Skip to main content

Basil (m) & Basilia (f)

Today's name: Basil (male) and Basilia (female)
Pronunciation: Basil: BAY-zil or BAZ-ill, Basilia: bah-ZIL-ee-ah or bah-ZEEL-ya

Potential nicknames: Bay, Bas/Baz, Basie, Zilla

Origin: (1) Basil is Greek, from the name Basileios, meaning "royal, kingly." Basil first appeared during the Hellenistic period. The words basilica and basilisk derive from the same word. Basilia is the female form of Basil, meaning the same thing. Basilia was common in the Middle Ages. Basil was common in the eastern Mediterranean before it was brought to England by the Crusaders. (2) In Arabic, Basil means "brave."

The male name Basil has several variant forms, some more common than others: Breasal, Basek, Bazel, Basle, Basul, Basile, Basilic, Basilides, Basileios, Basilie, Basilio, Basilius, Bazeel, Bazeelius, Bazil, Bazyli, Vasil, Vazul, Vasile, Vasileos, Vasili, Vasilije, Vasilios, Vasilis, Vasilius, Vasilus, Vasily, Vassilij, Vassily, and Wassily.

The girl's name Basilia also has a handful of variant forms: Baseele, Baseelia, Baseelle, Bazeele, Bazeelia, Bazeelle, Basile, Basilie, Basille, Bazile, Bazille, and Bazilla.

Popularity: In 2010 there were only 46 baby boys named Basil and 11 baby girls named Basil, while there were no baby girls named Basilia. Basil was very popular between 1880 and 1910. In 2011 there were 7 baby girls named Basil even though nature names continued to rise in popularity. Again, there were no babies named Basilia in 2011, but there were 44 boys named Basil.

Fun fact: (1) Saint Basil from the fourth century was from Caesarea, also known as Basil the Great, shares his name with several early saints that were martyred in the east. There were also a handful of Byzantine rulers with the name Basil, as well as some Italian generals. There were also a few Saint Basilla's, female, from varied times. (2) Basil is the name of an herb, which when dried becomes a spice. (3) Early Sherlock Holmes star Basil Rathbone. (4) There is a book titled "Basil" by Wilke Collins. (5) Basil is the name of "The Great Mouse Detective," an animated movie.

A wonderful tale of Saint Basil, from
"One day, in 620, when Attila, count of Champagne, was out hunting, he came to Verzy, where stood the monastery of St. Basil.. A wild boar, chased by the dogs, ran for refuge to the saint, who was sitting in the sun outside his cell; and Basil covered the terrified beast with his cloak. The dogs came up, but were at a standstill, not knowing what to do. Presently the count came to the spot, and recognizing in this incident the finger of God, gave St. Basil a large part of the forest, a part of Bouzy, and the town of Sept-Saulx."—Mgr. GuĂ©rin, Vies des Saints, vol. xiii. p. 603. (E.C. Brewer)



  1. Basil Fawlty is my immediate reaction to the name, from the highly-popular yet no longer running hotel-based sitcom Fawlty Towers. His wife used to shriek his name at least once per episode.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Witchy Baby Girl Names!

Circe Invidiosa by John William Waterhouse
Have a little girl due in October? Looking to name a character? Here's my [seemingly endless] list of witchy-sounding baby names. Most of them also fit in the "clunky but cool" category, or "vintage." Most plants, trees, herbs, spices, flowers, gems, space and nature names fit the bill, because in stories and current practice these things are useful to witches. I've put any actual witch names from legend, myth, literature, movies, etc in bold and up front. I have not considered the names of actual, living people or their Pagan names, and I've left out any characters that only have a surname, or truly ridiculous given names. In the second half you'll see a list of names that, to my knowledge, have not been used for witch characters. Please know that this is not a complete list. Wikipedia has an almost complete list you can view here.
Tabitha, Samantha, Endora, Clara, Serena (Bewitched)
Katrina(Katrina Crane, …

Norway's Top 10 Baby Names

Taken from Statistics Norway. I have no clue how/why there are multiple spellings, but I'm assuming they group spellings for each name and then rank them, unlike the U.S. that goes by individual spelling.

2015 Stats
1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sahra/Sarah
4. Sophie/Sofie
5. Olivia
6. Sophia/Sofia
7. Emilie
8. Ella
9. Lea/Leah
10. Maja/Maia/Maya

1. William
2. Mathias/Matias
3. Oliver
4. Jakob/Jacob
5. Lukas/Lucas
6. Filip/Fillip, Philip/Phillip
7. Liam
8. Axel/Aksel
9. Emil
10. Oskar/Oscar


1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sarah/Sahra
4. Sofie/Sophie
5. Linnea/Linea
6. Thea/Tea
7. Maya/Maia/Maja
8. Emilie
9. Ingrid/Ingri
10. Julie

1. Emil
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Mathias/Matias
4. William
5. Magnus
6. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip
7. Oliver
8. Markus/Marcus
9. Noa/Noah
10. Tobias


Here's one of my personal favorites, although I'm surprised I still like it after seeing Forrest Gump so often (thanks, Dad). In fact, the name peaked in popularity for the second time the year the movie was released, jumping to number #217 in 1994. Now he's on the move yet again, rising to 132 boys given the name in 2015 from a low dip to 47 in 2006. To be clear, Forest is the word spelling and Forrest the name spelling, and Forrest remains a much more popular choice with 387 boys given the name in 2015, ranking at #659. Forrest also had a dip in 2006 with only 147 births, disappearing from the charts between 2003 and 2013, and it also peaked in 1994 with 1,343 boys born, rising to #217. Historically both spelling options have been very popular.

Forest doesn't have an obvious nickname, but it's one of those names you enjoy saying without having to shorten it. Forest is Old French, meaning "woods." A famous namesake is St. John Forest of the 16th century…