ACHILLESΑχιλλευςmGreek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek Αχιλλευς (Achilleus)
which is of unknown meaning, perhaps derived from Greek αχος (achos)
"pain" or else from the name of the Achelous River. This was the name of a warrior in Greek legend, one of the central characters in Homer
's 'Iliad'. The bravest of the Greek heroes in the war against the Trojans, he was eventually killed by an arrow to his heel, the only vulnerable part of his body.... [more]
From Phoenician Adonai
which means "lord". In Greek myth Adonis was a handsome young shepherd killed while hunting a wild boar. The anemone flower is said to have sprung from his blood. Because he was loved by Aphrodite
allowed him to be restored to life for part of each year. The Greeks borrowed this character from Semitic traditions, originally Sumerian (see Dumuzi
Means "not inclined to run away" in Greek. This was the name of a king of Argos in Greek legend.
AEGLEΑιγληfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Αιγλη (Aigle)
which meant "light, radiance, glory". This was the name of several characters in Greek myth, including one of the Heliades and one of the Hesperides.
Means "whirlwind" in Greek. In Greek myth this was the name of an Amazon warrior killed by Herakles
during his quest for Hippolyta's girdle.
Possibly meaning "very steadfast" in Greek. In Greek mythology he was the brother of Menelaus
. He led the Greek expedition to Troy to recover his brother's wife Helen
. After the Trojan War Agamemnon was killed by his wife Clytemnestra
Means "illustrious, noble" in Greek. This was the mother of Pentheus in Greek myth.
AGLAIAΑγλαιηfGreek Mythology, Greek
Means "splendour, beauty" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the three Graces or Χαριτες
(Charites). This name was also borne by a 4th-century saint from Rome.
Means "quick-moving, nimble" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek god of the winds.
AJAXΑιαςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Αιας (Aias)
, perhaps deriving from Greek αιαστης (aiastes)
"mourner" or αια (aia)
"earth, land". In Greek mythology this was the name of two of the heroes who fought for the Greeks in the Trojan War, the son of Telamon and the son of Oileus. When the armour of the slain hero Achilles
was not given to Ajax Telamonian, he became mad with jealousy and killed himself.
ALCYONEΑλκυονηfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Αλκυονη (Alkyone)
, derived from the word αλκυων (alkyon)
meaning "kingfisher". In Greek myth this name belonged to a daughter of Aeolus and the wife of Ceyx. After her husband was killed in a shipwreck she threw herself into the water, but the gods saved her and turned them both into kingfishers. This is also the name of the brightest of the Pleiades, the seven stars in the constellation Taurus.
ALEXANDERΑλεξανδροςmEnglish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αλεξανδρος (Alexandros)
, which meant "defending men" from Greek αλεξω (alexo)
"to defend, help" and ανηρ (aner)
"man" (genitive ανδρος
). In Greek mythology this was another name of the hero Paris
, and it also belongs to several characters in the New Testament. However, the most famous bearer was Alexander the Great, king of Macedon. In the 4th century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. Due to his fame, and later medieval tales involving him, use of his name spread throughout Europe.... [more]
ALEXANDRAΑλεξανδραfEnglish, German, Dutch, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Catalan, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Feminine form of ALEXANDER
. In Greek mythology this was a Mycenaean epithet of the goddess Hera
, and an alternate name of Cassandra
. It was borne by several early Christian saints, and also by the wife of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia. She was from Germany and had the birth name Alix
, but was renamed Александра (Aleksandra)
upon joining the Russian Church.
ALTHEAΑλθαιαfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Αλθαια (Althaia)
, perhaps related to Greek αλθος (althos)
"healing". In Greek myth she was the mother of Meleager. Soon after her son was born she was told that he would die as soon as a piece of wood that was burning on her fire was fully consumed. She immediately extinguished the piece of wood and sealed it in a chest, but in a fit of rage many years later she took it out and set it alight, thereby killing her son.
ANDROMEDAΑνδρομεδα, ΑνδρομεδηfGreek Mythology
Means "to be mindful of a man" from the Greek element ανηρ (aner)
"man" (genitive ανδρος
) combined with μεδομαι (medomai)
"to be mindful of". In Greek mythology Andromeda was an Ethiopian princess rescued from sacrifice by the hero Perseus
. A constellation in the northern sky is named for her. This is also the name of a nearby galaxy, given because it resides (from our point of view) within the constellation.
Derived from Greek αντι (anti)
"against, compared to, like" and γονη (gone)
"birth, offspring". In Greek legend Antigone was the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. King Creon of Thebes declared that her slain brother Polynices was to remain unburied, a great dishonour. She disobeyed and gave him a proper burial, and for this she was sealed alive in a cave.
Derived from the Greek elements αντι (anti)
"against, compared to, like" and οψ (ops)
"voice". This was the name of several figures in Greek mythology, including a daughter of Ares
who was one of the queens of the Amazons. She was kidnapped and married by Theseus
Means "song" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of song.
