Phineas, Phineus

Phineas is a male name of uncertain meaning and etymology. It’s been linked to Hebrew meaning “serpent’s mouth” or “oracle”, as well as Ancient Egyptian meaning “the Nubian”. Spelled Phineus, it’s a Greek name borne by several figures in Greek mythology. The most notable bearer is a king of Thrace who features in the Argonautica, a Greek epic poem written about Jason and the Argonauts. This Phineus is either the son of Agenor or Poseidon, god of the sea, who had the gift of foresight and was blinded because he revealed too much of the gods’ plans (though there are different versions of how he became blind). The Argonauts came upon him on an island and agreed to help them on their voyage if they helped him get rid of the Harpies that were constanty harassing him by eating his food everytime he tried to eat. The meaning behind the name is unknown as well, though I’ve seen it listed as possibly meaning “vulture” or it might be composed from Greek elements iphios (strong, stout) and noûs (mind, reason, understanding) so essentially meaning “strong mind” or “strong understanding”.

Origin: Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Phinehas (Biblical)
  • Phinees (Biblical Greek)
  • Pinchas (Hebrew)
  • Finees (Biblical Latin)

 

Female forms:

  • Phinea

 

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