A lot goes into naming a baby, and nowadays parents are looking for more and more interesting and unique names for their little ones. One of the latest trends to pop up in recent years is to name newborns after Greek and Roman mythological characters.
Though some may seem strange, it does make sense: Many of them symbolize power, strength, grace, kindness, and intellect, all traits that so many parents want their kids to have as they grow up. There are also many names you might not have even known were rooted in Greek and Roman origin.
Here are 10 mythology-inspired names that have risen in popularity, including some that may sound familiar and some that are a little more, ahem, original.
You probably saw the name and immediately thought of the household cleaner. But mythology claimed it first!
Fun fact: there are actually two Ajaxes in Greek mythology. Their nicknames weren’t too original; they were called Ajax the Great and Ajax the Lesser. Ajax the Great, however, was the grandson of Zeus and considered one of the strongest and most courageous warriors in the Trojan War. The name more literally translates to “of the Earth.”
Apollo’s got his hands full: He’s the god of justice, healing, medicine, music, poetry archery, and the sun. (Whew, tired yet?) If you want a beautifully poetic name for a newborn or one that symbolizes recovery and care, it may be the perfect one for you.
Plus, you might’ve heard of one great Apollo already (though with a slight spelling variation): Apolo Ohno, the legendary speed skater and the most decorated American Olympian at the Winter Games.
Damon is best known in Greek mythology for being ready to sacrifice himself for a friend. Since then, the name has come to symbolize loyalty and selflessness, which are both incredibly important traits for young ones to learn.
Ulysses is the Roman version of the name Odysseus, whom you may know as the tragic hero at the center of the epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey. (Speaking of which, Homer, the name of the bard who told both stories, is also a popular one for babies!)
More literally, the name translates to the word “odyssey,” which means “a long wandering” or a long voyage.
Talk about a lot of responsibility: Zeus rules over all gods as well as all humans. He’s considered the protector of every being and rules the sky with a powerful lightning bolt. His name directly translates to “living.”
Athena is the goddess of handicraft, warfare, and wisdom. While you might hear “goddess of war” and be apprehensive, the idea largely translates to the notion of Athena being a protector of the people and places she loves, which is a beautiful sentiment.
In mythology, Cassandra is known for her ability to see into the future, though her curse is that her prophecies are never believed. However, the name also translates to “one who shines and excels over man.”
Clio is the Greek muse of history, and she’s often depicted with a scroll, a book, or a set of tablets. Her name means “the proclaimer,” and she has the power to decide what stories get told to future generations. Talk about an important responsibility!
You might recognize the name from the 2007 Oscar-winning film, but Juno is actually queen of the gods in mythology. She protects over everyone, but she is especially known for watching over women and making sure they’re safe. Her name translates to “queen of heaven,” which sounds truly wonderful.
In mythology, Phoebe is a Titan and the daughter of Uranus (Sky) and Gaea (Earth) who represents light and radiance. What a beautiful way to honor a newborn child.