50 Greek Goddess Names That Make Unique Female Dog Names
Greek Dog Names
What’s in a name? Shakespeare wrote, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," but we all know how important a name is. A dog's name can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Here is a list of cool dog names from the Greek goddesses and heroines, any of which is sure to bestow awesome powers on your canine companion.
Greek Names for Female Agility Dogs
Atalanta was the fleet-footed heroine and huntress who swore never to marry. Prized for her great beauty, many suitors sought her hand in marriage. In order to please her parents, Atalanta agreed to marry, but only if the suitor could beat her in a foot race. Many tried, but Atalanta was the fastest of humans. Hippomenes, watching one of her races, fell deeply in love with her and prayed to Venus for help, as he was sure he could never outrun the beautiful huntress. Venus sent Hippomenes three golden apples with which to slow her so that he might keep up with her and ultimately win the race. He strategically tossed the golden apples before her as they raced, each a little further away from her path than the first. As she slowed to bend down to pick up each golden apple, Hippomenes was able to keep pace with her and eventually win by half a stride. Without Venus’ intervention, Hippomenes would not have stood a chance. Name your girl Atalanta if you want a fleet-footed girl that can outrun all of the boy dogs at the agility trial.
Athena was the goddess of mental agility, intelligence, art, literature, strategy, and weaving, among many other skills. She is beautiful, brave, and wise. The city of Athens was named after her and she figures prominently in many stories, including the Odyssey and the Trojan War. Unlike Ares, she is known for her fairness in battle and for a cool-tempered strategy: She only fought if she had to, and never without reason. As the warrior goddess of wisdom, her name is appropriate for smart dogs who don't need to throw their weight around and find other ways to make things right.
Nike, the winged goddess of victory, represents strength, speed, and triumph. She flew around battlefields in a chariot, rewarding the victors with glory and fame represented by a laurel wreath. She is often depicted on Greek coins, shares her name to a popular line of athletic shoes, and can also be seen in the hood ornament on a Rolls-Royce. If you like to win fame and glory at Agility Trials or Flyball Tournaments, name your girl Nike.
Penelope was the wife of Odysseus, and a very good wife indeed. While he was on his ten-year journey trying to return home after the Trojan War, most believed that Odysseus was actually dead. Many suitors tried to convince Penelope to remarry. Believing that Odysseus was still alive, Penelope stalled for time. She announced that she would remarry when she finished weaving a funeral shroud for her father-in-law. In reality, she would weave all day, and then unravel her weaving all night. If you want a smart and faithful girl dog that is as nimble in her actions as she is in her mind, name her Penelope; you can call her Penny.
Greek Names for Female Hunting Dogs
Artemis was known to the Greeks as virgin goddess of the hunt and mistress of animals. At Ephesus in Turkey, her temple became one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Known also as the goddess of the hills and forests, she is depicted in paintings and statues in a forest setting, carrying her bow and arrows and frequently accompanied by a dog or a deer. Name your female puppy Artemis if you want a beautiful, faithful, and independent hunting dog.
Callisto, which means “most beautiful,” was the daughter of Lycaon, king of Arcadia, and was one of Artemis' hunting companions. As an attendant of Artemis, she took a vow of chastity. When Zeus took a liking to her, poor Callisto was transformed into a bear by his wife Hera out of jealousy. Then Zeus, taking pity on her, transformed her into a bear in the heavens, thus creating Ursa Major, the bear constellation. If you want a beautiful and loyal hunting companion that is also a star in her own right, name her Callisto.
Atalanta: Not only was she fleet-footed (see her other myth, above), she was a skilled huntress as well. Abandoned by her father at birth for being a girl, she was rescued by a bear and raised by hunters. Atalanta was famed for being the first to draw blood in the Calydonian boar hunt. After her success with the boar, her father rediscovered her and sought to have her marry a proper suitor. Her early rejection by her father created a grudge wherein she swore to never marry. See Atalanta's agility tale above for the story of her famed foot races with potential suitors. If your dog was a rescue, this might be the perfect name. If you are seeking a skilled and tenacious hunting dog that will beat the boy dogs to the quarry, name her Atalanta.
Grecian Names for Loyal Obedience Dogs
Psyche: In order to win back her husband, Eros, Psyche had to complete a series of four impossible tasks. With the help of ants, reeds, and towers, Psyche was able to accomplish these tasks and win immortality and a place beside her husband. This myth joins Eros (love) with Psyche (soul, mind, or spirit), and is one of the few Greek myths that ends happily. In psychology, the psyche is the whole mind, consciousness and unconsciousness. In Greek, the word alludes to spirit, soul, ghost, and self (in the sense of the conscious aspects of personality). Name your dog Psyche if you want a resourceful and loving obedience dog that can get the job done.
