Greek Mythological Names for Girls

May 29th 2017

Penelope, Athena, and Phoebe - what do these popular feminine names have in common? They’re all associated with Greek mythology, a fantastic source for name inspiration today.

Strong but still graceful, tenacious yet feminine, these names of the goddesses, queens, and nymphs of ancient Greece balance the best of both worlds. Let’s take a look at a few divine choices that haven’t yet become popular.


Image: Wikimedia Commons

Artemis. Confident and cool, Artemis has a modern sound despite its roots in the ancient world. The legendary Artemis is known as the goddess of hunting and the wilderness, giving the name a natural twist. With Arthur and Athena rising, parents may be drawn to the tenacity of Artemis.

Persephone. Another mythological alternative to Penelope, Persephone has a similar sound but a more ethereal vibe. She is the queen of the underworld in Greek myth, but she’s also associated with the springtime. If you’re looking for a name that balances the dusk and the dawn, Persephone is ideal.

Hestia. Derived from the Greek for “hearth” or “altar,” Hestia is a friendly and feminine pick. It’s akin to vintage names like Esther or Hazel, but doesn’t have their popularity - it’s never been recorded in the United States. Hestia is also an uncommon route to a multitude of nicknames, from Hattie to Tia.

Calypso. Edgy and dramatic, Calypso is a bold choice with a legendary backstory; she was a nymph who held Odysseus captive for years, with a name meaning “to deceive”. Such intrigue hasn’t deterred modern parents - Calypso’s melody (and connection to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) has helped it find fans over the past few decades.

Althea. Pretty Althea fits in with popular A-a names like Amelia and Alexa, but maintains its rich and expansive history. Althea was the queen of Calydon, and her names comes from the Greek for “healer”. This unique connection would make Althea an appealing and subtle honorific for familial doctors or nurses.

Selene. Luna and Nova are shining bright - might Selene join their ranks? This celestial pick is the name of the goddess of the moon, and can be pronounced Seh-lee-nee or Suh-leen. Selene is a sleek update to Selena, with a sophisticated and elegant air.

Ianthe. This exquisite choice comes from the Greek for “violet flower,” but has a more delicate and resolute sound than vintage Violet. Ianthe was also the name of a nymph associated with flowers, making this an understated floral pick. It’s also been recorded sporadically since 1914, enriching its credibility as an established Western name.

Andromeda. Featured in both the Harry Potter series and My Sister’s Keeper, Andromeda is a pop culture pick with style and substance to back it up. In Greek myth, she was the daughter of Casseiopeia, and an early inspiration for the “princess and dragon” motif in storytelling. Today, ornate Andromeda would work well as an alternative to Amanda or Alexandra.

Echo. A modern word name that could harmonize with a musical family, Echo has been growing in popularity thanks to its amiable sound and attractive vibe. In mythology, Echo is a nymph cursed by Hera to repeat others’ words back to them - a rather unfortunate story that still doesn’t hurt the favorable qualities of this sweet name.

Cassiopeia. Beautiful and opulent, Cassiopeia is a fabulous way to reach the kind Cassie nickname through an unusual path. Once a proud queen of Aethiopia, Cassiopeia became a constellation after offending the god Poseidon. For today’s parents, Cassiopeia may raise some eyebrows, but it’s within the realm of lavish and luxurious name choices.

Hera. The queen of the gods, and the goddess of women, Hera has received surprisingly little attention despite its aural similarities to favorites Sarah and Hannah. Her mythological history is admittedly complicated, but this simple and graceful name deserves another look. Perhaps with Nora and Clara rising, Hera could finally find favor.

Demeter. With a one-of-a-kind sound and the adorable nickname Demi, this name may also appeal to fans of the natural world - Demeter is the goddess of agriculture. The boys’ list has seen Dimitri a few times, but Demeter brings strength and wisdom to the girls’. Variants Demetra and Demetria add a bit of flair to this divine choice.

Anthea. Like Ianthe, Anthea is an unexpected botanical pick, coming from the Greek word for “blossom”. She is, in fact, the goddess of flowers and one of the Graces in lore. Anthea is a great update to Andrea or Anita, and has been used quite a bit more in the United Kingdom.

Clio. Looking for an alternative to Chloe or Claire? Check out Clio - she’s the muse of history and great deeds in Greek mythology. This name is also associated with annual awards in advertising, but may yet appeal to fans of the creative and contemporary. It’s bound to be confused with Cleo, but remains a charming name nonetheless.

Rhea. Though lovely Rhea ranked highly at the end of the nineteenth century, it’s only recently come back into the spotlight after re-entering the top 1000 in 2015. Rhea is a Titan and the “mother of gods” in Greek mythology, giving the name more gravity. However, it’s also a type of large flightless bird, which could be a bit too eccentric for some tastes.

Comments

1
May 29, 2017 9:00 PM

There was a discussion a few years ago on the forum about the usability (or rather, lack thereof) of the name Echo: http://www.babynamewizard.com/forum/need-some-honest-opinions-of-echo

2
May 30, 2017 1:02 AM

I suppose there is the issue of the shoe company, but I really like the name Nike (after the goddess of victory)

3
May 30, 2017 4:51 AM

I know a professor named Echo and it doesn't seem to have hurt her.... although she is Chinese, and I'm not sure to what extent out-of-sync names are given more of a pass when they seem like an adopted English name.

Either way, it definitely strikes me as more usable than Cassiopeia!

4
May 30, 2017 10:42 AM

Really? I'd expect a Cassiopeia to use Cassie when she wants to fit in and the full name when she wants to stand out. Echo doesn't offer many options and leaves itself open to annoying jokes much more than Cassiopeia, even in its full form. Echo is easier to spell, but that's about it, as far as I can tell.

5
By mk
May 30, 2017 12:54 PM

I like all of them, including Echo. I can see it working just fine in certain areas.

6
June 4, 2017 7:49 AM

I loove Greek goddess names tbh, Persephone, Cleo, Rhea, Hero, Echo, Calypso, Cassiopeia, Hestia and Nyx. I think among them Hestia is pretty underappreciated. 

7
June 23, 2017 1:43 AM

It is a very interesting topic! These names have their own beauty and popularity. It is hard to select the one name among them.  

It is very interesting topic! These names have their own beauty and popularity. It is hard to select the one name among them.