Male Greek names are so many and different.
In Greece there are male names from the antiquity – some of the ancient Greek male names are truly amazing and interesting – from the Christian tradition, or local Greek customs.
As with female Greek names, people tend to give their children the name of the grandfather – the first born son usually takes the name of his father’s father, although this tradition is more evident in rural areas and smaller towns.
In the cities of Greece, this tradition is definitely alive but especially when it comes to young couples, choosing the name for the baby boy is a matter of personal preference. Sometimes young couples choose to avoid family names and give their child a name they both like.
Common Male Greek Names
According to a recent study, the most common male Greek name is Giorgos (George). It is estimated that 11% of male Greeks bear the name Giorgos (which practically means that 550,000 men are named this way). Giorgos is indeed the most common male name everywhere in Greece, both in the mainland and the islands.
The second most common name is Yannis (or Giannis), equally popular in the islands and mainland as well. Konstantinos (and its main nickname Kostas) is the third most popular name, while Demetrios and Nikolaos are the ones completing the top 5 Greek male names in terms of popularity.
It is said that name Demetrios is more popular in Northern Greece than in southern parts of the country, which is understandable, considering that St Demetrios is much celebrated and honored in cities like Thessaloniki and other northern towns and regions. Nikolaos, on the other hand, is more common in islands, since the name refers to the patron saint of the sailors and naval people.
Names Panagiotis, Alexandros, Vassilis, Thanassis and Christos are also very popular male names in Greece. All these names refer mostly to the Christian religion (although some of them are originated from the ancient times). The most popular and common male names are Orestis, Foivos and Aris, although lately ancient Greek names are becoming increasingly popular again, and it is not unusual to meet men with “weird” or not so common ancient names.
Use of Male Greek Names
Once upon a time it was pretty common to use diminutives and nicknames, replacing in some way the main male name. For instance, a man named Ioannis was called Giannis, a man named Konstantinos was called Kostas, a man named Anastasios was called Tassos or Sakis and so on. Today, many couples try to keep the main name, rather than calling their sons with some of those nicknames – of course some names are still used, such as Giannis, but it is not that uncommon to find men using the initial name Ioannis , which was rather weird a few decades ago.
In some cases the name depends on the region of origin of the boy, as in areas like Crete , Rhodes or Epirus, locals tend to give their male children names with local color, such as Manoussos (in Crete), Tsampikos (in Rhodes), Agis or Giourkas (in Epirus). These are small examples, but the variety of male Greek names is quite vague and vast, influenced by factors such as tradition, local customs and eras.