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Silas is one of those names that has two very different meanings—it can be considered a shortened version of the name Sylvanus, a Roman god of the forests and trees (with the meaning “forest”), or Silas can also be derived from the Biblical word meaning “three” or “the third”—and the name of an early Christian missionary.

But when most people think of Silas, they likely think of the George Eliot’s classic novel Silas Marner, about a weaver who overcomes a series of setbacks and tragedies to live a joyful life. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel chose Silas for their son’s name, and it was the son of drug dealer Nancy in the show Weeds and the albino monk in the novel and movie The DaVinci Code.

If you’re looking for similarly saintly name, consider some of these options: Vincent, Crispin, Cyril, Isaac, Blaise, Basil, Ambrose, Clement, Elias, Justin, Linus, and Simon. Baby names with nature and forest meanings that you could consider include Forrest, Elwood, Roscoe, Silvian, Silvio, and Sylvester.

Silas was a popular boys’ name in the 1880s, then slowly declined to just inside the top 1000 baby names during the 1970s and 1980s, before a steep road back to popularity. Now it’s just inside the top 100 baby names for boys—and a perfect pick for your son.

Silas in quotes:

“Perfect love has a breath of poetry which can exalt the relations of the least-instructed human beings.” —George Eliot, Silas Marner

“Love once, love always.” —George Eliot, Silas Marner

Meanings

Biblical Names Meaning:

In Biblical Names the meaning of the name Silas is: Three, or the third.

English Baby Names Meaning:

In English Baby Names the meaning of the name Silas is: from a Greek name meaning 'forest; woods.' In the bible Silas was a missionary companion of Paul and Timothy.

Latin Baby Names Meaning:

In Latin Baby Names the meaning of the name Silas is: Of the forest. God of trees and forests. In the bible, Silas was a missionary companion of Paul and Timothy.

American Baby Names Meaning:

In American Baby Names the meaning of the name Silas is: Three, or the third.

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