Meaning unknown, possibly of Phoenician origin. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty, identified with the Roman goddess Venus
. She was the wife of Hephaestus
and the mother of Eros
, and she was often associated with the myrtle tree and doves. The Greeks connected her name with αφρος (aphros)
"foam", resulting in the story that she was born from the foam of the sea. Many of her characteristics are based on the goddess known as Ashtoreth
to the Phoenicians and Ishtar
to the Mesopotamian Semitic peoples, and on the Sumerian goddess Inanna
APOLLOΑπολλωνmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Απολλων (Apollon)
, which is of unknown meaning, though perhaps related to Indo-European *apelo
"strength". Another theory states that Apollo can be equated with Appaliunas, an Anatolian god whose name possibly means "father lion" or "father light". The Greeks later associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb απολλυμι (apollymi)
meaning "to destroy". In Greek mythology Apollo was the son of Zeus
and the twin of Artemis
. He was the god of prophecy, medicine, music, art, law, beauty, and wisdom. Later he also became the god of the sun and light.
Means "spider" in Greek. In Greek myth Arachne was a mortal woman who defeated Athena
in a weaving contest. After this Arachne hanged herself, but Athena brought her back to life in the form of a spider.
Perhaps from either Greek αρη (are)
"bane, ruin" or αρσην (arsen)
"male". The name first appears as a-re
in Mycenaean Greek writing. Ares was the blood-thirsty god of war in Greek mythology, a son of Zeus
ARGUSΑργοςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Αργος (Argos)
, derived from αργος (argos)
meaning "glistening, shining". In Greek myth this name belonged to both the man who built the Argo and a man with a hundred eyes.
Means "most holy", composed of the Cretan Greek elements αρι (ari)
"most" and αδνος (adnos)
"holy". In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos
. She fell in love with Theseus
and helped him to escape the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, but was later abandoned by him. Eventually she married the god Dionysus
Possibly means "cut up" in Greek. Asklepios (Aesculapius to the Romans) was the god of healing and medicine in Greek mythology.
ASTRAEAΑστραιαfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Αστραια (Astraia)
, derived from Greek αστηρ (aster)
meaning "star". Astraea was a Greek goddess of justice and innocence. After wickedness took root in the world she left the earth and became the constellation Virgo.
ATALANTAΑταλαντηfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Αταλαντη (Atalante)
meaning "equal in weight", derived from αταλαντος (atalantos)
, a word related to ταλαντον (talanton)
meaning "a scale, a balance". In Greek legend she was a fast-footed maiden who refused to marry anyone who could not beat her in a race. She was eventually defeated by Hippomenes, who dropped three golden apples during the race causing her to stop to pick them up.
ATHENAΑθηναfGreek Mythology, English
Meaning unknown. Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare and the patron goddess of the city of Athens in Greece. It is likely that her name is derived from that of the city, not vice versa. The earliest mention of her seems to be a 15th-century BC Mycenaean Greek inscription from Knossos on Crete.... [more]
Possibly means "enduring" from Greek τλαω (tlao)
meaning "to endure". In Greek mythology he was a Titan punished by Zeus
by being forced to support the heavens on his shoulders.
Means "inevitable, inflexible" in Greek, derived from the negative prefix α (a)
combined with τροπος (tropos)
"direction, manner, fashion". Atropos was one of the three Fates or Μοιραι
(Moirai) in Greek mythology. When her sister Lachesis decided that a person's life was at an end, Atropos would choose the manner of death and cut the person's life thread.
Patronymic derived from Βρισευς (Briseus)
, a Greek name of unknown meaning. In Greek mythology Briseis (real name Hippodameia) was the daughter of Briseus. She was captured during the Trojan War by Achilles
. After Agamemnon
took her away from him, Achilles refused to fight in the war.
Means "thunderer" in Greek. In Greek mythology (according to Hesiod), this was the name of one of the three Cyclopes, who were the sons of Uranus
CADMUSΚαδμοςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Καδμος (Kadmos)
, of uncertain meaning. In Greek mythology Cadmus was the son of the Phoenician king Agenor. He was sent by his father to rescue his sister Europa
, who had been abducted by Zeus
, although he did not succeed in retrieving her. According to legend, Cadmus founded the city of Thebes and introduced the alphabet to Greece.
CALYPSOΚαλυψωfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Καλυψω (Kalypso)
which probably meant "she that conceals", derived from καλυπτω (kalypto)
"to cover, to conceal". In Greek myth this was the name of the nymph who fell in love with Odysseus
after he was shipwrecked on her island of Ogygia. When he refused to stay with her she detained him for seven years until Zeus
ordered her to release him.
CASSANDRAΚασσανδραfEnglish, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κασσανδρα (Kassandra)
, derived from possibly κεκασμαι (kekasmai)
"to excel, to shine" and ανηρ (aner)
"man" (genitive ανδρος
). In Greek myth Cassandra was a Trojan princess, the daughter of Priam
. She was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo
, but when she spurned his advances he cursed her so nobody would believe her prophecies.... [more]
CASSIOPEIAΚασσιοπεια, ΚασσιεπειαfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κασσιοπεια (Kassiopeia)
or Κασσιεπεια (Kassiepeia)
, possibly meaning "cassia juice". In Greek myth Cassiopeia was the wife of Cepheus and the mother of Andromeda. She was changed into a constellation and placed in the northern sky after she died.
CEPHALUSΚεφαλοςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κεφαλος (Kephalos)
, which was derived from κεφαλη (kephale)
meaning "head". In Greek legend he remained faithful to his wife Procris even though he was pursued by the goddess Eos.
CEPHEUSΚηφευςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κηφευς (Kepheus)
, which is of unknown meaning. In Greek legend he was a king of Ethiopia, the husband of Cassiopeia. After he died he was made into a constellation and placed in the sky.
CERBERUSΚερβεροςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κερβερος (Kerberos)
, which possibly meant "spotted". In Greek myth this was the name of the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to Hades.
Possibly means "fierce brightness" in Greek. In Greek mythology Charon was the operator of the ferry that brought the newly dead over the River Acheron into Hades.
Derived from Greek χλωρος (chloros)
meaning "pale green". Chloris, in Greek mythology, was a minor goddess of vegetation.
Patronymic derived from CHRYSES
. In Greek legend she was the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo
. After she was taken prisoner by the Greeks besieging Troy, Apollo sent a plague into their camp, forcing the Greeks to release her.
CIRCEΚιρκηfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κιρκη (Kirke)
, which possibly meant "bird". In Greek mythology Circe was a sorceress who changed Odysseus
's crew into hogs but was forced by him to change them back.
CORAΚορηfEnglish, German, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of KORE
. It was not used as a given name in the English-speaking world until after it was employed by James Fenimore Cooper for a character in his novel 'The Last of the Mohicans' (1826). In some cases it may be a short form of CORDULA
or other names beginning with a similar sound.
CRONUSΚρονοςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κρονος (Kronos)
, possibly derived from the Indo-European root *ker-
meaning "to cut". Cronus was the Titan who fathered the Greek gods. As his wife Rhea
gave birth to the gods, Cronus swallowed them fearing the prophecy that he would be overthrown by one of his children. However Rhea hid Zeus
, her last child, who eventually forced his father to disgorge his siblings. Cronus and the rest of the Titans were then defeated by the gods and exiled.
CYNTHIAΚυνθιαfEnglish, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κυνθια (Kynthia)
which means "woman from Kynthos". This was an epithet of the Greek moon goddess Artemis
, given because Kynthos was the mountain on Delos on which she and her twin brother Apollo
were born. It was not used as a given name until the Renaissance, and it did not become common in the English-speaking world until the 19th century.
DAEDALUSΔαιδαλοςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Δαιδαλος (Daidalos)
which was derived from δαιδαλλω (daidallo)
meaning "to work cunningly". In Greek myth Daedalus was an Athenian inventor who was banished to Crete. There he designed the Labyrinth for King Minos
, but he and his son Icarus
were eventually imprisoned inside it because he had aided Theseus
in his quest against the Minotaur. Daelalus and Icarus escaped using wings fashioned from wax, but Icarus fell from the sky to his death.
DAMOCLESΔαμοκληςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Δαμοκλης (Damokles)
, which was derived from δαμος (damos)
"the people", a Doric Greek variant of δημος (demos)
, and κλεος (kleos)
"glory". In Greek legend Damocles was a member of the court of Dionysius the Elder, the king of Syracuse. Damocles expressed envy of the king's station so Dionysius offered to switch roles with him for a day. To illustrate to Damocles the peril of a man in his position he suspended a sword over the throne.
DAMONΔαμωνmGreek Mythology, English
Derived from Greek δαμαζω (damazo)
meaning "to tame". According to Greek legend, Damon and Pythias were friends who lived on Syracuse in the 4th century BC. When Pythias was sentenced to death, he was allowed to temporarily go free on the condition that Damon take his place in prison. Pythias returned just before Damon was to be executed in his place, and the king was so impressed with their loyalty to one another that he pardoned Pythias. As an English given name, it has only been regularly used since the 20th century.
From Δαναοι (Danaoi)
, a word used by Homer
to designate the Greeks. In Greek mythology Danaë was the daughter of the Argive king Acrisius. It had been prophesized to her father that he would one day be killed by Danaë's son, so he attempted to keep his daughter childless. However, Zeus
came to her in the form of a shower of gold, and she became the mother of Perseus
. Eventually the prophecy was fulfilled and Perseus killed Acrisius, albeit accidentally.
DAPHNEΔαφνηfGreek Mythology, English, Dutch
Means "laurel" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was a nymph turned into a laurel tree by her father in order that she might escape the pursuit of Apollo
. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the end of the 19th century.
Means "terror" in Greek. This was one of the sons of the Greek god Ares
. Also, a moon of Mars bears this name.
DELIA (1)ΔηλιαfEnglish, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Greek Mythology
Means "of Delos" in Greek. This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Artemis
, given because she and her twin brother Apollo
were born on the island of Delos. The name appeared in several poems of the 16th and 17th centuries, and it has occasionally been used as a given name since that time.
