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Greek names and their origins

Now that I have taken the first baby steps into Greek language, I am starting to ask myself lots of questions regarding the roots and meanings of words.

Then I started to question myself the differences and curiosities about Greek names. That is why I started asking different people from the staff at NISI or other visitors for their names and the meanings to them, and came with this list of interesting facts:

  • Ελπιδοφορος or Elpidoforos means “the one that brings hope”. Phero means bringing, carrying.

  • Βλάσης or Vlasis comes from a latin name (blasius) and means “the one who has a stammer”.

  • Άρτεμις or Artemis comes either from slutter or calm. She was a solid person, healthy and a virgin or also she can provide or take away full body parts.

  • Αριάδνη or Ariadni means VERY pure. Interesting!

  • Γιώργος or Giorgos for male, Georgía for female, comes from agriculture and means “you work the land”.

  • Αικατερίνη or Ekaterini means purity.

  • Κλειώ or Klio comes from the muse of history.

  • Παναγιωτης or Panayotis for male, Panayota for female, comes from saint of everything. Panayia is the Virgin Mary, and from there roots “ayios”, meaning the saint that leads.

  • Φωτεινή or Fotini comes from fos, and means light, therefore Fotini means bright.

  • Αθανασιος or Athanasios, long for Thanos. Comes from athanasia which means immortality.

  • Θεοδωρα or Theodora means the gift of God.

  • Φίλιππος or Philippos comes from ipos: the ancient name for horse, so Philippos means “friend with the horses”.

My list can continue a lot more, but considering the time I have spent here volunteering, I am grateful to get to learn these small things about this beautiful culture.


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