"Greek Personal Names" - Updated version of 1962 CIA document

Fredonia - State University of New York (SUNY) has published an updated version of the 1962 document by the Central Intelligence Agency on "GREEK PERSONAL NAMES".  This document is available online in PDF format.

Greek personal names. Edited and updated document on Greek personal names originally produced by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1962. The updated version by Anastasia Parianou has taken into consideration the changes of the 90s in the Greek language. Topics include: the Greek Language (number of speakers, description, writing, pronunciation, and transliteration), Greek Personal Names (carding, structure, surnames, given names, and titles). There are eight Appendixes: Transliteration Tables for Greek, Russian, and English, Pronunciation, Surnames, Given Names, Titles, and Bibliography.

Editor's Introduction:  Greek Personal Names
During the Cold War in the 1960s, the United States Central Intelligence Agency prepared documents on onomastic aspects of personal names for over 30 languages. Languages range from those we have heard about such as German, Russian, and Chinese to those that are not familiar such as Gujerati, Hausa, and Telegu. The number of speakers of these languages ranges from Estonian (1.35 million) to Chinese (610 million). The reports range in length from Slovenian (14 pages) to Russian (433 pages). The median number of pages is 46. While the documents vary, they each have much onomastic value. Most have sections dealing with: some background on naming in the language, style of name use, pronunciation, transliteration, given names, family names (where applicable), and the use of titles. Some reports give the meanings of names. Many reports list special features of the language such as laws on naming, patronymics, and rules for women's names. This report is one of the projected series.

The paper on Greek names released by the CIA is a fascinating document for those interested in the Greek language and Greek names. However, as we prepared the CIA document, it became immediately apparent that the Greek language had greatly changed from the time the original report had been prepared in the 1960s. It was very fortunate that Professor Anastasia Parianou came forward to update the original.

Download the paper in PDF format here.


  1. PDF download is outdated link? Error message received: Page not found: The requested page "/faculty/emeritus/edwinlawson/GreekNames/Greek_10-22-09_Final.pdf" could not be found.


Post a Comment