Are you considering an ancient Roman name for your baby?

One parenting blogger on The Huffington Post is predicting that ancient Roman names are going to be the new chic trend in baby names.

Pamela Redmond Satran predicts their popularity based on increasing references in pop culture.

The Huffington Post:

“The first Big Read, which featured “To Kill A Mockingbird” and its hero Atticus Finch brought that name to contemporary consciousness. Then there was the HBO series “Rome.” But “The Hunger Games” which features ancient Roman names for most of its male characters has popularized the genre like nothing else.”

(I think that’s quite a leap in time from the publishing of “To Kill A Mockingbird” to the “Rome” series to support a “trend.”)

Some of the names she says will be on the radar:

AUGUSTUS: All Augustus-related names have recently been rediscovered, from August to Augustine to Augustus itself, which means “great” and was given to the first Roman emperor.

AURELIA: Aurelia, the name of the mother of Julius Caesar and a common choice in Ancient Rome, means gold. Attractive Aurelia relatives include Aurora, Oriana, and Aurelius.

LIVIA: While Olivia sits squarely in the middle of the Top Ten, Livia is a lesser-known and completely independent ancient name that feels sleek and modern.

TATIANA: Tatiana is the feminine form of the Roman name Tatius of unknown meaning. Saint Tatiana, martyred in third century Rome, was much revered in the Orthodox Church, explaining the name’s popularity in Russia.”

Click the link to see her whole list.

I am all for unusual names, and I am a fan of Ancient Rome. (I studied with the UGA Classics department in Italy for a summer.) However, I’m just not sure I see a trend forming here. (I do have a friend from high school names Tatiana but I always thought it was Russian. Also she was named in 1971/72.)

Have you heard of anyone using these classic Roman names? What do you think of them? Would you consider an ancient Roman name for your baby?

36 comments Add your comment

A to Z

June 27th, 2012
1:20 pm

As long as the GOP nutcases don’t start naming their newborns Romnelius, I can live with just about anything.


June 27th, 2012
1:24 pm


June 27th, 2012
1:28 pm

Really not sure that I’d want my kid named after someone who painted poison on figs to kill her husband or a pedophile who used to fill his pool with young boys.


June 27th, 2012
1:31 pm

The first Big Read was around 2006, so the reference to To Kill a Mockingbird is not about publication of the novel in the 1960’s, but rather the push by the NEA to bring reading back to the national forefront. Shortens the timeline by about 40 years and could loosely be considered the start of the trend.

But back to the topic – no, no classical Roman names in our forum.


June 27th, 2012
1:45 pm

No II’m done having babies….

But I sure do see a lot of “Bella”s lately. Just in our neighborhood alone we have 3 Bella’s. Of course two are dogs and one’s a cat… I think there’s a trend in naming animals Bella…..

Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus

June 27th, 2012
1:50 pm

I never heard of anything more stupid. Idiots…please stop breeding.


June 27th, 2012
1:57 pm

As long as it’s anything but Jake, Jack, Aiden, Cole, Connor, Braden, or Jaden for boys and Emily, Olivia, Bella, etc. for girls, it doesn’t matter to me. Personally, I’d rather see some original names rather than the herd mentality names we see everyday.


June 27th, 2012
2:04 pm

I have a cat named Castor.

My kids are named after members of the family–great grandparents, great-great grandparents. Some of the names are unusual, but they have meaning to the family.


June 27th, 2012
2:05 pm

(Kids are following this with the same thinking for the grandkids’ names.)


June 27th, 2012
2:07 pm

BTW, teachers have a VERY HARD TIME naming their kids with “today’s” names because there are negative memories with quite a few.


June 27th, 2012
2:40 pm

I’ll do it but only if they began feeding the tradionally Christian-named children to the lions.
Look out Mary and James. A blood bath is coming.


June 27th, 2012
2:41 pm

Nope, haven’t heard of anyone using these names..I would much rather have the kids in my family named one of these, compared to what their parents picked..Have a new great niece that was born last Wed. , her Mother named her Jericha Lana..Can’t stand that name..Have another new great niece due in Sept. and she is being named Taiven..

@A..I went to an awards ceremony for my two in May and one of the awards they gave out, they called up 13 kids named Jaden/Jayden..Really people? They also had about 10 Hailey’s..


June 27th, 2012
2:43 pm

@catlady, Once upon a time my wife thought she might someday name a son Connor, but she has never taught a Connor she has liked.


June 27th, 2012
3:08 pm

@jarvis..Haha..I have a great nephew name Connor and he is a demon child if there ever was one..The kicker is that every time he gets in trouble at school or anywhere, my nephew and his wife, always say it’s the teachers fault..Hmmm..They of course are the only ones that think that..:)


June 27th, 2012
3:59 pm

I wanted to name my son Optimus Prime but the wife nixed me.

That’s kind of ancient romanesque.


June 27th, 2012
4:04 pm

A new low for the AJC! Your not even copy and pasting articles, now your copying and pasting from other BLOGGERS, who, more than likely, copy and pasted from something else. Sad!

Once Again

June 27th, 2012
4:52 pm

Given how so many kids are turing out these days I am surprised that CALIGULA didn’t make the list.

Certainly seems fitting to be considering names associated with the long-gone Roman Empire while the american empire goes down in flames. Maybe NERO would be more fitting. Be sure to get him violin lessons.


June 27th, 2012
5:30 pm

Spartacus here…..

“Are you considering an ancient Roman name for your baby?”

….yes, my first born is named “Maximus Gluteus Orifus”….


