Names Inspired by the Greek Classics

Blog > Names Inspired by the Greek Classics
Posted on: June 5th, 2017by Ruth Fitzpatrick

Names inspired by ancient Greek mythology have been popular since, well, ancient Greece!! The reason they've always been - and remain - so popular is that they manage to maintain a balance between sounding old and new, classic and fresh. Also, the heroic exploits of their namesakes might give your little one plenty of inspiration for future exploits! Though, having read lots of Classical literature, hopefully not too much..!

Phoebe For '90s kids, the name is now almost completely synonymous with the ditsy but lovable Friends character, but before Buffay, there was the powerful and wise Greek Titan, who counted a number of very important gods and goddesses as her descendants.

Castor One of the brightest stars in our sky as well one of the two elements of the Gemini constellation, Castor sounds strong, original and sincere.

Penelope A name which has seen an Olympic leap in popularity over the last half decade, the original Penelope was the steadfast (and long-suffering) wife of the errant adventurer, Odysseus. The name means 'weaver' and is in reference to Penelope's cunning and resourcefulness by using her weaving skills to deter her unwelcome guests.

Jason A popular name among American parents, Jason was a handsome and courageous hero best known for his exploits with the Argonauts, and his obtaining of a fantastic golden fleece. Jason means 'to heal'.

Cassandra A very elegant and enticing name associated with the tragic mythological princess who had the gift of prophecy. Popular diminutives include Cassie and Sandy.

Argus Definitely a pretty lofty name; perhaps better suited to the pages of a Harry Potter book and not an American kindergarten class. It means 'watchful guardian', and certainly has a commanding presence.

Paris A unisex name, now much more commonly used for girls than for boys. Originally the name for the stunningly beautiful Trojan prince, whose elopement with the equally beautiful princess, Helen, brought about the famous and prolonged Trojan War.

Damon A less commonly used variant to Damian, Damon was the name of two classical figures: one known for his loyalty and friendship, the other for his immense musical talent and wisdom.

Helen As mentioned above, it was Helen and her lover's actions which brought about the Trojan War and all of the adventures that came after. Toward the end of the last century, it lost some of its glamorous gleam, and its popularity suffered accordingly. We still think it's a great choice, as are the variants, Helena and Elena.

Ajax Given its more modern associations with the household cleaners, parents could be forgiven for overlooking this mythological name. Ajax was a skilled soldier and noted for his bravery during the Trojan War (where else?!). We love names with a strong, ultimate -x, but if Ajax is too much of a stretch, go for Jax or AJ.

Dani A more accessible variant to the classical Greek Danae, Dani is a whimsical but powerful name. Danae was a mythological princess, one-time lover of Zeus, and mother to the hero, Perseus. She was known for her bravery and ability to face extreme hardships.

Evander This name sounds like it could be the modern marriage between Evan and Alexander, but in fact its origins are very ancient indeed. A mythological philosopher and lawyer, Evander means 'strong man'.

Iris A very pretty flower, a very pretty name, and a very pretty meaning: Iris means 'rainbow' in Greek. Like its flower name sister, Rose, Iris has seen a recent surge in interest here in the States. Iris acted as a divine messenger in Greek mythology and - as its meaning suggests - she was said to be responsible for the creation of rainbows in the sky.

Hector A name with real cross-cultural appeal: an ancient Greek hero, and a name popular among both Latino and Celtic communities. A fearless warrior and charioteer, Hector was predominantly portrayed as wise and peace-loving. In the narratives of Greek mythology, he was said to have been killed by Ajax. But, it looks like Hector has had the last laugh in the name posterity stakes!

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