PERCIVAL: Old French for "pierce the veil." Although this now has a prissy image, Percival was a brave knight of the Round Table. Relatives: Perceval, Percheval, Parsifal, Parsefal, Perce, Percy, Perci. Namesakes: Percy Bysshe Shelley, Percy Faith, Percy Grainger.
PERDITA: Latin for "lost." Relatives: Perdea, Perda. Namesake: character in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.
PERRY: Middle English for "pear tree" and Welsh for "son of Harry." Perry, though traditionally used for boys, should also be considered for a girl. Relatives: Pierrey, Parry, Perianne, Perian, Perrin, Perin, Peregrine (Latin for "wanderer"). Namesakes: Perry Ellis, Perry King, "Perry Mason."
PERSEPHONE: Greek goddess of the underworld. Relatives: Persa, Perse, Percy, Fanny.
PERTH: Old Celtic for "thorny bush." Namesakes: Perth County (Scotland), Perth (Australia).
PETER: From the Latin for "rock." This standard is solid as a rock. Experiment with the variations. Relatives: Pete, Petey, Pietor, Pytor, Petr, Pieter, Piotr, Pietro, Pedro, Pierre, Piers, Pierce, Peer, Pero, Piero, Peder, Per, Peadair, Petrus, Peterson, Perrin, Perkin, Perkins, Parnell, Parle, Parkin, Parkinson, Petrie, Petri, Pierson. Namesakes: Saint Peter, Peter the Great, Peter Stuyvesant, Peter Yarrow, Peter Jennings, Pierre Trudeau, Pierre Boulez, Oscar Peterson, Peer Gynt.
PETRA: From the Latin for "rock." Relatives: Petronia, Petronella, Petronilla, Pierette, Perrine, Petronille, Petrina, Petrine, Pete, Petie, Petula. Namesake: Petula Clark.