In Homer’s Odyssey, Penelope was the faithful and clever wife of Odysseus, who staved off suitors for decades while waiting for her husband’s return. An elegant mouthful for even intelligent children, many parents choose Penelope but opt for the nickname Penny. Penelope was first embraced in Britain but is swiftly catching up in America. TV viewers will recall girl-next-door Penny from the hugely popular The Big Bang Theory. Spanish actress Penelope Cruz is probably the most famous person to bear the name, but "Harry Potter" superfans will remember Penelope Clearwater, the ill-fated Ravenclaw prefect in "Chamber of Secrets."

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Source: Social Security Administration

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