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Apollo Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Apollo, including its meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Apollo Overview

  • Meaning: Apollo means “destroyer,” “sun god,” and “prophecy.”
  • Gender: Apollo is intended as a first name for boys.
  • Origin: Apollo is a Greco-Roman name originally based on Apollo, the Greek god of the sun.
  • Pronunciation: “uh-PAUW-loh”
  • Popularity: Currently, Apollo is very popular and ranked 73rd among boys’ names in the U.S.
  • Nicknames: Apo, Appie, Appy, Lo, LoLo, Marco, Olly, Paolo, Paul, Paulie, Pollo, Polo.
  • Variations: Apollon, Apollinaris, Apollonios, Apolinar, Apolleaux, Apollinario, Apolline, Apollos, Apolo, Apolonio, Appollo, Appolo, Appolonio.
  • Namesakes: Apollo M. O. Smith, aerodynamics pioneer at Douglas Aircraft from 1938 to 1975. Apollo Kironde, first ambassador to the UN from Uganda.

What Does Apollo Mean?

The name Apollo means “god of sunlight” and “prophecy” in Greek, referring to the Greek god of the sun, also known as “the god of everything.” It also refers to a type of asteroid that reaches beyond the orbit of the Earth.

Apollo means “destroyer,” when derived from the Greek “apollymi,” which means “to destroy.” Apollo more loosely refers to any “handsome young man.”

Apollo traces back to the Indo-European “apelo,” meaning “strength.” It’s linked to Apellaios, a festival celebrated over a month in honor of the Greek god Apollo. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato associated Apollo with the Greek “apolysis,” which means “redemption.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Apollo?

The name Apollo derives from Greek and Roman mythology, where it is associated with the sun god Apollo. Apollo is the god of archery, music, poetry, dance, truth, prophecy, healing, and diseases. For this reason, he’s known as “the god of everything” and is also called the “father of light” in Greece.

Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto and the twin brother of Artemis. Apollo was once known as the ancient Apulana, “god of the gate” and “protector patron.”

How Popular Is the Name Apollo?

Apollo has become very popular in the last few years, when it ranked 388th among boys in the U.S. It’s appeared on the name list in the U.S. since 2012. It’s also in the top 1,000 names in England and is often used for dogs and cats. Apollo ranked within the top 40 U.S. pet names only a few years ago.

How Do I Pronounce Apollo?

Apollo is pronounced “uh-PAA-Low.”

Is Apollo a Boy or Girl Name?

Apollo is primarily used for boys as a first name.

Variations of Apollo

Some other variants for Apollo appear as follows:

  • Apolinar (Latin)
  • Apolleaux (French)
  • Apollinario (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Apollinaris (German)
  • Apolline (Greek)
  • Apollon (Greek)
  • Apollonios (Greek)
  • Apollonius (German)
  • Apollos (Greek)
  • Apolo (Italian)
  • Apolonio (Italian)
  • Appollo (Greek)
  • Appolo (Greek)
  • Appolonio (Spanish, Portuguese)

Nicknames for Apollo

There are plenty of cool options when you’re looking for the best nicknames for Apollo.

  • Apo
  • Appie
  • Appy
  • Lo
  • LoLo
  • Marco
  • Olly
  • Paolo
  • Paul
  • Paulie
  • Pollo
  • Polo

Similar Names to Apollo

You can find many similar names to Apollo, whether they’re Greek gods or not.

Middle Names for Apollo

Apollo fits beautifully when paired with these cute middle names.

Sibling Names for Apollo

The ideal pair of brothers or brother and sister will adore these Apollo-approved sibling names.

Famous People Named Apollo

These Apollos made their mark in history among entertainers, athletes, and political figures.

  • Apollo Crews: American WWE wrestler.
  • Apollo Korzeniowski: Polish poet and father of novelist Joseph Conrad.
  • Apollo Papathanasiou: Greek-Swedish heavy metal vocalist.
  • Apollo Quiboloy: Filipino pastor and church leader.
  • Apollo Robbins: American sleight-of-hand artist.
  • Apollo Soucek: Vice Admiral in the United States Navy.
  • Apollo the Shepherd: Egyptian Christian monk.

Apollo In Popular Culture

Apollo isn’t just for boys since it has appeared in pop culture, science, and the animal world.

  • Apollo: Album by the group Nebula.
  • Apollo: Alien in the “Star Trek” episode “Who Mourns for Adonais?”.
  • Apollo: 1970s American R&B group with Motown Records.
  • Apollo: British arts magazine.
  • Apollo: Marvel comic book character.
  • Apollo: Marble sculpture by Michaelangelo.
  • Apollo: Character in “Saint Seiya,” Masami Kurumada’s manga.
  • Apollo: Character in the “Zatch Bell!” anime/manga series.
  • Apollo: Character in the kids TV series “Pajanimals.”
  • Apollo: Song title for Switzerland’s entry into the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.
  • Apollo Candy: Fictional candy bar in the “Lost” TV series.
  • Apollo Creed: Character in the “Rocky” film franchise played by Carl Weathers.
  • Apollo Gauntlet: American animated series on Adult Swim.
  • Apollo Justice: Video game character in Capcom’s Ace Attorney.
  • Apollo Records: American music label.
  • Captain Apollo: Character in the first “Battlestar Galactica” series.
  • Project Apollo: U.S. NASA space program in charge of the moon mission from 1968 to 1972.
  • The Apollo Theater: Iconic performance space in Harlem, New York City.

Apollo FAQs

Find out more facts about the boy’s name, Apollo, here.

What Is Apollo the God Of?

In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo is best recognized as the god of the sun. In addition, he’s known as the god of archery, poetry, music, dance, truth, healing, and diseases. Apollo oversees light and is associated with the Delphic Oracle, so he has powers of prophecy. He’s also called the “father of light” and the “destroyer.” His arrows have healing powers and the ability to destroy his enemies.

Is Apollo a Biblical Name?

Apollo isn’t a direct character in the Bible. However, Apollos is a 1st-century Alexandrian Jewish Christian who appears in the New Testament. Like Paul the apostle, Apollos played a significant role in the growth of the early Christian church. He helped develop some of the first churches in Ephesus and Corinth.

What Is the Spiritual Meaning of Apollo?

Spiritually, Apollo is called the “god of divine distance.” He helps humans become aware of their own guilt and transcend it through purification. Apollo is in charge of both religious law and city constitutions.

Because he’s linked to prophecy, Apollo can express Zeus’ desires for man by directly communicating with mortals. A baby boy named Apollo carries these extra special meanings wherever life takes him.

Who Has a Son Named Apollo?

No Doubt singer and actress Gwen Stefani and musician Gavin Rossdale named their son Apollo Rossdale. He was born in 2014 and is the youngest of three sons. It turns out that naming her son Apollo proved challenging when he went off to school. Regardless, Apollo is a powerful way to make a statement for a boy with a unique name.

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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.