Phyllis \ph(yl)-lis\ as a girl's name is pronounced FILL-iss. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Phyllis is "greenery". Greek mythology: a character of this name dies for love, then is transformed into an almond tree. The name is used by poets to stand for the idealised country lass. Poet Phyllis McGinley; commedienne Phyllis Diller.