LearnLatinwith Us!

Start Learning

Latin Language Blog

Interesting ancient Roman Names Posted by on May 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Some people associate Latin names as being dignified and belonging to an aristocratic class. However that’s not always the case. There are quite a few funny and interesting Latin names that are bound to make anyone giggle.

For example there’s the name ‘Ahala’ and it means ‘armpit’. [Commonly used in the Servilia Clan]

Flaccus = floppy ears. [feminine form would be Flacca]

Arvina = fat, lard [Commonly used in the Cornelia Clan]

Varro = block head

Bibulus = drunkard [feminine form = Bibula] [Calpurnia Clan]

Aculeo = prickly, unfriendly.

Verres = pig

Brutus = dim or dull witted. [feminine form = Bruta] [Lunia Clan]

Bucco = fool

Rullus = boorish, uncultured. [Servilia Clan]

There are also some Latin names that indicate what the ancestor’s occupation may have been before the family entered patrician status:

Caepio = onion seller. [Servilia Clan]

Bubulcus = cattle driver. [feminine = Bubulca]

Figulus = potter [feminine = figula]

Natta = artisan [Pinaria Clan]

Pictor = painter [female form = Pictrix]

Salinator = salt harvester [feminine = Salinatrix] [Livia Clan]

Asellio = donkey keeper [commonly used in the Sempronia Clan]

Then there are some names that aren’t necessarily bad in meaning, but quite bizarre:

Agrippa = born feet first [Menenia Clan]

Camillus = child who helps during sacrifices. [feminine = Camilla] [Furia Clan]

Culleo = leather sack. Note: this leather sack was used to carry liquid and was used for drinking water when traveling. [Terentia Clan]

Vespillo = burial person/gravedigger. Note: this refers to the people who buried corpses from families who were too poor to pay for a funeral. In ancient Rome, funerals were grand events that were expensive. Those who couldn’t afford to pay for a funeral just hired a simple burial person/gravedigger to bury their dead.


Share this:
Pin it