Choosing a baby name is no simple thing. Not only do you want to like the sound of the name, but it’s important to many parents that it actually means something, too. For some, that means choosing a name that runs in the family or a sentimental name that means something just to you and your partner (and your kid, eventually). Some parents go a different route, choosing cool, niche names that mean fire, old lady or old man names, and even ones that mean sun. For others, that means turning to pop culture or even history, which is why naming a kid after a Greek god, or some version of the name, can be so popular.
Then again, you can run into trouble when you name your kid after a mythological persona. Dionysus might sound great to you when your kid is an infant (or when decorating their nursery to follow the theme), but it could become an issue once they hit middle school and grumble about their unique name.
This is when knowing the Greek gods’ names’ meanings is important. And also having plenty to choose from. With that in mind, the following is a full list of the 12 main Greek gods’ names and their meanings, as well as dozens of other options. But it is by no means an exhaustive list of all the different Greek gods, so if you don’t find something that speaks to you right this minute, with a little research you should be able to find something that suits you and your family.
Greek Goddess Names
Hera is known as the queen of Greek gods, given that she was the wife of Zeus. In Roman mythology, she is known as Juno, which is a cute variation. She is known as the goddess of marriage (even though she put up with Zeus’ many infidelities) and as a protector. If you want to give your child the name of a very good queen, this is it.
Athena is one of Zeus’ daughters, born without a mother, and maybe even his favorite kid, which means she had a ton of power. She is known as a goddess of war, but also of wisdom and reason. Unlike other Greek gods, her story is based on financial dealings and being in the city, making big decisions alongside her father, which makes it a particularly feminist name if you want to read it that way. In Roman mythology, she is known as the goddess Minerva.
Artemis was supposed to be the daughter of Zeus and one of his mistresses, Leto, as well as the twin sister of Apollo. Known as Diana in Roman mythology, she is the goddess of hunting and wild animals. This has led to the name being gender-neutral in modern-day Greek, meaning “butcher.”
Known as Venus in Roman mythology, Aphrodite is popularly known as the goddess of love and sexuality. But it doesn’t stop there — she was born from the white foam that Heaven/Uranus’ severed genitals created in the ocean after his son tossed them into the water, so she’s also known as a goddess of war and the sea. You might want to skip the whole “severed genitals” thing when you tell people about the meaning behind the name, though.
Hestia is a lovely name for a girl, as she is known for being the goddess of home and hearth. But not because she is a homebody — rather, Zeus put Hestia, known as Vestia in Roman mythology, in charge of tending the fires where people cooked or made sacrifices, so she received a share of each one people made. Not a bad gig, to be honest.
This name is such a short and sweet name for a little girl. It means rainbow and comes from Greek origin. Iris represents power, royalty, faith, courage, and wisdom. In Greek mythology, Iris was a messenger of Zeus and Hera who used the rainbow to travel between heaven and earth. This name also represents the colorful part of the human eye and a popular perennial flower.
From the Greek word meaning “weaver,” this name gained notoriety through Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. In the masterpiece, Homer is married to Penelope. So, it’s little wonder that the name also means “faithful wife,” as it’s exactly what Penelope was to Homer during his long absence at Troy.
This lovely name comes from the Greek word for “laurel” — and it comes with quite a story. Mythologically, it’s connected to a Naiad nymph named Daphne, the beautiful daughter of a river god. In addition to her beauty, she was known for being resolute in her conviction not to marry or be touched by a man in her lifetime. When the god Apollo relentlessly pursued her, she prayed to the river god, Peneus, to free her from Apollo’s affection. So, he used his powers of eternal youth and immortality to transform Daphne into a laurel tree.
When you think of Greek mythology, you probably think of the gods of Mount Olympus, like Zeus. However, there were two preceding generations of Greek deities: the Protogenoi and the Titans. As the daughter of Protogenoi deities Ouranos (Sky) and Gaia (Earth), Phoebe was a member of the Titans. Today, her name means “pure, radiant, bright, shining.”
