Eng (LIE-nus); Germ (LEE-nuws); Swe (LEE-nus)
The name is either derived from the Greek verb ailinon meaning “to whine; complain” or it could be from the Greek Λινος (linos) meaning “flax.” In the latter case, the Lithuanian male name, Linas, would share the same etymology. It was also a Roman cognomen, which may have been derived from the Greek.
In Greek mythology, the name was borne by a son of Apollo, who in some legends was accidentally killed by his own father and in other legends was the music teacher of Hercules.
The name was also borne by the 2nd pope and saint who succeeded St. Peter.
In the English-speaking world, the name is often associated with the Charles Schulz character who appears in the Peanuts Comic strips.
The name was fairly common in 19th-century America and Britain, being borne by Linus Bacon Comins (1817-1892), a Massachusetts politician, Linus Yale, Jr. (1821-1868) a mechanical engineer, Linus Pauling (1901-1994) a famous American chemist and British actor, Linus Roache (b.1964)
Currently, Linus is the 30th most popular male name in Germany, (2011). His rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 44 (Sweden, 2010)
- # 53 (Norway, 2010)
Other forms of the name include:
- Llinu (Asturian)
- Lin Лін Лин (Belarusian/Breton/Bulgarian/French/Piedmontese/Russian/Serbian/Slovene/Ukrainian)
- Lli (Catalan)
- Lino (Croatian/Galician/Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
- Linus (Danish/Dutch/English/Estonian/Finnish/French/German/Hungarian/Norwegian/Polish/Romanian/Swedish)
- Líneas (Gaelic)
- Linusi ლინუსი (Georgian)
- Linos Λινος (Greek)
- Línus (Icelandic)
- Lins (Latvian)
- Linas (Lithuanian)