Given Names

Greek first names, for both males and females, are given at baptism and are primarily based on the Christian tradition. For example, some of the most common Greek given names are Georgios (Giorgos), Ioannis (Giannis), Konstantinos (Kostas), Nikolaos (Nikos), and Dimitrios (Dimitris) for males, as well as Maria, Eleni, Aikaterini (Katerina), Vasiliki and Panagiota for females. Indeed, each of these names are those of prominent Christian saints and religious figures. Additionally, since the end of the 18th century, the use of ancient Greek first names (e.g., Xenofon, Aristotelis, Odysseas, Iasonas or Kleopatra, Athina, Pinelopi, Lydia etc.) has become rather popular, reflecting the historical rise of national identity and the growing fascination with ancient Greek civilization and culture. To this day, however, Christian names ultimately dominate the Greek naming tradition.

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