I often wondered how a family’s last name, Tiffany, as in Louis Comfort Tiffany, become a trendy girls’ first name. As I discovered, the name has an interesting past evolving from Ancient Greece to modern days. Read all about it in the Article: The Tiffany Name: Not Just Glittering Jewels and Glowing Glass!.
In keeping with this newsletter’s feminine theme, we feature the Nouveau Lamp. It is a small accent lamp in pale colors suitable for a boudoir night stand or anywhere else that needs a girly touch. See the Featured Item section.
Featured Item : The Nouveau Lamp
Note: Each item presented is a one-of-a-kind work of art available for purchase. Should any item sell, there are no duplicates. Contact us about any similar items.
10" W x 13" T Table base
A lovely accent lamp in light iridized honey background glass, trimmed with clear blue water glass...
Article: The Tiffany Name: Not Just Glittering Jewels and Glowing Glass!
“Tiffany” – a name with connotations of class and elegance; it evokes Tiffany & Co. fine jewelry, Tiffany Studios of historic stained glass lamps, Tiffany, an 80s-teen pop singer and other various and sundry Tiffanies. It started out as a girl’s first name in ancient Greece; it became a family surname in Medieval time and returned in modern-day as a chic girl’s first name. An interesting journey for a name.
Definition of the Name
Tiffany is a Medieval English form of the ancient Greek word, “Theophania” meaning the manifestation or appearance of God. It is composed of the elements “theos” meaning God and “phania” meaning to appear as in phantom and fantasy.
In 1200 AD the spelling “Tiifinie” is used in Old French to mean epiphany or apparition of God, referring to January 6th when the Three Wise Men found the infant Jesus. This name was traditionally given to girls born on January 6, the feast day of the Epiphany.
In 1600 Tiffany took on its modern spelling in English.
A Brief History of the Tiffany Family
The ancestors of the Tiffany family reached England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They were first found with the surname, Tiffany, in the northern county of Cumberland where the family were Lords of that shire.
Around 1600 many English families, including the Tiffanys, emigrated to North American colonies to escape the political chaos of Britain at that time. Despite extreme hardships many families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the culture of the United States and Canada.
Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Tiffany. Most arrived during the early 1800s. Among the notable are:
The first Tiffany to arrive in America in 1600 was Humphrey Tiffany, who was killed by lightning in Massachusetts.
1812 marks the birth of Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Co. jewelry in New York City in 1837, who first made the name Tiffany famous in popular culture.
1848 marks the birth of his son, Louis Comfort Tiffany. Louis would become a famous artist, creating Tiffany glass lamps and windows.
“Tiffany” Returns as a Girl’s Name
It is a curious thing how this surname, Tiffany, became for so many couples of the 1980s the name of choice for their girl-babies. The name was probably chosen after the 1960s-romantic comedy hit movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The movie starred Audrey Hepburn, considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, quickly became a favorite of young people. Her character aspired to affectations of high society, adorned with sparkly diamonds, holding a long cigarette holder and sipping champagne as she gazed at her reflection in the store window of Tiffany & Co. jewelers.
The name was popular in the US during the 1980s and 1990s. The number of girl babies born each year named Tiffany exceeded 10,000, peaking at 18,361 in 1988. A 1984 survey of the most popular names for female babies lists Tiffany as #1 for non-whites, and #32 for whites.
Today there is a stereotype that comes with the name Tiffany as either, upper class, refined, preppy, sexy cheerleader type or superficial, trendy, snotty, very dated, ditzy blonde, trampy.
I Love My Name, I Hate My Name -- here’s what some Tiffany girls have to say.
"I can not stand this name. Every Tiffany I have ever known is fake and trampy and dyes their hair blonde. I loved it when I was little, but now it just sounds tacky. Urgh!"
"My name is Tiffany. I have met many Tiffanys and each one including me are unique. Tiffany reminds me of Tiffany & Co. precious jewelry. I think it is a beautiful name and I am proud to be named Tiffany."
"I love the name Tiffany. I think it sounds girly and chic. I want to name my first daughter Tiffany."
"This name is totally dated. I think it is forever attached to the Seventies and Eighties. Can you imagine someone over 50 named Tiffany?"
Tiffany Time-Line Continues into Pop Culture
1958 The novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote is published. As a result of the title, tourists in New York ask what time breakfast is served, but they do not serve food at the expensive jewelry store.
1961 Breakfast at Tiffany’s is made into a popular movie and a song (“Moon River”), starring Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Buddy Ebesen and Cat.
1971 Tiffany Case is a “Bond girl” in the book and film “Diamonds Are Forever” (portrayed by Jill St. John).
1965 British singer Tiffany releases her first single “Am I Dreaming”.
1973 The 1960's comic strip "Tiffany Jones" is made into a movie.
Mid 1970s In the "Benji" movies, the canine’s girlfriend is a fluffy white dog named Tiffany.
1993 Donald Trump and his second wife, Marla Maples, name their daughter Tiffany.