In Greek, Chloe means “blooming” or “fertility.” In fact, its literal translation represents shoots of foliage in spring. And it’s little wonder — Demeter, the Greek goddess of agriculture and the harvest, is sometimes referred to by this epithet.
You might think a name that means “bringer of death” is a bit dark. However, in Greek mythology, Persephone played a very important role as the daughter of Demeter and Zeus and the wife of Hades — the latter of which made her the Queen of the Underworld. Her abduction by Hades is often used to explain the reason for seasons on Earth.
Who wouldn’t love having a name that means “beautiful-voiced”? Plus, Calliope has a cool backstory in Greek mythology, as it’s the name of one of the Muse of Epic Poetry.
More Greek Goddess Names
- Achelois — a minor moon goddess
- Hecate — goddess of magic, witchcraft, and necromancy (the undead)
- Alcyone — one of the seven Pleiades
- Alectrona — an early Greek goddess of the sun
- Nyx — the ancient Greek goddess of the night and one of the primordial gods
- Aura — titan goddess of the breeze and of the fresh, cool air of morning
- Maia — one of the Pleiades and mother of Hermes
- Rhea — the mother of the gods and the goddess of female fertility
- Eos — a Titaness and goddess of the dawn
- Calypso — sea nymph who held Odysseus for several years on the island of Ogygia
- Irene — one of the Horae, the divine personification of peace
- Xanthe — one of the Oceanids, or water-nymph daughters
- Electra — one of the Pleiades
- Nike — goddess of victory
- Echo — a mountain nymph or oread
- Ceto — the mother of sea monsters
- Delia — an epithet of the Greek moon goddess, Artemis
- Hebe — goddess of eternal youth
- Selene — the divine personification of the moon and the “mother” of vampires
- Bia — the goddess of force and unbridled energy
- Gaia — the Greek goddess of Earth, mother of all life
- Eileithyia — goddess of childbirth
- Circe — goddess of magic who transformed those who insulted her into beasts
- Astraea — known as the “Star Maiden”
- Asteria — the Titan goddess of falling stars
- Thalia — one of the nine muses, the patron of comedy
- Ianthe — one o the Oceanids, or water-nymph daughters
- Anthea — goddess of flowers, gardens, marshes, and swamps
- Clio — the muse of history
- Elpis — the spirit and divine personification of hope
- Atropos — eldest of the three Moirai, the goddesses of fate and destiny
- Brizo — prophet goddess known to protect fishers, sailors, and other mariners
- Alethea — goddess of truth
- Cybele — goddess of caverns, mountains, and wild animals
- Doris — a sea nymph and mother of the Nereids
- Pheme — goddess of fame, gossip, and renown
- Enyo — minor goddess of war and destruction
- Harmonia — goddess of harmony and concord
- Metis — Titan goddess of wisdom
- Tyche — goddess of prosperity and fortune
Greek God Names
As mentioned before, Dionysus is known for being a crowd-pleaser back in ancient Greece, and somewhat of a party boy. OK, we don’t know all that, but he is the god of the grape harvest, which means he’s the god of wine. In Roman mythology, he is known as Bacchus, and is often depicted lounging and imbibing on all the things.
Everyone knows that Poseidon is a god of the sea and one who had loads of sons and daughters, including Triton. But he’s also the god of horses and earthquakes. Basically, an all-around powerful dude. In Roman mythology, he’s known as Neptune, the sea god, despite being known for other things.
Hermes was the son of Zeus and Pleiad Maia and is usually known as Mercury in Roman mythology. His name is suspected to be derived from the word “herma,” which means a pile of stones that would have been used to mark a boundary. His name also means “messenger.”
Alright, so this might not be the best name for a son, given his troubled backstory. His mother, Hera, reportedly threw him off of Mount Olympus when he was born because of his physical deformities. Still, he grew up to be the husband of Aphrodite and the god of fire and forging. Hephaestus obviously survived the struggle.
