Aramaic, Latin, Greek
"of the forest; or prayed for"

Silas Origin and Meaning

The name Silas is a boy's name of English, Latin origin meaning "of the forest; or prayed for".

Sleek and smart, with a hint of mystique about it, Silas is a recent addition to the US Top 100. Both mythological and Biblical in origin, Silas joins the ranks of Isaiah, Atlas, Elias, and Sebastian: polished and contemporary feeling names with plenty of history.

The origins of Silas are debated or perhaps multiple. On one hand, it could a simplified form of the Latin Silvanus, meaning “of the forest.”

In Roman mythology, Silvanus was the god of trees, and his name was originally bestowed on those who lived in forested areas or who worked with wood. This could bring either a hardy, outdoorsy ruggedness to the name or something more mystical, dark, and intriguing.

On the other hand, Silas could be a Greek form of the Aramaic Seila or of the Hebrew Saul, meaning “asked for” or “prayed for”.

Its Biblical roots can then be traced to either Saul, the first King of Israel, or to a companion of Paul the Apostle. Later venerated as a saint, Silas was a leading member of the early Christian community, who accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey.

Given as an English name from the 17th century onwards, Silas has a rich literary history. Notably used by George Eliot in Silas Marner and by Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code, Sheridan Le Fanu, Charles Dickens, Robert Frost, Willaim D. Howell, Neil Gaiman, and Mark Twain have also featured a Silas in their work.

A longstanding favorite and one of the most searched names on Nameberry, in the ‘real world’, Silas had mostly lingered towards the lower end of the US Top 1000 in the 20th century.

It did gain some attention in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Switzerland in the 2000’s, but it took until the 2010’s for it to make significant moves in the US. Now, it is trending upwards and given to nearly 4000 babies each year.

Based on its Nameberry popularity, its status as ancient but still fresh, and its similarity in sound or style to popular Elijah, Isaac, Lucas, and Samuel, Silas could continue to climb the charts.

If you love it, but don’t want to be part of the crowd, you could consider one of Silas’s relatives, such as Sylvan, Sylvester, or Sylvius; alternatively, Linus, Rufus, Caius, Laurence, or Ozias might appeal as less popular options.

# 81 in the US

Silas Rank in US Top 1000

# 2 on Nameberry

Silas Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Silas Popularity

Famous People Named Silas

  • Silas DeaneAmerican politician and diplomat
  • Silas HouseAmerican writer
  • Silas Weir MitchellAmerican physician and writer
  • Silas Weir MitchellAmerican actor (named after the above)
  • Silas "Si" RobertsonAmerican reality TV personality ("Duck Dynasty")
  • Jason Silas "Jase" RobertsonAmerican reality TV personality (Duck Dynasty")
  • Silas WrightAmerican politician, 14th governor of New York
  • Paulo Silas do Prado Pereira aka SilasBrazilian football manager
  • Silas WoodU.S. Congressman from New York
  • Silas Talbotcommander of the U.S.S. Constitution during the American Revolution
  • Silas Watt (b. 2007)son of racing driver Jason Watt
  • Silas Randall Timberlake (b. 2015)son of singer/actor Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel
  • Silas Jude Eubanks (b. 2015)son of Megan McConnell and Chase Eubanks of TV's "16 and Pregnant"

Silas in Pop Culture

  • Silas Blissettcharacter in British soap "Hollyoaks"
  • Silas BotwinNancy's son on TV's "Weeds"
  • "Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe" novel by George Eliot
  • Silas Heapcharacter in the "Septimus Heap" book series by Angie Sage
  • Silascharacter in Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code"
  • Silascharacter in "Sisters Red" by Jackson Pearce
  • Silasthe first immortal being on TV's "The Vampire Diaries"
  • Silas Weggone,legged blackmailer in "Our Mutual Friend"
  • Silashired man in Robert Frost's poem "Death of the Hired Man"
  • Silas Ruthyncharacter in "Uncle Silas" by Sheridan Le Fanu
  • GreatUncle Silas, character in "My Uncle Silas" (1939) by H. E. Bates
  • Silasthe vampire in Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book"
  • Silas Q. Scuddamorewealthy American in "The Suicide Club" by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Colonel Silas Laphambusinessman & social climber in "The Rise of Silas Lapham" (1885)
  • "Swan Lee (Silas Lang)"song by Syd Barrett
  • Silas Hendershotcharacter in movie "The Final Storm"
  • Silascharacter in animated series "Transformers: Prime"
  • Silas Korba character in "The Academy"
  • Silas Sugwashcharacter in Jenny Nimmo's "The Children of the Red King" series
  • Silas Phelpsuncle to Tom Sawyer in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," by Mark Twain
  • Silasmain character in "Origin" by Liam Holt
  • Silascharacter in the video games "Fire Emblem Fates"
  • Silascharacter in the movie "Equals"
  • Silasone of the villains in 'The Vampire Diaries'
  • Silas Scratchantagonist of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School," by Jeff Kinney

Silas in Nameberry Blog Posts