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Fiona (f) J. I. M. Stuart comments in his novel, A
Memorial Service: ‘although Fiona sounds eminently
Scottish it is in fact scarcely a genuine name at all, having been invented in the nineteenth century by a man called William Sharp as part of a pseudonym.’ The pseudonym referred to is Fiona Macleod, ‘authoress’ of many works of Celtic literature. Sharp eventually wrote ‘her’ biography for Who’s Who. Several invented names have later become very popular throughout the English-speaking world (e.g. Pamela, Lorna, Wendy, Vanessa), and Fiona now joins their ranks. The name was in 10th position in Scotland in 1958, though it was not mentioned in the Scottish Registrar General’s Report for 1935. It was also to be found in the 1950’s in England, Australia and Canada. The name probably reached its peak in England around 1970, but it is still being used in Scotland. It is based on the Gaelic fionn, ‘fair.’ It has occasionally been used to represent Fionnghal.

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