This is another name that comes with trouble. Ares is known for being a god of war, but not the just and good kind. No, his name is associated with the devastation that comes with war and, for this reason, was never worshipped all that much in ancient Greece. Ares, the son of Zeus and Hera, is known as Mars in Roman legend.
Apollo is likely one of the most well-known Greek gods, as he is known as the god of literally everything. He is invoked when it comes to “music, poetry, art, prophecy, truth, archery, plague, healing, sun, and light,” per The History Press. In Roman mythology, he goes by the same name, though he is mostly associated with music in that canon.
Ah, the guy who started it all. Zeus is obviously a multilayered name, given the god’s many levels. Known as Jupiter in Roman mythology, he fathered so many Greek gods and goddesses and had complicated relationships with them all, so it’s hard to come down on just one meaning. That being said, he is generally benevolent and known as the god of the sky, given that he could control the weather and, well, most everything else.
Achelous was not only the god of the Achelous River (one of the mightiest rivers in Greece), but he was also chief to his 3,000 brothers, and his father was Oceanus. All bodies of water are believed to have come from the Achelous river. He is most famous for his battle with Hercules for the heart of Deianeira, which Achelous did not win.
Aeolus is the god of the wind. He is also known as the king of the mythical island called Aiolia. And whenever there was a terribly violent storm, Aeolus was usually behind it. He kept storms locked in a cavern in an isle. Then, when he was ready to release the storm, he would set them free to wreak havoc.
The story of Atlas is a tragic one but an interesting one, nonetheless. In Homer’s Odyssey, Atlas is depicted as a marine creature who supports the pillars holding the heavens and earth apart. In other stories, he was turned into a rocky mountain by the hero Perseus as punishment for being inhospitable. And, arguably the most well-known example comes from Hesiod’s Theogony, which tells of how Zeus condemned Atlas to hold the heavens on his shoulders as punishment for taking part in an uprising against Zeus.
Who among us hasn’t heard the story of Hades? When the kingdom of the gods was divided among Cronus’ sons, Hades was charged with lording over the underworld. He is joined for part of the year in his realm of shadowy darkness by his queen, Persephone (tricked, though she was, into being there). Among his other companions? Cerberus, a monstrous three-headed watchdog.
With a name that apparently means “forethinker,” it’s little surprise that Prometheus is depicted as an endlessly clever Greek god. A master craftsman, he is known as the god of fire and possibly even associated with the creation of humans. He also has the reputation for being quite the trickster, aided in no small party by his cleverness.
More Greek God Names
- Aether — the divine personification of the bright upper sky
- Agathodaemon — the “noble spirit,” a companion spirit of good fortune
- Alastor — god of family feuds and avenger of evil deeds
- Boreas — the ancient Grek god of the north wind
- Paean — the physician of the Olympian gods
- Castor — the demigod twin brother of Pollux
- Cerus — the divine personification of opportunity, luck, and favorable moments
- Chaos — also known as Erebus, the divine personification of darkness
- Charon — son of Chaos and Night who ferried souls over the Rivers Styx and Acheron
- Cronus — the leader of the first generation of Titans
- Dinlas — the god of hatred and also chaos
- Deimos — the divine personification of terror and dread
- Eros — the Greek god of carnal love
- Priapus — minor rustic fertility god
- Helios — the sun god
- Hesperus — the divine personification of the evening star
- Hypnos — the divine personification of sleep
- Pontus — god of the deep sea
- Aristaeus — minor god of animal husbandry, bee-keeping, and fruit trees
- Kratos — the divine personification of strength
- Momus — the divine personification of satire and mockery
