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It is traditional for Greeks to name their newborn children after the grandparents, resulting in a continuation of names in the family line. In more recent years, new names are also introduced due to the plethora of Greek male and female names. Sometimes, the names given to babies have to do with local customs, such as a patron saint, a famous church or monastery. Such examples are Spyridon in Corfu, Gerasimos in Kefalonia and Dionysios / Dionysia in Zakynthos.
Examples of Ancient Greek names are Alexander (Αλέξανδρος), Antigone (Αντιγόνη), Aphrodite (Αφροδίτη), Ariadne (Αριάδνη), Athena (Αθηνά), Danae (Δανάη), Dionysios (Διονύσιος), Heracles (Ηρακλής), Jason (Ιάσων), Nestor (Νέστωρ), Phillip (Φίλιππος) and Thaleia (Θάλεια). Christian names include Andreas (Ανδρέας), Anna (Άννα), Elias (Ηλίας), Emmanuel (Εμμανουήλ), Ioannis (Ιωάννης), Maria (Μαρία), Michael (Μιχαήλ) and Thomas (Θωμάς). Also, Byzantine names include Antonios (Αντώνιος), Vasilios (Βασίλειος), Konstantinos (Κωνσταντίνος), Eudoxia (Ευδοξία), Evgenia (Ευγενία), Georgios (Γεώργιος), Eleni (Ελένη), Sofia (Σοφία) and Theodoros (Θεόδωρος).
Greek surnames are usually patronymics, meaning that they were originally formed by a male name. However, other sources may also exist, like regarding occupation, characteristics and are also dependent on the location where the surname was formed. Some names have prefixes, showing a specific characteristic of an ancestor. The prefix “Papa-“ means that an ancestor was a priest, so for example, Papakostas means the son of Kostas, the priest. “Hadji-“ signifies that an ancestor had made a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands (Jerusalem for Christians). There are also suffixes for the Greek surnames, usually showing the region where the ancestor lived when given that surname. So, a surname ending in “-akis” usually means the person was originally from Crete or the Aegean islands.