fields. She is skilled at computer network design, configuration and troubleshooting, and the author of two books on computer networking. Her clients, students, readers and colleagues value her as a technical guru who can explain how networks really work. Priscilla Hauser is a decorative painter, teacher and long time show favorite. There are other famous women with the name too numerous to mention so the name is fairly popular in that walk of life.

Two movies have a Priscilla in them. “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”, a film and subsequent musical (1994) about two drag queens and a transsexual get a cabaret gig in the middle of the desert. Pris is a character in the film “Blade Runner”.

Other interesting NAMESAKES include Designer Wedding Gowns from Priscilla of Boston, Priscilla’s 100% Natural – Kitty Grass, Catnip & Pet Products and also Priscilla Curtains.

Several variations of the name are: Cilla, Prisca, Prissy, Scilla, Prisilla, Pris,
Prissou and Prisyla.

Thus, the writer of this article is glad to find out that alot of famous women, past and present, with the same name she has – Priscilla. I have alot of people who call me “Priscilla Presley” after Elvis’s wife and I find that very amusing!