Eleftheria

Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “free”
(eh-lehf-THEH-ree-ah).
Eleftheria comes directly from the Greek word Ελευθερία meaning “free.” Since its the 4th of July weekend, I thought I’d talk about this common Greek female name. Eleftheria might be a nice yet subtle way to express one’s patriotism. Though perhaps a bit out there for a child of non Greek descent, it would still make a great option for one who is Greek American and is proud to call themselves a member of both cultures. Interestingly enough, eleftheria i thanatos (Ελευθερία ή θάνατος) is the motto for the Greek nation. It came about during the Greek war of Independence way back in the 1820s, when Greece was trying to defect from the clutches of the Ottoman Empire. The name has been in usage in Greece for a long time, long before the word became attached to the motto. It was latinized by the Romans as Eleutherius (the masculine form: Eleftherios) and Eleutheria. In fact, it was born by an early pope and several early saints. It is used in Spanish speaking countries as Eleuterio and Eleuteria. If we go further back in history, we find that Eleftheria was sometimes personified as a sort of symbol of freedom, it was also used as in epithet for the goddess Artemis. In modern day Greece it is born by a famous pop singer, Eleuftheria Avarnitaki (b. 1957).