Greek names and love

Certain Greek names are synonymous of love, either because these names refer to love itself, or because they are associated with one of its characteristics and virtues.

In Greece, there are several Greek words for love, because there are different nuances of this very complicated feeling. Hence, there are also different Greek names for love that symbolize the types of love and actually give name to certain emotions.

Greek names meaning love, being in love, affection or friendship

Agapi is the name that actually means love. It derives from the greek verb agapo, which means to love, and is the exact same word that is used in Greek to express the feelings of love

and affection in any kind of relationship: between family members and relatives, friends and lovers.

In Greek when we say “I love you”, we mean that we love someone, not that we are in love with him – at least not necessarily. This is why the Greek name Agapi is different than the name Eros, which refers to being in love.

In ancient Greece, name Agapi was refering to the more general feeling of love, not among lovers or partners, who would use another word for that. In some cases, this name would also be synonymous to content and pleasure for something.

You can read all the pertinent details on this Greek name for love, at the pertinent post for Agapi.

The male respective name of Agapi is Agapios: it is also a male Greek name for love, and although not as common as Agapi, you can still find some men called Agapios.

Eros or Erotas: This is the Greek name for desire, longing and passionate love. In ancient Greek it was “Eros” and this was the actual name of the God of love, the son of Aphrodite, the winged god that would fly around and wound both men and gods with his arrows, causing them to fall in love with another being.

Eros was not always associated with sexual desire, since there was the platonic eros as well – the desire for someone that is not expressed in a physical or sexual way, but remains somehow spiritual or sensual in the general sense.

Eros was also associated with the appreciation of beauty and physical attraction, and thus, eros would be the vehicle which would allow lovers to seek their truth. For the Greeks, the Greek name Eros was divine – as it was its meaning. However, in modern Greek Eros refers to this overwhelming feeling of being in love. You can read more about this name at the post for name Eros or Erotas.

Filia or Philia: Filia or Philia is also a Greek name for love, but this time the virtuous love, which is dispassionate and is usually developed between friends. This name derives from the Greek word philia, which means friendship in modern Greek. In ancient Greek though, name Philia refered to the loyal love to friends,lovers,  family and social environment. This was the concept that the Greek philosopher Aristotle gave to Philia. Today, the English language uses this name in compound words, to express the love for something: for instance, hydrophilia, anglophilia, necrophilia and so on.

Although the Greek name Philia was common in Ancient Greece, it is not that common in Greece today. It does not have a nameday either.

Stergios: Stergios is a male Greek name, which derives from the Greek word “stergo”, which means to show affection or love. In modern Greek, storgi (noun, affection) and stergo (verb, show affection) refer to the natural affection, the tenderness shown among relatives or lovers, but mostly refers to the love of parents towards their children.

Storgi also shows commitment, according to social psychology. Therefore,  Stergios is the man who shows affection and commitment to other people, whether family or lovers. The female respective of Stergios is Stergiani.

Love is a very important emotion to the Greeks; therefore, it comes as no surprise that many of the words referring to love have also become Greek names for love.

Read also: Greek gods of love

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