“Good” Greek names: Eugenia, Eunice, Euphemia, Eusebia

Most parents I know think Eu-names are, well, ewww.

That’s too bad. I can see why Eu-names might not have the appeal of names like Jayden and Ashley, but they’re still great names–especially if you’re searching for something unusual but still legitimate (i.e. not a modern creation).

The prefix means “well; good; easy” and is featured in Greek names such as the ones below. (I stuck to feminine versions just to keep things consistent.)

Euangeliagood news
Eudoxiagood fame
Eulaliagood talk
Eunicegood victory
Eunomiagood order
Euodiagood odor
Euphemiagood speech
Euphrasiagood cheer
Euphroniagood state of mind
Eupraxiagood practice
Eusebiagood reverence
Eustaciagood harvest
Eustorgiagood family-love
Euthaliagood bloom
Euthymiagood mood
Eutropiagood bend
Eutychiagood fortune

English-speakers tend to pronounce that first syllable “yoo,” but I’m pretty sure the Greeks articulated each vowel in the diphthong separately. Maybe English-speakers would find Eu-names more intriguing if we returned to that original “eh-oo” pronunciation? Hm.

4 thoughts on ““Good” Greek names: Eugenia, Eunice, Euphemia, Eusebia

  1. great blog! I love the name Euthalia as the saints feast day is august 27, my late grandmothers birthday and I want a way to honour her :-) Do u know how its pronounced?

  2. According to the source I just checked, it should be pronounced with 3 syllables, stress on the second syllable. Something like yoo-THAL-ya.

    And here’s a quick guide to some of the others:

    Eudoxia: yoo-DOKS-ya
    Eugenia: yoo-JEEN-ya
    Eunomia: yoo-NOM-ya (just like “gnome” – long o)
    Euphemia: yoo-FEEM-ya
    Eusebia: yoo-SEEB-ya
    Eutropia: yoo-TROP-ya (just like “trope” – long o)

    These are my interpretations of the pronunciations listed in An Explanatory and Phonographic Pronouncing Dictionary of the English Language by William Bolles, published in 1845.

  3. So, I’m greek and my name is Efrosini. However it greek it is spelt with an “EU” instead of an “EF/EV”.
    In greek, the EU combination is pronounced as “EV” like: Evangeline.

    I know this because it my family you wouldn’t believe how many “EV/EF” name I have:
    – Euphemia (EV-THEE-MEE-UH) – goes by Effie
    – Eustathia (EV-STA-THEE-UH) – goes by Esther
    – Euphalia (EV-THA-LEE-UH) – goes by Thalia
    – Eugenia (EV-YEN-KNEE-UH) – goes by Nia
    – Euphrosini (EV-FRO-SEE-KNEE) – goes by Rosine and me Frances :)

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