Fiona is a feminine given name. The name Fiona was invented, and first used, by the Scottish poet James Macpherson (1736–96), author of the Ossian poems, which he claimed were translations from ancient Gaelic sources (sources, when challenged, he never produced). The name was subsequently used as a pseudonym by William Sharp (1855–1905), who authored several romantic works under the name "Fiona Macleod". The name has since become popular in England, Scotland and Ireland.
The name is considered to be a Latinised form of the Gaelic word fionn, meaning "white", "fair". The name Fiona is also sometimes used as an Anglicisation of the Irish-language name Fíona, although these names are otherwise unrelated (as Fíona is derived from an element meaning "vine"). There is also a modern tendency to equate the authentic Scottish Gaelic feminine name Fionnghal with Fiona.
The name Fiona is rising in popularity particularly in German-speaking countries. Fiona was the 49th most popular name for baby girls born in 2008 in Germany.Fiona was tied for third place in the ranking of most popular names for baby girls born in the tiny principality of Liechtenstein in 2008. The name was the 347th most popular name for girls born in the United States in 2008, where it has ranked among the top 1,000 most popular names for girls since 1990 and among the top 500 since 1999. The name Fiona has been particularly popular for girls of Asian or Pacific Islander descent in New York City, where Fiona ranked as the ninth most popular name for girls from those groups in 2007.