What's in a name?

My full name is Stylianos Evangelos Passaris, and I'm not going to give you a pronounciation guide. Obviously, it's a Greek name, and that'll be because my father is Greek. My family follow the tradition that the eldest son of the eldest son carries on the name, and thus I am named after my paternal grandfather (may he rest in peace). He was called Stylianos, since he was the youngest child. You could have called him the 'runt of the litter', although that doesn't sound very complimentary. He was therefore named Stylianos because Saint Stylianos is the patron saint of children. The belief is that if you call the child after the saint, he will help the child and save him from an untimely death. In his case, this worked, and I am here to bear testament to this and carry on his name.

Stylianos means, literally, 'pillar of faith' or 'upholder of the customs', or possibly 'law abider', stylos meaning column and nous meaning law or custom. Stylianos is often shortened to Stelios (or Stelio in English). My friends often shorten that further to Stel.

Evangelos means 'good messenger' or 'blessed angel', where angelos (messenger or angel) is augmented with the prefix eu- meaning good. My father and great-grandfather are both called Evangelos. This is often shortened to Evan - not to be confused with the Welsh name.

Passaris is a unique family name with a little bit of history behind it... The small island of Kastellorizon (aka Castelrosso; aka Megiste) lies to the far south east of Greece. From its shores you can see the coast of Turkey. Being an island, boats are an important part of life there. One ship's captain (read smuggler), by the name of Barbayanni, lost his pasarello in a storm one night. Now the other guys, of course, made fun of him for his misfortune, and over time the nickname they gave him evolved into the surname, Passaris. There are various branches of the family around the world, but ultimately all of the Passaris family decend from this one man.

Well, that's my name sorted, and a bit of family history for you. What more could you possibly ask for?

Main Page