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What does Basil mean?

Basil Pronunciation of Basil as a boys' name is pronounced BAZ-el. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Basil is "royal, kingly". From the Greek name Basileios, derived from "basileus", meaning "king". Saint Basil (fourth century) of Caesarea was called "the Great" and regarded as one of the Fathers of the Eastern Church. Also the name of several early saints martyred in the East. Brought to England by the Crusaders, having been common in the eastern Mediterranean. More often used in Britain and Europe than in America. Also the name of a common herb. In Arabic, the name means "brave". British actor Basil Rathbone played Sherlock Holmes in 14 films in the 1940s.


ASSOCIATED WITH greek, great, herb (tree), arabic, brave


VARIANTS Basile, Basilic, Basilides, Basileios, Basilie, Basilio, Basilius, Bazeel, Bazeelius, Bazil, Bazyli, Vasile, Vasileos, Vasili, Vasilije, Vasilios, Vasilis, Vasilius, Vasilus, Vasily, Vassilij, Vassily, Wassily

FEMININE FORMS Basilia, Vasilia

(male) Barsil, ..

(female) Bati, ..

Basil Cian (B.C.), ..

How popular is Basil?

Basil is a somewhat prominent first name for males (#668 out of 1220, Top 55%) and an even more prominent last name for all people (#13717 out of 150436, Top 9%). (2000 U.S. CENSUS)

Basil reached its apex rank of #366 in the U.S. in the 1910s, but is not in the Top 1000 at the moment. (2018 BIRTH STATISTICS)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Basil name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Basil outside U.S.

Which version is better?

Basilio and Vasilios are the popular variation forms of Basil ranked in the Top 2000. Adoption of these forms of Basil reached its most widespread during the years 1910-1919, but now, the version Basil has become less fashionable.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Basil, Basilio, Vasilios in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Basil and related baby names outside U.S.

Similar Names

Recommended sound-alike names are Bail, Baily, Bain, Bari, Baris, Basim, Brasil, Brazil, Danil, Fadil, Fazil, Gail, Galil, Hamil, Jalil, Jamil, Kahil, Kail, Kalil, Kamil, Nabil, Sahil, Sail, Savil and Vail. These names tend to be less commonly used than Basil.

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in meaning and etymology.