Celebrity Names Blog

New Baby Alert: About Doutzen Kroes' name choice, Phyllon

New Baby Alert: About Doutzen Kroes' name choice, Phyllon
ANG/Fame Pictures

By now you've probably heard that Dutch Victoria's Secret Angel, Doutzen Kroes, and her husband, DJ Sunnery James (stage name of Sunnery James Gorré), have given their brand new baby boy the name Phyllon Gorré. But did you know it's the male version of Phyllis?

Phyllon is the ancient Greek word for "foliage" or "leaf" (from which we get the root used in words like chlorphyll). This version has little history of usage as a name, but the female derivation -- Phyllis -- was one of the most popular names of the 1930s in the US. In Greek mythology, Phyllis was a woman unhappy in love who, upon her death, transformed into an almond tree.

Given his parents' names, Doutzen and Sunnery, you might surmise that Phyllon is a name that doesn't raise eyebrows in the Netherlands, where the pair are from and where Phyllon was born. You'd be wrong. Doutzen may be a recognized Frisian name (derived from the male form Douwe, meaning dove), but we can find no information on Sunnery (delightful though it is). And we are assured by residents that Phyllon is as unfamiliar in the Netherlands as it is in the US. 

Why Phyllon, why now? The original Greek root -- pronounced fillin -- makes sense in this age of -n names. (Consider the name chosen by Kroes' fellow VS Angel Karolina Kurkova: not Toby, but Tobin.)  It's a chlorphyll-fresh way to honor a Phyllis or Phillip. It also sounds a bit like a mashup name (we saw speculation online that the name was a mashup of Phillip with Dylan).

And it's true Phyllon has been used as a name, in vintage pop culture at least. Phyllon is a character in the 1962 Cinemascope movie The 300 Spartans, about the Battle of Thermopylae (and inspiration for the graphic novel upon which the 2007 flick 300 was based). There's also a Sir Phyllon in a spectacular 1909 flop of an opera called Fallen Fairies, the last opera written by either W.S. Gilbert (of "and Sullivan" fame) or his collaborator, Edward German. (The opera may have flopped but the fairies have great names, including Selene, Zayda, Zara, Cora, Leila, Neodie, Maia, Ina, Lutin and Chloris.)

Phyllon Gorré's name, though, may have had a sweeter, more personal inspiration. For one, the Frisian flag has leaves on it. For another, Phyllon means leaf, and "leaf," in Doutzen's language, translates as "sweet." Aw!

What do you think of Phyllon? Are you more a fan of Phyllon, or of Flynn?

--L.R.

Comments

Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

January 22, 2011 4:28 PM
By dotmyiis (not verified)

I don't especially care for either Phyllon of Flynn, but Flynn wins by a mile.

January 22, 2011 5:48 PM
By Dearest (not verified)

When I first saw it, I thought it was invented and they couldn't decide between Philip and Dillon or something like that. Then I thought of how similar to 'villain' it is.
Now that you tell me it's actually a super obscure, legit name I'm over the moon about finding it and really sad I noticed the 'villain' thing because it makes me very hesitant... :( *sigh*

January 22, 2011 8:39 PM
By Vera (not verified)

Despite the meaning, sounds too close to "phallic" to me. Sorry. I don't like it.

January 23, 2011 2:02 AM
By Melanie (not verified)

Is this pronounced Fill-on or Fy-lon?

January 23, 2011 8:41 AM
By Lane

@Melanie, according to the tweet from Sunnery James, they are pronouncing it "fillen":

http://twitter.com/#!/SunneryJames/status/28411507410731008

(in the post you can click on "pronounced fillen" and it will take you to the tweet directly)

January 23, 2011 5:53 PM
By Miri (not verified)

Reminds me of phyllo dough. Dislike.

January 24, 2011 12:00 AM
By Mom (not verified)

I much prefer Flynn!

January 24, 2011 2:24 PM
By The Names Blog (not verified)

Phonetically, the name Phyllon sounds like the Greek name Philon, which is a derivative of the Greek word "phil" meaning love. Perhaps that's what the parents were thinking of. Hard to say what the derivation might be with a name that is apparently made up or "customized"!

January 25, 2011 1:05 PM
By Valerie (not verified)

A friend of mine has a son named Philo (pronounced like the pastry) which is of Greek origin (like the pastry ;)). I wonder if that one will catch on also.

January 25, 2011 7:54 PM
By The Foxymoron (not verified)

Not sure about Phyllon, but I like another name that you mentionned - Tobin!

January 27, 2011 12:03 AM
By Rei (not verified)

Upon first seeing this name I was reminded of the word phallus. However after reading through the article my thoughts drifted slight and noticed a not so harsh meaning. I still don't care for it. I just don't care for the way it sounds.

January 29, 2011 11:58 PM
By mariadeacero (not verified)

I'm still absorbing "Doutzen"...

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.