From the Greek personal name Berenikē, which seems to have originated in the royal house of Macedon. It is almost certainly a Macedonian dialectal form of the Greek name Pherenīkē ‘victory bringer’. It was introduced to the Egyptian royal house by the widow of one of Alexander the Great's officers, who married Ptolemy I. It was also borne by an early Christian woman mentioned in Acts 25, for which reason it was felt to be acceptable by the Puritans in the 17th century. It has now fallen out of fashion again. See also Bernice.