Greek names are timeless, steeped in mythology, history, and tradition. They are a popular choice for people from Greece and all over the world, especially those fascinated by Greek mythology and history.
In this post, we’ve curated a list of the most popular and unique Greek boy names for you to choose from, each with its meaning and cultural significance.
Many of the most popular Greek male names are related to the Greek Orthodox religion. A lot of Greek names have two versions: a formal one that appears on identity cards and a less formal version for everyday use.George (Γεώργιος or Γιώργος)
George is an anglicized form of the Greek formal name Γεώργιος (Georgios) and the informal version of this name Γιώργος (Giorgos). It is the most popular choice in Greece, with approximately 10% of the Greek male population baptized with this name.
The name is formed from the word Γη (Gi), which means “earth”, and έργο (ergo), meaning “work”. The combination of these words gives the name the meaning of an “earth worker” or “farmer”.
The name Georgios has religious roots: in Greek Orthodox tradition, Saint George was a soldier in the Roman army who was martyred for his faith. He is one of the most revered saints in the Greek Orthodox Church.Nick (Νικόλαος, Νικόλας or Νίκος)
Nicholas is a Greek name that is popular worldwide. The first part νίκη (nike), means “victory” (Nike’s branding name), and the second part, λαός (laos), means “people”. Combining these two parts gives the name the meaning of “Victorious People” or “People’s Champion”.
Greek Orthodox Saint Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, is one of the most famous historical figures associated with the name. He was a fourth-century Christian bishop known for generosity and kindness to children and the poor.Ioannis (Ιωάννης or Γιάννης)
The second most popular Greek male name is the classic Ιωάννης (Ioannis) or more well-known Γιάννης (Giannis) - corresponding to John in English. It is such a popular name in Greece that many famous proverbs highlight its importance. For example:
Γιάννης is of Hebrew origin and is associated with qualities like faith, purity, and humility since it is related to prominent figures like John the Baptist and John the Apostle.Demetrius (Δημήτριος or Δημήτρης)
The formal version of this name is Demetrius, and in everyday use, the form Demetres is used instead. This is a common name in Greece and as well as in other Orthodox Christian cultures, such as Eastern Europe and Russia, where it is sometimes spelled Dmitri or Dmitry.
The name is related to the ancient Greek goddess of agriculture and fertility, Demeter. The name Demetrius is associated with qualities such as loyalty, dependability, and determination.
Demetres is an Ancient Greek word meaning “dedicated to Demeter.”Theodore (Θεόδωρος or Θοδωρής)
This beautiful Greek name, quite popular inside and outside of Greece, is once again a combination of two words. It is derived from the Greek words Θεός (theos), meaning “god”, and δώρον (doron), which translates to “gift”, both in ancient and modern Greek. So the combined meaning is “the gift of God.”
Theodore was a popular name in early Christian times and has been carried by several saints and religious figures throughout history.Basil (Βασίλης)
Βασίλης is a powerful and common Greek name corresponding to the English “Basil”. The meaning of this name is straightforward as it literally means “king” or “ruler”.
In ancient Greece, the term “basileus” was used to refer to the rulers of city-states and kingdoms, and it was considered one of the highest titles a person could hold.
Later on, it became associated with the Christian faith and was used to refer to God as the ultimate ruler and king.Phillip (Φίλιππος)
Phillip is a classic and timeless name that has been used for centuries, and its popularity is a testament to its enduring appeal. The name is of Greek origin, and it means “lover of horses”, from the Greek noun ίππος (hippos), meaning “horse”, and φίλος (philos), meaning “lover of” in ancient Greek.
