I’ve written about names for about eight years and over that time, I’ve asked a lot of people about their names. One of those people was author of the How to Train Your Dragon series, Cressida Cowell. With such a unique name, I wandered what it meant and what was the story behind it. Here’s what she told me back in 2010…

There is a story behind the name Cressida, and the story was first told by Homer, and then by Chaucer, and afterwards by Shakespeare in his play ‘Troilus and Cressida’. I am afraid that the reason so few people are called Cressida is that Cressida really did not behave well at all, in fact she behaved extremely badly and ought to have been thoroughly ashamed of herself.

Cressida and Troilus were in love in the story, but Cressida abandons Troilus because he looks like he is on the losing side of the battle for Troy. She waltzes off with someone on the winning side, leaving poor Troilus to die of love.
I must say, even though I thoroughly disapprove of the behaviour of my fickle namesake, I’ve always liked the actual name Cressida, because it is so nice to be called something unusual!”

Cressida is the English version of a Greek name, meaning gold.


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