Ancient Greek Names
Ancient Greek names are trending for modern babies. The revival of Greek mythology as a fresh naming influence has led to thousands of babies being born with once-unusual names like Penelope, Atlas, and Calliope.
Along with Penelope, Ancient Greek girl names ranking in the US Top 1000 include Athena, Alexandra, Chloe, Paris, Sophia, and Zoe.
For boys, the Ancient Greek name influence is even stronger. Along with Atlas, Ancient Greek boy names ranking in the Top 1000 include Alexander, Theodore, Orion, Leon, and Sebastian. More unusual Ancient Greek male names include Erastus, Tryphone, and Zeno.
Now we are moving beyond solely mythological names and considering names that were used in Ancient Greek culture. There is some crossover between these categories, although Greek children were usually given variations of the names of gods and goddesses, rather than the actual divine name.
Along with Alexandra and Zoe, Greek girl names in the US Top 700 include Anastasia, Chloe, and Irene. Boy baby names ranking highly include Alexander, Damon, Leonidas, Orion, and Theodore.
In Greece, popular names include Athanasios, Eirene, Nicholas, and Sophia. Along with familiar choices like Jason, Gregory, and Melissa, you’ll find many intriguing names from Ancient Greece that are waiting to be discovered. This list is organized by current popularity on Nameberry.
Meaning:"gift of God"
Description:As unlikely as it may seem, Theodore is a hot new hit name, vaulting into the Top 10 in 2021 for the first time ever. Friendly nickname Theo may be responsible for some of that, though there are plenty of baby boys given Theo as their full name too. Add their numbers together, and the two names jump to Number 6.
Description:Atticus, with its trendy Roman feel combined with the upstanding, noble image of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, is a real winner among boy names. Atticus entered the US Top 1000 in 2004 and is a firm Nameberry favorite.
Origin:Latin from Greek
Meaning:"person from ancient city of Sebastia"
Description:Sebastian is derived from the Greek Sebastianos, meaning “from Sebastia.” Sebastia was a city in Asia Minor—modern day Sivas, Turkey. Sebastian is a name with a substantial history, first as the third-century martyr whose sufferings were a favorite subject of medieval artists, then as the name of memorable characters in such varied works as Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and The Tempest and Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited.
Description:A favorite of British novelists including Evelyn Waugh and P. G. Wodehouse, Ambrose has an air of blooming well-being and upper-class erudition. It comes from the same Greek root as 'ambrosia', the food of the gods, said to confer immortality.
Description:Alexander is derived from the Greek name Aléxandros, composed of the elements aléxein, meaning “to defend,” and aner, meaning “man.” According to Greek legend, the first Alexander was Paris, who was given the nickname Alexander by the shepherds whose flocks he defended against robbers. He was followed by Alexander the Great, aka Alexander III, who conquered much of Asia.
Origin:Greek, feminine variation of Anastasios
Description:Anastasia is the feminine form on Anastasius, a Greek name derived from the word anastasis, meaning "resurrection." It was a common name among early Christians, who often gave it to daughters born around Christmas or Easter. There are handful of saints named Anastasia, including the patron saint of weavers.
Meaning:"he has heard; flat-nosed"
Description:Simon is pure and simple (not in the nursery rhyme sense), and an appealingly genuine Old and New Testament name that's not overused – making Simon a stylish choice. In the Bible, Simon was the second son of Jacob and Leah and the original name of Saint Peter, as well as the name of several New Testament figures. Historically, Simon Bolivar is known as The Liberator of Latin America.
Origin:Greek, feminine form of Alexander
Description:Alexandra fell out of the Top 100 for the first time since 1983 in 2015 but is still a popular choice. Strong, tasteful, and elegant, Alexandra remains a chic modern classic with a solid historic pedigree.
Meaning:"young green shoot"
Description:Chloe is a pretty springtime name symbolizing new growth. Though slightly off its peak in the Top 10 in 2010, Chloe still ranks in the Top 20 and is solidly a modern classic.
Description:Lysander is a distinctive Greek name that could be thought of as a more creative cousin of Alexander. In ancient history, Lysander was the name of an esteemed Spartan naval commander and his literary cred comes from one of the two star-struck young men in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, as well as one of the twin sons (the other being Lorcan) of Luna Lovegood, whom we learn about in the Harry Potter epilogue.
Origin:Greek, Italian, English
Meaning:"order, beauty, universe"
Description:We all heard it on Seinfeld as the long-concealed first name of Kramer, then considered a punchline. Now some pioneering parents are embracing this expansive Greek name, which makes a creative and cool choice for a baby. Influential celebrity couple Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost chose it for their son, born in 2021, which will likely drive Cosmo up in popularity. In the UK, it currently ranks within the Top 1000 boy names and is trending upwards.
Meaning:"strong and manly"
Description:Andrew is a variant of the Greek name Andreas, ultimately derived from the element aner, meaning “man.” In the New Testament, Andrew was one of the twelve apostles and the first disciple to be called by Jesus. Although the origins of the name are Greek, Andrew is the patron saint of both Scotland and Russia, as well as Greece. It has associations with two of America's most famous artists, Wyeth and Warhol.
Description:Orion is a rising star, with both mythical and celestial overtones.
Meaning:"people of victory"
Description:Nicholas is derived from the Greek Nikolaos, a name that evolved from the components nikē, meaning “victory”, and laos, “people.” It shares origins with Nike, the name of the Greek goddess of victory. Nicholas is also a New Testament name that is well-used in literature, such as in Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby.
Description:Sophia, which was the Number 1 girls' name in the US from 2011 to 2013, is among the top girl names in the Western World, with a sensuous sound and high-minded meaning. A real winner, Sophia reached the top of the charts without losing any—okay, much—of its sophisticated beauty. Sophia's a real winner.
Description:Can Linus lose its metaphorical security blanket and move from the Peanuts page onto the birth certificate? We think it has enough charm and other positive elements going for it for the answer to be yes.
Description:Agnes is the Latin variation of the name Hagne, which itself derived from the Greek word hagnos, meaning "chaste." In medieval times, St. Agnes was a very popular saint, leading to its popularity as a girl's name. Agnes Grey is the title of one of the two novels written by Anne Brontë.
Description:Serene Irene, the name of the Greek goddess of peace and one of the most familiar Greek goddess names, was hugely popular in ancient Rome and again in the United States a hundred years ago.
Origin:Greek and Latin
Meaning:"bearer of Christ"
Description:Christopher derived from the Greek Christophoros, which is composed of the elements Christos, referring to Christ, and phero, meaning “to bear.” The name was originally used figuratively, to represent the bearing of Christ in one’s heart. Later it became used to honor Saint Christopher, a third century martyr who became the protective saint of travelers, reflecting the legend of Christopher being the giant who carried the Christ Child over a river.
Origin:Diminutive of Dionysius, Greek
Meaning:"child of heaven and earth"
Description:In ancient Greece, a student of Plato; in modern America, a cool guy.