The modern Greek word for “horse” is άλογο (alogo), but in a formal context, the word ίππος (hippos) is still used. Also, in modern Greek, the word φίλος (philos), has lost the meaning “lover of”, and it solely means “friend”.Panagiotis (Παναγιώτης)
Παναγιώτης is a common name in Greece and Cyprus. In Greek Orthodox Christianity, Παναγία (Panagia) is also a term used to refer to the Virgin Mary, considered the holiest of all saints. As such, the name Παναγιώτης can be interpreted to mean “devoted to the Virgin Mary”.Stavros (Σταύρος)
Stavros is a Greek masculine name that has been in use since ancient times. The name is derived from the Greek word σταυρός (stavros), meaning “cross” in both ancient and modern Greek. In the Christian tradition, the name Stavros is associated with the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified, making it a popular name in the Greek Orthodox community.Gregory (Γρηγόρης)
Gregory is a masculine Greek name that comes from the Greek word γρήγορος (grigoros), meaning “watchful”, “vigilant”, or “alert”.
The name has roots in ancient Greek religion, specifically Saint Gregory the Theologian, who was revered for his contributions to Christian theology. Gregory remains a popular name in Greece and among English-speaking countries worldwide and is often chosen for its historical and religious significance.Eugene (Ευγένιος)
Eugene is a classic and prestigious choice, ideal for parents seeking a traditional name with religious and historical significance.
It is a name of Greek origin, composed of the Greek prefix ευ- (eu-) or “good,” and γένος (genos) meaning “race”, which together translate to “well-born” or “noble”. In modern Greek, γένος (genos) has multiple meanings, like race, gender, sex, and animal species.
Early Christian saints popularized the name Eugene, and it became widely used in the Western world during the 19th century, particularly in France and England.Sebastian (Σεβαστός)
This name is not particularly popular in Greece nowadays but is broadly chosen around the world and has Greek origins.
Sebastian literally described a person “from Sebastia”, a city currently in Turkey. It derives from the Greek word σεβαστός (sebastos) which means “venerable” or “respected”. In modern Greek, σέβομαι (sebomai) is the verb corresponding to the English verb “to respect”.
Many notable historical figures have used the name Sebastian, but the first person to make it a well-known name was the Christian Martyr Saint Sebastian.Timothy (Τιμόθεος)
Timothy is a name of Greek origin, notably chosen in English-speaking countries such as the US or the United Kingdom.
The name is a combination of two words, derived from the verb τιμώ (timo), meaning “to honor,” and the noun Θεός (theos), meaning “God”. When combined, Timothy is, therefore, “one who honors God” or “one who is honored by God.” The meaning of those words remains the same in modern Greek.
In the Bible, Timothy is known as a loyal and dedicated disciple of Saint Paul, who mentored him and entrusted him with important responsibilities in the early Christian church.Peter (Πέτρος)
Peter is a masculine name of Greek origin derived from the word πέτρα (petra), which means “rock” or “stone”. The name has a religious background, derived from Saint Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and the first pope of the Catholic Church.
Peter is a very popular name in Greece and many parts of the world, particularly in English-speaking countries, such as the US and the United Kingdom, and countries with a Christian tradition, like Russia.Christopher (Χριστόφορος)
Christopher is a distinguished and elegant name derived from the Greek name Χριστόφορος, which translates to “bearer of Christ”. The name is composed of two parts: Χριστός (khristos), meaning “Christ”, and the verb φέρω (fero), meaning “to bear” or “to transport.”
The name corresponds to Saint Christopher’s story since he was a valiant martyr who carried the Christ child across a perilous river. Christopher is a popular choice inside and outside of Greece.Stephan (Στέφανος)
Stephan is a popular name in countries including the United States, Germany, and Greece, combining religious and historical elements.
Stephan is of Greek origin, derived from the word στεφάνι (stefani), meaning “crown”. In ancient Greece, a leaf crown symbolizes victory, and the name Stephan became associated with triumph, honor, and accomplishment. We still use the same symbolization to this day through the Olympic Games.
Apart from the historical significance, the name Stephan also has significant religious meaning, as it was the name of one of the first deacons in the Christian Bible, known for his unwavering faith and dedication.
