Phyllis

[ fil-is ]
/ ˈfɪl ɪs /
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noun

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.”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Word Origin and History for phyllis

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