One of the most ancient and progressive civilizations of the world, the ancient Greeks are also one of the most popular.
The ancient civilization is steeped in culture and the Greeks are deservedly very proud of it today. This list of Ancient Greek surnames showcases the legacy of this impressive and important civilization.
Surprisingly the Greeks did not use last names until the twelfth century. Until the end of the twelfth century, last names in ancient Greece were rare, with most people taking only a first name. Only the most upper-class families used surnames or last names to represent their family crest and to complement their personal name.
Once surnames became more commonplace, they were often derived from the place of origin of the family, a benefactor or a nickname. Greek last names are also often influenced by and derived from the names of the parents or their profession. Ancient Greeks were strongly paternal in their beliefs and so, Greek last names are often derivatives of the father’s name. Ancient Greek surnames tend to be long because most names, almost always, have a patronymic suffix like -ellis, -opoulos, -oglou etc. Some names also include prefixes too, such as “papa” or “deli”.
Women in Greece traditionally did not have a surname of their own. They would use a feminine version of their father's name until marriage. After marriage, their husband’s name would be derived into a surname for them. This has changed today; Greek women nowadays often do not change their family names throughout their lives.
Greek Mythology Last Names
Derived from the Gods and Goddesses of Greek mythology, here are some mythical last names and classical Greek names. If you are looking for ancient Greek surnames inspired by mythology, this is the best list for you.
1. Danielopoulos: This is one of the classics when it comes to mythological last names. It means "son of Daniel". The name Daniel means “God is my judge”.
2. Elias: Elias is derived from the Hebrew word Eliyahu. The name means “Lord of God” or “Jehovah of God”.
3. Iraklidis: One of the best mythical surnames, this name refers to the son of Hercules. Hercules means "pride/glory of the Goddess Hera".
4. Markopoulos: As with a lot of last names it references the father. The name means ”son of Mark”. Mark is a Greek name meaning the "God of War" or "consecrated to the God Mars".
5. Matthiou: The name means the son of Matthias. Matthias in turn means the “gift of God”.
6. Nephus: Nephus in Greek means "a God’s son who will himself become a God".
7. Pallas: It is an epithet for Athena, the Goddess of Arts and Wisdom. It is also a nickname for Palac in Greek which means “thumb”.
8. Teresi: The name is derived from the Goddess of Hunting, Artemis, and is one of the few metronymic inheritances from the feminine name Teresa.
9. Theodoropoulos: Ancient name meaning "son of Theodoros". Theodoros in Greek means “God’s gift” or “God-given”.
10. Tsitak: It literally means “God”.
Popular Ancient Greek Last Names
These are ancient Greek last names that have stayed relevant through the ages. They are still popular today, making them the perfect last name choices for your ancient Greek characters.
11. Aetos: This ancient Greek last name means “eagle”.
12. Agathangelou: One of the longer Greek surnames, this is a family name of people descended from a famous figure in history, Agathangelos
13. Andino: Andino in Greek means “manly”.
14. Argyris: It means “silver” in Greek. It is derived from the family names Argyroglou and Argyropoulos.
15. Athanasiou: This ancient Greek last name is derived from the name Athanasios. It means “immortal”.
16. Calimeris: “Kalimera” means “good morning” in Greek, that is where this Greek last name is derived from.
17. Castellanos: Derived from the Greek word “kastello” which means “castle”.
18. Chaconas: The original version of the name is Tsakonas or Tsakonian. It means "someone who lives on the eastern side of Peloponnese". It is an ancient Greek last name.
19. Christodoulopoulos: Many Greeks are Christian and this name is the result of a strong Christian influence. The name refers to the descendants of the servants of Christ.
20. Christoforou: This is another example of the Christian influence. The meaning of the name is "the one bearing Christ".