DEMETER (1)ΔημητηρfGreek Mythology
Possibly means "earth mother", derived from Greek δα (da)
"earth" and μητηρ (meter)
"mother". In Greek mythology Demeter was the goddess of agriculture, the daughter of Cronus
, the sister of Zeus
, and the mother of Persephone
. She was an important figure in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were secret rites performed at Eleusis near Athens.
DESPOINAΔεσποιναfGreek Mythology, Greek
Means "mistress, lady" in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of the daughter of Demeter and Poseidon. She was worshipped in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were secret rites practiced at Eleusis near Athens.
Means "justice" in Greek. In Greek mythology Dike was the goddess of justice, one of the ‘Ωραι
Derived from Greek Διος (Dios)
meaning "of ZEUS
" and μηδομαι (medomai)
meaning "to think, to plan". In Greek legend Diomedes was one of the greatest heroes who fought against the Trojans. With Odysseus
he entered Troy and stole the Palladium. After the Trojan War he founded the cities of Brindisi and Arpi in Italy.
DIONE (1)ΔιωνηfGreek Mythology
From Greek Διος (Dios)
meaning "of ZEUS
". By extension, it means "goddess". This was the name of an obscure Greek goddess who, according to some legends, was the mother of Aphrodite
From Greek Διος (Dios)
meaning "of ZEUS
" combined with NYSA
, the name of the region where young Dionysos was said to have been raised. In Greek mythology Dionysos was the god of wine, revelry, fertility and dance. He was the son of Zeus
DORISΔωριςfEnglish, German, Croatian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
From the ancient Greek name Δωρις (Doris)
which meant "Dorian woman". The Dorians were a Greek tribe who occupied the Peloponnese starting in the 12th century BC. In Greek mythology Doris was a sea nymph, one of the many children of Oceanus and Tethys. It began to be used as an English name in the 19th century. A famous bearer is the American actress Doris Day (1924-).
Means "echo" from the word for the repeating reflected sound, which derives from Greek ηχη (eche)
"sound". In Greek mythology Echo was a nymph given a speech impediment by Hera
, so that she could only repeat what others said. She fell in love with Narcissus
, but her love was not returned, and she pined away until nothing remained of her except her voice.
ELECTRAΗλεκτραfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ηλεκτρα (Elektra)
, derived from ηλεκτρον (elektron)
meaning "amber". In Greek myth she was the daughter of Agamemnon
and the sister of Orestes
. She helped her brother kill their mother and her lover Aegisthus in vengeance for Agamemnon's murder. Also in Greek mythology, this name was borne by one of the Pleiades, who were the daughters of Atlas
ELPISΕλπιςfAncient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "hope" in Greek. In Greek mythology Elpis was the personification of hope. She was the last spirit to remain in the jar after Pandora unleashed the evils that were in it.
Derived from Greek ενδυειν (endyein)
meaning "to dive into, to enter". In Greek mythology he was an Aeolian mortal loved by the moon goddess Selene
, who asked Zeus
to grant him eternal life. Zeus complied by putting him into an eternal sleep in a cave on Mount Latmos.
Means "dawn" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the dawn.
Derived from Greek επιμηθεια (epimetheia)
meaning "hindsight, hindthought". In Greek mythology he was a Titan, the brother of the god of forethought Prometheus.
Means "lovely" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, the muse of lyric poetry.
Means "strife" in Greek. In Greek mythology Eris was the goddess of discord. She was the sister and companion of Ares
Means "love" in Greek. In Greek mythology he was a young god, the son of Aphrodite
, who was armed with arrows that caused the victim to fall in love.
Means "good gift" in Greek, from the elements ευ (eu)
"good" and δωρον (doron)
"gift". This was the name of a nymph, one of the Hyades, in Greek mythology.
EUROPAΕυρωπηfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ευρωπη (Europe)
, which meant "wide face" from ευρυς (eurys)
"wide" and ωψ (ops)
"face, eye". In Greek mythology Europa was a Phoenician princess who was abducted and taken to Crete by Zeus
in the guise of a bull. She became the first queen of Crete, and later fathered Minos
by Zeus. The continent of Europe is named for her. This is also the name of a moon of Jupiter.
EURYDICEΕυρυδικηfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ευρυδικη (Eurydike)
which meant "wide justice", derived from ευρυς (eurys)
"wide" and δικη (dike)
"justice". In Greek myth she was the wife of Orpheus. Her husband tried to rescue her from Hades, but he failed when he disobeyed the condition that he not look back upon her on their way out.
Means "delight" in Greek, ultimately from ευ (eu)
"good" and τερπω (terpo)
"to satisfy, to cheer". In Greek mythology she was one of the nine Muses, the muse of music and joy. She was said to have invented the double flute.
EVADNEΕυαδνηfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ευαδνη (Euadne)
, from ευ (eu)
meaning "good" possibly combined with Cretan Greek αδνος (adnos)
meaning "holy". In Greek legend Evadne was the wife of Capaneus. After Capaneus was killed by a lightning bolt sent from Zeus
she committed suicide by throwing herself onto his burning body.
