Having already done posts on Roman girls’ names and Greek names for both boys and girls, I’ve decided it’s time to write something about masculine Roman names. Admittedly, I’ve had greater difficulty deriving suitable nicknames from the male names than from the female names, and Roman names seem to have fewer possible short-forms than Greek names. Another complication regarding masculine Roman names is that they tend not to translate exactly into English; Hadrian, Lucian, and Cyprian are all far more likely to be used than Hadrianus, Lucianus, and Cyprianus. Others, like Cassius and Titus, are generally popular but don’t have much in the way of nickname potential. Finally, certain Roman names probably aren’t suitable for children at all. Vespasian, lovely as it sounds, is problematic because his cognates tend to mean “urinal” in several Romance languages (apparently Emperor Vespasian instituted some sort of urine collection tax). I’d also avoid names like Nero and Caligula.
However, there are plenty of good, strong Roman names that are definitely usable! Here are some of them and their possible nicknames.
Cyprian/Cyprianus: Kip, Ryan, Ian, Cyrus, Priam
Hadrian/Hadrianus: Harry, Adrian, Ryan, Add
Severus: Sev, Seb, Ever, Russ
Horatius: Horatio, Ratio, Horace. If you’re into Egyptian mythology, how about Horus?
Gordian/Gordianus: Gordon, Gordy, Ian
Augustus: August, Augie, Gus
Maximus: Max, Axle, Maxim
Florianus: Florian, Ryan, Laurie
Cassian/Cassianus: Sean, Cass, Ian
Lucian/Lucianus: Luke, Lucky, Ian
Antonius/Antony/Anthony: Anton, Tony
Albanus: Alban, Al
Albus: Al, Albie
Caius/Gaius: Cai, Kai
Spartacus: Art, Artie