Hermes

Hermes is the name of the Greek god of commerce and trade, known as the trickster god and the protector of thieves, travelers, and athletes, as well as a messenger of the gods and the god of boundaries. He guided the souls of the dead to the underworld. The son of Zeus and Maia, one of the Pleiades, the day after his birth when he was just an infant, Hermes stole his half-brother Apollo’s cattle. When Apollo tracked him down, Hermes gave him a lyre he had just invented from the shell of a tortoise as an apology. He is the father of Autolycus, the Prince of Thieves, and the great-grandfather of the hero Odysseus. Although the etymology of the name has been linked to Greek herma meaning “cairn, pile of stones, boundary marker” it could also be related to Proto-European *ser “to bind, put together”; or it could be related to an older word of non-European origin.

Hermes is also a surname, either derived from the name of the Greek god or it could be a Germanic matronynic surname from the given name Ermens, a short form of either Ermelendis (derived from Germanic elements ermen “whole, universal” and linde “soft, tender”) or Ermgart (likely a short form of Ermengarde, also a Germanic name from Germanic ermen “whole, universal” and garde “enclosure”). As a French surname, it could have arisen as a topographic name for someone who lived in a deserted spot or a patch of barren land from Greek eremia “desert, desolate, lonely uninhabited” and the local suffix –ès.

Origin: Ancient Greek, Proto-European, Ancient Germanic

Variants:

  • Hermès (French)
  • Ermes (Italian)
  • Ermete (Italian)
  • Ermis (Modern Greek)

 

Female forms:

  • Hermione (Ancient Greek)
  • Hermia (English)

 

Dennis

Dennis is the English form of Dionysius, the name of the Greek god of the vine, wine, pleasure, festivity, madness, and wild frenzy, who represented both the intoxicating madness of wine as well as its beneficient qualities. He was the son of Zeus and the Theban princess Semele, making him the only god with a mortal parent and the last god to enter the Greek pantheon.

Although the etymology of his name isn’t quite clear-cut, the first part of the name, Dio-, means “of Zeus” though it could also be related to Proto-Indo-European *dyews meaning “sky, heaven, god” and “shining”. The second part -nysus might be derived from Nysa, the name of a mountain in which Dionysios was raised by the nymphs who loved there; the name might be related to an archaic Greek word meaning “tree”.

Dennis is also a surname derived from the given name.

Origin: Ancient Greek, Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Denis (French, Russian, English, German, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Romanian, Croatian)
  • Denys (Ukrainian, English)
  • Denny (English)
  • Dennie (English)
  • Dionýz (Slovak)
  • Dionisie (Romanian)
  • Dénes (Hungarian)
  • Tenney (medieval English diminutive of Denis)
  • Dinis (Portuguese)
  • Diniz (Portuguese)
  • Dionísio (Portuguese)
  • Dionisio (Spanish)
  • Deon (English)
  • Deion (English)
  • Dion (Ancient Greek, English short form of Dionysios)
  • Dionysos (Ancient Greek)
  • Dionysios (Ancient Greek)
  • Dionysius (Ancient Greek)

 

Female forms:

  • Denise (English, French, Dutch)
  • Denice (English)
  • Deniece (English)
  • Denisa (Czech, Slovak, Romanian)
  • Dionisia (Italian, Spanish)
  • Dionísia (Portuguese)
  • Dionysia (Late Roman)
  • Diot (Medieval English diminutive of Dionysia)
  • Dye (Medieval English diminutive of Dionysia)

 

Iolaus

Iolaus is the name of Hercules’s mortal nephew, the son of his mortal half-brother Iphicles in Greek myth. He not only helped his uncle with some of his Labors, including defeating the Hydra, but he was also depicted as being the lover of Hercules as well. The second element of his name comes from Greek laos meaning “people” while the first element of the name comes from Greek ἰόs meaning “arrow” though it also means “rust” and “poison,venom”, so essentially the name means “arrow of the people”.

Origin: Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Iolaos (Ancient Greek)

 

Linus

Linus is the name of 2 sons of the Greek god Apollo in Greek mythology by different mothers. One of them, whom he fathered with one of the Muses, was a great musician who invented the melody and rhythm. His name comes Greek linos meaning “flax”.

