Greek Americans might only make up a small percentage of the American population, but they have made their presence known! From delicious foods to spreading knowledge of their history to the general way of life that can only be from the Mediterranean, the Greeks have imbued the States with a zest for life. If baby’s one of the lucky few to have those vibrant Greek roots, then a Greek American baby girl, boy, or gender-neutral name will have them dancing those thousands-year-old dances from day one.
Explore Baby Girl and Boy Names for Greek American Heritage Month
How many Greek Americans are there?
If you’re a resident of the United States, you’ve likely met a person or two with Greek heritage. The United States actually holds the title of the country with the highest number of Greek immigrants. Approximately three million American residents, that are now primarily third- or fourth-generation, can trace their lineage back to the famed Greek islands. This is all thanks to the mass emigration in the 1880s that brought thousands of Europeans over to the land of opportunity.
What does Greek culture look like in the United States?
Greek Americans are responsible for bringing the art, tastes, and traditions of the Mediterranean across oceans to land safely in these amber waves of grain. Naming traditions are certainly one of the ones that made it, with firstborns often taking the paternal grandfather’s name or the maternal grandmother’s. After names are established, then comes the role family and food plays in the life of a Greek American; from your cousins feeling like siblings to always having packed lunches at school, the Greeks have kept their identity strong no matter where they are.
What brought the Greeks to America?
The short and simple answer is work. America was brimming with all sorts of opportunities, but most importantly, it provided different types of labor work that couldn’t be found in Greece at the time. So, through the time period known as the Great Migration from Europe in the 1880s, young people were leaving the crystal waters behind in favor of the manual labor boom. From the years of 1890 to 1921, 421,000 Greeks emigrated. Like a large number of European immigrants, the Greeks settled mostly around the east coast of America.