[ 3 syll. a-do-nis, ad-on-is ] The baby boy name Adonis is sometimes used as a girl name. It is pronounced in English as ah-DAA-NahS or ah-DOW-NahS †. Adonis is used predominantly in the English, Greek, and Spanish languages, and its origin is Phoenician. It is derived from the element 'adon' meaning lord, ruler. Adonai (Semitic) is an original form of Adonis. Adonis was the handsome youth who became the lover of Aphrodite in Greek mythology; he died while hunting and was allowed by Zeus to be reborn year after year. The Greeks borrowed the character from older Semitic traditions; Adonai was a Semitic term of addressing a god. The name in later centuries became popular among English poets, appearing as the name of a character in Edmund Spenser's epic poem The Faerie Queene (1590,1596) which was written in praise of Queen Elizabeth I. A variant form of the name was used by Percy Bysshe Shelley for the title of his pastoral elegy Adonais (1821), written for John Keats. The Arabic poet Ali Ahmed Said (1930-) also adopted Adonis as a pen-name. In the USA, the name is pronounced with a short 'o' while in the UK, it is often pronounced with a long 'o'. The name Adonia (Greek) is the female version of Adonis.
Adonis is somewhat popular as a baby name for boys. The name's popularity has been growing since the 1990s; before that, it was of infrequent use only. Its usage peaked modestly in 2012 with 0.018% of baby boys being given the name Adonis. Its ranking then was #636. In 2015, its usage was 0.018% and its ranking #702, and it was the most popular among all boy names in its group. Adonis has predominantly been a baby boy name in the past century.
† Pronunciation for Adonis: AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; D as in "day (D.EY)" ; AA as in "odd (AA.D)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; OW as in "oak (OW.K)" ; S as in "see (S.IY)"