You have maybe noticed that there are no Greek names starting with the letter B or X in our site. It is not our omission or mistake; it is all about a peculiarity of the Greek alphabet and the Latinized version of the Greek names.
It may seem a little complicated at first, but it’s all about the phonetic version of a Greek name in English. After all, trying to remain close to the original version, we always include in our posts the phonetic version of each name, as well as a picture with the name written in Greek and English (or Greeklish if you like).
Greek names with B
In Greek, alphabet letter B sounds like V in English. Therefore, the names Vasilis, Vaso, Vasia, Vivi and more, in Greek are spelled with letter B. So we have Βασίλης (Vassilis), Βάσω (Vaso), Βάσια (Vasia), Βιβή (Vivi) and so on.
At the same time, the sound of letter B in English is the same as the sound of the diphthong –Mp in Greek. So, even if a name sounds like B, in Greek, it would be written with –mp. An example of that is name Mpampis (Μπάμπης) or Mpeata (Μπεάτα).
So keep in mind that the English letter B (Beta) sounds like V in Greek.
Greek Names with letter X
The same applies to the letter –X. In Greek the letter X exists, but has a a sound that does not exist in English. The sound is similar to the Scottich “ch” as in “loch”.
The Greek X is written with the letters –ch in English, as in Christos, Chrisoula and so on. However, the original sound is the Scottish –ch, or the German –ch (as in Bach).
Therefore, you will not find Greek names starting with X in our blog, simply because the names that do start with X are spelled with Ch.
If we would spell them with X, the sound would be totally wrong: for example, the name Christos (Χρήστος in Greek) would sound like Zreestos, if we chose to write it with X in English (Xristos).
If you keep following the sound version of the name provided in each post, you are most likely to be able to pronounce the Greek names correctly!