21. Christoyannopoulos: This is again an ancient Christian Greek last name and it means “descendant of Christ and John”.
22. Dougenis: The name splits in two with doulos meaning “slave” or “servant” and “genes” means “being born”.
23. Drakos: This is a common Greek last name and it means “ogre” or “dragon”.
24. Eliopoulos: This is derived from the name Elias. Poulos is derived from the Latin word for “descendant”. People from the Peloponnese region usually use this surname.
25. Filo: The name Filip is the origin of this Greek surname. The meaning of the word is ”friend of the horses”.
26. Florakis: This is an amalgamation of “flor” meaning “blossom” or “flower” and “akis” meaning "originally", from Crete.
27. Fotos: 'Phos' in Greek means “light”. This is a short version of Fotopoulos.
28. Frangopoulos: The name in Greek means “descendant of Frank”.
29. Galanis: This is derived from the Greek word “galanos” meaning “azure” or “pale blue”. This last name describes someone who has pale blue eyes.
30. Georgiou: This name represents someone who is a “wife” or “kin” of Georgios.
31. Hondros: This name is derived from 'khondros' which in Greek means “fat”.
32. Lordanou: This is derived from the Hebrew word for the Jordan river. The Greek meaning is “flow down” or “descend”.
33. Kallis: Kallistos in Greek means “best” and Kallis is the short form of that name.
34. Katopodis: In Greek, Katopodis means “down” or “below”.
35. Katsaros: Katsaros means "person with curly hair" in Greek.
36. Lambros: In ancient classical Greek the word Lambros means “luminous” or ”radiant” and “brilliant”.
37. Leos: Derived from Leon this last name means “lion”.
38. Levidis: This is an ancient Greek last name meaning "son of Levi". Levi has its origins in Hebrew and it means “joined” or “attached”.
39. Lykaios: This last name comes from the Greek word 'lykos,' meaning "wolf".
40. Makris: It is derived from the Greek word 'makros' which means "tall". It was a very popular name in Greek.
41. Mavros: Mavros in Greek means “black”.
42. Onasis: This is a rare surname and it means “lover”.
43. Othonos: This name translates to “fortune” or “wealth”. It is derived from the Greek name Otto.
44. Pachis: This name means “fat” or “thick” in Greek.
45. Pagonis: This is a beautiful last name and it literally means “peacock”. It is used to describe someone who is prone to be vain.
46. Panagos: This is a very ancient name with a lot of importance. It represents the traditional Greek way of life.
47. Pantazis: This ancient surname brims with vibrancy because it means “full of life” or “always alive”.
48. Papatonis: It means “genius” or “protector”.
49. Papazoglou: Another Greek surname meaning "son of the Priest".
50. Pappas: Derived from 'papas' meaning “priest” in Greek.
51. Persopoulos: Persopoulos is a Greek surname meaning "descendant of a Persian".
52. Sagona: This means “jaw” in Greek.
53. Selinofoto: This Greek last name means “moonlight”.
54. Stefanopoulos: This Greek last name means “son of Stefan”.
55. Vassos: This means “from vasos”. This is also an abbreviation of 'Vasilis'.
56. Xenakis: Derived from Xenos it means “stranger” or a “newcomer”.
57. Yiannopoulos: A Greek last name meaning "son of Yianni".
58. Zafeiriou: Sapphire in Greek is “zafeiri”. This is a surname meaning "son of Zafeiri".
59. Zervas: It means “left-handed” in Greek.
60. Zika: It means “may he live” or “to live” and is quite a popular Greek last name.
Popular Greek Last Names
These are names influenced by other cultures and are still popular in Greece to this day. Which of these ancient Greek last names will suit your ancient Greek character the best?
