Ancient Greek baby names have come back in a big way as they hold universal appeal to modern parents. Names for boys like Alexander and Sabastian have rocketed up the popularity charts in recent years ushering in a fresh reputation for so many of these very old names. These amazing monikers might be inspired by Greek mythology or simply to honor Greek heritage and to celebrate the lasting influence the culture has had on our world.
While we do plan to highlight some baby names that are popular, our goal is to inspire expecting parents with some unexpected surprises that might be thrilling options for a boy’s name. You’ll find mythical names and more within the list below! Check out these 25 classic names for boys with Greek origins.
Atlas is a strong name that’s now more popular than ever in the US. It’s climbing up the popularity charts and shows no signs of stopping. In Greek mythology, Atlas was a Titan condemned to hold up the celestial heavens or sky for eternity. Thus, the name means “bearer of the heavens.”
Paris is an excellent gender-neutral name that was also known as Alexandros in ancient times. The first famous Paris was a mythological prince of incredible beauty. The name also belongs to the dazzling French city. The name is trending for baby girls in the US, but it’s still completely appropriate to give it to a baby boy.
Atticus derives from the Greek Attikos, meaning “from Attica,” the Ancient Greek region that contained Athens. Atticus has seen a wave of popularity in recent years as a literary choice that celebrates the hero of To Kill a Mockingbird. This handsome name isn’t going anywhere!
Basil was on the US popularity list quite regularly up until 1970, reaching a high of number 328 in 1904. We think this name deserves more love from American parents. Basil was associated with the Greek Orthodox Church before it became synonymous with the British upper crust thanks to Basil Rathbone of Sherlock Holmes fame. Basil means “regal.”
Demetri is the more casual form of Demetrius. The name means “follower of Demeter,” the Greek goddess of the harvest, fertility, and the earth. Demetri is in the top 1000 but it has never surpassed Demetrius’s favor, which is partly why we chose it!
Cyril was a very popular choice for parents in the US until the sixties. We want it back! Cyril is the name of several saints, including the ninth century Greek missionary who invented the Cyrillic alphabet. The name means “lordly.”
From the classical myth, Damon and Pythias became symbols of true friendship, after Damon risked his life to save his friend from execution. And, Damon of Athens was the fifth century philosopher who educated both Pericles and Socrates. Damon and Damion are related and mean “to tame.”
Parents have finally found possibility in the name Apollo as it first appeared in the top 1000 in 2012. Apollo was the handsome son of Zeus and god of medicine, music, and poetry among many others, offers plenty of charm and promise. The meaning of this name is debated but it’s possible the name came from apollymi, meaning “to destroy.”
Homer is a truly excellent name that fell off the charts in the US shortly before the premier of The Simpsons. Now, the name will forever be associated with Bart’s daft dad. The name belonged to the classical Greek scribe who brought us the epics The Odyssey and The Iliad. This stunning name means “security.”
In Greek myth, Jason is the leader of the Argonauts who went in search of the storied Golden Fleece. While Jason might seem like a newer name because of its huge popularity in the seventies and eighties, the name has been around since antiquity. Jason means “to heal.”
Dorian literally means “of Doris,” a Greek district, or “of Doros,” referring to the son of Helen of Sparta. Dorian derives from the Greek doron, meaning “gift,” along with related names such as Dorothy and Dora. Dorian has appeared in the top 1000 only since the 1940s.
The same Greek name brings us Andrew and Andreas. We prefer the sound of Andreas! The classic name for boys fell of the charts in 2008, but it’s still going strong in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Austria. This delicate name actually means “strong, manly.”
Jonas has a slightly more grandfatherly image than the English version of his name, but that only adds to its retro appeal. And though it may lag behind Jonah in this country, Jonas is riding a huge wave of popularity in Europe. Jonas means “dove.”
The name of the father of the sea nymphs that’s much better than Neptune, Nereus is a winner. Nereus has somewhat been lost over the years but thanks to names like Cassius and Atticus being so popular, we feel it has a place on this list. The origin of this name is unknown and some scholars have suggested that the name was adopted by the Greeks from a lost Bronze Age language!
Zeno is the shorter form of Zenon and both Greek names mean “guest.” The name is closely tied to Zeus. The name last showed up in the top 1000 in 1905! We think this zippy name would make for an excellent, offbeat moniker.
Sebastian is derived from the Greek Sebastianos, meaning “from Sebastia.” Sebastia was a city in Asia Minor, modern day Sivas, Turkey. Of all the Greek names that have seen their fates change over the years, Sebastian has outperformed them all. It fell off the charts in the 1940s and 50s before zooming to the top!
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. Then, came Alexander the Great! Alexander is a perennial favorite but it’s more popular today than ever before.
Ambrose comes from the same Greek root as “ambrosia,” the food of the gods, said to confer immortality. Thus, the name means “immortal.” Ambrose made a triumphant return to the top 1000 last year after being absent for nearly seventy years. We love the name and hopes new parents will continue to choose it.
Cleon is a Greek name that has not been popular in the US since 1938. Cleon sounds handsome and mysterious and we think it should appeal to many expecting parents. Cleon means “renowned.”
The Greek mythological Orion was the legendary hunter who pursued the seven daughters of Atlas, was slain by the goddess Artemis, and then placed as one of the brightest constellations in the night sky by Zeus. The name means “the hunter.” Orion is finding its way into parents hearts more today than at any time before. Go for it!
In Greek myth, Linus is both a musician and poet, the inventor of rhythm and melody who taught music to Hercules. The name means “flax.” While this name definitely sounds vintage, we think there is so much to love about it. Very few babies have been given this name since the 1940s.
Gregor is a diminutive of Gregory that’s curiously popular in Scotland. Both forms of the name mean “vigilant watchman.” While Gregory has historically been fairly popular Gregor has never made the top 1000. We think you’d be wise to choose this gregarious name.
Myron is a subtle Greek nature name that refers to myrrh and means “fragrant.” This name had a strong run before it fell out of favor in the fifties and completely out of the top 1000 in 2000. Myron of Eleutherae was an influential Greek sculptor who lived in the fifth century. Only copies of his works survive today.
Like Basil, Giles is seen by many Americans as quintessentially British and for some reason they avoid it. Giles is a wonderful name! The name was most popular in 1880 and it declined from there until it fell out of favor completely in the 1950s. The handsome name means “baby goat.”
Without a doubt, Cosmo must be one of our favorite Greek names for boys. Cosmo enjoyed slight popularity in the early twentieth century but it’s been rarely used since then. There’s been a strange trend of the name going to dogs instead of people and we’ll take it however we get it. Cosmo means “order” and refers to the beauty of our universe.
There you go! 25 classic Greek names for baby boys that truly shine. We hope you enjoyed this mix of unique names and more popular ones as well.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 25. Atlas
- 2 24. Paris
- 3 23. Atticus
- 4 22. Basil
- 5 21. Demetri
- 6 20. Cyril
- 7 19. Damon
- 8 18. Apollo
- 9 17. Homer
- 10 16. Jason
- 11 15. Dorian
- 12 14. Andreas
- 13 13. Jonas
- 14 12. Nereus
- 15 11. Zeno
- 16 10. Sebastian
- 17 9. Alexander
- 18 8. Ambrose
- 19 7. Cleon
- 20 6. Orion
- 21 5. Linus
- 22 4. Gregor
- 23 3. Myron
- 24 2. Giles
- 25 1. Cosmo
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