If you have been to Greece at least once, you have probably figured out already which are the most common Female Greek names.
You have met at least two Marias – or even more – you have had coffee with a woman named Eleni, or you have been served in a restaurant or coffee shop by a woman named Katerina.
It is necessary to say that in Greece it is a strong tradition to name a girl after the name of her grandmother – in most cases, the firstborn girl is given the name of her father’s mother.
So which are the most common female names in Greece?
According to the statistics and researches, the most common female Greek name is undoubtedly Maria. This fact has a simple explanation; for the Greeks the figure of Virgin Mary is very important and beloved, and is associated with many miracles and fortunate events in the Greek history and everyday life. It comes, thus, as no surprise that the Greeks tend to give to their female children the name Maria, commemorating the mother of Christ. For many people the name Maria is also a lucky one, or has a positive aura and feeling, so they prefer giving their child this name in order to provide a positive boost – if such a thing could be said.
The female name Eleni is also a very common name in Greece. Associated with Agia Eleni (St Helen), the Greek female name Eleni is considered a nice and cute name to give to a baby girl. Of course, the place of birth is also of significant importance when it comes to the choice of the given name, and this is something that definitely affects the popularity of certain names. For instance, name Eleni is very common in the Greek mainland, and in Northern Parts of the country, but not that common in the Cyclades Islands.
Some unofficial statistics published a few years ago, show that in Athens, the most common names are Maria, Eleni, Katerina, Georgia, Anna. In Thessaloniki (Salonica), the second biggest city in Greece, the most common names are Maria, Dimitra, Eleni, Soussana, names associated with Saints protectors of the nearby regions, or Saints known to have performed miracles in these areas.
Origin of Greek female names
We could say in general that female Greek names given to girls are mostly connected and associated with patron Saints, although the last few years giving ancient Greek names has become quite popular and common. Names such as Electra, Antigone, Aspasia, Io, Atalanti and many more were names famous and popular in ancient Greece, regaining their position and popularity in modern Greece as well. Although the Greek Orthodox Church has a hard time accepting the extensive use of ancient Greek names, people seem to be discovering the beauty and charm of those names and give them to their children; it is actually not uncommon at all to see compound names, or girls bearing two names such as Eleni – Electra, or Maria – Phaidra ( both an Orthodox and an ancient Greek name).
Nowadays, there is some sort of freedom in choosing baby female names and although Greeks are quite traditional people in general, they tend to break the knots with the strict letter of the tradition when they like some names, or dislike some others. Still, some Greek female names are more common, but today there is a larger and wider range of given names you can see in Greece.