GAIAΓαιαfGreek Mythology, Italian
From the Greek word γαια (gaia)
, a parallel form of γη (ge)
meaning "earth". In Greek mythology Gaia was the mother goddess who presided over the earth. She was the mate of Uranus
and the mother of the Titans and the Cyclopes.
Derived from Greek ‘ηβη (hebe)
meaning "youth". In Greek mythology Hebe was the daughter of Zeus
. She was a goddess of youth who acted as the cupbearer to the gods.
HECATE‘ΕκατηfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek ‘Εκατη (Hekate)
, possibly derived from ‘εκας (hekas)
meaning "far off". In Greek mythology Hecate was a goddess associated with witchcraft, crossroads, tombs, demons and the underworld.
HECTOR‘ΕκτωρmEnglish, French, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Arthurian Romance
Latinized form of Greek ‘Εκτωρ (Hektor)
, which was derived from ‘εκτωρ (hektor)
"holding fast", ultimately from εχω (echo)
meaning "to hold, to possess". In Greek legend Hector was one of the Trojan champions who fought against the Greeks. After he killed Achilles
' friend Patroclus
in battle, he was himself brutally slain by Achilles, who proceeded to tie his dead body to a chariot and drag it about. This name also appears in Arthurian legends belonging to King Arthur
's foster father.... [more]
HELENA‘ΕλενηfGerman, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Estonian, Slovene, Croatian, English, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinate form of HELEN
Means "sun" in Greek. This was the name of the young Greek sun god, who rode across the sky each day in a chariot pulled by four horses.
HELLE (2)‘ΕλληfGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Helle was the daughter of Athamus and Nephele. She and her brother Phrixus escaped sacrifice by fleeing on the back of a golden ram, but during their flight she fell off and drowned in the strait that connects the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara, which was thereafter called the Hellespont ("the sea of Helle").
Means "day" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified the daytime. According to Hesiod she was the daughter of Nyx
, the personification of the night.
HEPHAESTUS‘ΗφαιστοςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek ‘Ηφαιστος (Hephaistos)
, meaning unknown. It probably shares its origin with the Minoan city of Φαιστος (Phaistos)
, which is of Pre-Greek origin. In Greek mythology Hephaestus was the god of fire and forging, the husband of the unfaithful Aphrodite
. It was said that when he was born Hera
, his mother, was so displeased with his physical deformities that she hurled him off the top of Mount Olympus.
Uncertain meaning, possibly from either Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
"hero, warrior"; ‘ωρα (hora)
"period of time"; or ‘αιρεω (haireo)
"to be chosen". In Greek mythology Hera was the queen of the gods, the sister and wife of Zeus
. She presided over marriage and childbirth.
Means "glory of Hera" from the name of the goddess HERA
combined with Greek κλεος (kleos)
"glory". This was the name of a hero in Greek and Roman mythology, the son of Zeus
and the mortal woman Alcmene
. After being driven insane by Hera
and killing his own children, Herakles completed twelve labours in order to atone for his crime and become immortal.
HERMES‘ΕρμηςmGreek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Probably from Greek ‘ερμα (herma)
meaning "cairn, pile of stones, boundary marker". Hermes was a Greek god associated with speed and good luck, who served as a messenger to Zeus
and the other gods. He was also the patron of travellers, writers, athletes, merchants, thieves and orators.... [more]
Derived from the name of the Greek messenger god HERMES
. In Greek myth Hermione was the daughter of Menelaus and Helen. This is also the name of the wife of Leontes in Shakespeare's play 'The Winter's Tale' (1610). It is now closely associated with the character Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series of books, first released in 1997.
HERO (1)‘ΗρωfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek ‘ηρως (heros)
meaning "hero". In Greek legend she was the lover of Leander, who would swim across the Hellespont each night to meet her. He was killed on one such occasion when he got caught in a storm while in the water, and when Hero saw his dead body she drowned herself. This is also the name of a character in Shakespeare's play 'Much Ado About Nothing' (1599).
Derived from Greek ‘εστια (hestia)
"hearth, fireside". In Greek mythology Hestia was the goddess of the hearth and domestic activity.
HYACINTHUS‘ΥακινθοςmGreek Mythology (Latinized), Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name ‘Υακινθος (Hyakinthos)
, which was derived from the name of the hyacinth flower. In Greek legend Hyakinthos was accidentally killed by Apollo
, who caused a lily to arise from his blood. The name was also borne by several early saints, notably a 3rd-century martyr who was killed with his brother Protus.
Derived from Greek ‘υπερ (hyper)
"over". In Greek myth this was the name of a Titan who presided over the sun and light. By Theia he was the father of the sun god Helios, the moon goddess Selene, and the dawn goddess Eos.
ICARUSΙκαροςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Ικαρος (Ikaros)
, of unknown meaning. In Greek myth Icarus was the son of Daedalus
, locked with his father inside the Labyrinth by Minos
. They escaped from the maze using wings devised from wax, but Icarus flew too close to the sun and the wax melted, plunging him to his death.
