127+ Sumerian Names [With Meanings] [Kings, Gods]

Sumerian names are names that were commonly used by the ancient people of Sumer, an ancient civilization that existed in southern Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) from around 4000 BCE to 2000 BCE.

Here are some of the characteristics of Sumerian names:

  • Complex and multi-part: Sumerian names are often composed of multiple parts or elements, such as a personal name, a patronymic (a name derived from the name of the father), and a geographic or occupational name. For example, the name Enlil-bani means “Enlil (a Sumerian god) has created,” where “Enlil” is the personal name and “bani” is the patronymic.
  • Meaningful: Sumerian names often have a specific meaning or convey a particular message. Many Sumerian names are made up of elements that reflect the person’s occupation, social status, or religious beliefs.
  • Use of divine names: Sumerians frequently incorporated the names of gods and goddesses into their personal names as a way of expressing their devotion and seeking divine protection. For example, the name Nanna-iddin means “Nanna (the Sumerian god of the moon) has given.”
  • Emphasis on sound: Sumerian names often feature repeating sounds or syllables, which are thought to have been used to create a pleasing or memorable sound. For example, the name Inanna features repeated “n” sounds.
  • Gender specificity: Sumerian names are gender-specific, with distinct names for males and females. Male names often end in “-il” (meaning “god”) or “-um” (meaning “man”), while female names often end in “-tum” (meaning “woman”).
  • Historical significance: Sumerian names can have historical significance, as they provide insight into the culture and beliefs of the ancient Sumerians. Many Sumerian names have been preserved in ancient texts and inscriptions, allowing scholars to study their meanings and origins.

Sumerian Names With Meanings

Sumerian Names with Meanings:

  • Enlil – “Lord of the Storm” or “Lord of the Air”
  • Inanna – “Lady of Heaven” or “Queen of Heaven”
  • Dumuzid – “The Faithful Shepherd”
  • Nanna – “God of the Moon”
  • Utu – “God of the Sun” or “Shining One”
  • Ningal – “Great Lady” or “Lady of the Great City”
  • Shulgi – “True King” or “The One who is Good”
  • Gudea – “He who is Endowed with Divine Power”
  • Ereshkigal – “Lady of the Great Earth” or “Lady of the Underworld”
  • An – “God of Heaven”

Ancient Sumerian Names

Ancient Sumerian Names:

  • Enlil – meaning “lord of the storm,” Enlil was the chief god of the Sumerian pantheon and was associated with the weather and agriculture.
  • Inanna – meaning “lady of the sky,” Inanna was the goddess of love, fertility, and war. She was also known as Ishtar in later Babylonian mythology.
  • Nanna – meaning “illuminator,” Nanna was the god of the moon and was often depicted as a bull.
  • Utu – meaning “sun,” Utu was the god of the sun and justice.
  • Anu – meaning “sky,” Anu was the god of the sky and king of the gods.
  • Enki – meaning “lord of the earth,” Enki was the god of water, wisdom, and creation.
  • Ninurta – meaning “lord of the south wind,” Ninurta was the god of war and agriculture.
  • Ninhursag – meaning “lady of the mountains,” Ninhursag was the goddess of fertility, agriculture, and childbirth.
  • Dumuzi – meaning “true son,” Dumuzi was the god of shepherds and agriculture, as well as the consort of Inanna.
  • Ningal – meaning “great lady,” Ningal was the goddess of reeds, as well as the mother of Inanna.

Sumerian Surnames

Sumerian Surnames:

  • Adapa – meaning “wise,” Adapa was a legendary figure known for his wisdom and connection to the god Enki.
  • Gudea – meaning “humble servant,” Gudea was a king of the Sumerian city-state of Lagash known for his piety and patronage of the arts.
  • Lugalbanda – meaning “mighty king,” Lugalbanda was a legendary hero and king of the Sumerian city of Uruk.
  • Shulgi – meaning “my authority is supreme,” Shulgi was a king of the Sumerian city-state of Ur who is known for his extensive building projects and law code.
  • Ur-Nammu – meaning “protector of Ur,” Ur-Nammu was a king of the Sumerian city-state of Ur who is credited with creating the first law code.
  • Naram-Sin – meaning “beloved of the god Sin,” Naram-Sin was a king of the Akkadian Empire who is known for his military campaigns and the construction of the temple of Enlil in Nippur.
  • Gilgamesh – meaning “the ancestor is a hero,” Gilgamesh was a legendary king of Uruk known for his heroic feats and search for immortality.
  • Enheduanna – meaning “ornament of the god An,” Enheduanna was a high priestess of the god Nanna in the city of Ur who is known for her hymns and poems.
  • Sharrum-kin – meaning “king’s protector,” Sharrum-kin was a governor of the city-state of Mari who is known for his diplomatic skills and the construction of the city’s palace.
  • Ishbi-Erra – meaning “Ishbi is my help,” Ishbi-Erra was a king of the city of Isin who is known for his military campaigns and the construction of the city’s walls.

