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Nameberry Picks: 12 Most Modern Mythic Names

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Baby namers have started to dig deep back into ancient history and myth in their search for fresh and interesting choices.  Roman names like Atticus are rising up the charts, and the whole pantheon of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses is up for rediscovery—already there have been such starbaby sightings as Atlas (Anne Heche), Mars (Erykah Badu) and Hermes (Kelly Rutherford).

Here, Nameberry’s Top Dozen picks in this category:

1. Clio is the name of the Greek muse of history; it’s lively and attractive but without  the heavy Cleopatra association that the Cleo spelling carries.

2. Echo was a mythological mountain nymph and her o-ending name carries pleasant reverberations.

3. Flora, the name of the Roman goddess of flowers and fertility, is symbolic of spring and apt for a baby born in that season.  Like cousin Florence, it is definitely having a rebirth among retro name-seekers.

4. Juno, the name of the patron goddess of ancient Rome, has become a hot modern option, especially since the release of the popular eponymous film. Coldplay’s Will Champion chose it for one of his twins.

5. Jupiter was the Roman king of the gods, and his rhythmic 3-syllable name is just beginning to be considered by cutting-edge namers.

6. Maia was a Greco-Roman goddess of the earth, and her name, especially with the Maya spelling, has become a trendy option, used for their daughter by Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke.

7. Mars was the Roman god of war, and could make for a striking and strong middle name.  Singer Erykah Badu used it as her son’s first.

8. Orion, a great hunter in Greek mythology, gave his name to a constellation and dropped down to earth as the son of Mr. Big—Chris Noth.  Makes a distinctive O-starting name, and its similarity to Ryan lends familiarity.

9. Thalassa was the primal spirit of the sea, and could make a soft, pretty and unusual girls’ name

10. Thalia, the Greek muse of comedy and pastoral poetry, is an underused Greek choice that would work well for a contemporary child.

11. Venus, the Roman goddess of beauty, fertility and love, has come down to earth after centuries of seeming overly powerful for a baby girl; the athletic image of tennis star Venus Williams helped humanize it.

12. Zeus, the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus, is another imposing name which still might be too powerful as a first name, but could be striking as a middle.

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