Hecuba was the faithful queen and wife of Priam, the King of Troy, and mother to nineteen children, including Paris, Hector, and Cassandra. Following the fall of Troy, Hecuba was presented to Odysseus as a slave. One version of the story has it that she snarled at Odysseus and cursed him. The gods took pity on Hecuba and turned her into a dog to escape her enslavement. Name your girl dog Hecuba if you want a true and loyal partner.
Pallas was a childhood friend of Athena's. They were raised together by Pallas’ father, Triton. During a childhood war game, things turned nasty and Athena accidentally killed Pallas. Out of sadness and guilt, Athena took on her friend’s name and became known in Greek tradition as Pallas Athena. Pallas combines loyalty, wisdom, and strategy. Giving someone the name Pallas alludes to the idea that keeping a name keeps someone's memory alive. Name your girl Pallas for a smart dog with an eternally youthful attitude to life and competition.
Delphi: The Oracle of Delphi, also know as the Pythia, was the line of female priestesses who occupied the temple at the foot of Mount Parnassus and delivered prophesies inspired by Apollo. Oracles were believed to be the mouthpieces of the gods, the portals through which the gods spoke directly to people. Considered the most powerful and inspired of the Greek oracles, the Pythia figure prominently in the writings of Plato, Ovid, and Aristotle, among many others. Name your girl Pythia or Delphi if you want an intuitive dog that can read your mind.
Greek Names for Beautiful Show Dogs
Helen: Helen of Troy, daughter of Zeus and Leda, sister to Castor, Pollux, and Clytemnestra, was stunningly beautiful and well-born. Many famed suitors (as many as 46) sought her hand in marriage. The Trojan War began over the abduction of Helen by love-struck Paris. Her beauty was so great that she is remembered as “the face that launched 1,000 ships.” Name your show dog Helen if you prize a pretty face.
Europa was the first queen of Crete and the daughter of a Phoenician king. As she and her maidens were gathering flowers in a field, she caught the eye of Zeus, who determined to seduce her. He disguised himself as a tame white bull and mingled among Europa's father's herd of cattle. Zeus caught the maidens' attention by emitting an aroma of flowers, and when they approached the bull to stroke and admire him, the bull knelt down, and Europa climbed onto his back. Zeus took this opportunity to take Europa. He rushed into the sea and began swimming furiously towards another land. Nereids (sea nymphs) attended them, riding dolphins, and Triton blew his horn. Europa guessed that her bull was a disguised god and begged him to treat her kindly. Zeus ultimately brought Europa to Crete, where he made her its first queen. The continent of Europe was also named after her. Today, Europa serves as a symbol of Pan-Europeanism, and is depicted on Euro banknotes.
Siren: The original femme fatales, Sirens were beautiful half-woman, half-bird creatures. Their singing was so hypnotic that sailors threw themselves into the sea in rapt adoration. Odysseus cleverly survived listened to their song by lashing himself to the mast of the ship so he could not succumb to their allure. Name your girl Siren if you want an irresistible beauty with a melodious bark.
Grace or Gracie: The three Graces, or Charites, were daughters of Zeus and Eurynome. These goddesses were created to fill the world with joyful moments and goodwill. The Graces represent beauty, joy, and charm. They are often depicted dancing in a circle, much like show dogs, to the music of Apollo.
Pandora was created by the gods from clay as the first woman on Earth. Each of the gods gave her a gift, hence her name, which translates as "the bearer of all gifts." As a result, she was beautiful, talented, and feminine. However, Hermes had been instructed by Zeus to give her the gifts of stubbornness and curiosity. Zeus was angered that Prometheus had stolen fire from the gods and had given it to mankind. In an elaborate plot for revenge and to teach man a lesson, the Gods gave Epimethius Pandora's hand in marriage. Although Prometheus had warned his foolish younger brother not to accept gifts from the Olympians, her beauty blinded him to common sense.
At the wedding, the gods gave Pandora a jar known as the Pithos which was supposed to contain her wedding present from them. However, she was warned that she must never open her gift. Pandora struggled with her curiosity, which ultimately won in the end. She opened the jar and was stunned and horrified to find all of the ills and suffering she had unwittingly unleashed on mankind escaping from the Pithos. She slammed the jar shut but only one thing remained inside: Hope. And this is why evil exists on Earth, but we still have hope. Name your puppy Pandora if you don't mind a little mischief around the house.
