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Gender: M Origin of Ulysses: Latin variation of the Greek Odysseus

Ulysses is one of the few U boys' names anyone knows -- with heavy links to the Homeric hero, eighteenth president Grant, and the James Joyce novel -- all of which makes it both distinguished and kind of weighty for a modern boy. Ulysses was on the US popularity list well into the twenty-first century; it's off now, but Number 684 on Nameberry.

Former SNLer Anna Gasteyer made this bold choice for her son, perhaps inspiring others to follow her lead. George Clooney's character name in the Coen brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou? is Ulysses.

Trivia tidbit: The presidential bearer was christened Hiram Ulysses Grant, but reputedly was all too happy when his first two names were reversed at West Point, as he had always been embarrassed by having the initials HUG.

Famous People Named Ulysses

(Hiram) Ulysses (Simpson) Grant, 18th US president and Civil War general
Ulysses Simpson Grant III, U.S. Major General; grandson of the President
Ulysses Simpson Grant Sharp Jr., U.S. Navy admiral
Ulysses Gomez, Mexican-American mixed martial artist
Ulysses "Crazy Legs" Curtis, American CFL football player
Ulysses Davis, American silent film director
Ulysses Sigel Webb, American politician from California

Pop Culture References for the name Ulysses

Ulysses, Roman name for Odysseus, Greek hero of the Iliad and the Odyssey
"Ulysses," novel by James Joyce
Ronald Ulysses Swanson, character on TV's "Parks and Recreation"
Percival "Perry" Ulysses Cox, character on TV's "Scrubs"
Ulysses, Grecian commander in Shakespeare's play "Troilus and Cressida"
Ulysses, squirrel in "Flora & Ulysses" by Kate DiCamillo
Ulysses, character in video game "Fallout: New Vegas - Lonesome Road"
Ulysses Klaue aka Klaw, character in Marvel Comics
"Ulysses," song by the band Franz Ferdinand

Ulysses's International Variations

Ulises (Spanish) Ulysse, Ulisses (French) Ulisse (Italian) Ulesi, Uleki (Hawaiian)