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Io was a princess loved by Zeus
, who changed her into a heifer in order to hide her from Hera
. A moon of Jupiter bears this name in her honour.
ION (2)ΙωνmGreek Mythology
Of unknown etymology, possibly pre-Greek. According to Greek mythology he was a son of Creusa and Xuthus (or alternatively the god Apollo
). He was said to be the ancestor of the Greek tribe of the Ionians.
IONEΙονηfGreek Mythology, English
From Greek ιον (ion)
meaning "violet flower". This was the name of a sea nymph in Greek mythology. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, though perhaps based on the Greek place name Ionia
, a region on the west coast of Asia Minor.
Derived from Greek ιφιος (iphios)
"strong, stout" and γενης (genes)
"born". In Greek myth Iphigenia was the daughter of King Agamemnon
. When her father offended Artemis
it was divined that the only way to appease the goddess was to sacrifice Iphigenia. Just as Agamemnon was about to sacrifice his daughter she was magically transported to the city of Taurus.... [more]
IRENEΕιρηνηfEnglish, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Dutch, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Ειρηνη (Eirene)
, derived from a word meaning "peace". This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified peace, one of the ‘Ωραι
(Horai). It was also borne by several early Christian saints. The name was common in the Byzantine Empire, notably being borne by an 8th-century empress, who was the first woman to lead the empire. She originally served as regent for her son, but later had him killed and ruled alone.... [more]
IRISΙριςfGreek Mythology, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, French, Spanish, Greek
Means "rainbow" in Greek. Iris was the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow, also serving as a messenger to the gods. This name can also be given in reference to the word (which derives from the same Greek source) for the iris flower or the coloured part of the eye.
Possibly from Greek ισμη (isme)
"knowledge". This was the name of the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta in Greek legend.
JASONΙασωνmEnglish, French, Greek Mythology (Anglicized), Biblical
From the Greek name Ιασων (Iason)
, which was derived from Greek ιασθαι (iasthai)
"to heal". In Greek mythology Jason was the leader of the Argonauts. After his uncle Pelias overthrew his father Aeson
as king of Iolcos, Jason went in search of the Golden Fleece in order to win back the throne. During his journeys he married the sorceress Medea
, who helped him gain the fleece and kill his uncle, but who later turned against him when he fell in love with another woman.... [more]
Means "beautiful voice" from Greek καλλος (kallos)
meaning "beauty" and οψ (ops)
meaning "voice". In Greek mythology she was a goddess of epic poetry and eloquence, one of the nine Muses.
KALLISTOΚαλλιστωfGreek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek καλλιστος (kallistos)
meaning "most beautiful", a derivative of καλος (kalos)
meaning "beautiful". In Greek mythology Kallisto was a nymph who was loved by Zeus
. She was changed into a she-bear by Hera
, and subsequently became the Great Bear constellation. This was also an ancient Greek personal name.
Derived from Greek κλεος (kleos)
meaning "glory". In Greek mythology she was the goddess of history and heroic poetry, one of the nine Muses. She was said to have introduced the alphabet to Greece.
Means "spinner" in Greek. In Greek mythology Klotho was one of the three Fates or Μοιραι
(Moirai). She was responsible for spinning the thread of life.
KLYTIËΚλυτιη, ΚλυτιαfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek κλυτος (klytos)
meaning "famous, noble". In Greek myth Klytië was an ocean nymph who loved the sun god Helios. Her love was not returned, and she pined away staring at him until she was transformed into a heliotrope flower, whose head moves to follow the sun.
Possibly derived from Greek κοιος (koios)
, also spelled ποιος (poios)
, a questioning word meaning approximately "of what kind?". This was the name of a Titan god of intelligence in Greek mythology.
Means "maiden" in Greek. This was another name for the Greek goddess Persephone.
Possibly derived from either Greek κρειων (kreion)
"lord, master" or κριος (krios)
"ram, male sheep". This was the name of a Titan in Greek mythology.
Means "apportioner" in Greek. She was one of the three Fates or Μοιραι
(Moirai) in Greek mythology. She was responsible for deciding how long each person had to live.
LAIUSΛαιοςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Λαιος (Laios)
, which is of unknown meaning. This was the name of a king of Thebes in Greek mythology, the husband of Jocasta
. Due to a prophecy that he would be killed by his son, Laius left his infant Oedipus
for dead. The boy survived but was ignorant of his true parentage. Years later he unwittingly killed Laius in a quarrel on the road.
LAMIA (2)ΛαμιαfGreek Mythology
Possibly from Greek λαιμος (laimos)
"throat". In Greek mythology this is the name of a queen of Libya who was a mistress of Zeus
, being jealous, kills Lamia's children, causing her to go mad and transform into a monster that hunts the children of others.