This elegant Greek name has become popularized in the last decades. The ancient Greek translation of the name is “lord” or “master”. In Greek mythology, Adonis was a handsome youth who was loved by the goddess Aphrodite.
In modern times, the name Adonis is often associated with male beauty and attractiveness. It has been used as a given name for boys, particularly in Mediterranean countries, and has also been used as a brand name for products related to male grooming and fashion.Jason (Ιάσων or Ιάσονας)
In Greek mythology, Jason was a famous hero who led the Argonauts, a group of legendary adventurers, on a quest to find the Golden Fleece - a magical object that could provide great power to whoever possessed it.
The name is derived from the Greek verb ιαίνω (iaino), and it literally means “the one who heals.”Hector (Έκτωρ or Έκτορας)
In Greek mythology, Hector was a Trojan prince, famous as the strongest and most prominent opponent of Achilles in the Trojan War.
The name is derived from the ancient Greek word ἒχω (echo) or ἕστωρ (estor) which means “holding fast” or “steadfast”.
Hector is a name of Greek origin, even though it is not particularly common in Greece. Nowadays, however, Hector is a popular name choice, especially among Spanish-speaking communities.Damian (Δαμιανός)
In Greek mythology, Damian was the name of a healer who was said to be able to cure the sick and injured.
The name is derived from the ancient Greek word δαμᾷ- (dama-) or δαμάζω (damazo) in modern Greek- which means “to tame” or “to subdue”.
While Damian has Greek origins and has been used in Greece, it is not as common as other Greek names. The countries where Damian is relatively popular are the US and specific parts of Europe, such as France and Spain.Leon (Λεωνίδας)
Leon is the first animal-related name on the list, as it literally means “lion” in English. In modern Greek, the equivalent word describing the animal is λιοντάρι (liodari).
Leon is a name of Greek origin as well, popular primarily in Europe, North America, and Latin America. You may know Leon as the giant lion that was killed by the hero Hercules or as the king of Sparta who famously led his soldiers in the Battle of Thermopylae.Ares (Άρης)
In Greek mythology, Ares was the god of war and one of the twelve Olympian gods. The name has a very literal meaning in ancient Greek: "battle” or “war”. Ares was known for his ferocity in battle and was worshiped by soldiers and warriors alike.
The name Alexander has remained popular throughout history and across many cultures. It is a combination of the ancient Greek verb αλέξω (alexo), meaning “to battle” or “to protect” and the ancient (and modern) Greek noun άνδρας (andras), which means “man”. When combined, it holds the powerful meaning of “protector of mankind.”
In ancient Greece, the name Alexander was made famous by Alexander the Great, the king of Macedon and one of history’s most successful military commanders.Aristotle (Αριστοτέλης)
Again, as with many Greek names, Aristotle is a combination of two words. The first is the adjective άριστος (aristos), meaning “the best” in ancient and modern Greek, and the second half is the noun τέλος (telos), meaning “purpose” in ancient Greek (note that in modern Greek τέλος (telos) means solely “the end”).
When combined, Aristotle means “the best accomplishment” or “the best purpose”.
Aristotle was a famous Greek philosopher and scientist of the 4th century BC whose contribution to science, including physics, biology, politics, ethics, and metaphysics, has profoundly influenced Western thought and philosophy.Dorian (Δώρος)
Dorian is not an extremely popular name, but it still has some usage in various parts of the world, like the US. This name was made famous in the last century as the name of the lead character, Dorian Gray, in the popular classic book “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.
Derived from the name of an ancient Greek tribe called the Dorians, the name Dorian means “of Doris”, which is a Greek district, or “of Doros”, the name of their king. In modern Greek, δώρο (doro) means “gift” or “present”.Conclusion
Greek boy names are ideal for parents looking for meaningful names for their sons. Most of them encompass great cultural significance, which is appreciated worldwide. Depending on what fascinates you about Greek history, you can find a beautiful name representing a breakthrough moment in history.