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Linos (Ancient Greek, Greek)
  • Lino (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Galician)
  • Linas (Lithuanian)

 

Herodias

Herodias is the feminine form of Herod, a Greek name meaning “song of the hero” from Greek elements heros (hero, warrior) and oide (song, ode).

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Erodiade (Italian)
  • Aradia (Italian)
  • Hérodiade (French)
  • Heroda (English)
  • Herodia
  • Erodias
  • Irodiada (Romanian)
  • Herodiana (Latin)

 

Male forms:

  • Herod (Ancient Greek)
  • Herodes (Ancient Greek)
  • Herodion (Ancient Greek)
  • Rodion (Russian)
  • Rodya (Russian diminutive of Rodion)
  • Herodianus (Latin)

 

Sasha

Sasha is a unisex given name originally used as a nickname for given names Aleksandr and Aleksandra, the Russian and Ukrainian form of Greek Alexandros meaning “defending men” or “defender of men” composed from alexo (to defend, help) and aner (man).

Origin: Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Sacha (French)
  • Sascha (German)

 

Ella

Ella comes from Germanic element alja meaning “other, another, foreign” and from which the name Eleanor/Alianor comes from. Ella could also be a nickname for names beginning and ending with ella such as Gabriella (feminine form of Gabriel meaning “God is my strong man” or “God is my strength”) and Daniella (feminine form of Daniel meaning “God is my judge”), Elizabeth (meaning “God is an oath” or “my God is abundance”) and Eleanor, which comes from Old French form of Occitan name Aliénor which could mean “the other Aenor” from Latin alia meaning “another” and the given name Aenor, possibly a Germanic name of unknown meaning, though it’s been linked to Adenorde or Adenor, made up of Germanic elements adal (noble) and nord (north), or even as a contracted form of Azenor, a Breton name of uncertain meaning and etymology though it could also be derived from Breton enor “honor”. Another possible origin of Eleanor is that it originated from the name Helen, an Ancient Greek name of uncertain etymology though it’s been linked to Greek helene meaning “torch” or “corposant”, though it might also be linked to selene meaning “moon ”. Ella is also the Spanish and Italian word for “she”.

Origin: Ancient Germanic, Hebrew, Latin, Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Alia (Ancient Germanic)

 

Meliodas

Meliodas is the name of Tristan’s father of Tristan and Isolde fame, though in some versions his father is Rivalen. There’s not a lot I could find about the name’s meaning, though it was used for the main character in a manga called The Seven Deadly Sins (Nanatsu no Taizai in Japanese) which seems to be a blend of Arthurian legend, Christianity, and medieval folklore. If I had to take a guess, I would say that the first part of the name comes from Latin mel (honey) from Greek meli (honey) and Late Latin oda derived from Ancient Greek ōidḗ, a contracted form of aoidḗ meaning “song, ode” so the name could essentially meaning “sweet song” or “honey song”. Of course, the name could also be the masculine form of Melodia, also derived from Ancient Greek meaning “singing, chanting” from melos (song, melody) and aeídō (to sing, chant, praise). However, that’s just my guess. Since the stories of Arthurian legend were very popular, especially during medieval times and since there seems to be historical facts and figures mixed in with the legends, and it’s been written and rewritten by both English and French writers, it’s possible Meliodas was influenced by Latin and Greek although, once again, that’s purely my guess.

Origin: Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Meliadus

 

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

 

Atalya

Atalya is a variant spelling of Athalia, a Hebrew female name meaning “Yahweh is exalted”, or a variant spelling of Attalia, the ancient name of Antalya, a city in Turkey. The name seems to be derived from the name of its founder, Attalos (also spelled Attalus). Though the etymology behind his name is uncertain, it might be derived from Greek atalos meaning “tender, delicate”, or it could be a diminutive of atta meaning “father”.

Origin: Hebrew, Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Athaliah (Hebrew)
  • Athalia (Hebrew)
  • Atalia (Hebrew)
  • Athalie (French)
  • Attalia
  • Antalya

 

Male forms:

  • Attalos (Ancient Greek)
  • Attalus (Ancient Greek)