LARISAΛαρισαfRussian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Latvian, Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from the name of the ancient city of Larisa in Thessaly, which meant "citadel". In Greek legends, the nymph Larisa was either a daughter or mother of Pelasgus, the ancestor of the mythical Pelasgians. This name was later borne by a 4th-century Greek martyr who is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Church. The name (of the city, nymph and saint) is commonly Latinized as Larissa
, with a double s
LEANDERΛεανδροςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Λεανδρος (Leandros)
, derived from λεων (leon)
meaning "lion" and ανηρ (aner)
meaning "man" (genitive ανδρος
). In Greek legend Leander was the lover of Hero. Every night he swam across the Hellespont to meet her, but on one occasion he was drowned when a storm arose. When Hero saw his dead body she threw herself into the waters and perished.
Possibly from Lycian lada
meaning "wife". Other theories connect it to Greek ληθω (letho)
meaning "hidden, forgotten". In Greek mythology she was the mother of Apollo
LIGEIAΛιγειαfGreek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λιγυς (ligys)
meaning "clear-voiced, shrill, whistling". This was the name of one of the Sirens in Greek legend. It was also used by Edgar Allan Poe in his story 'Ligeia' (1838).
LYSSA (2)ΛυσσαfGreek Mythology
Means "rage, fury, anger" in Greek. In Greek mythology Lyssa is a goddess associated with uncontrolled rage.
MEDEAΜηδειαfGreek Mythology (Latinized), Georgian
From Greek Μηδεια (Medeia)
, possibly derived from μηδομαι (medomai)
"to think, to plan". In Greek mythology Medea was a sorceress from Colchis (modern Georgia) who helped Jason
gain the Golden Fleece. They were married, but eventually Jason left her for another woman. For revenge Medea slew Jason's new lover and also had her own children by Jason killed.
MEDUSAΜεδουσαfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Μεδουσα (Medousa)
, which was derived from μεδω (medo)
meaning "to protect, to rule over". In Greek myth this was the name of one of the three Gorgons, ugly women who had snakes for hair. She was so hideous that anyone who gazed upon her was turned to stone, so the hero Perseus
had to look using the reflection in his shield in order to slay her.
MEGAERAΜεγαιραfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Μεγαιρα (Megaira)
which was derived from μεγαιρω (megairo)
"to grudge". This was the name of one of the Furies or Ερινυες (Erinyes)
in Greek mythology. The name is used as a word in several European languages to denote a shrewish, ill-tempered woman (for example, French mégère
and Italian megera
Means "practice, exercise" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of meditation.
Means "ash tree" in Greek, a derivative of μελι (meli)
"honey". This was the name of a nymph in Greek myth, the daughter of the Greek god Okeanos.
MELISSAΜελισσαfEnglish, Dutch, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "bee" in Greek. This was the name of a nymph that cared for young Zeus
in Greek mythology. It is also the name of the fairy who helps Rogero escape from the witch Alcina in Ludovico Ariosto's poem 'Orlando Furioso' (1516). As an English given name, Melissa
has been used since the 18th century.
Derived from Greek μελπω (melpo)
meaning "to sing, to celebrate with song". This was the name of one of the nine Muses in Greek mythology, the muse of tragedy.
MENELAUSΜενελαοςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek name Μενελαος (Menelaos)
, derived either from μενω (meno)
meaning "to stay, to wait" or μενος (menos)
meaning "mind, strength, force" combined with λαος (laos)
meaning "the people". In Greek legend he was a king of Sparta and the husband of Helen
. When his wife was taken by Paris
, the Greeks besieged the city of Troy in an effort to get her back. After the war Menelaus and Helen settled down to a happy life.
Possibly related to Greek μενος (menos)
meaning "mind, strength, force". In Greek legend Mentor was the son of Alkimos. When Odysseus
left to fight in the Trojan War he entrusted Mentor with the care of his palace and the guardianship of his son Telemachos. When the goddess Athena
visited Telemachos she took the guise of Mentor.
Means "wisdom, skill, cunning" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was a Titan. Because it was prophesized that her children would be wiser than Zeus
, he swallowed her after he had impregnated her. However, their daughter Athena
eventually burst from his head fully grown.
Meaning unknown. In Greek myth Midas was a king of Phrygia in Asia Minor. He was granted a wish by the god Dionysos
- that everything he touch be turned to gold.
Possibly from a Cretan word or title meaning "king". This was the name of a king of Crete in Greek mythology. He was the son of Zeus
. Because Minos had refused to sacrifice a certain bull to Poseidon
, the god had caused his wife Pasiphaë to mate with the bull, which produced the half-bull creature called the Minotaur. Minos had Daedalus
construct the Labyrinth to house the beast, but it was eventually slain by Theseus
Means "memory" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of memory.
Means "remembrance" in Greek. In Greek mythology Mnemosyne was a Titan goddess of memory. She was the mother by Zeus
of the nine Muses.
Derived from Greek μορφη (morphe)
meaning "shape", referring to the shapes seen in dreams. In Greek mythology Morpheus was the god of dreams.
Means "distribution of what is due, righteous anger" in Greek. In Greek mythology Nemesis was personification of vengeance and justice.
From Greek νεφος (nephos)
meaning "cloud". In Greek legend Nephele was created from a cloud by Zeus
, who shaped the cloud to look like Hera
in order to trick Ixion, a mortal who desired her. Nephele was the mother of the centaurs by Ixion, and was also the mother of Phrixus and Helle by Athamus.