61. Adamos: A Greek last name meaning "son of Adam". This name is actually interchangeable as a first and last name.
62. Alexopoulos: This is an amalgamation of the personal name Alexios and the last name Poulos.
63. Andrianakis: Very popular among Australians of Greek origin and is a derivative of the name “Andreas”.
64. Balaskas: This surname is used mostly by Slavic Jews and Greeks.
65. Chloros: This is a common last name in Greece and it means “green”.
66. Cirillo: This is a Greek surname with an Italian origin and it means “masterful” or “lord”.
67. Drivas: This Greek word means “tree”. This is derived from a Slavic origin.
68. Eliades: This surname is a derivative of the name “Elais” from the Bible.
69. Gabris: This word is derived from the English name Gabriel.
70. Hatzis: A derivative of 'khatzis' which means "pilgrim to Jerusalem" in Greek.
71. Kappas: This name is drawn from the Turkish influence on Greece. 'Kapa' meaning “large” in Turkish. Kappas is the abbreviated version of a longer ancient last name that begins with 'kapa'.
72. Leventis: This Greek surname actually has an old Italian origin. Leventis comes from 'Levantine' and it means "people from the East". In Greek though, the name means someone who is “fearless”.
73. Moralis: Moralis is a Spanish influenced Greek surname. It is derived from 'moreras' which means “mulberry trees”.
74. Papamichael: This surname means "son of a priest called Michael".
75. Rousopoulos: This Greek surname means "of Russian descent".
76. Vasilakis: Derived from the Greek word for “basil”.
77. Vitalis: This surname has a similar meaning in English as well as in Greek, in Greek, it means “vital” or “alive”.
78. Voulgaropoulos: Voulgaropoulos refers to someone who is the descendant of a Bulgarian.
79. Xiphias: This translates to “swordfish”.
Ancient Greek Surnames Influenced By Profession
These ancient Greek last names are derived from a person’s profession. Take a look at see if there is a name that would suit one of your characters here, perhaps one of these Greek surnames will match up to your character's profession.
80. Bakirtzis: Originating from the Turkish language, it points to the profession of someone who is a “copper smith”.
81. Bouras: This is a Latin surname with the equivalent Greek surname being “Booras”. It is mostly associated with someone who works in the wool trade. The name means "woolen cloth with reddish long hair".
82. Diakos: A Deacon is somebody who is associated with the clergy. That is the origin of this Greek last name.
83. Diamandis: This name is taken by someone who is in the profession of handling diamonds.
84. Economos: This is a name which is based on someone’s profession as a property manager.
85. Ganas: This is an occupational surname for someone who works as a coppersmith.
86. Galatas: This is another occupational last name, this is for a person who sells milk. In Greek 'gala' means “milk”.
87. Hasapis: A derivative of the Greek word for 'butcher' which is “chasapi”.
88. Kalogeropoulos: This last name in Greek means “son of the monk”. It is derived from the Greek word 'kalogeros', meaning “friar” or “monk”.
89. Karras: In Greek this name means “carter” or “cart driver”. The root of this name is 'karo' which means cart. This last name is taken by someone who is a cart driver by profession.
90. Kazan: This is another occupational last name given to a person who manufactures cauldrons or uses one to distil alcohol.
91. Kouris: In Greek, the name Kouris refers to someone who lived in a forest.
92. Laskaris: Laskaris is a name attributed to a kind of soldier.
93. Loukanis: This is another last name based on someone’s profession. This time as a butcher or sausage maker.
94. Metaxas: Derived from the Greek word 'metaxi', meaning a person who deals in silk.
95. Nomikos: Another occupational surname given to people who work in fields pertaining to law.
96. Papachristodoulopoulos: This is a really long surname and is an ancient name. It means "someone who is a servant of the Lord Christ and descendant of the Priest".
97. Raptis: Derived from the Greek word 'raptein' meaning "to sew". This is assigned to someone who is a tailor.
98. Samaras: This means “saddle-maker”. Mostly given to someone who loves horses.
99. Tavoularis: This means “literary” or “secretary” and “assistant”. It is an old ancient surname and is still relevant today.
100. Vouvali: This means “buffalo” in Greek. It was often given to someone who is in the meat or hide business.
Kidadl has lots of great name articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for Greek last names then why not take a look at these fantastic Greek girl names, or for something different take a look at these wonderful Greek boy names with meanings.
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