The Meaning of the Name Silas

By Ariam Alula | | People
The Meaning of the Name Silas
Damir Khabirov/Shutterstock

It’s fair to assume the meaning of our name isn’t a thought that crosses our minds very often. We’re given a name at birth and carry it through our lives. But the truth is, learning about our names can reveal a lot about our familial ancestry and past. One particularly interesting name is Silas. The Silas name meaning is worth learning about, so read on to find out its origin.

What does the name Silas mean?

The name Silas has a fascinating meaning. Silas translates to “wood” or “of the forest.” It was a name mostly given to men who had a passion for the outdoors. How you spell Silas depends on your nationality and culture. In Hebrew, Silas is Saul; in Italian, Silas is Silvano. Keep that in mind the next time you’re running a people search.

Silas name origin/background

Silas originates from Sylvanus or Silvanus, the Roman god of the countryside, which has Greek and Latin roots. The story goes that this deity first appeared to protect uncultivated land and soon fell in love with the beautiful trees in their natural state. He eventually became the one to govern the untouched forests. So, it’s no surprise this name is associated with the god of forests.

The name Silas has been around for centuries. Many people have heard or know it from George Eliot’s 1861 novel “Silas Marner.” It has also been mentioned in the 2006 feature film “The Da Vinci Code” and on the TV show “Weeds.”

Starting in the 1990s, the name has grown in popularity among North Americans. According to data provided by the Social Security Administration, Silas was the 91st most popular name in the U.S. in 2021.

Prominent figures with the name Silas

St. Silas was an early Christian missionary, and considered a prophet who preached to Christians in Antioch.

Born in 1859, Silas Leachman was a pioneer of phonograph cylinders and created hundreds of thousands of records in the 1890s in Chicago.

Still alive today is actor Silas Weir Mitchell, who is best known for his role as Charles “Haywire” Patoshik in the TV series “Prison Break.”

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.