NEREUSΝηρευςmGreek Mythology, Ancient Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Derived from Greek νηρος (neros)
meaning "water". In Greek myth this was the name of a god of the sea, the father of the Nereids. It is mentioned briefly in the New Testament, belonging to a Christian in Rome. This was also the name of a Roman saint of the 1st century, a member of the army, who was martyred with his companion Achilleus because they refused to execute Christians.
NESTORΝεστωρmGreek Mythology, Russian
Means "homecoming" in Greek. In Homer
's 'Iliad' this was the name of the king of Pylos, famous for his great wisdom and longevity, who acted as a counselor to the Greek allies.
NIKEPHOROSΝικηφοροςm & fAncient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "carrying victory" from Greek νικη (nike)
"victory" and φερω (phero)
"to carry, to bear". This name was borne by several Byzantine emperors, including the 10th-century Nikephoros II Phokas. Besides being a masculine personal name, it was also a title borne by the goddess Athena
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Niobe was the daughter of Tantalos, a king of Asia Minor. Because she boasted that she was superior to Leto
, Leto's children Apollo
killed her 14 children with poison arrows. In grief, Niobe was turned to stone by Zeus
Means "night" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the night, the daughter of Khaos and the wife of Erebos.
Perhaps derived from Greek οδυσσομαι (odyssomai)
"to hate". In Greek legend Odysseus was one of the Greek heroes who fought in the Trojan War. In the 'Odyssey' Homer
relates Odysseus's misadventures on his way back to his kingdom and his wife Penelope
OEDIPUSΟιδιπουςmGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Οιδιπους (Oidipous)
, meaning "swollen foot" from οιδεω (oideo)
"to swell" and πους (pous)
"foot". In Greek mythology Oedipus was the son of the Theban king Laius
and his wife Jocasta
. Laius received a prophesy that he would be killed by his son, so he left the newborn to die of exposure. Oedipus was however rescued and raised in the home of the Corinthian king Polybus. After he had grown and learned of the same prophesy, Oedipus left Corinth so that he would not be a danger to Polybus, who he assumed was his father. On the road to Delphi he chanced upon his real father Laius and slew him in a petty disagreement, thus fulfilling the prophecy. He then correctly answered the Sphinx's riddle, winning the now vacant throne of Thebes and marrying the widowed Queen Jocasta, his own mother. Years later they learned the truth of their relationship, prompting Jocasta to commit suicide and Oedipus to blind himself.
OENONEΟινωνεfGreek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Οινωνε (Oinone)
, derived from οινος (oinos)
meaning "wine". In Greek mythology Oenone was a mountain nymph who was married to Paris before he went after Helen.
From the name of the river or body of water thought by the ancient Greeks to surround the Earth. In Greek mythology Okeanos was the Titan who personified this body of water.
Meaning unknown, but possibly related to Greek ‘οριον (horion)
meaning "boundary, limit". Alternatively it may be derived from Akkadian Uru-anna
meaning "light of the heavens". This is the name of a constellation, which gets its name from a legendary Greek hunter who was killed by a scorpion sent by the earth goddess Gaia
Perhaps related to Greek ορφνη (orphne)
meaning "the darkness of night". In Greek mythology Orpheus was a poet and musician who went to the underworld to retrieve his dead wife Eurydice. He succeeded in charming Hades with his lyre, and he was allowed to lead his wife out of the underworld on the condition that he not look back at her until they reached the surface. Unfortunately, just before they arrived his love for her overcame his will and he glanced back at her, causing her to be drawn back to Hades.
OURANIAΟυρανιη, ΟυρανιαfGreek Mythology
Derived from Greek ουρανιος (ouranios)
meaning "heavenly". In Greek mythology she was the goddess of astronomy and astrology, one of the nine Muses.
PALLAS (1)ΠαλλαςfGreek Mythology
Probably derived from a Greek word meaning "maiden". In Greek mythology this was the name of a friend of the goddess Athena
. Athena accidentally killed her, and subsequently took the name Pallas in honour of her friend.
PALLAS (2)ΠαλλαςmGreek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek παλλω (pallo)
"to brandish". In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan and several other characters. It was also the name of a female character, though her name is probably from a different source (see Pallas
Possibly from an Indo-European root meaning "shepherd, protector". In Greek mythology Pan was a half-man, half-goat god associated with shepherds, flocks and pastures.
Means "all gifts", derived from a combination of Greek παν (pan)
"all" and δωρον (doron)
"gift". In Greek mythology Pandora was the first mortal woman. Zeus
gave her a jar containing all of the troubles and ills that mankind now knows, and told her not to open it. Unfortunately her curiosity got the best of her and she opened it, unleashing the evil spirits into the world.
PARIS (1)ΠαριςmGreek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Luwian or Hittite origin. In Greek mythology he was the Trojan prince who kidnapped Helen
and began the Trojan War. Though presented as a somewhat of a coward in the 'Iliad', he did manage to slay the great hero Achilles
. He was himself eventually slain in battle by Philoctetes.