Callisto: “Most beautiful one.” See her story under Hunting Dog Names above.
Greek Goddess and Monster Names for Water-Loving Dogs
Naiad: In Greek mythology, Naiads were a type of nymph that presided over fountains, wells, springs, streams, brooks, and other bodies of freshwater. The waters over which Naiads presided were thought to be endowed with inspirational, medicinal, or prophetic powers. Name your retriever Naiad if you want a dog with amazing instincts and powers of intuition.
Nereid, which means sea nymph, refers to a female spirit of sea water. They were seen as friendly spirits who might help sailors, especially those who were threatened by storms. There were fifty sisters who often accompanied Poseidon, the god of the sea.
Siren: An irresistible songstress of the sea. See her description in Show Dog Names above.
Greek Name for Your Faithful Dog
Leto, a Titan goddess, was a longtime lover of Olympian god Zeus. Long before Zeus married Hera, Leto became pregnant with his children. Although the affair and pregnancy predated the marriage, Hera was insanely jealous of Leto, and gave her no end of discomfort and punishment. Leto wandered the earth looking for a place to have her children but, fearing the wrath of Hera, all lands rejected Leto. Finally, with the assistance of Zeus and the North Wind, she came to a barren rock island, Delos. Delos had nothing to lose or fear from Hera, so the island allowed her to give birth there.
Here she had the twins Artemis and Apollo. Her children became great archers at an early age in order to protect their mother. When he was just four days old, Apollo killed the dragon Python, which Hera had sent to kill the children. Artemis and Apollo were both powerful gods that spared no effort in the defense of their mother's honor. As such, they were favored by their father, Zeus, and admitted to the pantheon of Greek gods.
Greek Name for Your Herding Dog
Cassandra was the second most beautiful woman in the world, after Helen of Troy. Gifted by Apollo with the ability to see the future, she was then cursed by him for rejecting his attentions. While he could not take back the gift of foresight, he cursed her that no one would believe her prophesies. As a result, Cassandra was considered insane, although all of her prophecies eventually came to pass in the Trojan War. If you want a herding dog with great instincts for what the stock will do next and if you don’t mind a dog that is smarter than you are, name her Cassandra, and you can call her Cassie.
Greek Names for Dark-Coated Dogs
Andromeda, the beautiful daughter of Ethiopean King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia, was chained to a rock to appease a cruel sea monster sent by Poseidon to destroy their kingdom.
Queen Cassiopeia had openly bragged that her daughter was more beautiful than the Nereids, also known as the sea nymphs. Furious at the insult, the Nereids sought assistance from their father, Poseidon, to teach the vain queen a lesson. Even more incensed by the insult, the angry Poseidon sent a sea monster to ravage the coast and devastate the land of their kingdom mercilessly. In seeking a solution to the terror, Zeus suggested to Cepheus that the only way to appease Poseidon and the sea nymphs would be to sacrifice his lovely daughter to the sea monster.
Andromeda was therefore chained to a rock in the harbor, where she awaited the arrival of the sea monster. As luck would have it, Perseus, returning from the slaying of the Medusa, flew past Andromeda on the rock and was immediately taken with her. Seeing her danger, Perseus slew the sea monster, ending its reign of terror, and asked for her hand in marriage. Perseus and Andromeda married and some of their descendants became a new race of people, the Persians.
Nyx was the Greek goddess (or personification) of the night. Homer described her as the subduer of gods and men, and relates that even Zeus stood in awe of her. Older and more powerful than Zeus, he deferred to her wishes. Her children include Hypnos (god of sleep), Thanatos (god of death), Aither (god of light), Hemera (goddess of day), and Erebos (god of darkness). Her appearances in mythology are sparse, but reveal her as a figure of exceptional power and beauty. Typically depicted swathed in dark veils, she is “found in the shadows of the world and only ever seen in glimpses.” An excellent name for large breed females, name your dark girl Nyx if you are seeking a powerful, independent, and constant companion.
Selene, the Titan goddess of the moon; her presence is felt when the moon is full. Also called “Mene” and “Phoebe,” her equivalent in ancient Roman religion and myth is Luna, Latin for "moon." Selene was a favorite among ancient love poets; she is described as a very beautiful goddess, with long wings and a golden diadem. Name your dog Selene, Phoebe, or Mene if you want a beautiful, intelligent, and loving companion.
More Greek Goddess Names for Female Dogs
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