Hippolytus, Hippolyte

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek ‘Ιππολυτος
Meaning: “freer of horses.”
Eng (hip-PAHL-ih-tus); Eng Fem (HIP-poh-LY-tee; hi-PAHL-i-tah) Fre (EEP-poh-LEET)

The name is derived from the Greek, Hippolytos (‘Ιππολυτος), which is composed of the elements, hippos (‘ιππος), meaning, “horse” and lyo (λυω) meaning, “to loosen.”

The name was borne in Greek mythology by a son of Theseus, and depending on some sources either the Amazon, Hippolyte (hence the name) or Antiope. He rejected the advances of his step-mother, Phaedra, who, when spurned, complained to Theseus that his son had raped her. In anger, Theseus cursed his own son, using of the his three wishes granted by Poseidon, Hippolytus was dragged to death by his horses after being frightened by a sea-monster. The story was retold both by Euripides in his play Hippolytus and by Seneca the Younger in his play, Phaedra.

His possible birth mother of Hippolyte was an Amazonian queen who possessed a magical girdle which denoted her rank. She appears in the legend of Hercules who seeks her girdle for the princess, Admeta. Hippolyte is so impressed with the immortal’s prowess that she gives Hercules her girdle as a gift. William Shakespeare may have based his character of Hippolyta who appears in A Midsummer’s Night Dream off of Hippolyte the Amazon queen.

The male form of Hippolytus appears several more times throughout Greek mythology as the name of minor characters.

It was also borne by some early renowned Christian saints, including Hippolytus of Rome a 3rd-century Christian theologian, writer and martyr.

In English and early Greek, Hippolyte often appears as a feminine form, but in French, it is an epicène name, that is a unisex name, however, it is more often used on males than on females. As of 2009, Hippolyte was the 286th most popular male name in France.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ipolit Иполит (Bulgarian/Serbian)
  • Hipòlit (Catalan)
  • Hipolit (Croatian/Polish/Romanian/Slovak)
  • Hippolyt (Czech/German)
  • Hippolytus (Dutch/English/Latin)
  • Hippolyte (French)
  • Ipolite იპოლიტე (Georgian)
  • Hippolütosz (Hungarian)
  • Ippolito (Italian)
  • Hipolitas (Lithuanian)
  • Hipólito (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Ippolit Ипполит (Romansch/Russian/Ukrainian)
  • ‘Ipołito (Venetian)
Feminine forms include:
  • Hipolita Хиполита (Albanian/Bulgarian/Serbian)
  • Ipalita Іпаліта (Belarusian)
  • Hipòlita (Catalan)
  • Hippolyta ‘Ιππολυτη (English/Greek/Latin/Romanian)
  • Hippolyte ‘Ιππολυτη (English/French/Greek)
  • Hippolüté (Hungarian)
  • Ippolita Ипполи́та (Italian/Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Hipolitė (Lithuanian)
  • Hippolita (Polish)
  • Hipólita (Portuguese/Spanish)


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Arabic  جواد
Meaning: “steed; generous.”

The name is from the Arabic meaning, “steed” or “generous.”

As of 2009, Jawad was the 429th most popular male name in France.


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “blonde horse; yellow horse.”
Eng (ZAN-thip-PEE)

The name is composed of the Greek elements, ξανθος (xanthos), meaning, “blonde; yellow” and ‘ιππος (hippos), “horse.”

The name was most notably borne by the wife of Socrates, of whom, Socrates wrote both quite fondly and also rather harshly about.

Other forms of the name include:

Xantippa (Czech/Swedish)
Xantippe (Danish/Norwegian)
Xanthippe (Dutch/English/French/German/Greek)
Santippe (Italian)
Ksantypa (Polish)
Xântipe (Portuguese)
Xantipa (Romanian)
Ksantippa Ксантиппа (Russian)
Jantipa (Spanish)

Note, the above forms are rare outside of Greece and mostly appear in an historical context.

A masculine form is Xanthippos Ξανθιππος.

The designated name-day in Greece is September 23.


  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/xanthippe


Gender: Female
Origin: French
Meaning “great mare.”
Pronunciation French (AY-po-NEEN); English (EP-eh-NEEN)

The name is derived from the name of the Ancient Gaulic goddess, Epona.

A goddess associated with fertility, Epona was known as the patroness of horses, donkeys, and mules. She was the only Celtic diety whose worship became popular among Romans, who delegated her as protectress and controller of calvary and chariots. Remnants of her devotion are found all throughout central Europe. One famous artifact is an inscription written by a Syrian, which goes as follows

Eponina ‘dear little Epona’: she is Atanta, horse-goddess Potia ‘powerful Mistress’, Dibonia, Catona ‘of battle’, noble and good Vovesia.” (1st-Century BC). Rom, Dieux-Sievres, France.

Along with the inscription were found remnants of a cauldron and a sacrificed horse.

Though a popular minor divinity among the Romans, it is now believed that the Celts revered her as a powerful, central figure to their religion. Her story as told by the Celts, is lost to history, but Plutach came up with an interesting allegory regarding the goddess’ beginnings:

reports out of Agesilaus, his third book of Italian matters, that Fulvius Stella loathing the company of a woman, coupled himself with a mare, of whom he begot a very beautiful maiden-child, and she was called by a fit name, Epona…

The name Epona is derived from the Gaulic elements of ekwos, meaning “horse.” Equus is thought to be derived from this, and the term pony is said to be derived from the goddess’ name.

Eponina was an endearing latinized form used to invoke the goddess by devotees.

The horse was a central figure to ancient Celtic religions. There are carvings and paintings of horses found throughout France and the British Isles, thought to have been made by the Celts.

The famed chalk horse of Uffington, England has been associated with an Epona-like diety by scholars and archeologists. It is believed that Epona is related to the Welsh horse goddess, Rhiannon.

In more recent history, Éponine was used by Victor Hugo for his 1862 novel Les Miserables.

Variations of this name include the more pure and ancient form of Epona, the more latinate form of Eponina, and the sweetly feminine and romantic French form of Éponine.

The most popular French nickname for this is Ponette which also happens to be a French term used for a young, female pony.

Ponette was the name of the title character of the 1996 French film by Jacques Doillon.

Other nicknames include, Eppie, Pony, Poe, Nina, & Ninette.