According to a recent report published by popular UK blog BabyCentre, Ancient Greek names feature at the top of the list of the most popular names worldwide for 2018.
“Ancient Greece and Greek mythology have been very influential in Western culture, particularly in art, science, philosophy and literature and it is certainly refreshing to have a new generation of parents, who have obviously researched and studied Ancient Greek history, showing a clear preference for Ancient Greek names that derive from an era that influenced the world,” says Professor Michael Tsianikas, the director of the LOGOS Australian Centre for Hellenic Language and Culture, at Flinders University in South Australia.
According to BabyCentre, even though many of the listed names such as Alexander and Sophia have always been popular across the world, more historical Greek names seem to be getting a tick of approval for parents-to-be.
According to latest estimates, more than 150,000 English words are derived from Greek words and include technical, scientific and also common everyday terms.
“Ancient Greeks were the first to use a ‘true’ alphabet and most of their names represent either a feeling [such as] the name Eftihia, which translates to happiness and good luck, or that describe a concept or mental state like the name Efthimios which describes a person who is always in a good mood, while others are attached to Greek philosophers and mythological gods of that era,” says Professor Tsianikas.
Most Ancient Greek names were abolished as soon as Orthodoxy surfaced, according to his research.
“Luckily, many Greeks have now broken away from the religious stereotypes of naming their children after pappou or yiayia by giving them Christian Orthodox names and are now delving into Ancient Greek names.
“It is still astonishing though how many of us are unaware that the vast majority of Greek Orthodox names are actually biblical and therefore of Jewish origin,” he says.
“The Ancient Greeks left a legacy of new ideas about science, art and philosophy,” BabyCentre writes, adding: “Their influence can still be felt today, and that even extends to baby names!”
“For us Greeks, this list is further acknowledgement of the miracle our ancestors have performed, and confirmation that the Ancient Greek legacy and civilisation can be still felt today,” concludes Tsianikas.
Some of the girls’ names listed on the BabyCentre blog include Agnes, (meaning ‘chaste’), Chrysanthe (meaning ‘golden flower’) and Euthalia (meaning ‘flower bloom)’.
For the boys, Linus (meaning ‘flax’), Nikias (meaning ‘victory’) and Pamphilos (meaning ‘friend of everyone’) have been popular.
See a complete list of the most popular Ancient Greek names below:
Achilles (Greek hero of the Trojan War)
Angela (‘messenger of god’)
Aristotle (a Greek philosopher)
Ares (the god of war)
Aris or Aristos (‘the best’)
Athina (the goddess of wisdom)
Daphne (‘laurel tree’)
Dimitra (the goddess of fertility and agriculture)
Eleni (‘bright, shining’ and also the name of Helen of Troy)
Eros (the god of love)
Hermes (the Olympian god and messenger of the gods)
Hermione (‘good messenger’)
Lydia (‘the beautiful one’)
Margaret (‘flower daisy’)
Nicholas (‘victory’) Philomena (‘lover of strength’)
Plato (a Greek philosopher)
Socrates (a Greek philosopher)