June 27th, 2012
5:31 pm

It is very, very rare for me to teach a student with a common, simple name. Most of them are a bunch of letters thrown together because Mom was absent when phonics was being taught. I would love to see more names that are phonetically correct.


June 27th, 2012
5:33 pm

Haven’t noticed this trend. It would be a welcome change from some of the names I see though. Jayden and/or Jaden for boys and girls has to be the most popular name by far right now.
My current most hated though is Nevaeh (pronounced Ne-VAY-uh). And the parents always have to tell you “it’s heaven spelled backwards” so then I have to spend at least another minute trying to figure out how the heck you spell “heaven” backwards. You have no idea how many Nevaehs are out there.


June 27th, 2012
5:37 pm

I might name my dog a roman name, but not a child.


June 27th, 2012
5:48 pm

I prefer German/Nordic names like Dolph, Dieter, Thor, Gunter, and Rutger. LOL


June 27th, 2012
8:13 pm

My boyfriend and I are teachers and had the HARDEST time coming up with a name we’d never had on our class rosters… but we came up with the best name ever. I can’t post it in fear that someone may use it. :) It is different, for sure. We were just excited that we found one we’d never heard in school!!

Mr. Todd

June 27th, 2012
9:14 pm

One of my proudest teaching moments came when I gave a little professor-type kid the perfect nickname. His existence on Earth begged for a nickname. I was shocked that it wasn’t his real name already. I’d been noodling over my final selections for some time … weeks … and the day came when I officially bestowed it upon him in class in front of his classmates. Everybody freaked out with its dead-on accuracy. The victim was pleased with it, too. He thought it was perfect. Later that day at lunch I was sitting at the teacher table and I told my teacher buddy, Gary the math teacher, to look over at the kid and while he was looking at him that I was going to utter the nickname I gave him that was perfect. Gary started looking at him and then he said … Okay, say it. I said … Winkelberg. Gary said … Holy God that’s perfect. He really is a total Winkelberg. I breathed again into Gary’s left ear … Winkelberg. I was so proud


June 27th, 2012
9:53 pm

The next dog I get I’m naming him “Snoop”. Not snoopy. Just Snoop. As in “Here Snoop dog!”

Connor's mom

June 27th, 2012
11:04 pm

My oldest son was born June ‘96, shortly before the start of the ATL Olympics. I told everyone we were naming him ‘Testiclese’; a totally made-up Roman sounding name to commemorate the games and perfect for a boy. People flipped out! He’s officially ‘John Connor’, not for the Terminator hero, but goes by Connor, which is confusing enough. When we tell the story of Testiclese people still go crazy! I can only blame it on massive pregnancy hormones.


June 27th, 2012
11:23 pm

Well, my oldest (27) is having his first the end of September and no ancient Roman names here, only Celtic ones; it’s a boy and his first name is Liam (new mom picked that one) and his middle name is Malcom after his great-great grandfather. Am VERY excited about becoming a grandma (although I think I am too young for that title lol)


June 27th, 2012
11:52 pm

We prefer to avoid trendy names, whatever the trend may be, so thanks for the heads-up. When/if we have another one, I’ll be sure to leave the Roman names off the list.

On a side note, one of the silliest trends I can think of is naming little girls after dead white guys: Madison, Kennedy, Emerson, Reagan, etc.


June 28th, 2012
7:13 am

“CAAAALiiiigula…come here RIGHT this INSTANT, and stop sticking that sword into Gemellus stomach, and if you don’t quit sexually molesting your sisters, I’m going to poison you myself….DON’T you GIVE ME THAT LOOK…young emporor or NOT, I’ll knock you clear to Gaul if you pull your toga up one more time. You just wait until your father, Germanicus gets home from pillaging the barbarians. He’s going to make you wish you had washed the chariot, like you were told. You know…we could just exile you to live with your grandpappy, Emperor Tiberius on that creepy little island. He likes having naked little Roman boys running around there, and the Senate wants to talk to him about that, so you better start behaving or your gonna get it….OUCH, why did you stick that pilar in my leg…you little monster, I’ll make you wish you were a slave….”

Nah….I’ll just name my boy “Delmar” and my girl “Oralene”.


June 28th, 2012
8:43 am

Eh, I’ve never really followed trends as far as names go. My girls have names that aren’t unusual, but they’re also not in the top ten of any list over the past 10 years or so (one has a name that may have been in the top 10 in the 1920’s or so, though – she was named after my great-grandmother).

Remember, I always heard that it’s great when you call your child’s name at a playground and they’re the only one that comes running. It’s not so great if they’re running because they’re being chased. :-)

Voice of Reason

June 28th, 2012
9:49 am

I asked my wife if we could name our son Tiberius after captain James T. Kirk. She said no.


June 28th, 2012
11:56 am

@BlondHoney..I like the names that your son has chosen..Malcolm isn’t a name that people usually think about (IMO)..Congrats on being a grandma, you will LOVE it…My two “adopted” grandkids will be 10 this Sat and I am still loving every minute of it…

K's Mom

June 28th, 2012
4:50 pm

@Blondehoney, I like those names too. Our litmus test was that we did not want to find it on shot glass in a redneck tourist destination, but we wanted it to sound believable if either of our sons became brain surgeons. I think we accomplished that with family names, most of whch are sir names.


June 28th, 2012
4:53 pm

We named the dog after a Norse god.


June 29th, 2012
1:57 pm


July 1st, 2012
11:33 am

my kids have simple names. bryant patrick and jacob parker. my husband named the first one and i named the second, after some friends. one of the criteria we had for naming our sons, was would the names look good on business cards. one day, my kids are gonna go to school and find jobs, i want them taken seriously.