Origin: Proto-Indo-European; uncertain etymology
Meaning: “bringing victory”, “bearer of victory” or “bringer of victory”
Usage: Ancient Greek (Latinized), Italian, English
Berenice is the Latinized form of Berenike, the Macedonian form of Ancient Greek Pherenike meaning “bringing victory”, “bearer of victory”, or “bringer of victory” made up of Ancient Greek elements phero (to bring, carry, bear) and nike (victory). While phero derives from a PIE root word, nike is a word of uncertain etymology, perhaps derived from a pre-Greek word.
Berenice was a popular name among the Ptolemaic dynasty, a ruling family of Macedonian Greek ancestry who ruled over Egypt for over 200 years, from 305 to 30 BC, the name of several princesses and queens.
Como Berenices (Berenice’s Hair) is the name of a constellation in the northern sky, named after Queen Berenice II of Egypt, so named because she supposedly cut off her long beautiful hair as an offering to the goddess Aphrodite for the safe return of her husband; the hair had apparently disappeared from the temple she had offered it in and, according to the court astronomer Conon of Samos, it had been claimed by Aphrodite and placed among the stars (hence the name how the constellation received its name).
Berenice is also the name of a figure in the New Testament, mentioned briefly as the daughter of Salome I, the sister of Herod the Great.
The name can be pronounced as be-re-NEE-che in Italian, be-re-NEE-see, or ber-nees in English, and in the original Greek ber-ree-nike.
- Bernice (English)
- Berniece (English)
- Bérénice (French)
- Pherenike (Ancient Greek)
- Bernike (Biblical Greek)
- Berenike (Macedonian, Ancient Greek)
- Veronica (Latin transliteration of Berenice)