Sumerian City-State Names

Sumerian City-State Names with Meanings:

  • Ur – “City of the Moon God”
  • Nippur – “City of Enlil”
  • Lagash – “The Place of Girsu”
  • Uruk – “The Stronghold of Anu and Ishtar”
  • Kish – “City of Scepters”
  • Eridu – “Abode of Enki”
  • Larsa – “City of the Sun God”
  • Adab – “The Holy City”
  • Shuruppak – “City of the Gods”
  • Akshak – “The White Field”

Akkadian Names

Akkadian Names with Meanings:

  • Sargon – “The True King” or “The King is Legitimate”
  • Naram-Sin – “Beloved of the Moon God Sin”
  • Hammurabi – “The Exalted Ancestor is a Healer”
  • Ashurbanipal – “The God Ashur is My Creator”
  • Tiglath-Pileser – “My Trust is in the Son of Esharra”
  • Shalmaneser – “The God Shulmanu is Preeminent”
  • Nabonidus – “Nabu is Praised”
  • Adad-nirari – “Adad is my Help”
  • Tukulti-Ninurta – “My Trust is in the Lady of Nineveh”
  • Esarhaddon – “The God Ashur Has Given a Brother”

Sumerian Demon Names

Sumerian Demon Names:

  • Asag – a demon associated with disease and sickness
  • Lamashtu – a female demon who preyed on newborns and pregnant women
  • Pazuzu – a wind demon who could bring storms and famine
  • Alu – a demon who caused nightmares and sleep paralysis
  • Namtar – a demon associated with death and disease
  • Utukku – a class of malevolent spirits that caused disease and misfortune
  • Gallu – a group of demons who were said to kidnap and eat children
  • Lilu – a male demon who seduced women in their sleep
  • Ardat Lili – a female demon who seduced men and caused infertility
  • Asakku – a demon who caused illness and destruction.

Sumerian Girl Names [Female]

Sumerian Girl Names [Female]:

  • Ninlil – meaning “lady of the air,” Ninlil was the goddess of the wind and was associated with agriculture and fertility.
  • Ninsun – meaning “lady wild cow,” Ninsun was the mother of the hero Gilgamesh.
  • Ninshubur – meaning “lady who serves,” Ninshubur was the messenger of the goddess Inanna.
  • Nintu – meaning “lady of birth,” Nintu was the goddess of childbirth and fertility.
  • Nanshe – meaning “lady of the sea,” Nanshe was the goddess of fishing, weaving, and social justice.
  • Enheduanna – meaning “ornament of the god An,” Enheduanna was a high priestess of the god Nanna in the city of Ur who is known for her hymns and poems.
  • Ereshkigal – meaning “lady of the great earth,” Ereshkigal was the goddess of the underworld and death.
  • Gula – meaning “great one,” Gula was the goddess of healing and medicine.
  • Bau – meaning “lady of the city,” Bau was the goddess of war and healing.
  • Shala – meaning “the one who gives,” Shala was the goddess of grain and fertility.

Sumerian Boy Names [Male]

Sumerian Boy Names [Male]:

  • Nergal – meaning “lord of the underworld,” Nergal was the god of war and pestilence.
  • Dumuzid – meaning “true son,” Dumuzid was the god of shepherds and agriculture, as well as the consort of Inanna.
  • Anzu – meaning “heavenly eagle,” Anzu was a divine creature associated with the god Ninurta.
  • Ishkur – meaning “lord of the mountains,” Ishkur was the god of thunderstorms and rain.
  • Enkidu – meaning “created by the god Enki,” Enkidu was a legendary hero and friend of Gilgamesh.
  • Shara – meaning “wild bull,” Shara was a minor god of war and hunting.
  • Nisaba – meaning “lady of the grain,” Nisaba was the goddess of writing and scribes.
  • Marduk – meaning “bull calf of the sun,” Marduk was the patron deity of Babylon and was associated with war and creation.
  • Nabu – meaning “the announcer,” Nabu was the god of wisdom and writing.
  • Ningishzida – meaning “lord of the good tree,” Ningishzida was a god of vegetation and the underworld.

