Gender: Male Meaning of Basil: "regal" Origin of Basil: Greek

Basil Origin and Meaning

The name Basil is a boy's name of Greek origin meaning "regal".

Although Greek in origin--in the fourth century, a bishop by that name established the principles of the Greek Orthodox Church--Basil for years took on the aura of aquiline-nosed upper-class Britishness of Sherlock Holmes portrayer Basil Rathbone, then spiced with the fragrant aroma of the herb that entered with the Pesto generation.

Now, it's time to take a fresh look at Basil.

Basil was on the U.S. popularity list quite regularly up till 1970, reaching a high of Number 328 in 1904. Its history includes several rulers of the Byzantine Empire and Eastern Orthodox saints, including one whose grandmother, father, older sister and two younger brothers were all saints as well.

Basil has also been seen as a figure of fun, as in the manic Basil Fawlty in the British TV comedy classic "Fawlty Towers," in the Disney movie "Basil of Baker Street," and as Basil Brush and Basil Wombat in other kids' entertainment.

The Russian version, Vassily, is another possibility.

16 names similar to Basil

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Basil. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Basil, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

Find other names based on Basil using our baby name generator.


- this week

Famous People Named Basil

Pop Culture References for the name Basil

Baz, Bas

Basil's International Variations

Basle, Basilius (Swedish) Bazyli, Bazel (Slavic) Basul (Arabic) Vasili, Vas, Vaslek, Wassily, Vasya, Vasily, Vassily (Russian) Vasil, Bazil (Czech) Vasile (Romanian) Bale, (French)


KBurnside99 Says:


One of my absolute favorite names! Baz is an adorable nickname. I hope this is my child's name some day.

christineolteanu Says:


There are a lot of saints with the name Basil and I like this name a lot. It means royal and this name is older than the herb. When names were translated from latin and greek "V"s were often changed to "B"s So Basil was originally Vasily just as Barbara was Varvara and Bibiana was Viviana (vivian).

nml28 Says:


I think it sounds cool idc that it's an herb

roseofjune Says:


I cannot take this name seriously no matter how hard I try. Imagine three siblings: Herbert, Basil, and Rosemary. Perhaps a chef could pull that off.

paulapuddephatt Says:


Same here.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I do like this, but Brush AND Fawlty? Too much. Ha, ha - boom, boom - sorry! 😀

CsprsSassyHrly Says:


I've been in love with this name ever since I was around 11. At 28, I still find myself absolutely enchanted by this name. The people I have told, however, don't seem as smitten with it. It makes me question whether or not I could actually use it.

Shaybaby1 Says:


Basil pronounced Baz-il (as said in the UK) sounds great for a boy. But I also love this name pronounced Bay-zil (as said in the US - and the way I pronounce the herb) for a girl.

SophyDJ Says:


Love this name, and the nickname Baz is amazing.

autumnreverie Says:


It means "king" in Greek and "brave, valiant'' in Arabic.

snowsbeloved Says:


Used to really love this name!

ashbee Says:


I really love Basil. It sounds so fresh yet has a long history of use around the world. Nickname Baz/Bas is cool. I hope it gets more use!

EleanorAll1 Says:


What do you mean force this on a kid? It's always seemed like a perfectly respectable name to me.

Zelliew Says:


Basil doesn't sound very regal, sorry. I think of Basil Brush

headintheclouds Says:


One of the rare herby nature names for a boy. I actually really loved Basil at one point, and I adore the nickname Bas/Baz so much! The meaning of regal is wonderful, and I think Basil would be adorable for a little boy, and sound vintage retro-cool as he grows up. I probably wouldn't do this in real life (it may be too matchy!), but I adore the sibset of Basil and Primrose together!

madmaddie Says:


Cool, but I don't think anybody would want to force this on a kid.