- Morpheus — the primordial Greek god of dreams
- Thanatos — minor god of death
- Oceanus — the oldest Titan, father of 3000 stream spirits and 3000 ocean nymphs
- Pallas — the Titan god of battle and warcraft
- Pan — a fertility deity in, more or less, bestial form
- Zelus — god of dedication, emulation, jealousy, and zeal
- Phosphorus — the divine personification of the morning star
- Triton — a merman, demigod of the sea
- Typhon — a Titan with power over the wind
- Uranus — the divine personification of heaven
- Zephyrus — the ancient Greek god of the west wind
- Crios — god of the heavenly constellations
- Erebus — primordial god of darkness
- Pricus — the immortal father of sea-goats
- Nereus — the Titan god of the sea before Poseidon
- Notus — the divine personification of the south wind
- Pollux — twin brother of Castor
- Tartarus — god of the deep abyss of the underworld
- Plutus — god of wealth
Goddess Names From Other Cultures & Mythology
- Aditi — Hindu goddess of the sky, earth, and unconsciousness
- Aine — Celtic goddess of wealth and summer
- Alilat — Arabian goddess of war and peace
- Angelia — Italian goddess of the moon
- Anjea — Australian aboriginal goddess of fertility or spirit
- Aurora — Roman goddess of dawn
- Brigid — Celtic goddess of healing and agriculture
- Cerridwen — Celtic goddess of knowledge, rebirth, and inspiration
- Chumash — Indian goddess of the flower
- Clemencia — Latin goddess of good nature
- Concordia — Roman goddess of society and marriage
- Coventina — Roman goddess of wells and springs
- Cyhiraeth — Celtic goddess of streams
- Dalia — Lithuanian goddess of destiny
- Deeta — Finnish goddess of the underworld
- Druantia — Celtic goddess of fertility for both humans and plants
- Eachna — Irish goddess of brains and beauty
- Epona — Celtic goddess of horses
- Evaki — Bakairi goddess of 10,000 names or of night and day
- Fauna — Roman goddess of the fertility of flocks and fields
- Freya — Norse goddess of fertility and love
- Hel — Norse goddess of death
- Izanami — Japanese goddess of creation
- Juventas — Roman goddess of youth
- Kali — Hindu goddess of destruction
- Kianda — Angolan goddess of mythology
- Lakshmi — Hindu goddess of fortune and prosperity
- Lissa — African supreme mother goddess
- Minerva — Roman goddess of wisdom
- Morrigan — Irish ancient goddess of war
- Nantosuelta — Celtic goddess of water
- Nixie — Latin goddess of childbirth
- Nuha — Arabic sun goddess
- Parvati — Hindu goddess of love, beauty, marriage, and fertility
- Sabrina — Celtic river goddess
- Sedna — Inuit goddess of the sea and marine animals
God Names From Other Cultures & Mythology
- Aganjú — Yoruba warrior king
- Ahti — Finnish god of the depths, giver of fish
- Aker — Egyptian god of the earth and horizon
- Amarok — Inuit wolf god
- Anubis — Egyptian god of the dead
- Apu — Inca god of mountains
- Barsamin — Armenian god of sky and weather
- Batara Sambu — Indonesian god of teachers
- Fūjin — Japanese god of the wind
- Gaol — Iroquois god of wind
- Hachiman — Japanese god of war and the divine protector of Japan
- Hapi — Egyptian divine personification of the Nile flood
- Igaluk — Inuit moon god and brother to the sun
- Inti — Inca sun god
- Jumala — Finnish sky god
- Jüri — Estonian god of agriculture
- Khonsu — Egyptian moon god
- Mihr — Armenian god of the sun and light
- Nemty — Egyptian falcon god
- Nyyrikki — Finnish god of hunting
- Omoikane — Japanese god of wisdom and intelligence
- Osiris — Egyptian god of death and resurrection
- Oṣùmàrè — Yoruba divine rainbow serpent associated with creation
- Pekko — Finnish god of crops
- Ra — Egyptian sun god
- Rahko — the Karelian god of time
- Raijin — Japanese god of thunder and lightning
- Refafu — Indonesian god of the rainforest
- Sobek — Egyptian crocodile god
- Suijin — Japanese god of water
- Tapio — Finnish god of the forest
- Tooni — Estonian god of death, ruler of the dead
- Tursas — the Tavastian god of war
- Ukko — the Finnish god of sky and thunder
- Vanemuine — Estonian god of songs, art, and literature
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