Sumerian King Names

Sumerian King Names with Meanings:

  • Gilgamesh – “He who Saw the Deep”
  • Lugalbanda – “The King who is Boundless”
  • Enmerkar – “Lord of Aratta”
  • Urukagina – “The King of Uruk”
  • Ur-Nammu – “The Mighty One of Nammu”
  • Shulgi – “True King” or “The One who is Good”
  • Eannatum – “The Prince of Lagash”
  • Gudea – “He who is Endowed with Divine Power”
  • Ibbi-Sin – “The Servant of the Moon God Sin”
  • Ishbi-Erra – “The Man of Erra”


Sumerian God Names

Sumerian God Names with Meanings:

  • An – “God of Heaven”
  • Enki – “God of Wisdom”
  • Enlil – “Lord of the Storm” or “Lord of the Air”
  • Inanna – “Lady of Heaven” or “Queen of Heaven”
  • Nanna – “God of the Moon”
  • Utu – “God of the Sun” or “Shining One”
  • Ereshkigal – “Lady of the Great Earth” or “Lady of the Underworld”
  • Tiamat – “Goddess of the Primordial Chaos”
  • Marduk – “God of Creation” or “The One Who Escaped the Net”
  • Ningal – “Great Lady” or “Lady of the Great City”

Common Sumerian Names

Common Sumerian Names with Meanings:

  • Enlil-bani – “Enlil has created”
  • Ninurta-gimil – “Ninurta is my protection”
  • Namhani – “The One who is Full of Grace”
  • Enheduanna – “Ornament of the God An”
  • Ninsun – “Lady Wild Cow” or “Lady of the Fields”
  • Shulgi-mušhušu – “The One Who Makes His Name Good”
  • Kug-Bau – “The One Who Makes Magnificent”
  • Ur-Bau – “The Lady of Ur”
  • Inim-Gish – “The One Who Knows Everything”
  • Damu – “The Child” or “The Son”

FAQs – Sumerian Names

Are Sumerians Caucasian?

The Sumerians were a civilization that emerged in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) around 4000 BCE and lasted until around 2000 BCE.

They were an ancient people who lived in a region that is today inhabited by a diverse group of people with varying physical appearances, including people of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Mediterranean descent.

Therefore, it is not accurate to describe the Sumerians as a “Caucasian” people.

What are some meanings of ancient Sumerican names?

Meanings of Ancient Sumerian Names:

  • Enlil – “lord of the storm”
  • Inanna – “lady of the sky”
  • Nanna – “illuminator”
  • Utu – “sun”
  • Anu – “sky”
  • Enki – “lord of the earth”

What were Sumerian naming conventions?

Sumerian names generally consisted of two elements: a given name and a patronymic (father’s name) or a matronymic (mother’s name).

The given name was usually chosen to reflect something about the individual’s character or situation, and it was often chosen by the parents shortly after the child’s birth.

The patronymic or matronymic was added to the given name to indicate the individual’s family lineage.

For example, the famous king of Uruk, Gilgamesh, had a Sumerian name that was composed of two elements.

The first element, Gil, was a word that meant “ancestor” or “forefather.” The second element, gamesh, was a word that meant “perfect” or “excellent.”

Together, the name Gilgamesh can be interpreted to mean “ancestor who is perfect.”

In addition, Gilgamesh’s father was named Lugalbanda, so he was sometimes referred to as Gilgamesh son of Lugalbanda.

Sumerian names also sometimes included a third element that indicated the individual’s city or region of origin.

For example, the famous poet and high priestess Enheduanna had a name that included the element “nin” which meant “lady” or “queen,” followed by the element “dhu” which meant “ornament” or “jewel,” and finally the element “anna” which was a reference to the city of Ur, where she lived and worked.

Therefore, Enheduanna’s name can be interpreted to mean “lady who is an ornament of Ur.”

Overall, Sumerian naming conventions reflected the importance of family lineage and regional identity, as well as the desire to give individuals names that reflected positive traits or characteristics.

About the Sumerian language

Conclusion – Sumerian Names

The Sumerians of Mesopotamia had a distinct way of naming their children, which set them apart from other cultures.

Sumerian names were composed of two elements: the first being an individual’s given name, and the second being their patronymic, indicating their father’s name.

The first element was usually based on qualities that parents wished upon their children, such as “abundant” or “far away”.

Patronymics were often based in nature and could be used to indicate where one’s family originated from. It was also common for parents to choose a name that would be an omen or sign of good luck for the child, such as “happiness” or “rainbow.”

Sumerian names could also be indicative of social status and ancestry. For example, many high-ranking people had names that referenced gods or goddesses.

These titles were often bestowed upon members of the royal court or city leaders in order to demonstrate their reputation and power.

Similarly, many commoners used names that referred to everyday life; these often indicated occupations like shepherds or farmers, or even animals like birds or deer.

Sumerian names are unique due to the fact that they are gender-neutral in nature; both male and female individuals typically had the same type of name.

This is unlike many other cultures where masculine and feminine versions of each name exist.

Additionally, many Sumerian names consisted only one syllable; this is likely due to the simplicity and efficiency which characterized much of ancient Sumerian culture.

In summary, Sumerian names were composed of two elements – a given name based on qualities desired by parents for their child, and a patronymic derived from nature – with further implications toward one’s status and ancestry.

They were gender-neutral in design with most consisting only one syllable, reflecting the efficiency which underpinned much of ancient Sumerian culture at large.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *