List of Ancient Names

List of 290 Ancient Names for Boys and Girls

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When choosing a name for babies, many parents reach back hundreds or even thousands of years to popular names from the past. Here we show scores of ancient names for babies and their meanings.

What is the Oldest Name Ever in History?

It is thought that Kushim is the oldest recording of a person’s name. Kushim, the name of an accountant, appears on tablets from ancient Persia as early as about 3400 B.C.

A List of Ancient Names

If you’re thinking of giving your child an ancient name, this list of ancient names and their meanings will provide you with plenty of names to consider. 

Ancient Boy Names

These names from antiquity invoke blessings on baby boys.

  1. Aarav: Hindi, peaceful
  2. Alexander: from Greek, defending men
  3. Amadeus: from Latin, lover of God
  4. Amias: from French, loved
  5. Andreas: Greek version of Andrew, strong and manly
  6. Arit: Sanskrit, one worthy of praise
  7. Arram: high
  8. Atlas: from Greek, bearer of the heavens
  9. Atticus: Latin, from Attica
  10. Augustus: from Latin, great or magnificent
  11. Aurelius: from Latin, the golden one
  12. Balthasar: Baal, protect the king
  13. Bharat: from Sanskrit, universal monarch
  14. Bodhi: from Sanskrit, awakening or enlightenment
  15. Bruce: from Latin, a man from the brushwood
  16. Bruno: German, brown
  17. Caesar: from Latin, long-haired. Caesar was also the title given to rulers of the Roman empire.
  18. Caius: from Latin, rejoice
  19. Cassius: from Latin, hollow
  20. Castor: from Greek and Latin, beaver
  21. Cato: from Latin, all-knowing
  22. Caxton: lump settlement
  23. Corbett: young crow
  24. Cornelius: from Latin, horn
  25. Cosmo: from Greek, Italian, and English, order and beauty
  26. Cyrus: from Persian, sun
  27. Damon: English, to tame or subdue
  28. Decimus: from Latin, tenth
  29. Demetrius: from Greek, follower of Demeter, the Greek goddess of harvest
  30. Divit: from Sanskrit, heaven
  31. Engjell: angel
  32. Evander: Scottish, strong, or a good man
  33. Felix: from Latin, happy
  34. Flavius: from Latin, yellow or golden
  35. Ivo: German, yew wood or archer
  36. Hardik: from Sanskrit, heartfelt friendship
  37. Helios: from Greek mythology, the sun god
  38. Hiro: Japanese, large or widespread 
  39. Horatio: from Latin, hour or time
  40. Icarus: from Greek mythology, a character who flew too close to the sun
  41. Jason: from Greek, healer
  42. Jasper: from Persian, bringer of treasure
  43. Julius: from Greek, youthful
  44. Jupiter: from Latin, supreme
  45. Lazarus: Latinized from the Greek Eleazar, God is my helper
  46. Leander: from Greek, lion-man
  47. Loki: from Norse mythology, a trickster god
  48. Lucius: from Latin, light
  49. Magnus: from Latin, greatest
  50. Marcellus: from Latin, young warrior
  51. Marcus: from Latin, warlike
  52. Marius: from Latin, related to Mars, the god of war
  53. Maximus: from Latin, greatest
  54. Mercury: from Roman mythology, the messenger god
  55. Neptune: from Roman mythology, a variation of Neptunus, god of the sea
  56. Nero: from Latin, stern
  57. Obi: African, heart
  58. Octavius: from Latin, eighth  
  59. Odysseus: from Greek, hero of Homer’s epic saga
  60. Orion: from Greek mythology, a rising star
  61. Orpheus: from Greek, the darkness of night
  62. Osirus: Egyptian, with strong eyesight
  63. Otto: from German, wealthy
  64. Ozius: from Greek, salvation
  65. Quintus: from Latin, fifth
  66. Remus: from Latin, meaning unknown, one of the legendary twins who, with brother Romulus, founded Rome
  67. Rhodes: from Greek, where roses grow
  68. Romulus: from Latin, a citizen of Rome
  69. Rufus: from Latin, red-haired
  70. Scorpius: Italian, a creature with a burning sting
  71. Sebastian: from Greek and Latin, a person from the ancient city of Sebastia
  72. Seneca: from Latin, people of the standing rock. Also, Seneca is the name of a Native American tribe.
  73. Septimus: from Latin, the seventh son
  74. Severus: from Latin, stern
  75. Shadrack: command of Aku
  76. Tarquin: Latin, Roman clan name
  77. Theon: from Greek, godly
  78. Thor: Norse, thunder
  79. Tiberius: Latin, from the Tiber
  80. Timon: from Greek, worthy or honorable
  81. Titus: from Latin, title of honor
  82. Urban: from Latin, of the city
  83. Wolfgang: German, traveling wolf
  84. Xerxes: Persian, a hero among heroes
  85. Zephyr: from Greek, west wind
  86. Zotikos: from Greek, full of life

Ancient Girl Names

Beauty and peace are often the focus of ancient names for girls. Here is a list of names to consider.

  1. Abelia: from Hebrew, sigh or breath
  2. Aeliana: from Latin, sun
  3. Aine: Gaelic, pronounced AWN-yah, radiance. Aine is the name of a legendary Irish fairy queen.
  4. Anahita: Persian, river, and water goddess
  5. Aphra: from Hebrew, dust
  6. Aquilla: from Latin, eagle
  7. Arya: Sanskrit, noble, air, song
  8. Asha: from Sanskrit or Swahili, hope or life
  9. Atarah: from Hebrew, crown
  10. Athalia: from Hebrew, the Lord is exalted
  11. Aurelia: from Latin, golden one
  12. Avalon: Welsh, apple
  13. Basilia: from Greek, basil
  14. Boudicca: Ancient Irish, victory
  15. Brianna: Celtic, one who is honorable and noble
  16. Bronwen: Welsh, blessed and pure of heart
  17. Calliope: from Greek mythology, beautiful voice
  18. Candida: from Latin, white
  19. Cassia: from Latin, feminine form of Cassius, or from Greek, cinnamon
  20. Cerridwen: Welsh, poetry
  21. Chrysanthe: from Greek, golden flower
  22. Columba: from Latin, dove
  23. Cyra: Persian or Greek, sun or throne
  24. Damaris: from Greek, dominant woman
  25. Deidre: Gaelic, a young girl
  26. Delicia: from Latin, delight
  27. Dominica: Italian, belonging to the Lord
  28. Drusilla: from Latin, fruitful
  29. Elishah: from Hebrew, salvation of God
  30. Faustina: from Latin, fortunate one
  31. Felicia: from Latin, lucky 
  32. Fiona: Gaelic, white or fair
  33. Flavia: from Latin, golden or blonde
  34. Florentina: from Latin, blooming
  35. Gaia: from Greek, earth mother
  36. Hadassah: from Hebrew, myrtle tree
  37. Hilaria: from Latin, cheerful
  38. Honoria: from Latin, a woman of honor
  39. Isolde: Welsh, ice ruler. In Arthurian legend, Isolde was the name of a queen of Ireland.
  40. Itzel: Mayan, rainbow lady
  41. Juno: from Latin, queen of the heavens
  42. Junia: from Latin, born in June
  43. Justina: from Greek, fair or just
  44. Kamala: Hindi or Hawaiian, lotus or a garden. Kamala is also a name for the Hindu goddess Lakshmi.
  45. Khrystyna: with Greek and Russian origins, follower of Christ
  46. Laurentina: from Latin, laurel tree
  47. Liene: from Greek and Latvian roots, bright and beautiful
  48. Lipa: from Greek, a friend of horses
  49. Livia: from Latin, blue or envious
  50. Lucia: from Latin and Italian, light
  51. Lucretia: from Latin, profit or wealth
  52. Mahala: from Hebrew and Aramaic, tender
  53. Marilla: from Latin, shining sea
  54. Mila: Russian, gracious or dear
  55. Minerva: from Latin, of the mind or intellect
  56. Niamh: from Irish mythology and pronounced NEEV, beauty, and brightness. In mythology, Niamh was the daughter of an Irish sea god. 
  57. Octavia: from Latin, eighth
  58. Parisa: Persian, like a fairy
  59. Perpetua: from Latin, perpetual
  60. Persephone: from Greek mythology, daughter of Zeus by Demeter, queen of the harvest
  61. Persis: from Greek, Persian woman
  62. Rhiannon: Celtic, great queen. This name gained popularity after Fleetwood Mac recorded the song of the same name.
  63. Silvia: from Latin, of the woods 
  64. Tanaquil: from Etruscan, gift of God
  65. Tulsi: Hindi, basil
  66. Valentina: from Latin, strength or health
  67. Valeria: from Latin, strength or health
  68. Vita: from Latin, life
  69. Viviana: from Latin, life

Exotic Ancient Names

If you want to give your child a name that stands out, consider some of these exotic ancient names for boys and girls. 

  1. Akila: Sanskrit, whole or complete
  2. Allegra: Italian, cheerful or lively
  3. Amaranta: Spanish, a flower
  4. Amir: Arabic or Persian, commander or prince
  5. Augustina: from Latin, venerable
  6. Axil: Berber, cheetah
  7. Calithea: from Greek, beautiful
  8. Dakota: Native American, allies, or friends
  9. Fabio: Italian, bean
  10. Florian: Romanian, French, German and Polish, flower
  11. Ishanti: Sanskrit, desire
  12. Jabir: Arabic, comforter
  13. Kamiko: Japanese, little goddess
  14. Keyara: African, beautiful river
  15. Mathis: German and French, gift of Yahweh
  16. Nova: from Latin, new
  17. Philomena: from Greek, friend or lover
  18. Phoenix: from Greek mythology, a bird rising from the ashes
  19. Salem: Arabic, safe, sound, or intact
  20. Siona: Irish, God is gracious
  21. Rocco: from ancient Germanic and Italian roots, rest
  22. Umberto: Italian, bright warrior
  23. Yara: Persian, friend, or helper

Old-fashioned Names

These old-fashioned names for boys and girls might also have been the names of great-great-grandparents.

  1. Aaron: from Hebrew, high mountain or exalted
  2. Abigail: from Hebrew, father’s joy
  3. Adelaide: German, nobility
  4. Alfred: English, elf, or magical counsel
  5. Alice: German, noble
  6. Amos: from Hebrew, carried by God
  7. Anna: from Hebrew, grace 
  8. Arthur: Celtic, bear
  9. Asa: from Hebrew, healer
  10. Beatrice: from Latin, she who brings happiness
  11. Bernard: French, strong, brave bear
  12. Bram: from Hebrew and a variation of Abraham, father of nations
  13. Calvin: from Latin, bald or hairless
  14. Clara: from Latin, clear or bright
  15. Chester: from Latin, walled town
  16. Cora: from Greek, maiden
  17. Dorothy: from Greek, gift of God
  18. Edgar: English, wealthy spearman
  19. Edith: English, prosperous in war
  20. Ella: English and German, fairy maiden
  21. Ellie: from Greek, shining light
  22. Elmer: English, noble or famous
  23. Ernest: English and German, resolute
  24. Esther: Persian, myrtle leaf
  25. Eugene or Eugenia: from Greek, well-born or noble
  26. Florence: from Latin, flourishing or prosperous
  27. Frances or Francis: Latin, from France
  28. Harvey: French, eager for battle
  29. Hazel: English, the hazelnut tree
  30. Henry: German, estate ruler
  31. Howard: English, noble watchman
  32. Ida: from Greek, hard-working
  33. Isabel: Spanish, pledged to God 
  34. Josephine: from Hebrew, Jehovah increases
  35. Josiah: from Hebrew, God heals
  36. Kenneth: Scottish, good-looking
  37. Levi: from Hebrew, joined or attached
  38. Louis: from French and German, a renowned warrior
  39. Mabel: from Latin, lovable
  40. Matilda: German, battle-mighty
  41. Nathaniel: from Hebrew, gift of God
  42. Norman: German, a northerner
  43. Oscar: English or Irish, champion warrior 
  44. Phineas: English and Egyptian, the Nubian
  45. Ralph: English and German, wolf counsel
  46. Raymond: German, protecting hands
  47. Ronald: Norse, ruler’s counselor
  48. Ruth: from Hebrew, friend or companion
  49. Shirley: English, bright meadow
  50. Sophia: from Greek, wisdom
  51. Walter: German, commander of the army
  52. Winifred: Welsh, blessed peacemaking

Beautiful and Rare Names

Names with beautiful pronunciation and spelling give babies beautiful and rare names that will provide them with recognition throughout their lives. Consider these beautiful and rare names for boys and girls.

