Boy Baby Name

Ulysses

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Quick Facts on Ulysses

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, Latin
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • N/A
Pronunciation:
yoo-LIS-eez
Simple meaning:
Hateful, wrathful

Characteristics of Ulysses

  • Communicative
  • Creative
  • Optimistic
  • Popular
  • Social
  • Dramatic
  • Happy

Etymology & Historical Origin - Ulysses

Ulysses is the Latin form of the Greek Odysseus, the mythological hero central to Homer’s epic poem the “Odyssey” (written in the 8th century B.C.). The Odyssey tells the story of Odysseus’ ten year journey back to his kingdom in Ithaca, Greece after the Trojan War. In Roman mythology, the name Ulysses (Latin form) is used for Odysseus (Greek form). There is some debate as to the meaning of Odysseus. The most common school of thought among etymologists is that Odysseus is derived from the Greek verb “odyssesthai” meaning “to hate” (such as, the one who is wrathful/hated, perhaps in reference to Odysses’ shrewdness, strength and vigor during the ten-year Trojan War and the ten-year period following his Odyssey back to Ithaca). The ancient Etruscan (Italian) tribe adopted the Greek story and the name Odysseus eventually morphed into Ulixes and finally Ulysses in Latin (and later Ulises in Spanish). In Greek tradition, Odysseus/Ulysses was admired for his shrewdness, trickery and deception, but for the Romans, who were obsessed with ideals of honor; these qualities didn’t sit so well. Still, Odysseus/Ulysses was a brave and tenacious warrior on the side of the Greeks. It was Odysseus who brilliantly devised the wooden horse strategy to get inside the gates of Troy and finally defeat the Trojans and win the war (Homer’s “Iliad”). However, it’s the “Odyssey” which more fully develops the character of Odysseus during his ten year journey to return back to Ithaca and to his wife Penelope and their son Telemachus. For more detail on all the challenging and often perilous adventures experienced by Odysseus/Ulysses according to Greek tradition, see literary references below. Roman poet Virgil wrote the “Aeneid” in the first century B.C. to detail the arrival of the Trojan hero Aeneus in Italy following the end of the Trojan War and the sack of Troy (Aeneus is the legendary ancestor of the Romans according to Virgil). Ulysses also appears in this Latin literary masterpiece, but unlike the Greeks who glorified their heroic Odysseus, Virgil portrayed Ulysses as a “wrathful”, self-indulgent and sinister Greek. According to tradition, Ulysses is also considered the founder of Lisbon, Portugal.

Popularity of the Name Ulysses

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Popularity of the Boy Name Ulysses
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Ulysses

  • Historic Figures

    Ulysses - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Ulysses S. Grant (27 Apr 1822 – 23 Jul 1885) - If there was such a thing as paparazzi in 1869, then Grant would have been their star celebrity. Seriously, this man was the most popular person in America (well, at least in the North). Elected at the age of 46, Ulysses S. Grant was then the youngest President to achieve office at the time (he served between 1869 and 1877). Although he did not receive the White majority vote, it was the voting freed Blacks who helped put him into office (12% of the popular vote). As General of the Army, Grant played one of the most dominant roles in the Civil War (after Lincoln, of course) and was the ultimate war hero. Fiercely loyal, this military man was also known to be shy, humble and modest. His presidency was marked by ongoing problems with Reconstruction. The North wanted to punish the South and the South wanted to punish the Blacks. He had naive faith in his subordinates, but this was politics after all and not war. Scandals and corruption ruled over his commands. Known as the "well-intentioned" president, most of his efforts failed. But he was for equality and he did a lot to protect Black people in the south. Ulysses is actually the Latin equivalent of the Greek Odysseus (the mythological hero of Homer's Odyssey) meaning "the one who is wrathful or hated". But here's a little known fact for you: Grant's birth name was actually Hiram Ulysses Grant (Hiram is from the Hebrew meaning "exalted brother"). So where does the middle initial S come from? Grant's mother's maiden name was Simpson, so by adopting Ulysses as his first name and Simpson as his middle name, he effectively gave himself the initials U.S.

Personality of the Boy Name Ulysses

The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.

Variations of the Baby Name - Ulysses

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