- a name used in pastoral literature, as the Eclogues of Vergil, for a country girl or sweetheart.
- Also Phyl·iss. a female given name: from a Greek word meaning “green leaf.”
Examples from the Web for phyllis
Her friends Phyllis Cunningham, 75, and Eva-Lee Baird, 74, stood with her.
Phyllis, who was a nurse, went down to Mississippi to provide medical care for people like Joan.
The crusty conservative battle-ax Phyllis Schlafly is giving speeches saying that Obama worships government like a god.RFRA Madness: What’s Next for Anti-Democratic ‘Religious Exemptions’
November 16, 2014
Phyllis is a short, stocky, enraged-seeming woman with a high, strident voice and piercing stare.
I nod my head and try to concentrate on what Phyllis is telling me, but my eye keeps wandering across her yard.
Persons of our rank do not marry like the Corydon and Phyllis of a pastoral.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
He called up the subject at once, and we have seen the close of his interview with Phyllis.
Phyllis interrupted him with an impatient laugh, but said no more.
I am sorry it is your father I must beat, but, Phyllis, I must be nominated.
This was the first quarrel that he had ever had with Phyllis.
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.