  1. Aislinn: Irish, dream
  2. Alessia: Italian, defending warrior
  3. Aliana: from Hebrew, my God has answered
  4. Alondra: Spanish, lark
  5. Amara: from Latin, strong and love
  6. Amell: German, power of an eagle
  7. Apollo: from Greek mythology, god of archery, music, and dance
  8. Arabella: from Latin, elegant
  9. Arantxa: Basque, thorn bush
  10. Arianna: from Greek, holy
  11. Asher: from Hebrew, happy or blessed
  12. Audree: French, nobility, and strength
  13. Aurelio: from Latin, golden one
  14. Caelan: Irish, mighty warrior or victorious people
  15. Callum: from Latin, dove
  16. Callynn: Gaelic, strong in battle
  17. Cassandra: from Greek mythology, a Trojan princess
  18. Charvi: Sanskrit, beautiful
  19. Constantine: from Latin, steadfast
  20. Edric: English, power, or good fortune
  21. Elora: from Hebrew, the Lord is my light
  22. Ethan: from Hebrew, strong, safe, or firm
  23. Eustace: from Latin, fruitful and productive
  24. Farrah: Arabic, happy
  25. Fenella: Irish, white-shouldered one
  26. Gabriella: from Hebrew, devoted to God
  27. Griffith: Welsh, strong lord
  28. Harlow: Old English, rock hill
  29. Ignatio: Spanish from Latin, fire
  30. Ingrid: Norse, Ing (a Germanic god) is beautiful
  31. Janus: from Latin, gateway
  32. Jocelyn: from Latin, happy or joyful
  33. Julian: from Latin, father of the skies
  34. Kalila: Arabic, a heap of love
  35. Katana: Japanese, sword
  36. Kirk: Scottish, church
  37. Layla: Egyptian, dark beauty
  38. Lennon: Gaelic, lover
  39. Liam: Irish, strong-willed warrior and protector
  40. Luz: Spanish, light
  41. Maeve: Gaelic, intoxicating, and in Irish mythology, Maeve was a legendary warrior queen.
  42. Melina: from Greek, honey
  43. Mirabelle: French, marvelous
  44. Moriah: from Hebrew, the Lord is my teacher
  45. Neriah: from Hebrew, the light of Jehovah
  46. Naila: Arabic, successful
  47. Ned: English, wealthy guardian
  48. Noe: from Hebrew, pronounced “NO-e,” comfort
  49. Oden: Norse mythology, rage 
  50. Ophelia: from Latin, help
  51. Oswald: English, divine power
  52. Owen: Welsh, young warrior
  53. Pilar: Spanish, pillar
  54. Renata: from Latin, born again
  55. Reveka: from Hebrew, captivating
  56. Rio: Spanish, river
  57. Shayna: Yiddish, beautiful, or God is gracious
  58. Tegan: Irish, fair
  59. Veda: Sanskrit, knowledge
  60. Yareli: Native American, water lady

Why Choose an Ancient Name?

When families named their children during ancient times, names had meanings and were used as a blessing for children to last throughout their lives. A growing number of parents today are choosing ancient names for their meaning and their beauty.

Another reason parents opt for ancient names for their children is because those names have a unique quality that will make their children stand out. They will most likely be the only Persephone or Bharat among their classmates.

Parents who are history buffs or students of the languages of antiquity might also choose an ancient name for their children to reflect their studies or interests.

The choice of an ancient name can also honor a child’s ethnic background or family roots.

Also, some ancient names are family names, so parents may be choosing an ancient name that belonged to a great-grandparent or great-great-grandparent. Choosing ancient names honors ancestors and keeps their ancient names alive.

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