PHOEBE: Greek for "bright one." This is an off-the-beaten-track name with an ancient lineage. Relatives: Phebe, Phoebus. Namesakes: Saint Phoebe, Phoebe Snow, Phoebe Cates.
PHOENIX: The mythical bird that rises from the ashes. Relative: Phoena. Namesakes: River Phoenix, Phoenix (Ariz.)
PHYLLIS: Greek for "leafy branch." Relatives: Phillis, Phylys, Philicia, Philida, Filida, Philly, Phil, Phyl. Namesakes: Phyllis Newman, Phylicia Rashad.
PIA: Italian for "devout." A sweet name that solves the problem of working with a long surname. Namesakes: Pia Lindstrom, Pia Zadora.
PIERCE: From the Old Anglo-French for "rock." Relatives: Pearce, Piercy, Pears, Piers, Pearson. Namesakes: Pierce Brosnan, Franklin Pierce, Drew Pearson, Piers Paul Read, "Hawkeye Pierce."
PILAR: Spanish for "pillar." The derivation refers to the Virgin Mary as the "pillar" of Christianity.
PIPER: Old English for "bagpipe player." Relative: Pyper. Namesakes: Piper Laurie, William Piper, Piper Cub.
PLACIDA: From the Latin for "tranquillity." Relative: Placido. Namesake: Placido Domingo.
POLLY: A nickname for Mary and Paula. Whoever first called a parrot Polly tainted this fine name. Relatives: Pollie, Pollyanna. Namesakes: Polly Bergen, "Pollyanna."
PORTER: From the French for "gatekeeper" or "carrier." Like similar occupational surnames (Carter and Tyler), Porter is finding a place as a first name. Relative: Porteur. Namesakes: Porter Waggoner, Cole Porter.
Portia: From the Latin for "a gift." This is a lovely name and a fast car. Relatives: Porsha, Porsche. Namesakes: wife of "Brutus" in Shakespeare's Juluis Caesar, major character in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.