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[fil-is] /ˈfɪl ɪs/
a name used in pastoral literature, as the Eclogues of Vergil, for a country girl or sweetheart.
Also, Phyliss. a female given name: from a Greek word meaning “green leaf.”. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Phyllis
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Historical Examples
  • He called up the subject at once, and we have seen the close of his interview with Phyllis.

  • Phyllis will be all right in the morning, and I dare say the doctor has gone out.

  • Phyllis was just coming into the dining-room, with her son frolicking about her.

    The Wishing-Ring Man Margaret Widdemer
  • Phyllis ran first this way, then that, trying in vain to find the turning.

  • The children, already sitting in a decorous ring on their low chairs, seemed after the first surprise to approve of Phyllis.

    The Rose Garden Husband Margaret Widdemer
Word Origin and History for Phyllis

fem. proper name, generic proper name for a comely rustic maiden in pastoral poetry (1630s), from Latin Phyllis, a girl's name in Virgil, Horace, etc., from Greek Phyllis, female name, literally "foliage of a tree," from phyllon leaf," from PIE *bholyo- "leaf," from root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom," possibly identical with *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole). In English, often spelled Phillis, probably from influence of phil- "loving." Her sweetheart usually was Philander.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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